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Economy

Endgame Brexit Talks Should Not be the Focus for Investors

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U.K.'s economy
Brexit talks may have entered the endgame, but for investors the final impact will not be known for years to come, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The warning from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as the EU and UK negotiation teams both reported no progress on Monday.
This was despite intensive talks over the past 48 hours which ended with a 90-minute phone call between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
In a joint statement, the two leaders said: “The conditions for finalising an agreement are not there,” with the same three areas of contention: fisheries, the so-called level playing field for trade, and the enforcement of any deal.
Mr Green observed: “Brexit talks are on a knife edge – again – with gloomy prospects for a deal being struck in the last-minute talks.
“There’s a growing sense that time will run out and the final curtain will be brought down on 48 years of the UK membership of the European Union without a deal in place that covers annual trade worth almost $1 trillion.
“The uncertainty is making investors nervous.”
He continues: “However, the truth is the full economic impact of Brexit will not be known for many years to come as both sides make major readjustments to fit a new era.
“Despite considered economic models, no-one really knows whether the UK will perform better or not outside the EU, or whether the departure of a key member state will encourage reform in Brussels that could have positive long-term economic consequences across the bloc.
“With no helpful crystal balls, investors should worry less about the twists and turns of the Brexit talks and focus more on ensuring proper portfolio diversification – this means across regions, sectors and, importantly, currencies.
“This will best position investors to mitigate the unknown risks and capitalise on opportunities as they arise.”
The deVere CEO concludes: “The current standoff between London and Brussels should, of course, be monitored by investors.  But it is the forthcoming readjustment phase that they should now be looking towards.
“Whatever happens, we can expect ongoing volatility, but this could also prove to be beneficial to those who are paying attention.”

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.

Economy

PENGASSAN to Shut Down 200,000bpd Agip Oil

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Agip Oil Company

PENGASSAN to Shut Down 200,000bpd Agip Oil

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), an oil workers’ union, is threatening to shut down 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil production managed by Agip Oil Company Limited over what it described as unfair labour practices and intimidation of workers.

The Union, in a letter released on Wednesday, gave Agip Oil seven days to look into the concerns raised by the union or have its operations disrupted.

In the letter signed by Lumumba Okugbawa, General Secretary, the Union also accused Agip Oil of “subtle threat against our members and demobilisation of members access to the company facilities.”

PENGASSAN also urged Agip Oil to withdraw its “toxic memo’ and open discussion with the union branch leaders with a view to discuss and resolve the issues and strengthen industrial harmony.

However, as a law-abiding association, we view the insinuation by Agip management that the legitimate actions of the union was unlawful as laughable and a mockery of the relevant sections of the labour laws detailing on how industrial actions and disputes should follow.

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Economy

Gbajabiamila Says House of Reps Will Pass Petroleum Industry Bill in April

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Gbajabiamila Says House of Reps Will Pass Petroleum Industry Bill in April

Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, said the Reps will pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law in April 2021.

The speaker disclosed this during his opening remarks at the ongoing public hearing on the proposed legislation organised by the House Ad-hoc Committee on PIB.

He said “We intend to pass this bill by April. That is the commitment we have made. Some may consider it a tall order, but we will do it without compromising the thoroughness.

Gbajabiamila’s comment came two days after Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, said the passage and assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be done before the end of May.

Once passed into law, experts expect the bill to boost Nigeria’s economy, encourage competition and boost revenue.

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Economy

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

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Global debt

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

The United Nations Trade Association has Nigeria recorded a total of $2.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2020, below the $3.3 billion posted in the preceeding year.

South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised nation, reported $2.5 billion during the same year, slightly below Africa’s largest economy and 50 percent below the $4.6 billion attracted a year earlier.

The report also noted that Africa recorded a total of $38 billion FDI in the same year, representing a 18 percent decline from the $46 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2019.

However, Egypt led Nigeria and South Africa with $5.5 billion FDI, an increase of 38 percent from the preceeding year.

The report read in part, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.

UNCTAD also noted that global foreign direct investment declined by 42 percent to an estimated $859 billion, down from $1.5 trillion in 2019.

The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69 percent to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.

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