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UN Pledges to Work with Nigeria to Boost SMEs Growth

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  • UN Pledges to Work with Nigeria to Boost SMEs Growth

The Investment and Technology Promotion Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO-ITPO) has vowed to work with Africa, and indeed Nigeria, to realise the projected growth of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

According to the organisation, the increase in global demand for Nigerian products was a pointer to Nigeria’s potential to contribute significantly to global economic development.

Head, UNIDO ITPO Nigeria, Mrs. Adebisi Olumodimu, gave the assurance at the closing ceremony of a four-day intensive training programme organised by UNIDO-ITPO Nigeria for three federal government agencies. She said a strong team had been developed to strengthen the training potential of the agencies toward improving their mandate delivery.

Olumodimu said: “UNIDO ITPO Nigeria has just finished the training of experts which it will use in its training tasks ahead”, adding, the team had been able to evolve the needed strategies to address challenges associated with entrepreneurial development in Nigeria.

She added: “As a team, the collaborators have analysed the Nigerian business climate, and we have also imbibed the spirit of enterprise so that we will train entrepreneurs in the interest of ensuring that their businesses thrive despite challenges,” she noted.

“I have no doubt that we will achieve our set goal of making conglomerates of entrepreneurs by strengthening SMEs and placing them on the path of growth.”

According to her, the beneficiary agencies are the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council.

She charged the agencies to maximise the opportunities afforded them by the training, stating that they must leave no stone unturned in applying newly devised strategies to their operations as regards development of entrepreneurs.

The Director-General, NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhameed, thanked the UNIDO ITPO Nigeria for the platform and assured stakeholders that NIRSAL would sustain the inter-agency collaboration established by ITPO Nigeria for the development of SMEs in the country.

“We are going to work with our partners in NIPC and NOTAP. We will identify realistic projects in the agricultural value chain that have to do with youth and we will apply the training we got here,” he added.

The Coordinator, ARCEIT Programme, UNIDO ITPO, Bahrain, Mr. Afif Barhoumi, said the end of the Train the Trainers was the beginning of a shift from theory to practice.

“Now that the intensive training has ended, there will be a practice of what has been learnt in theory,” he said.

Corroborating Olumodimu’s position, Afif said: “The training has shown that we have a very formidable team, and we are very sure that we will achieve the set task. The next thing is to deploy the shared knowledge and new partnerships to the development of entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

“UNIDO is very willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that entrepreneurs in Nigeria succeed; we cannot do this by ourselves, but we have been able to raise a strong team that will do that. We have developed real partnerships across the sectors that will work to develop entrepreneurs in Nigeria.”

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.

Markets

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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Markets

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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Oil Rises on Drawdown in U.S. Oil Stocks, OPEC Demand Outlook

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Oil prices rose in early trade on Wednesday, adding to overnight gains, after industry data showed U.S. oil inventories declined more than expected and OPEC raised its outlook for oil demand.

Brent crude futures rose 28 cents, or 0.4%, to $63.95 a barrel at 0057 GMT, after climbing 39 cents on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures similarly climbed 28 cents, or 0.5%, to $60.46 a barrel, adding to Tuesday’s rise of 48 cents.

Oil price gains over the past week have been underpinned by signs of a strong economic recovery in China and the United States, but have been capped by concerns over stalled vaccine rollouts worldwide and soaring COVID-19 infections in India and Brazil.

Nevertheless, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) tweaked up its forecast on Tuesday for world oil demand growth this year, now expecting demand to rise by 5.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2021, up by 70,000 bpd from its forecast last month. It is banking on the pandemic to subside and travel curbs to be eased.

“It was a welcome prognosis by the market, which had been fretting about the impact the ongoing pandemic was having on demand,” ANZ Research analysts said in a note.

Further supporting the market on Wednesday, sources said data from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude stocks fell by 3.6 million barrels in the week ended April 9, compared with estimates for a decline of about 2.9 million barrels from analysts polled by Reuters.

Traders are waiting to see if official inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday matches that view.

Market gains are being capped on concerns about increased oil production in the United States and rising supply from Iran at a time when OPEC and its allies, together called OPEC+, are set to bring on more supply from May.

“They may have to contend with rising U.S. supply,” ANZ analysts said.

EIA said this week oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 13,000 bpd in May to 7.61 million bpd.

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