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US Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates by 25 Basis Points Amid COVID-19 Concerns

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday raises interest rates by 25 basis points, against the widely expected 50 basis points



The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised interest rates by 25 basis points, against the widely expected 50 basis points. The leading central bank was expected to move aggressively by at least 50 basis points in its next three meetings if it must curb escalating inflation rate and rein in high consumer prices eroding household income.

In its press release, the Federal Reserve attributed its decision to go slower than expected to a series of uncertainties in the global economy. The apex bank mentioned the uncertainty surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19-related lockdowns in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Earlier this week, China was reported to have extended its COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in key cities to slow down the spread of the virus and avert a total shutdown of the economy like in 2020. The report bolstered commodity prices and extended crude oil’s bullish run, largely because China is the world’s largest importer of the commodity.

From the Fed statement, it can be deduced that the central bank is already preparing for a possible spillover from China and Ukraine. Hence, the reason for holding its trigger even with inflation at a record-high of 8.5%.

“The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is causing tremendous human and economic hardship. The implications for the U.S. economy are highly uncertain. The invasion and related events are creating additional upward pressure on inflation and are likely to weigh on economic activity. In addition, COVID-related lockdowns in China are likely to exacerbate supply chain disruptions. The Committee is highly attentive to inflation risks,” the Federal Reserve stated.

In addition to the 25 basis points increase, the Fed will start reducing its balance sheet by cutting down on its treasury securities, debt and mortgage-backed securities holdings as early as June 1, 2022.

“The Committee decided to begin reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities on June 1, as described in the Plans for Reducing the Size of the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet that were issued in conjunction with this statement,” the statement read.

What Does This Mean?

Going by this Federal Reserve decision, I will expect the dollar index to start moderating and give back some of its recent gains. Also, the stock market should pare losses and rebound moderately as rising global uncertainty is expected to still be dragging on them.

The cryptocurrency space should come moderately alive in the meantime. Heaven assets like Gold, Yen, Dollar, etc will pull back in the near time.



Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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AfDB Decries Inadequate Funding For Female Entrepreneurs With $42b Financing Gap in Africa



African Development Bank - Investors King

Across Africa, female entrepreneurs have been faced with an average of $42 billion financing gap which has hindered the growth of their businesses, says African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

This is as the African bank called for improved funding to boost women businesses and bridge the financing gap.

The AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina made the call during Access Bank’s International Women’s Day Conference held in Lagos, Investors King reports.

Adesina enjoined banks to create more ideas and come up with initiatives channeled towards alleviating and meeting the needs of women in business.

He noted that the number of women in business across Africa is on the increase, harping on the need to support them for improved results which would reflect in the economy and provide more employment opportunities.

Dr Adesina assured that the AfDB is set to work on the issue and provide support for female entrepreneurs.

AfDB President added that most women who have benefitted from loan schemes have been faithful in repayment hence the need to support them more.

His words, “In fact, nine out of 10 women pay back their loans, a truly extraordinary number and this shows that women are bankable.

“It is, however, bewildering that women in Africa continue to face a $42b financing gap in Africa.

“All financial institutions in Africa and indeed globally should have well-designed programmes and instruments for lending to women.”

In her remarks, the Group Head, W Initiative, Access Bank, Abiodun Olubitan, said that the W’ initiative is aimed at assisting female entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

She disclosed that the initiative gave out N40.5 billion loans last year to women and is planning to increase it to N100 billion this year.

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Banking Sector

Demola Sogunle Increases Stake in Stanbic IBTC



Demola Sogunle

Dr. Demola Sogunle, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc has expanded his stake in the bank by 1,521,117 shares.

This was made known in a statement signed by Chidi Okezie, Company Secretary, Stanbic IBTC and made available to investing public.

The bank chief acquired the shares between 21 March and 24 March 2023 at N37.05 a unit. Meaning, he paid a total sum of N56.357 million for the acquisition.

Sogunle held 3.41 million indirect shares before acquiring more shares in Stanbic IBTC as of December 31, 2022. In 2021, he held 2.41 million indirect shares, which he increased to 3.41 million last year.

Sogunle remained the second-largest shareholder in Stanbic IBTC after Ifeoma Esiri, who holds 40.38 million direct shares and 3.11 million indirect shares valued at N1.63 billion as of December 2022.

During the financial period of 2022, Stanbic IBTC reported a gross turnover of N287.53 million, surpassing the N206.64 million generated in the previous year. The financial institution also recorded growth in its net interest income, which increased to N113.11 billion in 2022 from N75.37 billion in 2021.

In addition, Stanbic IBTC closed the year with N80.81 billion in net profit, an improvement on the N56.96 billion profit after tax earned in the corresponding period of 2021.

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Banking Sector

Stanbic IBTC Holdings’ Gross Earnings Reach a Decade High in 2022 With 131% Growth in Trading Revenue



Stanbic IBTC -

Stanbic IBTC Holdings reported its highest gross earnings in a decade, aided by a 131% growth in trading revenue in 2022, according to data released by the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX).

Gross earnings grew by 39.15% to N287.54 billion in 2022 compared to N206.64 billion in 2021, while trading revenue for the period surged to N34.69 billion in 2022 from N13.29 billion in 2021.

The growth in interest income was driven by an increase in the volume of risk assets and growth in average yield due to a higher interest rate environment, analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited said in a note.

The bank declared earnings per share of N603 per share in 2022 from N420 per share in 2021, and proposed a final dividend of N2.00 per ordinary share.

Further checks by Investors King showed that the bank’s interest expense rose by 34.62 percent to N39.55 billion in 2022 compared to N29.38 billion in 2021. This was driven by a significant increase of 124 percent in interest generated from savings accounts and a 62.36 percent increase in interest from borrowed funds.

The bank’s fees and commission revenue also grew by 8.77 percent to N96.07 billion in 2022, up from N88.32 billion in 2021. However, its fees and commission expenses decreased by 8.05 percent from N5.44 billion in 2021 to N5.01 billion in 2022.

Despite the profit growth, the bank’s activities are not generating cash as net cash flow from operating activities amounted to N-84.23 billion in 2022.

The bank’s return on equity for the full year period of 2022 increased by 470 basis points to 19.82 percent compared to 15.12 percent in 2021.


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