- CBN Special Forex Window Attracts N2.715tn Investments
The Nigerian equities market has attracted N2.715tn investments owing to the foreign exchange window for investors and exporters introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria on April 21 this year.
Stocks have seen a huge rally across board evident in the soaring Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation of listed equities, the All-Share Index, number of deals, as well volumes traded vis-a-vis their values.
The NSE market capitalisation has appreciated by 31.04 per cent between April 20 (last trading day before the window’s opening) and July 14 (latest trading day), from N8.748tn to N11.463tn.
In the same vein, the All-Share Index, volumes traded, deals and value of transactions as of April 20 were 25,282.75 basis points, 147.887 million, 2,578 and N836.842m, respectively.
While as of July 14, the respective figures had risen to 33,261.66 basis points, 311.608 million, 3,113 and N3.27bn.
The special forex window tagged, ‘Investors and Exporters FX Window’, according to the apex bank, will boost liquidity in the forex market and ensure timely execution and settlement of eligible transactions.
Small-scale investors and exporters have always decried the closure of several outfits due to lack of access to foreign exchange to procure necessary facilities to support their operations.
The central bank had earlier opened a special window for Small and Medium Enterprises to facilitate the importation of eligible finished and semi-finished items.
However, the eligible transactions covered under the new window include invisible transactions, such as loan repayments, loan interest payments, dividends/income remittances, capital repatriation, management service fees and consultancy fees.
Also covered by the forex window are software subscription fees, technology transfer agreements, personal home remittances, bills for collection and any other trade-related payment obligations at the instance of the customer.
Other eligible transactions like ‘miscellaneous payments’ detailed under Memorandum 15 of the CBN foreign exchange manual, are also covered under the new window.
Also, transactions and bills for collection are eligible to purchase foreign currencies sourced from the CBN forex window limited to secondary market intervention sales, wholesale (spot and forwards) only.
The only items excluded under the new window are international airlines ticket sales’ remittances, which will only be eligible to access forex at the CBN FX window.
For the apex bank, the supply of dollars to the new window shall be through portfolio investors, exporters, authorised dealers and other parties with foreign currencies to exchange to naira.
The Acting Managing Director, Afrinvest Securities Limited, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, said in a telephone conversation with our correspondent that the introduction of the I & E FX window attracted significant foreign inflows as well as domestic funds to the capital market.
He said, “The mere fact that the foreign investors got more naira for their dollars, at between N305/dollar and N385/dollar, gave the boost.
“The FX liquidity and economic challenges had pushed most stock prices to all-time lows, creating opportunities for significant upside. The stock market has rallied over 23 per cent since the introduction of the new FX window.”
Ebo added that the eventual convergence of the Nigerian Inter-bank Foreign Exchange Fixing to the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing would further boost investors’ sentiments.
According to him, the performance of corporates in the half-year period will also shape the market direction.
The Managing Director, Investment One Venture Capital, Dr. Ore Sofekun, told our correspondent that the special FX window of the apex bank was working as some sort of convergence had been seen among FX rates.
She added, “The main thing is that we have some sort of convergence between the official and parallel FX rates.
“We should continue to work towards a common FX window to further boost confidence in the market. However, the situation is getting more market-determined.”
Also, the Vice-President, Equity Sales, Renaissance Capital, Mr. Daniel Ugwuoke, said the adjustment by the CBN had been very positive considering the level of rallying experienced in the capital market.
According to him, the country is headed in the right direction, but not where it should be yet.
Ugwuoke said many foreign investors were still playing the waiting game, given the multiplicity of FX rates in the Nigerian market space like the inter-bank rate, NAFEX, fuel marketers’ rate and the parallel rate.
He explained that the foreign investors were awaiting a single FX rate, adding, “They still believe the naira is over-valued. They don’t leverage on the NAFEX because they feel it lacks transparency, but are using the Inter-bank rate.
“The CBN is expected to unify the rates at this time. It is time for the CBN to do it. By not doing the adjustment now, the CBN is not only deterring investors, but is threatening the country’s Morgan Stanley International Capital standing.”
The MSCI recently increased the weighting assigned to Nigerian stocks to 7.9 per cent from 6.5 per cent previously in its frontier markets’ basket of equities.
The index designed to track and measure stock markets was rebalanced by Morgan Stanley, and the new weightings took immediate effect.
The MSCI Frontier Market Index Nigeria comprises of 16 companies listed on the NSE, including Nigerian Breweries Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, Forte Oil Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and FBN Holdings Plc.
The MSCI report stated that there would not be any specific review changes for any securities in the country in the MSCI Nigeria-specific index or composite index based on the ongoing issues with the forex market.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s status in the MSCI Frontier Markets Index remains under consideration for a “standalone” re-classification.
CBN Freezes Another 194 Accounts of firms, BDCs, Others
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said it got orders from the Federal High Court, Abuja division, to freeze 194 bank accounts belonging to firms and Bureaux de Change to enable it to conduct investigations into suspicious activities.
It disclosed this on Thursday in three separate documents on its website.
