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$1trn Stolen From Africa to Western Countries in 50 Years – UN

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  • $1trn Stolen From Africa to Western Countries in 50 Years – UN

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says an estimated 50 billion dollars leaves the shore of the continent illicitly mostly to the Western countries, every year.

Mr Adeyinka Adeyemi, a senior adviser at ECA, told our Correspondent in New York that illicit financial flow had serious negative development impacts on the continent.

Adeyemi also said that at least one trillion dollars had left the continent illicitly over the last 50 years, saying the figures were arrived at after decades of research on the issue.

The UN official said African countries did not need aid from developed countries if the illicit assets from the continent over the decades are repatriated.

He, therefore, challenged the destination countries to hold their aids to African countries in exchange for the return of these illicit assets to their countries of origin, mainly from Africa.

“The issue of illicit financial flow is very serious in terms of the negative development impacts on Africa.

“If you look at when we say 50 billion dollars leaving Africa every year illicitly, in the last 50 years we estimate that one trillion dollars left Africa illicitly.

“This is roughly equal to the total amount of so-called aid that Africa received at the same time.

“So if you do the math, hold on to your aid, we would still be okay and we would keep our money and we would our priority,” he said.

Adeyemi, who was the Focal Point for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), said the issue of illicit financial flow was very important to the international community, they are talking about it.

He added that the Financing for Development meeting in Addis Ababa spoke about it but stressed that the pace of action currently was not yet where Africa wanted.

“We think that if we have the necessary action today, we can stop a huge chunk of these flows because what it thrives on is very simple – it’s secrecy.

“Secrecy knowing that you will not get it; that’s why it’s illicit; you will not know it. They do it with the complicity of government officials and all these other stuffs.

“Our study, however, shows that only five per cent of the flows can be traceable to official corruption,” he said.

Adeyemi, who is in charge of the Regional Integration and Infrastructure Cluster in the Capacity Development Division, blamed the developed countries and other international financial institutions of complicity illicit financial flows.

The UN official also rejected the idea that returning stolen wealth from destination countries to countries of origin on conditionality.

“Every time we go somewhere and speak, we hear ‘you people are corrupt’, ‘Africa is corrupt’ but this is not supported.

“About 75 per cent of these illicit flows are directly traceable to the behaviours or actions or inactions of our trans-nationals.

“When we look at only trade mis-invoicing, we found that this is huge and weighty.

“So if the international community wants to help Africa, let us stop this unnecessary conversation that’s going nowhere on why we should link illicit financial flows with other things, with governance, with aid.

“These things are very important but this is not where the issue is. Africa is the only region in the world that has African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

“This is a governance mechanism where Presidents tell themselves ‘you have been bad, go and improve yourself’.

“My point is that the World Bank and the IMF have very little to teach Africa in terms of governance in this kind of stuff because we are already doing something,” he said.

APRM, founded in 2003, is a mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the Member States of the African Union as a self-monitoring mechanism.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Global Oil Drops as Coronavirus Infections Rises in India and Other Nations

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Oil prices declined on Monday during the Asian trading session amid rising concerns that the surge in coronavirus in India and other nations could force regulators to enforce stronger measures at curbing its spread and eventually affect economic activity and drag on demand for commodities like crude oil.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 22 cents or 0.33 percent to $66.55 per barrel at 8:19 am Nigerian time on Monday, following a 6 percent surge last week.

The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 18 cents or 0.29 percent to $62.95 per barrel, after it gained 6.4 percent last week.

The decline was after India reported 261,500 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the country’s total cases to almost 14.8 million, second to only the United States that has reported over 31 million coronavirus infections.

“With … a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.

Businesses in Japan believed the world’s third-largest economy will experience a fourth round of coronavirus infections, with many bracing for an additional slow down in economic activity.

While Japan has had fewer COVID-19 cases when compared with other major economies, concerns about a new wave of infections are fast rising, according to responses in Reuters poll.

On Tuesday, April 20, 2020, Hong Kong will suspend all from India, Pakistan and the Philippines because of imported coronavirus infections, authorities stated in a statement released on Sunday.

India’s COVID-19 death rose by a record 1,501 to hit 177,150.

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Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO

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As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.

Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.

“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.

“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.

“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.

“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”

However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.

“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.

“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”

Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”

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Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa

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Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.

Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.

Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.

Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades.  As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”

Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:

  • Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
  • Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
  • The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
  • International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent

Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.

 Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.

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