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Economy

Brent Trades Closer to $44 on Possible Tighter Supply

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brent crude oil

By Adedapo Adesanya

Prices of crude oil further increased at the market on Tuesday as a result of the renewed confidence investors have that the deadly COVID-19 could soon be defeated due to the outcome of the vaccine trials.

This boosted the market coupled with the possibility of tighter supply policies from oil producers aimed to suppress the threats posed by the rising coronavirus cases in Europe and America.

During trading yesterday, the Brent crude moved up by 0.07 per cent or 3 cents to sell at $43.85 per barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude appreciated by 0.22 per cent or 10 cents to trade $41.43 per barrel.

On Monday, the oil space got a boost when Moderna Inc’s announced that its coronavirus vaccine was 94.5 per cent effective. The information came some days after Pfizer Inc also said its vaccine was over 90 per cent effective.

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However, developments from the United States over the average number of people dying of COVID-19 daily threatened the market just like the fresh movement restrictions in Europe.

But the market remains hopeful as Saudi Arabia called on fellow members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) to be flexible in responding to oil market needs as it builds the case for a tighter production policy in 2021.

It was reported that the oil cartel is considering four possible scenarios for 2021. Two of these are based on following the initial arrangements, including a further relaxation of cuts from 7.7 million barrels per day to 5.8 million barrels per day from January.

Under these two scenarios, the drawdown in global oil stockpiles will continue, but the total will remain well above the five-year average.

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In the milder pandemic effect scenario, oil inventories will be 125 million barrels higher in 2021 than the five-year average, and in the more severe pandemic effect scenario, these will be 470 million higher than the five-year average. This will translate into an excess supply of 1.9 million barrels per day.

An option gaining support among OPEC+ nations is to keep the existing cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for a further three to six months rather than tapering in January.

But looking at tougher production restrictions scenarios, the drawdown will be more significant: if the deal is extended by three months, until the end of March, global inventories will only end up being 73 million barrels higher than the five-year average by the end of 2021.

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However, if the cuts are extended until the end of June, the total supply will be just 21 million barrels, higher than the five-year average. These figures translate into a daily supply deficit of between 900,000 barrels per day and 1.4 million barrels per day, according to analysts.

OPEC+ held a ministerial committee meeting on Tuesday that made no formal recommendation. The group will hold a full meeting on November 30 – December 1.

The market will await official figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in the United States on Wednesday as analysts said crude inventories likely rose 1.7 million barrels last week after gaining 4.3 million barrels in the prior week.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

Stanbic IBTC Enlightens Investors on Available Safe Investment Options

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Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Safe Investment Options

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

Following the strokes of economic uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, recently organised a webinar to proffer guidance on investing in uncertain times.

The webinar via Instagram was themed Investing in Uncertain Times and experts at the Stanbic IBTC enlightened the investing public about the available transparent and safe investment options.

Some of the in-house were Ms Fadekemi Obasanya, Head Investment Management and Ekene Nwaokoro, Fund Analyst.

In her presentation, Ms Obasanya emphasised the importance of gaining needful knowledge from investment professionals about the best investment options per time.

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She also pointed out the various investment options offered by Stanbic IBTC which both current and prospective investors can take advantage of, leveraging on the well-informed financial guidelines provided by the organisation.

She said some of the investment options include Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund, Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund, Stanbic IBTC Enhanced Fixed Income Fund, Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund, among many others under the mutual funds.

Ms Obasanya further stated that many people become victims of fake investment platforms due to misinformation and indiscipline, urging investors to do due diligence before parting with their funds.

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“A lot of people fell prey to fake investment platforms in the previous year. It is wise to stay disciplined and informed about credible investment outlets to avoid losing money, as the main objective of the investment is to generate regular income and capital appreciation.

“People need to be mindful of the type of investment they put their money in. This is why we designed a tool called ‘InvestBeta’ for intending investors to identify their risk appetite, which simply means the amount of risk they are willing and able to take, as well as the available investment options that can help them achieve their investment objective.

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“There are also well-experienced financial advisors on standby to help investors decide on the most suitable options for them,” she said.

Also discussed at the session was the advantage of investing in the Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund, a dollar-denominated mutual fund, which was a response to how investors can hedge against Naira devaluation.

Individuals were educated on the fundamentals of investing and viable investment options, especially amid an unstable economic terrain.

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Economy

Capital Importation into Nigeria Falls to $875.6m in Q2 2021

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capital importation

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Nigeria has recorded a quarter-on-quarter decline of 54.06 per cent in the total value of capital importation into the country in the second quarter of 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed.

In a report released by the agency, it was disclosed that the FX inflows from April to June 2021 stood at $875.6 million in contrast to $1.9 billion recorded in the first quarter of this year.

On a year-on-year basis, the capital importation went down by 32.38 per cent as the inflows in the same period of last year was $1.3 billion.

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Business Post observed that the decline in the period under review was because of lower inflows from foreign direct investments (FDIs), foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) and other investments.

However, in the report, the stats office said the largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 62.97 per cent ($551.4 million) of total capital importation, followed by other investment, which accounted for 28.13 per cent ($246.3 million) of total capital imported, with FDIs accounting for 8.90 per cent ($78.0 million) of total capital imported in Q2 2021.

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By sector, capital importation by banking dominated in Q2 2021, reaching $296.5 million of the total capital

importation in Q2 2021, followed by financing with $205.9 million and shares with $194.6 million.

By source of the capital investment, the United Kingdom was on top with $310.3 million, accounting for 35.43 per cent of the total capital inflow in Q2 2021.

It was trailed by South Africa with $212.4 million and the United States with $83.4 million and by destination, Lagos State emerged as the top destination of capital investment in Nigeria in Q2 2021 with $780.1 million, contributing 89.09 per cent to the total capital inflow in Q2 2021 and by bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc emerged at the top of capital investment in Nigeria in Q2 2021 with $310.2 million, accounting for 35.43 per cent of the total capital inflow in Q2 2021.

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Standard Chartered Bank followed by attracting $282.4 million, while Citi Bank attracted $94.2 million in the second quarter of this year.

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Economy

PenCom Drags 120 Firms to Court for Pension Act Violation

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pension assets

By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has disclosed that it was in court with about 120 companies that have refused to comply with the dictates of the 2014 Pension Reform Act (PRA).

The Director, Corporate Communications of the commission, Mr Peter Aghahowa, stated this in Lagos at the 2021 PenCom workshop for journalists in Lagos.

According to him, the organisation was working assiduously to ensure all pension laws as they affect various policies are totally complied with.

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He noted that compliance varies according to the sector, adding that recovery agents have been engaged to ensure that funds that ought to be remitted to PenCom are not diverted under any guise.

“For the private sector, we engaged recovery agents. By the PRA, any company with more than three workers must key into the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

“So, the recovery agents have been empowered. Once they check the books of companies, they will determine their liabilities.

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“We have the employee and employer portion remittances. For those not remitting at all, there is a penalty.

“We have 120 cases in court and these are organisations we tried to work with and they were just recalcitrant.

“Going to court is the last resort because the goal is for the money to the RSAs. We always try to engage.

“In states, they have to enact and implement the CPS. We work with them in coming up with a bill and setting up a pension bureau.

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“Most states have not implemented this well. In enforcing compliance here, you should tread softly. Accrued rights have been paid up”, he said.

The agency has, therefore, called for compliance on contributory pension remittances by employers across the country.

On her part, the PenCom DG, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, disclosed that the commission has deepened technological innovation as it seeks to navigate through the challenges imposed by the pandemic.

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