In one of the documents, the CBN said it got an order to freeze 60 bank accounts of Bluebeam Capital Limited.
The accounts were domiciled in 13 different banks, the CBN as the plaintiff stated.
Bluebeam, as the respondent had eight accounts each in Access Bank and Keystone Bank; seven each in First Bank and Ecobank; five each in UBA and GTBank; four each in Fidelity Bank, FCMB and Sterling Bank; three accounts in Polaris Bank; two each in Wema Bank and Heritage Bank; and one in Providus Bank.
In another document, the CBN said it got an order to freeze 84 accounts in 17 banks.
The third document revealed that the banking regulator had the court order to freeze 50 accounts domiciled in different banks.
The motions exparte which were signed on different dates sought the orders of the court to direct the banks to freeze all other bank accounts of the defendants for a period of 180 days, pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry being conducted by the CBN.
In the document signed by the Presiding Judge, A.R. Mohammed, the court empowered the CBN to direct the banks to freeze all the bank accounts for a period of 45 days only, pending the outcome of the investigation.
It added that the order may be extended upon good reasons shown.
Any person aggrieved by this order could apply to the court to have the order set aside, discharged or have the order reviewed upon good reasons without waiting for the 45 days to lapse, the document stated.
The CBN on Wednesday disclosed it got an order to freeze 11 bank accounts to enable it conduct investigations into suspicious activities.
It had listed the names of the defendants/respondents as Albert Austin Ugochukwu with two bank accounts; Belfour Energy & Allied Services; Belfour Oil and Gas Limited with three bank accounts; Circle Flow Integrated Services; Kacynaus Reality Nigeria Limited with three bank accounts; and Tasmara Integrated Services.
Insider Dealing: Henry Oroh, An Executive Director of Zenith Bank, Acquires N46.982 Million Worth of Zenith Bank Shares
Henry Oro, an executive director of Zenith Bank Plc, has dumped N46.982 million on shares of Zenith Bank, according to the latest filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The executive director purchased Zenith Bank’s shares of 724,527 on April 1st, 2021 at N22.05 each or N15.976 million.
On April 6th, Oroh added 612,573 shares at N22 a unit and another 400,000 units at N21.90 per share.
On the same day, he purchased another 400,000 units at N21.90 a share. Bringing aggregate purchase on April 6th to 1,412,573 at an average price of N21.95 a unit or N31.006 million.
Henry Oroh has spent a total of N46.982 million on Zenith shares in April.
Henry Oroh was appointed as Zenith Bank’s executive director on September 1st, 2019 and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Benin, Edo State and an MBA from the Lagos State University as well as an LLB Degree from the University of London.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), Nigeria.
He has over two decades of banking experience. He began his banking career in 1992 at Citibank where he served for seven (7) years in Operations, Treasury and Marketing.
He joined Zenith Bank in February 1999 and has worked in various Groups and Departments within the Zenith Group Office. His expertise spans Operations, Information Technology, Treasury, Marketing, including the Manufacturing, Food and Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Oil and Gas, Public Sector, Consumer, as well as Corporate Banking and Business Development.
In April 2012, he was seconded to Zenith Bank Ghana Limited as an Executive Director and became the Managing Director/ Chief Executive in February 2016, where he successfully spearheaded the phenomenal growth of the Zenith Brand both within the Ghana market and the West African sub-region.
Henry has attended several Leadership Programmes and Executive Management Courses at the Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, New York, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, HEC Paris, JP Morgan Chase, UK and the Lagos Business School.
He comes to the Board of Zenith Bank Plc with strong competencies in Credit & Marketing, Operations, Information Technology, Treasury and impressive Leadership skills.
Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Adopts Virtual Audience For 10km Runners
In a bid to ensure the health and safety of all runners and essential service workers amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, the title sponsors of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Access Bank PLC, has announced that the Lagos City Marathon will be held virtually for interested 10km runners this year.
The marathon, scheduled for April 10, 2021 can only accommodate 300 runners in line with the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Athletics and the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
Speaking on the development, Access Bank’s Executive Director of Retail Banking, Victor Etuokwu said, “Our primary consideration is the health and safety of participants, attendees and staff that will be a part of the Lagos City Marathon. This is why we decided to have an exclusive virtual event – that allows participants from all over the world to run the race wherever they are.
‘’While we regret that we can’t host the live 10km race and fanfare that have become synonymous with the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, we continue to stand with the other sponsors to preserve public health as we look forward to hosting a successful marathon. We implore all well-meaning Lagosians to please adhere to the movement guidelines put in place by the Lagos State Government to ensure that the marathon fulfills its purpose of positively placing Lagos and indeed the whole of Africa on the global map,” he concluded.
Though audience participation may have changed, the organisers have also announced that the race route will largely remain the same. Runners will begin the race from the National Stadium, Surulere, opposite Teslim Balogun Stadium and finish at the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island.
Now in its sixth edition, the Silver – Labelled Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has featured over 200,000 registered athletes from over 12 participating countries collectively covering a distance of 42,000 kilometers.
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