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Banks to Lose 18-month Interest on Marketers’ Subsidy Debts

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Global Banking - Investors King
  • Banks to Lose 18-month Interest on Marketers’ Subsidy Debts

The Central Bank of Nigeria has asked Deposit Money Banks to forgo the interest charged on petrol subsidy-induced loans advanced to oil marketers from June 2017 to December 2018, our correspondent has learnt.

The CBN was said to have conveyed the message to banks in a meeting with them and marketers last month, as part of efforts to resolve the outstanding subsidy debts owed by the Federal Government to marketers.

An industry source, who disclosed this to our correspondent, said, “We had a meeting in December in Abuja and another one in Lagos where the CBN told the banks to reverse the interest from July 2017 till date. In the banks’ books, marketers owe N800bn; so it is a negotiation, with the CBN acting for the government. That debt is too big.

“The CBN said to the bank, ‘Rather than lose all that money, reverse one third of it, and we will find ways to pay the balance.’ The CBN did it on behalf of the ultimate debtor, which is the government.”

He said some of the marketers had received from the Debt Management Office promissory notes, which would be due on December 31, 2019, for the payment of the first tranche of N236bn.

The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Olufemi Adewole, and the National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Mike Osatuyi, confirmed the development to our correspondent.

“The request was from the Federal Government to the banks, to which the CBN Governor consented on behalf of the banks that all interest on subsidy-induced loans for Premium Motor Spirit would stop 30th June, 2017,” Adewole said.

Asked if all DAPPMAN members owed subsidy debts had received promissory notes for the payment of the first tranche, he said some had, while some were trying to vacate court judgments.

“Some banks, however, claim they await policy document from the CBN before acting on the notes, leaving marketers in the cold since submission of notes to them in December,” he added.

Osatuyi said no IPMAN members had received any payment, adding the Federal Government owed IPMAN Investment Limited N2bn.

In December, the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Henry Ikem-Obih, after a meeting with officials of oil marketers in Abuja, told journalists that the remaining portion of the subsidy claims would be paid in 2019.

“We agreed that after the first tranche is paid, the marketers would form a committee to work on details of how the next tranche will be paid in 2019 and the last tranche in 2020. Government is fully committed to paying the first tranche as promised and will be paid through a promissory note that would be issued by the Debt Management Office,” he said.

Ikem-Obih said the Federal Government had insisted on making the payments through a promissory note, which was equivalent to cash and could be liquidated almost immediately.

The Senate, on October 31, condemned the Federal Government for not paying the subsidy claims despite approval by the National Assembly since July 2018.

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

Africa Prudential Posts 24 Percent Decline in Profit for H1 2021

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African Prudential - Investors King

African Prudential Plc, a digital technology business provider in Nigeria, has reported a 24 percent decline in profit after tax to N830 million in the period ended June 30, 2021.

The company stated in its unaudited financial statements released on Friday. Below is a year-on-year comparison between the first half of 2021 and the first half of 2020.

Income Statement:

• Revenue from contracts with customers: N0.52 Billion, compared to N0.59 Billion in HY 2020 (12% YoY Decline);
• Interest Income: N1.15 Billion, compared to N1.28 Billion in HY 2020 (10% YoY Decline);
• Gross Earnings: N1.67 Billion, compared to N1.87 Billion in HY 2020 (11% YoY Decline);
• Profit Before Tax: N0.97 Billion, compared to N1.22 Billion in HY 2020 (20% YoY Decline);
• Profit After Tax: N0.83 Billion, compared to N1.08 Billion in HY 2020 (24% YoY Decline);
• Earnings Per Share: 41kobo. (54kobo in HY 2020)

Balance Sheet:

• Total Assets: N88.87 Billion, compared to N17.73 Billion as at FY 2020 (401% YTD Increase);
• Total Liabilities: N80.71 Billion, compared to N9.36 Billion as at FY 2020 (762% YTD Increase);
• Shareholders’ Fund stood at N8.16 Billion, a 2% YTD decline from N8.37 Billion as at FY 2020.

Comparing HY 2021 to HY 2020, we observed the following key items worthy of note:

Revenue from contracts with customers: During the period under review, Revenue from contracts with customers contracted by 12% year-on-year on the back of a significant renegotiation of fees rate by customers along our corporate actions revenue lines as well as slow sign off of contracts within the period in digital consultancy. However, revenue from register maintenance increased by 8%.

Interest income: While the company was bullish with 436% increase in the interest realized from bonds and also a 193% increase in the interest realized from short term deposits, there was a slight 10% year-on-year decline in interest income owing to a 4% decline in interest on loans and advances and a nil income on T-Bills relative to HY 2020.

