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EFCC Operatives Storms Standard Chartered Bank’s Lagos Office

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Standard Chartered
  • EFCC Operatives Storms Standard Chartered Bank’s Lagos Office

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Lagos head office of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria on Friday.

Reuters had earlier quoted sources as saying that the EFCC operatives attempted to arrest an unnamed executive of the bank but left shortly after the said executive barricaded herself in an office.

A former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Olasupo Shasore, tweeted that the EFCC operatives were at the bank to arrest the managing director, Bola Adesola.

“Armed agents to arrest MD of international bank for commercial dispute @SCB HQ Victoria Island happening now, private sector under siege,” Shasore had tweeted.

The bank said in a statement that the EFCC operatives entered the building but left as there was no reason for them to be there.

“We can confirm that law enforcement officials entered our head office building on September 14, 2018. We are clear that there was no basis for this entry, and the law enforcement officials left the building shortly afterwards,” the statement read in part.

The EFCC, however, said it never sanctioned any raid on the headquarters of Standard Chartered Bank in Lagos, adding that the act might have been carried out by officials on illegal duty.

The EFCC said this in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, on Friday.

The commission said its modus operandi was to invite people and not to use Gestapo tactics in investigations.

The statement read in part, “Following repeated media enquiries regarding a purported raid on the head office of the Standard Chartered Bank today (Friday) by operatives of the EFCC, the commission is constrained to state that there was no raid on the bank by its officers.

“The raid by operatives purportedly wearing the jackets of the commission might have been the handiwork of errant officers, who acted without authorisation.

“The action is in flagrant violation of the standard operation procedures of the commission, as it is not the style of the EFCC to openly raid the offices of banks and other financial institutions.

“Officials of such institutions, who are wanted by the commission, are usually invited for questioning after discreet investigations. Over the years, banks have been cooperative in releasing their officers to the commission for questioning.”

The anti-graft agency promised to investigate the matter, adding that it would leave no stone unturned. It noted that it was a law-abiding agency and would carry out its duties professionally.

Last month, the Central Bank of Nigeria ordered Standard Chartered and three other lenders to repay $8.134bn for allegedly issuing irregular Certificates of Capital Importation on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

Standard Chartered Bank received the highest fine of N2.4bn but defended its action, insisting that no offence was committed.

It remains unclear whether the move by the EFCC was related to that matter.

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.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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