Buhari Applauds Stock Exchange for Stimulating Economic Growth
By Dipo Olowookere
The nation’s stock exchange, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc, has been applauded by President Muhammadu Buhari for providing a platform that stimulates economic growth.
The President gave this commendation on Tuesday when he was hosted virtually by the NGX at the unveiling of its campaign called The Stock Africa Is Made Of.
Business Post reports that the event featured several key speeches and goodwill messages from industry veterans across the public and private sectors including the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo; the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda; the Chairman of Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote; and the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Jim Ovia.
Others were the President of Toronto Raptors, Mr Masai Ujiri; the Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Tony Elumelu; the CEO of the London Stock Exchange, Mr David Swchimmer; the CEO of Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Ms Julie Becker; the Chairman of Global Reporting Initiative, Mr Eric Hespenheide; and the Deputy British High Commission Lagos, Mr Ben Llewellyn-Jones.
In his speech, President Buhari, prior to sounding the closing gong and bringing the day’s trading to a close, stated that, “It is my pleasure to join you all at this important event organised to amplify the positive narrative about Africa and its great potentials.
“Let me start by congratulating Nigerian Exchange Group Plc on its recently concluded demutualisation, which is the first in the country.
“I recall signing the Demutualisation Bill in August 2018, paving the way for the long-awaited demutualisation of the then Nigerian Stock Exchange.”
“It is also important for me to highlight that the history of NGX Group is tied to that of the nation itself founded 61 years ago at a pivotal time when Nigeria gained her independence.
“The exchange continues to play its part in nation building by stimulating economic growth and providing a platform for businesses and individual to save and raise capital through innovation, diversified products and services, enabling regulatory environment and much more.
“The occasion of the demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange is yet a proud moment for all of us, and indeed all Nigerians deserve congratulations for this feat as it is the beginning of a new era for the capital market,” Mr Buhari added.
In his remarks, the Chairman of NGX Group Plc, Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, said, “The exchange has come a long way, through different leadership regimes – civilian and military – that have overseen multiple booms and bust economic dispensations within the Nigerian economy, to emerge as a leading integrated market infrastructure in Africa and the engine of growth for Africa’s largest economy.
“Our story is one birthed from resilience, collaboration, determination and continued focus on our vision; a true Africa story. With demutualisation, NGX Group is well-positioned to enable strong economic growth and contribute its quota to the development of the Nigerian capital market and the African continent.”
On his part, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group Plc, Mr Oscar Onyema, noted that, “At Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, we have the vision to be the premier exchange hub for Nigerian businesses and for the wider African economy building on the strong reputation and corporate governance the NSE has established over the years.
“As we march bravely into the NGX era, we look forward to impacting creating partnerships that will unlock value for our stakeholders, whilst improving the state of the Nigerian economy. It is a period to reinforce on the global stage, our great African pedigree and the Stock Africa Is Made of.”
The unveiling event culminated in a closing gong ceremony where the CEO of the NGX Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, stated, “I am delighted to have hosted President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Today’s epochal closing gong ceremony could not have been possible without Mr President’s support. The NGX era is indeed very exciting for us and we will continue to champion the growth of the African capital market through trade and investments that will facilitate Africa’s economic recovery and reposition the continent for sustainable economic development.
“Partnerships are a critical element of our strategy and we will continue to engage our stakeholders whose support is essential to the achievement of our aspirations in this NGX era.”
In her closing remarks, the CEO of NGX Regulation Limited, Ms Tinuade Awe, stated, “My deepest gratitude goes to President Buhari for gracing us with his presence and honouring our invitation to close the market on the official launch day of the NGX era. This has truly been an inspiring event and we have our amazing line-up of speakers to thank for that.
“I must also thank our regulators, the entire capital market ecosystem and the management and staff of NGX Group for the hard work and diligence that has set us firmly on the path of success.
“It has been an exciting journey to date, and I am confident that we will all work well together to achieve even greater heights in the NGX era.”
Saudi Additional Cut Lifts Brent, WTI Crude Prices
By Adedapo Adesanya
Oil prices rose on Monday after the world’s top exporter, Saudi Arabia, pledged to cut production by a further 1 million barrels per day from July.
Consequently, Brent crude futures traded higher by 58 cents at $76.71 a barrel, as the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 41 cents to quote at $72.15 per barrel.
The Saudi energy ministry said the kingdom’s output would drop to 9 million barrels per day in July from about 10 million barrels per day in May.
The voluntary cut, Saudi Arabia’s biggest in years, is on top of a broader deal by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, including Russia, to limit supply into 2024 as OPEC+ seeks to boost dropping oil prices.
OPEC+ has in place cuts of 3.66 million barrels per day, amounting to 3.6 per cent of global demand, including 2 million barrels per day agreed last year and voluntary cuts of 1.66 million barrels per day agreed in April.
At Sunday’s meeting, OPEC+ said it would extend them until 2024.
Many of the OPEC+ reductions will have little real impact as lower targets for Russia, Nigeria, and Angola bring them into line with their actual production levels.
In contrast, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was allowed to raise output targets by 200,000 barrels per day to 3.22 million barrels per day to reflect its larger production capacity.
Reactions have since trailed the move, with Mr Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), saying that the chance of higher oil prices had increased sharply after the new OPEC+ deal.
Expectations were already that there would be an imbalance in the oil market in the second half of the year; now the supply-demand gap will worsen, Mr Birol said.