Profit After Tax: On account of the business considerations around revenue and operating cost, PAT dereased by 24% year-on-year. Comparing HY 2021 to FY 2020, the following were observed in the Balance Sheet:

Total Assets: In the second quarter of 2021, the total assets increased 401% on the back of 7336% surge in cash and cash equivalents as well as an 70% increase in trade and other receivables.

Total Liabilities: The company total liabilities increased by 762% Year-till-date driven by a 829% increase in customers’ deposits which accounted for about 99% of the company’s liabilities.

Shareholder’s Wealth: Due to slight drop in earnings, total equity marginally declined by 2% year-to-date.

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Finance

Nigeria’s External Reserves Gained $83.3 Million in Seven Days

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U.S Dollar - Investors King

Nigeria’s external reserves rose by $83.3 million in seven days, according to the latest report from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The reserves which stood at $33.088 billion on July 12, 2021 gained $83.3 million to $33.171 billion on July 19, 2021. Still below the $33.279 billion reached on July 1, 2021.

Experts have blamed the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to effectively diversify the economy after 6 years in power for the dwindling foreign reserves. Nigeria imports over 90 percent of her consumption, a situation that has dragged on the external reserves and the value of the Nigerian Naira.

Naira plunged to N504 against the United States Dollar on Monday morning at the black market, the only section of forex that is accessible to most businesses and individuals looking to import raw materials or make oversea’s payments.

At the bureau de change section, the exchange rates are not any better as the Naira hovers at record lows against its global counterparts. Naira exchanged at N500, N705 and N595 to the United States, the British Pound and the Euro, respectively.

Nigeria, a mono-product economy, relied on crude oil sales to service its over 200 million population economy and support its central bank pegged currency, Naira. However, OPEC’s production cuts agreement and years of dilapidated oil production facilities have crippled the nation’s ability at upping its crude oil production enough to increase foreign revenue generation, effectively service the economy and support the local currency.

Inflation rate rose to almost 19 percent before moderating to 17.75 percent in the month of June, this was largely due to the chronic forex scarcity experienced across the nation as businesses and individuals in need of forex had to access the black market, the only section it is readily available for those that are willing to pay the exorbitant rates hoarders and speculators charged at that section of forex.

The Central Bank of Nigeria-led monetary policy committee had maintained a 11.5 percent interest rate to stimulate growth and damned the rising inflation number, saying strategies put in place by the apex bank would eventually rein in inflation rate.

However, in reality, inflation continues to rise in Africa’s largest economy but reducing in the monthly data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Forcing economic watchers and other experts to question the disparity in the numbers and economic reality of the nation.

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Banking Sector

Vietnamese Prime Minister Moves on CBDC Amid Questions on Regional Nature of e-Yuan

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh

This month, it was reported that Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked, in Prime Minister’s Decision No 942/QD-TTg, the State Bank of Vietnam to study and execute a pilot implementation of a central bank digital currency before the end of 2023. Currently, cryptocurrencies are not legally recognized as an asset in the country, nor do any crypto exchanges hold licenses from the central bank. Last year, the country set up a group to study digital assets, with a purview that extended to potentially proposing regulatory mechanisms.

“Vietnam is a country that has had its eye on blockchain, even though they haven’t made many steps towards mainstreaming cryptocurrencies. It is a country that is interested in technology and riding a potential economic wave brought upon by new innovation, from blockchain to AI and VR. But, what’s notable here is that this decision was pushed forward very near the time that many pundits began to ask whether the Chinese e-Yuan would become a digital currency which transcended China and became something of a regional powerhouse as an asset,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.

“I think that’s important. Many countries are looking at what’s happening in China, then taking a look at their own place in the CBDC rat race, and they’re making decisions, I think, which moves up their timetable. This isn’t an innovation where you want to be last to the party. Doing so, in fact, could have ripple effects across a country’s monetary policy,” noted Gardner.

“Digital money is an inevitable trend,” said Huynh Phuoc Nghia, Deputy Director of the Institute of Innovation under the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City. Some believe that moving quickly to develop a CBDC could give countries like Vietnam greater influence in the global financial system.

“I think it’s too soon to say what kind of ripple effects this development will have. It’s worth noting that Vietnam is in the very early stages. This isn’t a case where they’re ready to begin a pilot test in the short-term. Vietnam isn’t Ghana. But, forging ahead now can only be a positive. It’s better to move forward than continue to wait. Those countries that continue to take a wait-and-see approach are going to find themselves in last place. This is a race you don’t want to finish last. It very well could be the 21st century equivalent to the Race to Space,” opined Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable exchanges, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

“Vietnam is so close in proximity to China, and China is so far ahead in the development of their own CBDC, it was likely the push that they needed to move on this. Earlier this year, some pundits wondered if the e-Yuan would replace the dollar. That’s a premature discussion to have. But, if successfully rolled out, could it have a real regional impact? Absolutely,” Gardner offered.

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