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Naira Closes at 363/Dollar After New Year Break

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  • Naira Closes at 363/Dollar After New Year Break

The naira closed at 363 per United States dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday, the same rate it closed before the New Year break on Friday.

The local currency, which has been hovering around 365/dollar for some months, rose to 364/dollar as the Christmas holiday approached.

The naira later rose to 364/dollar last week before closing at 363/dollar on Friday.

Foreign exchange traders and currency analyst had predicted that the naira would be stable during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

They said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s regular interventions through the injection of dollars into the market would deter currency speculators from making a bet on the local currency.

The naira has been hovering at 360/dollar at the Investors and Exporters FX Window, while it has been quoted at 306.05 at the official market, the level at which the central bank has been intervening.

The CBN has been injecting dollars into the forex market on weekly basis in the past few months.

Meanwhile, the President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, has warned that spending by politicians ahead of the 2019 general elections may threaten the stability of the naira.

Gwadabe said the propensity to hoard dollars now, to be spent during political campaigns, was not new to the nation’s political history.

“Political spending may affect exchange rate stability in 2018. Electioneering starts early this time and the tendency for people to hoard the dollar now, to be spent during the campaigns, is not new,’’ Gwadabe said.

The ABCON chief, therefore, called on the regulatory authorities and security operatives to ensure that currency hoarders and speculators do not leverage the 2019 elections to erode the gains recorded in the nation’s foreign exchange market.

Gwadabe noted that the CBN had spent about $8bn in a series of interventions at the forex market, leading to the flattening of rates across board.

According to him, the BDC operators, as critical stakeholders in the forex market, are committed to playing by the rules in ensuring that the naira remained stable.

Since February, when the naira exchanged at N520 to the dollar, the CBN had intervened aggressively to ensure it remained stable at about N363 to the dollar.

Efforts by the CBN and critical stakeholders like the BDCs led to the convergence of rates between the parallel market and the BDC segment.

Meanwhile, most of Africa’s main currencies will remain at a steady level as foreign markets remain sluggish over the holidays.

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.

Finance

Ecobank To Pay Customers N5 For Every Dollar Received

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Ecobank To Pay Customers N5 For Every Dollar Received

Ecobank has implemented the CBN scheme which offers N5 for every Dollar received into domiciliary accounts or as cash over the counter. Korede Demola-Adeniyi; Head, of Consumer Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, who announced this in Lagos stated that the decision is in line with the CBN directive and fully aligns with efforts to encourage the inflow of diaspora remittances into the country.

She noted that the “CBN Naira 4 dollar scheme” is an unprecedented incentive for senders and recipients of international money transfers.

Korede Demola-Adeniyi said that the scheme takes effect from 8th March and will run till 8th May 2021. “Ecobank will pay N5 on every Dollar so beneficiaries will not only get the foreign currency sent from their family and friends abroad, but they will also get extra Naira”, she stated.

Only recently, Ecobank had a first-of-its-kind virtual Diaspora Summit to discuss opportunities for Nigerians living abroad and the various platforms available to assist them with their investment decisions and remittance needs. The event had major players in the remittance space, diaspora audience, government officials and notable stakeholders in attendance.

Further, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has disclosed that apart from consistent engagement with Nigerians in the diaspora, Ecobank is leveraging its digital technology to make remittances to Nigeria and Africa easy, convenient and affordable.

Mr. Akinwuntan stated that growing evidence has shown a positive relationship between diaspora remittances and economic growth.

“Ecobank will continue to pursue its mandate of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa, through the 33 countries where the bank operates on the continent. Ecobank’s Rapidtransfer and mobile app (Ecobank Mobile) enable Africans, wherever they are, to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and agent locations across 33 African countries”, he stated.

Ecobank Nigeria, a member of the Pan African Banking Group is committed to supporting Africans in the diaspora by providing advisory services, remittance solutions, investment options and financial planning schemes. The bank also offers mortgages, treasury bills, capital market instruments, among others.

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Banking Sector

Peter Obaseki Retires as Chief Operating Officer of FCMB Group Plc

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The Board of Directors of FCMB Group Plc has announced the retirement of Mr. Peter Obaseki, the Chief Operating Officer of the financial institution, with effect from March 1, 2021. He was also an Executive Director of the Group.

His retirement was approved at a meeting of the Board of the Group on February 26, 2021. This has also been announced in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the financial institution.

The Chairman of FCMB Group Plc’s Board of Directors, Mr Oladipupo Jadesimi, thanked Mr. Obaseki for his valuable service and excellent support to the Board for many years.

FCMB Group Plc is a holding company divided along three business Groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Investment Banking (FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited); as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).

The Group and its subsidiaries are leaders in their respective segments with strong fundamentals.

For more information about FCMB Group Plc, please visit www.fcmbgroup.com.

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Banking Sector

COVID-19: CBN Extends Loan Repayment by Another One Year

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Central Bank Extends One-Year Moratorium by 12 Months

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the repayment of its discounted interest rate on intervention facility by another one-year following the expiration of the first 12 months moratorium approved on March 1, 2020.

The apex bank stated in a circular titled ‘Re: Regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of credit facilities of other financial institutions impacted by COVID-19’ and released on Wednesday to all financial institutions.

In the circular signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, the apex bank said the role-over of the moratorium on the facilities would be considered on a case by case basis.

The circular read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from nine per cent to five per cent per annum for one year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.

“Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.

“Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:

“The extension by another 12 months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities.

“The role-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.”

It would be recalled that the apex bank reduced the interest rate on its intervention facility from nine percent to five percent and approved a 12-month moratorium in March 2020 to ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses.

To further deepen economic recovery and stimulate growth, the apex bank has extended the one year-moratorium until February 28, 2022.

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