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CBN to Commence Sale of Forex to Bureau de Changes Next Week

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CBN to Resume Sale of Forex to Bureau de Changes on August 31

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday said it will resume the sale of the United States dollar to the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators next week.

This is in line with CBN’s previous directive that stated the apex bank will resume the sale of forex immediately the Federal Government opens the nation’s airspace for international flight operations.

In a circular signed by Director Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, O.S Nnaji and directed to all authorised forex deals, BDC operators and the public, the central bank said the sale of forex to BDCs shall be on Mondays and Wednesdays in the first instance.

This, the apex bank said will commence on August 31, 2020, two days after the government will open the nation’s airspace to international flights.

The circular stated: “As part of efforts to enhance accessibility to foreign exchange particularly to travelers following the announcement of the limited resumption of international flights by the Honourable Minister of Aviation commencing with Abuja and Lagos, the CBN hereby wishes to inform the general public that gradual sales of foreign exchange to licensed BDC operators will commence with effect from August 31, 2020.

“Consequently, purchase of foreign exchange shall be on Mondays and Wednesdays in the first instance. The BDCs are to ensure that their accounts with the banks are duly funded with the equivalent Naira proceeds on Fridays and Tuesdays accordingly

“Meanwhile, Authorised Dealers (banks) shall continue to sell foreign currencies for travel related invisible transactions to customers and non-customers over the counter upon presentation of relevant travel documents (passport, air ticket & Visa).

“All Authorised Dealers and BDC Operators are hereby advised to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the extant regulations on the disbursement of foreign exchange cash to travellers as any case of infraction will be appropriately sanctioned.”

Investors King’s Note: Forex resumption would ease dollar scarcity and reduce the pressure on the Nigerian Naira in the near-term, especially on the black market. However, sustenance remains a concern given the drop in the nation’s foreign revenue generation and reserves.

Just-In: Please note that in line with the changes made by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to resumption date of international flights, the Central Bank of Nigeria has shifted the commencement date for forex sales to September 7, 2020.

The NCAA, on Thursday, said due to technical issues that airspace would now be opened to international flights on September 5, 2020, and not on August 29 as previously announced.

Musa Nuhu, the Director-General, NCAA said, “Since the announcement by the Minister of Aviation a few weeks ago that international flights will resume anytime from August 29, the aviation sector has worked assiduously to be ready for this date.

“The aviation sector including the airports is ready to resume on the 29th. However, we have other non-aviation logistics we are still working on mostly to do with the COVID-19 protocols, tests, and online platforms.”

The article was edited to reflect the changes made by the CBN and NCAA.

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.

Banking Sector

Ecobank Partners NiDCOM to Mobilise Nigerians Abroad for National Development

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In a bid to fulfill it’s objectives and mandate, the Pan African Bank has promised to support Nigerians living and working abroad through it’s partnership with NiDCOM.

The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has stated that the bank is privileged to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NiDCOM) and will continue to pursue one of its key mandates of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa through its support to Nigerians living and working abroad.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series with Ecobank as the sole banking partner which took place on Saturday, 8th May 2021, he noted that Ecobank remains a critical bridge for Nigerians abroad, as it has made huge investments in the necessary platforms to enable them connect with home seamlessly. The event held online and had over 2000 participants from across all the continents in attendance.

“Nigerians in the diaspora play a major role in nation building, their contribution goes a long way to catalyse economic development. For us at Ecobank, we are a pan-African institution positioned to foster the economic growth and integration of our continent, so we are particularly pleased to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), ably led by the Chairman/CEO, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa”.

“We are committed to ensuring that every Nigerian living abroad is able to remit home seamlessly and affordably, access viable investment opportunities and as the financial institution of choice for Nigerians abroad, we have deployed the necessary resources to actualise this.” He stated.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was also present, reiterated the readiness of the government to collaborate with Nigerians in the diaspora, highlighting the new processes put in place to facilitate passport issuance, noting that all backlog of passport applications would be cleared by the end of May 2021.

Also speaking, the Hon. Minister of State, Foreign Affairs Amb. Zubairu Dada said harnessing the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in the diaspora towards the socio-economic, cultural, and political development of Nigeria can no longer be ignored. He pointed out that the Nigerian diaspora community is well educated, resourceful, skilled, and exposed to global best practices.

The NiDCOM Chairman/CEO, Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa explained that the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series is projected to be a major aspect of national discourse, where Nigerians abroad can be kept abreast of the government’s policies, programmes and projects.

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Increase in Price Boosts Revenue of Dangote Sugar by 41.5 Percent in Q1 2021

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Revenue of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc rose by 41.5 percent to N67.394 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 from N47.643 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2020.

According to the leading sugar manufacturer, the increase in revenue was a result of the increase in the price of sugar in the first quarter. The company claimed price adjustment was necessary to mitigate the negative effect of inflation and depreciation on the company.

Volumes only rose by 5.7 percent during the quarter despite a 41.5 percent increase in revenue, meaning the increase in price was the main sales catalyst.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements, gross profit grew from N12.721 billion in Q1 2020 to N18.044 billion in Q1 2021.

Similarly, operating profit stood at N15.884 billion, up from N10.747 billion posted in Q1 2020.

Finance cost more than double from N1.353 billion in Q1 2020 to N3.412 billion in Q1 2021.

Dangote Sugar’s profit before tax rose from N9.509 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter to N11.949 billion in the quarter under review.

The company paid N3.646 billion in income tax, slightly higher than N3.137 paid in the same quarter of 2020.

Profit for the period grew from N6.372 billion in Q1 2020 to N8.302 billion in Q1 2021.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Dangote Sugar said “EBITDA increased by 34.7% to N17.02 billion (2020: N12.64 billion) on account of increased earnings. Group profit after taxation for the period increased by 30.3% to N8.30 billion (2020: N6.37 billion) reflecting management’s unrelenting drive to deliver consistent shareholder value.”

On price increase, the company hinged it on series of devaluation carried out in 2020 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), escalating inflation, port congestion and rising in price of global sugar. Dangote Sugar said its imported raw sugar from Brazil under Federal Government’s backward integration plan.

We have continued to witness high cost of raw materials, energy costs and other input costs due to rising inflation and FX rate fluctuation. Further cost escalation is anticipated in the year as inflationary pressure mounts,” the company said.

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FBN Holdings Suffers 39 Percent Drop in Profit to N15.6 Billion in Q1 2021

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FBN Holdings Plc profit after tax declined by 39 percent from N23.140 billion recorded in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to N15.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

In the leading financial institution’s unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited, gross earnings declined by 14.5 percent to N137 billion in the period under review, down from N160 billion filed in the previous quarter.

Similarly, net interest income declined from N60.253 billion achieved in Q1 2020 to N52.793 billion.

Net interest income after impairment charge for losses also dipped from N50.547 billion in Q1 2020 to N39.619 billion in Q1 20201. While net fee and commission income rose from N20.773 billion in Q1 2020 to N28.427 billion in Q1 2021.

Profit before tax declined by 34 percent to N18.906 billion in the quarter under review, down from N28.680 billion posted in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

FBN Holdings paid N3.285 billion in income tax in the first quarter of 2020.

Therefore, profit for the period stood at N15.621 billion. While Net Assets contracted from N765.2 billion to N764.8 billion.

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