Goldman Sachs analysts said the output deal was “moderately bullish” for oil markets and could boost December 2023 Brent prices by between $1 and $6 a barrel, depending on how long Saudi Arabia maintains output at 9 million barrels per day.
ING left its price forecasts unchanged for now and still expects ICE Brent to be average $96 a barrel over the second half of this year.
Analysts also said Sunday’s OPEC+ decision sent a clear signal the group was willing to support prices and attempt to thwart speculators, including short sellers.
NGX Records First Loss Under Tinubu as Investors Liquidate Stocks for Cash
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited recorded its first loss under the administration of President Bola Tinubu on Monday, June 2023, a week after he assumed office.
On the first trading session of his government, the local stock market jumped by 5.22 per cent as investors embraced his policy direction, especially with the promise of unifying the exchange rates and subsidy removal.
However, the latter seems to be his first real test as the labour unions in the country are preparing for a showdown with him from Wednesday unless he reverts the pump price to N185 per litre from N500 per litre.
With the meeting between labour unions and the federal government on Sunday ending in another deadline, the equity market went into profit-taking yesterday, as investors liquidated their stocks for cash.
This marginally sank the NGX by 0.02 per cent at the close of transactions, with the All-Share Index (ASI) down by 16.11 points to 55,806.71 points from 55,822.82 points, and the market capitalisation down by N9 billion to N30.387 trillion from N30.396 trillion.
The loss was mainly orchestrated by the industrial goods sector, which shed 0.01 per cent, offsetting the gains reported by the others.
The sustained buying pressure on energy stocks left the index higher by 2.55 per cent, the insurance sector rose by 1.31 per cent, the banking index improved by 0.27 per cent, and the consumer goods counter improved by 0.06 per cent.
Business Post reports that the market breadth index was bearish on Monday, with 27 price losers and 26 price gainers, indicating a weak investor sentiment.
John Holt was the worst-performing stock after it lost 9.95 per cent to trade at N1.72, Courteville depreciated by 9.80 per cent to 46 Kobo, Chams fell by 9.76 per cent to 37 Kobo, Coronation Insurance went down by 8.70 per cent to 42 Kobo, and Academy Press dropped 7.89 per cent to N1.75.
The best-performing equities were Omatek and NEM Insurance, after they increased by 10.00 per cent each to close at 22 Kobo and N5.50, respectively. Conoil gained 9.94 per cent to finish at N76.85, MRS Oil rose by 9.94 per cent to N54.20, and Eterna jumped by 9.73 per cent to N10.15.
The activity chart was mixed on the first trading session of the week after the trading value expanded by 224.59 per cent to N19.8 billion from N6.1 billion, the trading volume decreased by 18.87 per cent to 369.8 million units from 455.8 million units, and the number of deals shrank by 316 per cent to 7,221 deals from 7,457 deals.
Geregu Power topped the chart for selling 52.5 million shares valued at N16.4 billion, NPF Microfinance Bank traded 50.0 million stocks worth N90.0 million, Access Holdings transacted 46.2 million equities valued at N573.6 million, Zenith Bank traded 28.8 million shares worth N800.6 million, and UBA sold 16.3 million equities valued at N151.7 million.
Karekezi Makes Case for Nigeria’s Agro Insurance Industry
By Adedapo Adesanya
The group managing director of Africa Re., Mr Corneille Karekezi, has pointed out that Nigeria remains a market filled with potential to do well regarding agro insurance, but farmers remain not fully integrated into the formal sector.
In an interview published by the African Insurance Organisation (AIO), he said that despite the economic importance of the agricultural sector to many countries, agricultural insurance markets are still at a very early stage of development in Africa, drawing examples from South Africa and Nigeria.
Agricultural insurance premiums in Africa are estimated to be less than 0.7 per cent of the world’s total.
He said, “The markets in southern Africa have developed well, partly because of the different structures of the agricultural sector, which tends to be dominated by large commercial farms.
“Not only have good risk management structures developed here, but market-oriented and modern practices are also applied.”
“In West African countries such as Nigeria, on the other hand, we see rather small farms and many subsistence farmers, particularly farms which are not yet fully integrated with the formal financial system.
“Nevertheless, we see enormous growth opportunities here, closely linked to the high economic importance of the agricultural sector. The resilience of this sector, which employs a large proportion of the population and is a major contributor to economic growth, urgently needs to be strengthened,” he stated.
Mr Karekezi further said, “With very few exceptions, the experience to date has been disappointing: agricultural insurance penetration is still very low, and key performance indicators such as premium income, accumulated sums insured, and the achievement of risk-adjusted premiums are at unsatisfactory levels.
“This suggests the need for greater government support to ensure, for example, that smallholders can access and afford insurance products. First, however, government awareness and institutional capacity must be strengthened.”
Another major problem that will take years to overcome is Africa’s insufficient availability of agricultural underwriters.
Speaking on regulations, he noted that stakeholders should understand whether regulators want to limit themselves to regulation and supervision or also play an active and important role in market development.
“If this insurance market development mandate to regulators does not exist in a country or is considered less important, regulators will not feel empowered to contribute to the sustainable development of robust insurance markets actively, even though they could be powerful and influential stakeholders.
“Political will is, therefore, the key factor in achieving change and improving conditions. In this context, we would like to mention as an example the Moroccan regulator (Insurance and Social Security Supervisory Authority [ACAPS]), which is playing a very active and successful role in market development.”
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