The dollar headed for its steepest three-week slide in more than four years as an increasingly cautious Federal Reserve spurred analysts and investors to reassess forecasts for the greenback.
A Bloomberg index tracking the U.S. currency against 10 major peers climbed from an eight-month low reached Friday, two days after Fed officials unexpectedly cut projections for interest-rate increases to two this year from the four they estimated in December. Macquarie Bank Ltd. and Morgan Stanley, two of the world’s top 10 currency forecasters, are highlighting the risk of more dollar weakness.
“The fact that they didn’t raise rates and wound back expectations for future increases in 2016 has obviously hurt the U.S. dollar,” said Derek Mumford, a director at Rochford Capital Pty in Sydney. “That can continue in the very near term.”
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2 percent to 1,185.52 as of 6:28 a.m. in New York, having fallen earlier to 1,180.83, the lowest since June 30. It has dropped 3.7 percent since Feb. 26, poised for the biggest three-week slump since October 2011. The greenback has depreciated at least 0.4 percent against all of its Group-of-10 peers since March 11.
The Fed meeting prompted investors to question whether the dollar’s rally has run out of steam. Bloomberg’s gauge had climbed 37 percent between its 2011 low and the closing peak reached on Jan. 22 of this year, as the promise of superior economic growth and rising interest rates contrasted with sluggish economic activities elsewhere.
“In terms of the relative difference in interest rates, the rally is over,” John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown” with Manus Cranny and Anna Edwards. “The Fed has said we’re not going to be pushing this game like we were expected too.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered its year-end forecast for dollar-yen to 103 from 110 the same day. The median estimate is 120 among more than 60 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
The dollar was little changed at 111.38 yen Friday, on track for a 2.2 percent slide this week. It reached 110.67 on Thursday, the lowest since October 2014. The greenback gained 0.4 percent Friday to $1.1268 per euro, paring its weekly decline to 1 percent.
“The Fed has become much more dovish — the market realizing maybe the Fed being a little bit more behind the curve,” Dominic Schnider, the head of commodities and Asia-Pacific foreign exchange at UBS Group AG’s wealth-management unit in Hong Kong, said Friday in a Bloomberg Television interview. “That’s simply not good for the dollar, and so we have this generic dollar weakness right now which will not disappear in the very short term.”
While Morgan Stanley and Macquarie agree on the prospects for near-term weakness, they remain dollar bulls.
The greenback will decline over a one-to-three month horizon, after which it will begin climbing again on a resumption of Fed tightening amid looser policy elsewhere, Macquarie strategists Nizam Idris, Gareth Berry and Teresa Lam wrote in a report Thursday.
“The falling USD has the characteristics of a pain trade that seems to have further to run,” Morgan Stanley analysts including Hans Redeker, the global head of currency strategy, wrote in a note the same day . However, “for the USD to experience a long-term trend change requires more than a dovish Fed.”
Flour Mills Posts Strong Half Year Results Despite Headwinds
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc recorded strong performance in the Half Year (H1) ended September 30, 2020.
In the 2020/21 half-year results released on Tuesday through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the leading integrated food business and agro-allied Group, grew revenue by 31 percent year-on-year from N270.8 billion posted in the half-year of 2019/20 to N355.1 billion in the period under review with second-quarter growth of 47 percent when compared to last year second quarter.
Similarly, the Group’s profit before tax grew by 60 percent year-on-year from N8.6 billion in H1 2019/20 to N14.6 billion in H1 2020/21 with an impressive 160 percent growth from the second quarter.
The strong performance continues across the board as profit before tax was driven by the agro-allied segment, which realised a profit of N6.3 billion when compared to the loss posted in 2019/20 period. The company said it recorded strong improvement in edible oils and fats, protein and fertiliser businesses after its investments over the years started yielding results.
Profit after tax grew by 68 percent from N5.9 billion achieved in H1 2019/20 to N9.9 billion in the period under review.
According to the company, despite economic uncertainties and headwinds, the Group has continued to show sustained growth in key areas with the agro-allied unit leading with a strong result in edible oils and proteins.
Speaking on the performance, Paul Gbededo, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, said “with this result, our business has once again shown its resilience, by following the path of sustainable growth despite the prevailing challenges in both the local and global economy.”
