Connect with us

Markets

EFCC Operatives Storms Standard Chartered Bank’s Lagos Office

Published

on

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.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading
Comments

Crude Oil

Oil Prices Slide on China Demand Concerns, Brent Falls to $83.73

Published

on

Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil prices declined on Tuesday for the third consecutive day on growing concerns over a slowing Chinese economy and its impact on global oil demand.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dipped by $1.12, or 1.3% at $83.73 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped $1.15, or 1.4%, to close at $80.76.

The dip in oil prices is largely attributed to disappointing economic data from China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Official figures revealed a 4.7% growth in China’s GDP for the April-June period, the slowest since the first quarter of 2023, and below the forecasted 5.1% growth expected in a Reuters poll.

This slowdown was compounded by a protracted property downturn and widespread job insecurity, which have dampened fuel demand and led many Chinese refineries to cut back on production.

“Weaker economic data continues to flow from China as continued government support programs have been disappointing,” said Dennis Kissler, Senior Vice President of Trading at BOK Financial. “Many of China’s refineries are cutting back on weaker fuel demand.”

Despite the bearish sentiment from China, there is a growing consensus among market participants that the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin cutting its key interest rates as soon as September.

This speculation has helped stem the decline in oil prices, as lower interest rates reduce the cost of borrowing, potentially boosting economic activity and oil demand.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell noted on Monday that the three U.S. inflation readings over the second quarter “add somewhat to confidence” that the pace of price increases is returning to the central bank’s target in a sustainable fashion.

This has led market participants to believe that a turn to interest rate cuts may be imminent.

Also, U.S. crude oil inventories provided a silver lining for the oil market. According to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures, U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 4.4 million barrels last week.

This was a much steeper drop than the 33,000 barrels decline that was anticipated, indicating strong domestic demand.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also weighed in, suggesting that while the global economy is set for modest growth over the next two years, risks remain.

The IMF noted cooling activity in the U.S., a bottoming-out in Europe, and stronger consumption and exports for China as key factors in the global economic landscape.

In summary, while oil prices are currently pressured by concerns over China’s economic slowdown, the potential for U.S. interest rate cuts and stronger domestic demand for crude are providing some support.

Market watchers will continue to monitor economic indicators and inventory levels closely as they gauge the future direction of oil prices.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

OPEC+ Production Cuts Set to Balance Global Oil Market, Says Russian Deputy PM

Published

on

opec

In a statement on Monday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak expressed confidence that the global oil market will achieve balance in the second half of 2024, thanks to the production cut strategies implemented by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+.

OPEC+, which includes major oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, has been actively managing oil output to stabilize the market since late 2022.

In their most recent meeting on June 2, the group agreed to extend their latest production cut of 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of September. This cut is scheduled to be gradually phased out starting in October.

“The market will always be balanced thanks to our actions,” Novak stated, emphasizing the importance of the coordinated efforts by OPEC+ in maintaining market equilibrium.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently projected that global oil demand will surpass supply by approximately 750,000 bpd in the latter half of 2024 due to the continued reduction in OPEC+ output.

This outlook was echoed in a report by OPEC last week, which highlighted an anticipated oil supply deficit in the coming months and into 2025.

Novak’s remarks come at a crucial time for the global oil market, which has experienced significant volatility over the past year.

The OPEC+ alliance has been pivotal in mitigating some of this instability by adjusting production levels in response to fluctuating demand and other market dynamics.

Analysts suggest that the measures taken by OPEC+ will play a vital role in ensuring that the oil market remains stable as the world continues to navigate economic uncertainties and fluctuating energy demands.

The production cuts are expected to support oil prices by limiting supply, thereby helping to balance the market.

The impact of these production cuts is already being felt, with oil prices showing signs of stabilization.

However, the market remains sensitive to geopolitical developments and economic trends, which could influence future supply and demand dynamics.

As OPEC+ prepares to unwind some of its production cuts in the coming months, industry observers will be closely monitoring the market’s response.

The gradual phasing out of the cuts is designed to prevent any sudden shocks to the market, allowing for a smoother transition and sustained balance.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

Oil Prices Steady Amid U.S. Political Uncertainty and Middle East Tensions

Published

on

Oil

Oil prices held firm on Monday as the political uncertainty in the United States and ongoing tensions in the Middle East persist.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced,  fell slightly by 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $84.90 a barrel after a 37-cent drop on Friday.

Similarly, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude stood at $82.15 a barrel, down 6 cents, or 0.1%.

The dollar’s strength, which followed a failed assassination attempt on U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, exerted some pressure on oil prices.

A stronger dollar typically makes oil more expensive for buyers using other currencies, leading to reduced demand.

“I don’t think you can ignore the uncertainty that the weekend’s assassination attempt will cast across a deeply divided country in the lead-up to the election,” said Tony Sycamore, market analyst at IG.

In the Middle East, efforts to end the Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas stalled over the weekend.

Talks were halted after three days, although a Hamas official indicated that the group had not withdrawn from discussions.

The situation escalated further when an Israeli attack targeting a Hamas military leader killed 90 people on Saturday, maintaining the geopolitical premium on oil.

Despite these geopolitical tensions, oil markets remain supported by supply cuts from OPEC+. Iraq’s oil ministry has pledged to compensate for any overproduction since the beginning of the year, reinforcing the market’s stability.

Last week, Brent fell more than 1.7% after four weeks of gains, while WTI futures slid 1.1%. The decline was largely attributed to a fall in China’s crude imports, which countered robust summer consumption in the United States.

“While fundamentals are still supportive, there are growing demand concerns, largely emanating from China,” noted ING analysts led by Warren Patterson.

China’s crude oil imports fell 2.3% in the first half of this year to 11.05 million barrels a day, with disappointing fuel demand and reduced output by independent refiners due to weak profit margins.

Also, crude throughput at Chinese refineries dropped 3.7% in June from a year earlier to 14.19 million barrels per day, marking the lowest level this year, according to customs data.

China’s economy has slowed in the second quarter, weighed down by a protracted property downturn and job insecurity, keeping alive expectations that Beijing will need to implement more stimulus measures.

In the United States, the active oil rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by one to 478 last week, marking the lowest level since December 2021, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending