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ABCON Urges CBN to Make BDCs Direct Agents of IMTO

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  • ABCON Urges CBN to Make BDCs Direct Agents of IMTO

Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to implement provisions of its circular in 2014, by making BDCs direct agents of international money transfer operators as obtained in other countries.

The Association also called for the restoration of its status as a self -regulatory organisation in order to ensure effective coordination of the over 4,500 BDCs across the country.

The Association made this call in its Economic Review for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Part of the report read, “In as much as the regulatory bodies in Nigeria have realised the indispensable role that the BDC sub- sector occupies in the stabilisation of the currency in Nigeria, the sector should be further strengthened and developed to achieve greater systemic efficiency.

“To this end, the professional training institute for dealers and operators being promoted by ABCON should be given appropriate support by the regulators and members to key into the project.

“The CBN should implement its circular of 2014 for making BDCs direct agents of international money transfer operators as obtained in other climes.

“The CBN should revisit the suspension of ABCON as a self- regulatory organisation for result -oriented coordination of the over 4,500 CBN licensed BDCs.

“CBN should support ABCON to increase public awareness and public visit to naijabdcs.com, the Association’s live exchange rate platform, which contributed immensely to the price discovery, transparency in the foreign exchange market and has become reference point for source of credible exchange rate information.”

ABCON also called on the BDCs to embrace the cloud -based automation of their operations initiated by the association for internal reorganisation, efficiency, global competitiveness and volumes driven transactions.

It also charged BDCs to explore more sophisticated and dynamic marketing techniques in 2019 to track billions of foreign currencies floating within the economy and flowing into the “black market” thereby incubating capital flight and money laundering.

ABCON also stressed the need to stabilise the exchange rate regime, saying “the current structure encourages the economy comparatively to export and derive robust foreign reserve which is one of the major prerequisites for economic growth.”

While calling on the federal government to promote strong railway networks across the country to leverage on regional connections and coordination to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness, ABCON noted, “Nigeria’s home market suffers from spatial fragmentation according to the analysis. The domestic market is constrained by limited connective infrastructure thereby reducing producers and firms’ ability to reach wider markets.

“This lack of connectivity also dampens economic collaboration and cooperation among the country’s regions further hampering the prospects for poverty reduction. Thus during 2019 and beyond, every effort must be marshalled to promote strong railway network to reduce pressure on the land road network in the nation.”

ABCON also called on the Federal Government to address the incidences of insecurity nationwide and greater diversification of the economy, noting that, “Solid minerals are currently being mismanaged and smuggled out the country denying the economy of its much needed support. Currently, the growth projections were expected to come from the oil and gas sector given the increase in the price of crude oil which by projections is not expected to be stable in 2019.”

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.

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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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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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