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Stocks Slide by N14bn, Mutual Benefits Posts N1.07bn Loss

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  • Stocks Slide by N14bn, Mutual Benefits Posts N1.07bn Loss

The Nigerian equities market recorded a marginal decline of N14bn (0.12 per cent) at the close of trading on Monday as the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, passed the budget into law.

The year-to-date return settled at 23.67 per cent with 20 gainers and 30 losers.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange’s market capitalisation slid to N11.489tn from N11.503tn, as the All-Share Index closed at 33,235.28 basis points from 33,276.68 basis points.

A total of 501.081 million shares worth N6.111bn were traded in 6,635 deals.

Ashaka Cement Plc topped the gainers’ list, advancing by 10.09 per cent to close at a year high of N12.77. This was followed by May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, which appreciated by 9.86 per cent, 9.60 per cent, 9.43 per cent and 9.34 per cent, respectively.

However, International Breweries Plc closed the day as the top loser, declining by 8.63 per cent to close at N29.45. UACN Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc and University Press Plc followed, depreciating by 5.84 per cent, 5.36 per cent, 4.93 per cent and 4.91 per cent, accordingly.

At the close of trading, the oil/gas and food/beverage indices were the only indices that declined, while the insurance, banking and industry indices recorded respective advancements of 1.10 per cent, 0.46 per cent and 0.14 per cent.

“While we observed that the positive sentiments towards a number of counters were still maintained, we attribute the day’s marginal decline to profit-taking activities on counters that had rallied in recent weeks,” Meristem Securities’ analysts said.

Meanwhile, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc posted a 2016 full-year group pre-tax loss of N1.07bn, according to its filings with the NSE.

Its full-year group net premium income stood at N10.27bn compared to N7.73bn recorded a year ago.

The full-year group loss before income tax of N1.07bn was a significant drop compared to profit of N1.20bn posted a year ago

Its firstquarter 2017 net premium income stood at N3.72bn versus N2.96bn posted a year ago.

The Q1 profit before tax of the insurer stood at N875.5m compared to N408.4m recorded a year ago.

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.

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COVID-19, Security Issues Slow Down Financial Inclusion Program -CBN Report

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CBN Says COVID-19 and Insecurities Slow Down Financial Inclusion Program for 2020

A report released on Monday by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access has revealed that Nigeria is far behind in its pursuit of financial inclusion target for the year.

In the report titled “Assessment of women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria” for December 2019 period released yesterday, September 28, 2020, financial exclusion stands at 36 percent for women while it stood at 24 percent for men.

However, despite the decline in the financial exclusion of women, the report noted that financial inclusion has not really improved and the gap between women and men has grown due to COVID-19 and insecurities in the North part of the country.

Also, the report noted that the financial inclusion gap between women and men in Nigeria stood at 20 to 30, placing the nation below its peers.

The report reads in part, “Not surprisingly, financial exclusion stands at 36 per cent for women and 24 per cent for men.

“The relative gender gap related to financial inclusion is ~20-30 per cent, placing Nigeria below its peers.

“Since 2012, although women’s exclusion has dropped, the gender gap has grown, revealing that men’s inclusion has improved more rapidly than women’s.

“The National Financial Inclusion Strategy was launched in 2012 to reduce financial exclusion to 20 per cent of the adult population.

“However, according to the revised NFIS, Nigeria is not on track to achieve its 2020 targets.”

The report added that the progress towards a broad-based financial inclusion had been slowed down enormously by a series of unforeseen socioeconomic factors, the security situation in Northern Nigeria, COVID-19 and slow adoption of digital financial services.

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Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), Huawei Ink Partnership Agreement to Promote Tech-Driven Financial Inclusion, Fintech Capacity Building

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Partnership seeks to promote tech-led financial inclusion as well as Fintech ICT Capacity; The two organizations have convened a summit on ICT and financial inclusion.

