Global stock markets faced a tumultuous start to the week as traders braced themselves for a pivotal series of central bank decisions.
Benchmark Brent crude oil took the spotlight, surging past the $95 per barrel price for the first time since November amid rising global inflation.
While European oil giants TotalEnergies SE, BP Plc, and Shell Plc outperformed expectations, Europe’s Stoxx 600 index relinquished its earlier gains, and US equity futures hovered around equilibrium.
The meteoric rise in crude prices, driven by Saudi Arabia and Russia’s supply constraints, has exacerbated the challenges faced by central bankers. Their struggle lies in taming inflation while safeguarding their economies.
The Federal Reserve is set to announce its policy on Wednesday followed by the Bank of England on Thursday and the Bank of Japan on Friday.
According to David Kalfon, CEO of Sanso Investment Solutions, “Central banks have performed well so far, but their maneuvering space is limited. From the outset, their priority has been conquering inflation, not fostering growth.”
US Treasury yields edged higher, while the dollar’s strength waned slightly.
The prospect of prolonged higher interest rates has cast a shadow over the tech sector, which had led the US stock market rally earlier this year. Citigroup Inc. strategists noted that investor flows indicate a growing inclination toward bearish sentiment in the Nasdaq 100, with more short bets than long positions.
This suggests that “few investors are comfortable betting on a near-term reversal for the growth/tech-related index,” as the Nasdaq 100 remains down approximately 3.9% from its peak on July 18.
As central banks make critical decisions this week, global markets will remain on edge, closely watching for their strategies to address inflation and its impact on various sectors.
Access Holdings Posts 52.6% Profit for the First Half of the Year
Parent Company of Access Bank Celebrates Remarkable Financial Performance in H1’23
Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Access Bank, has reported a 58.9 percent surge in gross revenue to N940.3 billion for the first half of 2023.
The financial services giant also recorded remarkable growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) and Profit After Tax (PAT) at 71.4 percent and 52.6 percent, respectively, culminating in N167.6 billion for PBT and N135.4 billion for PAT during the same period.
These financial milestones were unveiled as part of Access Holdings’ Audited Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements for the period concluding on June 30, 2023.
The driving force behind this unprecedented growth can be attributed to a potent combination of factors. A 63.0 percent growth in interest income and a 51.9 percent increase in non-interest income fueled the surge in gross revenue.
Access Holdings also witnessed a 35 percent year-to-date growth in customer deposits, capping the first half of 2023 at an impressive N12.5 trillion. This remarkable achievement encompassed all business segments, reinforcing the Group’s status as Nigeria’s largest financial institution by total assets.
The company’s total assets grew by 39.0 percent year-on-year to N20.9 trillion while shareholders’ funds surged by 40.6 percent to N1.7 trillion.
These astounding figures underline the Group’s ability to generate value from a diversified business portfolio, spanning banking, asset management, and payment services.
Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, commented on the company’s positive performance, saying, “Our growth plans for the African continent remain firm and clear, driven by the strong long-term growth prospects and trade opportunities seen across many of the countries.”
He went on to emphasize the company’s commitment to its 5-year cyclical strategy, stating, “Our primary objective remains to transform Access Holdings Plc into a leading financial and ecosystem player, fostering opportunities for shared prosperity among all stakeholders.”
Central Bank of Nigeria Postpones 293rd Monetary Policy Committee Meeting
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the postponement of its 293rd Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, originally scheduled for September 25th and 26th, 2023.
Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, the bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, released a statement on Thursday confirming the decision.
In the statement, Dr. AbdulMumin stated, “The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has deferred its 293rd meeting, which was initially planned for Monday and Tuesday, September 25th and 26th, 2023, respectively. A new date will be communicated in due course. We regret any inconvenience this change may cause our stakeholders and the general public.”
While the CBN did not provide an official reason for the postponement, some industry experts suggest it may be related to the pending approvals for the newly appointed governor and deputy governors of the bank.
President Bola Tinubu recently nominated Yemi Cardoso as the potential head of the CBN. Additionally, Tinubu has endorsed the nominations of four new deputy governors for the apex bank, who are expected to serve for an initial term of five years, pending confirmation by the Senate.
The nominated deputy governors are Emem Usoro, Muhammad Abdullahi-Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello. However, the appointment of the CBN governor is contingent upon Senate confirmation, which is currently on a yearly recess.
The CBN assures stakeholders and the public that the rescheduled MPC meeting date will be communicated promptly as soon as it is confirmed.
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