He further stated that “in line with our vision to continue to grow value for our investors, Management will for the remaining part of the financial year continue to concentrate on improving operational effectiveness through accelerated strategies for Group-wide cost optimisation, which will ensure sustainability in the current market climate, while we will continue to invest in growing the business further.”
US Banks Led the Most Fined Financial Institutions in 2020
US Banks Are The Most Penalised Financial Institutions in 2020 Financial Year
Banks in the United States were the most fined financial institutions in 2020, according to the latest report from Finbold.
Finbold, a company that specialises in financial data, said three countries accounted for 97.32 percent of the total fines levied on banks in 2020.
The data revealed that United States banks are the most fined at €9.15 billion. This was followed by Australian banks with a combined €770 million, while banks in Israel came third with €762.97 million.
Also, while the fines are likely to increase before the end of the year, the total fines levied against financial institutions globally stood at €11.61 billion as of October 22nd.
Further breakdown showed Swedish banks came fourth with €456.18 million fines while German banks that incurred a combined €169.01 million fines came fifth.
The report showed Goldman Sachs led the most fined bank with €5.26 billion for various violations of regulatory rules.
Wells Fargo came second with €2.53 billion while Westpac Bank in Australia and Hapoalim emerged third and fourth with €770 million and €762.97 million, respectively.
Other heavily fined lenders include Swedbank from Sweden fined €360 million and Germany’s Deutsche with €126.52 million fine in 2020 so far.
Speaking on banks’ fines, Oliver Scott, Chief Editor, Finbold, said “Notably, the tally of bank fines is likely to increase in the coming years as European and Asian regulators catch up with U.S peers who are considered more aggressive. However, banks are looking for means of minimizing fines. Analysts have been of the opinion that the fines could have been avoided if banks leverage technology through the deployment of perfect software.”
Guinness Nigeria Explains Reason for N12.6 Billion Loss in 2020
Guinness Nigeria Speaks on 2020 Poor Performance
Guinness Nigeria Plc has blamed the challenging business environment amid COVID-19 restrictions that led to the closure of bars, clubs, lounges and restaurants for its 2020 losses.
Mr. Baker Magunda, Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria, who spoke on the company’s performance in 2020, said the aforementioned represents a major part of the company’s consumption, adding that restriction imposed on gathering impacted the usual demands for celebratory occasions.
He explained that demand was weighed upon by a decline in consumer income, rising unemployment rate due to the shutdown of large corporations, surged in VAT and excise throughout 2020.
According to him, distribution was affected by the ban imposed on inter-state travel despite collaborating with regulatory authorities to minimize the negative impact on the company.
Here is a breakdown of the Guinness Nigeria performance in 2020 Financial Year
Guinness profit plunged by a massive 129.1 percent to -N12.6 billion in the 2020 Financial Year (FY), down from the N5.5 billion profit achieved in 2019 (FY). While the company’s gross profit nosedive by 16.9 percent from N40.13 billion posted in 2019 to N33.33 billion in 2020.
The company decline was broad-based as revenue also declined from N131.5 billion filed in 2019 to N104.4 billion in the 2020 financial year.
Accordingly, administrative cost rose from N9.9 billion in the 2019 financial year to N14.3 billion in 2020. However, the cost of sales moderated by 22 percent from N91.4 billion posted in 2019 to N71.1 billion in 2020.
Finance cost expanded from N2.6 billion in 2019 to N4.5billion in 2020 while finance income declined to N301 million in the year under review, down from N750.9 million in 2019.
Mr. Baker Magunda, said “The last quarter performance of fiscal 2020 was significantly impacted by restrictions due to COVID-19, exacerbating the already challenging economic environment. Closures of on-trade premises (bars, lounges, clubs, and dine-in restaurants), which represents the major part of the consumption occasion for our products and bans on celebratory occasions, impacted sales.
“Demand was also impacted by reduced consumer income, unemployment concerns due to the shutdown of a large number of businesses, and increases of VAT and excise throughout the year.”
Speaking further Magunda said, “Distribution was impacted by the ban of inter-state, and in some cases intra-state travel. Although, Management worked diligently with regulatory authorities to minimize the impact, this hampered our distributors’ ability to restock and have our brands available for purchase.”
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