By Dipo Olowookere
Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has explained why Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country charge high interest rates on credit facilities to customers, which has been a source of worry for stakeholders.
It would be recalled that the recently, the Senate, also worried by this, called a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja to address the issue.
On Saturday, July 22, 2017, while delivering a lecture entitled ‘The Dilemma of Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Management in a Recession: Potential Options for Nigeria’ at the second Homecoming Series of the Economics Department of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Mr Emefiele gave reasons why commercial banks in the country charge high interest rates.
According to the CBN chief, the cost of operations of financial institutions makes it difficult for them to charge low interest rates on loans.
“Interest rates reflect not just the cost of capital but also the cost of doing business, and so we need to also look at interest rates from the perspective of the lender.
“Given that most banks have to individually provide security, power, and other infrastructure, it is not surprising that some of these costs are passed on to customers in the form of high interest rates,” the CBN Governor explained.
However, he assured that the CBN would continue to rely on moral suasion to encourage Deposit Money Banks in the country to be more considerate in interest charges on customers.
Mr Emefiele noted that the apex bank had been unjustly castigated for taking actions in the best interest of the economy.
According to him, with the inflation rate still hovering above 16 percent, the CBN would be failing in one of its key mandates if it cuts interest rates at this time.
He disagreed with argument of those pushing for a rate cut as a path to growth, noting that high inflation was inimical to economic growth.
The CBN Governor emphasised that the apex bank would not be deterred from its objective of setting the economy on the path of sustainable development in the medium to long-term.
At the moment, some banks charge above 18 percent as interest rate on loans and in some cases, others charge 26 percent.
This has made it very impossible for business owners, especially those in the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), to get the necessary funds to boost their businesses.
FrieslandCampina Boosts NASD OTC Bourse by 0.08% at Midweek
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed in the positive zone by 0.08 per cent on Wednesday, June 29 driven by a bullish price movement from FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc.
The milk-producing company appreciated during the midweek session by 99 Kobo or 1.03 per cent to settle at N96.79 per share compared with the previous closing price of N95.80 per share.
The NASD OTC bourse recorded a price loser and it was Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc, which depreciated by N6.21 or 3.14 per cent to N191.79 per unit from N198.00 per unit.
But the gains printed by FrieslandCampina offset the losses reported by NDEP as the market capitalisation expanded by N810 million to N1.005 trillion from N1.004 trillion, while the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) increased by 0.62 points to wrap the session at 763.24 points compared with the 762.62 points recorded in the previous session.
Securities worth N10.1 million were bought and sold by traders at the market on Wednesday compared with the N1.8 million securities transacted a day earlier, indicating an increase of 462.5 per cent.
However, the volume of the securities went down by 18.9 per cent as investors traded only 72,550 units, 18.9 per cent lower than the 89,440 units transacted in the preceding session.
The transactions were carried out in 20 deals as against the 11 deals executed on the bourse on Tuesday, implying a decline of 81.8 per cent rise.
AG Mortgage Plc remained the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with 674.4 million units worth N14.1 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with 146.5 million units valued at N127.2 million.
On the flip side, CSCS Plc was the most active stock by value (year-to-date) with 674.4 million units exchanged for N14.1 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 10.9 million units worth N3.2 billion, while FrieslandCampina Plc was in third place with 9.7 million units valued at N1.3 billion.
Crude Oil Drops as Economic Worries Offset Tighter Supply Signals
By Adedapo Adesanya
Prices of crude oil were in red on Wednesday as worries about a weaker global economy offset data showing a weekly drawdown in crude stockpiles, indicating supplies remained tight.
Investors are also worried a slowing economy could dent energy demand as central banks hike interest rates to battle inflation, causing the price of the Brent crude to fall yesterday by 1.75 per cent or $2.06 to $115.90 per barrel, with the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropping 1.98 per cent or $2.21 to $109.50 a barrel.
US crude inventories fell last week even as production hit its highest level since April 2020 during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Even comments from the US central bank chief did nothing to quell the fear as prices went down.
The US Federal Reserve Chair, Mr Jerome Powell, announced that the economy would not be allowed to slip into a “higher inflation regime” even if it means raising interest rates to levels that put growth at risk.
The oil market had been propelled in the previous session as concerns over tight supplies due to Western sanctions on Russia outweighed fears that demand may slow in a potential future recession.
Analysts are concerned that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may not have enough spare capacity to make up for the lost Russian supply.
French President, Mr Emmanuel Macron, said this week he was told these producers will struggle to increase output further.
However, the UAE energy minister said the country, which is producing about 3 million barrels per day, has some spare capacity above its OPEC quota of 3.17 million barrels per day.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies such as Russia, which form the OPEC+ group, began a series of two-day meetings on Wednesday and will hold its official meeting on Thursday.
There are no indications that there will be changes to the current level of output as was agreed earlier this month.
At its last meeting in early June, OPEC+ sped up production cuts and agreed to raise output each month by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August, up from earlier increases of 432,000 barrels per day.
Naira Plunges to New Low at Spot Market, Trades N610/$1 at Parallel Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira on Wednesday, June 29 depreciated to its lowest level in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market.
Amid a biting forex crunch, the local currency fell by N3.88 or 0.80 per cent against the US Dollar to close at N424.88/$1 versus the N421.00/$1 it was sold on Tuesday despite a decline in the value of transactions at the spot market.
According to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange, the turnover for the midweek session was $112.83 million, 45.4 per cent or $93.82 million lower than the turnover of $206.65 million published the day before.
Also, in the parallel market, the domestic currency reported a dismal performance against the greenback as it lost N1 to quote at N610/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N609/$1.
However, the value of the Naira to the Dollar remained unchanged at the Peer-to-Peer market window at N619/$1.
In the interbank segment of the market, the Naira appreciated against the British currency – the Pound Sterling and the Euro.
Against the Pound Sterling, it was strengthened by N3.91 to N505.91/£1 from N509.82/£1 and against the Euro, it gained N1.90 to settle at N437.59/€1 versus N439.49/€1 on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, four of the 10 tokens monitored by Business Post closed in the green territory, with the TerraClassicUSD (USTC) recovering more grounds as it traded higher by 59.9 per cent to $0.0691. Dogecoin (DOGE) rose by 5.4 per cent to trade at $0.0707, Litecoin (LTC) went up by 1.9 per cent to settle at $54.15, while Bitcoin (BTC) added 0.3 per cent to its value to close at $20,315.78.
However, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 4.7 per cent fall to sell at $221.44, Ethereum (ETH) depreciated by 3.7 per cent to $1,116.72, Solana (SOL) decreased by 3.6 per cent to $34.68, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 1.9 per cent slide to sell for $0.3329, Cardano (ADA) dropped 0.2 per cent to trade at $0.4722, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) moved downwards by 0.02 per cent to $0.9989.
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