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Ecobank to Provide Forex for SMEs

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  • Ecobank to Provide Forex for SMEs

Ecobank Nigeria says operators of the Small and Medium Enterprises in the country can approach the bank for their foreign exchange needs for importation.

This, it said, was in line with Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent directive to banks to support the SMEs with forex for import.

The Head, SME Commercial Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Sunkanmi Olowo, said apart from the several initiatives to support the sub-sector, the SMEs business segment could access forex up to the CBN’s approved limit per quarter to cater for their import needs.

Olowo said, “As an SME friendly bank, we are again involved in the current regulator’s effort to make forex available to the operators to meet their import needs. We believe this will once again boost activities in the sector. We encourage the SMEs promoters to approach our bank for their need. ”

He explained that to qualify for forex allocation, the SME operator was expected to present to any of its branches a duly completed Form Q; application letter to purchase forex through the scheme; foreign bank transfer details and proforma invoice from offshore supplier/ beneficiary.

The CBN had recently opened a special forex window for the SMEs. This, according to the apex bank, will enable the SMEs to import eligible finished and semi-finished items, not exceeding $20,000 per operator each quarter.

The CBN spokesman, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, explained that the bank’s special intervention was necessitated by findings that a large number of the SMEs were being crowded out of the forex space by large firms.

According to him, under the special arrangement, enterprises with employee strengths of between 10 to 199 and an asset base of between N5m to less than N500m will be offered the opportunity to import eligible items within the approved threshold.

Okorafor further stated that the central bank had begun the massive sale of forex in different sectors of the market this week.

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.

Brands

MILO Cereal Launches New Online Campaign, ‘Beast Mode – Activated’

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MILO Cereal has launched its first major marketing campaign for its newly launched Protein cereal, via independent creative communications agency Connecting Plots.

Building on MILO’s brand message of fuelling active kids, the new campaign platform, ‘Beast Mode – Activated’, evolves the master brand’s focus on team sports.

This aims to celebrate how MILO Protein helps active kids unleash their own full potential, take their training to the next level and successfully compete with their peers.

The campaign launched on 16 April and will run across various social channels and online videos.

Connecting Plots creative partner Dave Jansen said the approach to the MILO Protein cereal campaign was about tapping into the teen mindset and being less overt and more authentic.

“Creating advertising that doesn’t feel like a ‘sell’ is the challenge when targeting teens,” Jansen said in a statement.

“We’ve shied away from the polished tropes of traditional, achievement driven sports ads to bring this to life in a way that hopefully gives life to a teenager’s desire to do their best, feel like they are stepping into their future adult self and showing how MILO Protein Cereal can help on that journey.”

Cereal Partners Worldwide’s marketing manager, Keara Deignan, added: “Aussies grew up with MILO cereal, it’s a staple of every Australian pantry.

“However, we’ve seen that as teens start to carve out their own identities, their consumption habits change so this product aims to keep pace with their active on-the-go lifestyle.”

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Global Digital Consumer Spent $900B In 2020 – Mastercard

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According to Mastercard’s latest Recovery Insights report, this amounted to an additional $900bn being spent in retail online around the world in 2020. Put another way: in 2020, e-commerce made up roughly $1 out of every $5 spent on retail, up from about $1 out of every $7 spent in 2019.

For retailers, restaurants and other businesses large and small, being able to sell online provided a much-needed lifeline as in-person consumer spending was disrupted.

Roughly 20-30% of the Covid-related shift to digital globally is expected to be permanent, according to Mastercard’s Recovery Insights: Commerce E-volution. The report draws on anonymised and aggregated sales activity in the Mastercard network and proprietary analysis by the Mastercard Economics Institute. The analysis dives into what this means by country and by sector, for goods and services, and within countries and across borders.

“While consumers were stuck at home, their dollars traveled far and wide thanks to e-commerce,” says Bricklin Dwyer, Mastercard chief economist and head of the Mastercard Economics Institute. “This has significant implications, with the countries and companies that have prioritized digital continuing to reap the benefits. Our analysis shows that even the smallest businesses see gains when they shift to digital.”

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Venmo Launches Cryptocurrency Trading

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Venmo, owned by PayPal, is launching cryptocurrency trading for four major coins: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litceoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

This service set to be widely available within the new few weeks, Venmo’s 70 million+ customers will be able to buy, hold and sell crypto directly within the Venmo app. The launch is offering users access to in-app guides to help them to better navigate the cryptocurrency trading space and will encourage them to share their cryptocurrency experiences via the Venmo feed.

Venmo users will be able to buy as little as $1 worth of cryptocurrency and can use either funds from their Venmo balance or from a linked bank account or debit card to buy and sell their holdings.

Over 30% of Venmo customers have already begun to purchase cryptocurrency or equities, according to the company’s research into 2020 customer behavior. Of these, 20% began their purchase during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that the public health and concurrent economic crisis has accelerated trends in digitization and experimentation with new financial technologies.

Support for cryptocurrency on Venmo is facilitated through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of crypto products such as its stable coin and other services. Venmo owner PayPal is also the holder of a conditional Bitlicense from the exacting New York State Department of Financial Services. Conditional licensees, such as PayPal, are required to pair off with firms that have already been granted full-blown licenses — as, in this case, has Paxos.

Just under a week ago, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman hinted at developments underway since the payments giant first went live with its crypto offering in the United States in November of last year. Schulman said that PayPal aims to support the use of crypto for everyday transactions and to tap into smart contracts and other, more expansive features of blockchain technology. He also pitched the company’s vision of leveraging crypto for the attainment of a more “inclusive economy,” in which “things will be done much differently than today.”

 

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