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Recapitalisation : Shareholders Laud NAICOM’s Cancellation

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insurance
  • Recapitalisation: Shareholders Laud NAICOM’s Cancellation

Shareholders on Monday commended the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) over the cancellation of the Tier Based Solvency Capital recapitalisation.

The shareholders under the aegis of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) said the cancellation of the recapitalisation bid by NAICOM was a welcome development and a sign of respect for the rule of law.

Mr Moses Igbrude, ISAN Publicity Secretary, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it was a welcome development that the regulator toed the path of law.

NAN reports that NAICOM on Nov. 23 announced the cancellation of the Tier Based Solvency Capital policy for the underwriting sector with immediate effect.

The commission gave this notice in a circular to all insurance companies on ‘Withdrawal of circular on Tier Based Solvency Capital policy for insurance companies in Nigeria,’ signed by the Director, NAICOM, Mr Agboola Pius, on Friday.

It will be recalled that recently, NAICOM announced a raise in the minimum capital base for life, non-life and composite insurance companies seeking licences to underwrite all risks in Nigeria.

The companies required from N2 billion, N3 billion and N5 billion to N6 billion, N9 billion and N15 billon, respectively under the tier-based minimum solvency capital structure.

It later announced an Oct. 1, 2018 deadline, which was not accepted by stakeholders, pushing them to take a legal action against the commission.

Igbrude said the shareholders were not against insurance recapitalisation but rather not comfortable with the short period of time NAICOM gave them for the exercise.

He said the shareholders were worried by the way and manner NAICOM changed the recapitalisation deadline from January 2019 to October 2018.

“The way they suddenly brought the day backward from January 2019 to October 2018 raised our suspicious to whether some cabal in the sector wants to corner insurance business through such a sudden and drastic action,” Igbrude said.

He said shareholders appreciated NAICOM’s efforts and eagerness to strengthen the operators’ capital base.

Igbrude urged the regulator to carry all stakeholders along through proper engagement and enlightenment to ensure mutual understanding for the benefit of the industry in particular and the economy in general.

“I sincerely advise the insurance companies to make hay while the sun shines because this opportunity will not last so long.

“All the insurance companies concerned should do their best to recapitalise as soon as possible to various categories they want to operate within the sector,” Igbrude stated.

However, Mr Sola Oni, a chartered stockbroker and Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix Investment and Communications, said illiquidity nurtured by customers’ apathy had made life difficult for insurance companies.

Oni said multinational companies in the oil and gas prefered offshore underwriters to carry their risk as against local ones who were defaulting steadily in settlement of claims and finding it difficult to mobilise premium.

“The court action which prompted NAICOM to suspend its tier-based solvency policy shall eventually be on the front burner.

“There is no quick fix that can provide financial succor for our ailing insurance firms outside the wall of outright recapitalisation or through mergers and acquisition in the final analysis.

“The earlier they accept the hard reality, the better,” Oni said.

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.

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Crude Oil

Nigeria Pumps 236.2 Million Barrels in First Half of 2024

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Nigeria pumped 236.2 million barrels of crude oil in the first half of 2024, according to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

This figure represents an increase from the 219.5 million barrels produced during the same period in 2023.

In January, Nigeria produced 44.2 million barrels of crude oil while February saw a slight dip to 38.3 million barrels, with March following closely at 38.1 million barrels.

April and May production stood at 38.4 million barrels and 38.8 million barrels, respectively. June’s output remained consistent at 38.3 million barrels, demonstrating a stable production trend.

Despite the overall increase compared to 2023, the 2024 production figures still fall short of the 302.42 million barrels produced in the same period in 2020.

This ongoing fluctuation underscores the challenges facing Nigeria’s oil sector, which has experienced varying production levels over recent years.

On a daily basis, Nigeria’s crude oil production showed some variability. In January, the average daily production peaked at 1.43 million barrels per day (mbpd), the highest within the six-month period.

February’s production dropped to 1.32 mbpd, with a further decrease to 1.23 mbpd in March. April saw a modest increase to 1.28 mbpd, which then fell again to 1.25 mbpd in May. June ended on a positive note with a slight rise to 1.28 mbpd.

The fluctuations in daily production rates have prompted government and industry leaders to address underlying issues.

Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), has highlighted the detrimental effects of oil theft and vandalism on Nigeria’s production capabilities.

Kyari emphasized that addressing these security challenges is critical to boosting production and attracting investment.

Kyari also noted recent efforts to combat illegal activities, including the removal of over 5,800 illegal connections from pipelines and dismantling more than 6,000 illegal refineries.

He expressed confidence that these measures, combined with ongoing policy reforms, would support Nigeria’s goal of increasing daily production to two million barrels.

The Nigerian government remains focused on stabilizing and enhancing oil production. With recent efforts showing promising results, there is cautious optimism that Nigeria will achieve its production targets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Steady Amid Mixed Signals on Crude Demand

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Crude oil

Oil prices remained stable on Thursday as investors navigated conflicting signals regarding crude demand.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, settled at $85.11 a barrel, edging up by 3 cents, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dipped by 3 cents to $82.82 a barrel.

The stability comes as the U.S. economy shows signs of slowing, with unemployment benefit applications rising more than expected.

Initial claims increased by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 243,000 for the week ending July 1, prompting speculation that the Federal Reserve might cut interest rates sooner than anticipated. Lower rates could boost spending on oil, creating a bullish outlook for demand.

Fed officials suggested that improved inflation and a balanced labor market might lead to rate cuts, possibly by September.

“Healthy expectations of a Fed rate cut in the not-so-distant future will limit downside,” noted Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

However, rising jobless claims signal potential economic easing, which could dampen crude demand.

John Kilduff of Again Capital highlighted the impact of a slowing economy on oil consumption despite a significant drop in U.S. crude inventories last week.

Global factors also weighed on the market. China’s economic policies remain steady, though details are sparse, affecting investor sentiment in the world’s largest crude importer.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank maintained interest rates, citing persistent inflation.

An upcoming OPEC+ meeting in August is expected to assess market conditions without altering output policy, according to sources. This meeting will serve as a “pulse check” for market health.

Overall, oil prices are caught between economic concerns and hopes of a rate cut, maintaining a delicate balance.

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Crude Oil

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

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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.

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