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Ex-bankers’ N9.2b Suit Against CBN, Others for Hearing Dec. 13

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  • Ex-bankers’ N9.2b Suit Against CBN, Others for Hearing Dec. 13

The over 14,000 ex-staff of banks who filed a suit against the Central Bank of Nigeria following their retrenchment in 2006 as a result of the banking consolidation exercise would have the opportunity of taking their pleas at the Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court in December 13, 2017.

The ex-bankers lost their jobs in 2006 when the apex bank revoked the operational licences of 13 commercial banks for failing to attain the N25bn capitalisation threshold then introduced and enforced by the apex bank.

Specifically, the former bankers, amongst other things, wants all their entitlements and terminal benefits, which they put at N9,166,424,276, from four commercial banks, which acquired the eight banks for which they were working prior to the 2006 capitalisation.

The eight banks whose lincences were revoked in 2006 are All States Trust Bank, Hallmark Bank, Gulf Bank Plc, Liberty Bank, Metropolitan Bank,Trade Bank, Assurance Bank and Eagle Bank.

Included as defendants in their suit marked NIC/LA/603/2016 before Justice Benedict Kanyip are the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, the CBN, and the four commercial banks – Ecobank Nigeria Limited, United Bank for Africa Plc, Skye Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc – which acquired the eight banks for which the claimants were working prior to the 2006 capitalisation policy by the CBN.

The erstwhile bank workers are urging the court to declare that the NDIC and the CBN acted contrary to the law and prejudiced their interests while entering into agreements with Ecobank, UBA, Skye Bank and Zenith Bank, to sell the assets of their former employers.

The claimants are contending that it was unlawful and wrong for the NDIC and the CBN to sell the assets of the eight banks to Ecobank, UBA, Skye Bank and Zenith Bank, without also transferring the liability of paying the terminal benefits of the disengaged bank workers to Ecobank, UBA, Skye Bank and Zenith Bank.

The lawyer to the claimants, Dotun Onafowope, argued that both the NDIC and the CBN misunderstood their roles and misapplied the law in the 2006 consolidation exercise by categorising the eight non-consolidated banks as failed banks.

It would be recalled that the ex-bankers had earlier approached the court under the aegis of the Incorporated Trustees of the Association of Ex-Staff of Non-Consolidated Banks of Nigeria, but Justice Kanyip had questioned the possibility of the claimants coming before him as a group registered under the Corporate and Allied Matters Act as opposed to as individuals.

Taking the court’s hint, Onafowope, at the recent proceedings, brought an application dated June 30, 2017, seeking to substitute the group with names of 847 individual claimants.

However the matter could not proceed due mainly to the absence of the NDIC lawyer, who had written to the court that he was indisposed.

But before adjourning the matter till December 13, 2017, Justice Kanyip noted that the claimants’ lawyer, Onafowope, had to convince the court that there was even a competent suit before the court that could be substituted with another.

He asked whether the claims of the ex-bank workers were not statute barred against the NDIC and the CBN in view of the Public Officers’ Protection Act, which he said gave a window of only three months to file a suit against an action taken by a public officer.

Besides, he sought to know whether the claimants had not been caught by the six years’ limitation for the other defendants.

But Onafowope said though the consolidation took place in 2006, it was January 2011 that the claimants were supposed to be paid their terminal benefits, adding that the consolidation had been concluded as the assets of the acquired banks were still being advertised.

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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