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has signed a collaboration agreement with tech-firm Huawei-Kenya that seeks to deepen financial inclusion in the banking sector through further deployment of technology and building fintech capacity.

In the partnership, KBA will work closely with Huawei-Kenya to spearhead industrywide capacity building initiatives aimed at promoting knowledge on financial technology innovation, digital transformation, and other ICT-related programmes in the banking industry.

Under the partnership, KBA and Huawei will also aim to promote financial inclusion activities in line with the KBA Strategic Plan for the period 2020 to 2023. Launched last year, the Plan seeks to promote access to affordable financial services through tech-aided operational efficiency.

Speaking during the signing of the agreement, KBA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Habil Olaka said the cooperation would go a long way in promoting the delivery of efficient banking services in Kenya through knowledge-sharing programmes that will be organized by the two institutions.

“This partnership will further focus on research and knowledge-sharing activities, which will supplement the research initiatives that continue to be spearheaded by the Association’s Centre for Research Financial on Markets and Policy®. In this regard, the collaboration will certainly augment KBA’s and member banks’ knowledge base in engagements with diverse stakeholders from a fact-based perspective,’’ Dr. Olaka added.

The partnership comes on the heels of the the 2020 edition of the Huawei-KBA Online FSI Summit slated for 30th September this Year. The forum is among the initiatives Huawei and KBA are jointly implementing to promote the delivery of efficient banking services through technology under the cooperation agreement.

Huawei-Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mr. Will Meng welcomed the partnership, saying technology will remain a core driver towards enhancing convenient access to financial services in light of disruptive occurrences such as the ongoing Coronavirus Disease pandemic.

‘’The theme of the upcoming summit is ‘’Building Banking Core Competence through Digital Transformation to Accelerate Inclusive Finance’’. It is one of the initiatives we are rolling out in Kenya in partnership with the Association to ensure we optimally leverage on technology to achieve affordable and accessible financial services in the regional economy,’’ said Mr. Lee.

The summit comes at a time when the global economy is coping with the impact of the Coronavirus Disease. Dr. Olaka noted that the banking industry has continued to tap into the potential of technology to uphold business continuity and supporting customers, a culmination of efficient deployment of technology by the banking sector during this period.

“Beyond the COVID-19 disruption, we see technology as an invaluable enabler of financial inclusion. I have no doubt that the summit along with the KBA-Huawei collaboration will play a significant role in our collective efforts to entrench technology in our operations and sustain our contribution to the national development agenda,’’ Dr. Olaka said.

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CBN Pursues Expansionary Monetary Policy to Boost Output and Moderate Inflation

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CBN Says it Lowered Interest Rates to Use Expansionary Monetary Policy Boost Output and Moderate Rising Inflation

Following the shocking reduction in the monetary policy rate by 100 basis points to 11.5 percent, the Central Bank of Nigeria has explained the reason for such a decision after months of saying no.

The Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele said the central bank is pursuing an expansionary monetary policy to abate pressure, up economic productivity and then use expected improved in aggregate supply to moderate the rising inflation rate.

Emefiele said this was necessary to address likely recesssion and contain the rising inflation rate.

He said, “The committee was therefore of the view that to abate the pressure, it had no choice but to pursue an expansionary monetary policy using development finance policy tools, targeted at raising output and aggregate supply to moderate the rate of inflation.

“At present, fiscal policy is constrained and so cannot, on its own, lift the economy out of contraction or recession, given the paucity of funds arising from weak revenue base, current low crude oil prices, lack of fiscal buffers and high burden of debt services.

“Therefore, monetary policy must continue to provide massive support through its development finance activities to achieve growth in the Nigerian economy.

According to the governor, Monetary Policy Committee members were confronted with a policy dilemma after the economy contracted by 6.10 percent in the second quarter and expected to dip again into recession in the second quarter.

It is, therefore, of the view that, if a recession occurs in Q3, the committee would be confronted with proposing policy options in a period of stagflation,” he added.

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