- CBN Orders Banks to Give Loans to Agric, Manufacturers at 9%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will be refunding Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to banks that fund projects in agriculture and manufacturing sectors, its Director of Banking Supervision, Abdullahi Ahmad, has said.
Speaking yesterday at the end of the Bankers’ Committee meeting in Lagos, Ahmad said the outlook for the economy in 2018 is much better than 2017. The CRR is a portion of banks’ deposits kept with the CBN.
He said the CBN has been very supportive to banks adding that banks should be able to lend to companies that are doing new capital expenditures and expansions to factories using some of their Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at nine per cent. These, he added, are not short term loans but long term loans of seven year loans, two year moratorium on principal.
“It would probably be the first time in the history of this country where manufacturers would be able to take fixed interest rate loans for seven years which means they would be able to plan. The volatility that they fear for all kinds of risks would be taken out and I think these are very laudable steps in improving and growing the economy,” Ahmad said.
For him, the idea is to have job creating activities in the economy and also to bring interest rate down. Although agric and manufacturing are the initial sectors that are being considered, later on or now, a bank can apply if there is a job creating sector that bank is operating in, it may be considered.
“We can refund the CRR of a bank that has engaged in lending in a new project or an existing one in the agriculture or manufacturing sector as a way of utilising the CRR. So, anytime a bank lends to manufacturing or agric at the rate the CBN has prescribed, it would have its CRR refunded up to the amount it has lend. The guidelines are coming up any moment from now and once they do it take off,” he said.
Also speaking, Executive Director, Finance at First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Mrs. Yemisi Edun, said the CRR that is taken from banks would be positively deployed to grow the real sector as well as the agriculture sector in the economy. “This is very positive for the economy and also positive for banks because we would be able to access these funds and earn on it. And because it would be coming at single digit rate, it would be positive for the economy,” she said.
“For now, it would be channeled to agricultural sector and manufacturing but it for growth expansions enhance creation of jobs. the focus it ensure the economy grow now that we have achieved stability we need to now see a positive trend of growth and that is what we are committed to do at this time,” she said.
“We have seen stability in the exchange rate being sustained, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth higher than 2017 and although there are capital reversals in our capital market, it is a little bit bearish but the fact is that capital outflow in the Nigerian economy is far less compared to many emerging economies is a sign there is high confidence in the Nigeria economy,” Ahmad said.
South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company
The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).
The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.
The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.
Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.
While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.
“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”
The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.
Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked
Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities
Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.
On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.
“One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.
“Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.
Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.
However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.
Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
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