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CBN Disburses N554.6bn to 2.8 million Farmers

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dry season farmers

By Adedapo Adesanya

Not less than N554.6 billion has been disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to a total of 2,849,490 farmers across the country under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) since its inception in 2015.

The scheme, initiated by the central bank, was precisely launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, and it was part of efforts to ensure food security in Nigeria.

In a communique issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that out of the total amount disbursed so far to the farmers, the sum of N61.02 billion was given to 353,370 dry season farmers.

Mr Emefiele added that the CBN also allocated huge sums of money to mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians.

He said, “Of the CBN’s real sector interventions, under the ABP, N554.63 billion was disbursed to 2,849,490 beneficiaries since the inception of the programme, of which N61.02 billion was allocated to 359,370 dry season farmers.

“In the light of the on-going synchronised efforts by the monetary and fiscal authorities to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank has committed a substantial amount of money towards this objective.

“Indeed, total disbursements as at January 2021 amounted to N2 trillion.

“For COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) meant for household and small businesses, we have disbursed N192.64 billion to 426,016 beneficiaries.

“We have also disbursed N106.96 billion to 27,956 beneficiaries under the AgriBusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme,” Mr Emefiele said.

He added that the apex bank also provided huge sums to support the health sector, youth empowerment as well as the creative industry.

“Through the Health Care Support Intervention Facility, we have disbursed N72.96 billion to 73 projects that comprise 26 pharmaceutical projects and 47 Hospitals and Health Care Services Project in the country.

“The CBN also provided financial support through the Creative Industry Financing Initiative and the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund amounting to N3.12 billion with 320 beneficiaries and N268 million to 395 beneficiaries respectively.

“On enhancing power supply, the bank has so far, provided N18.58 billion for the procurement of 347,853 Classified as Confidential electricity reading meters to Discos in support of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP),” he said.

He assured that the bank would sustain its drive to improve access to credit to the private sector while exploring collaboration with the Federal Government to improve funding to critical sectors of the economy.

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

Stocks Gain 0.14% as Zenith Bank Dividend News Buoys Interest

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Pricing Methodology for stocks

By Dipo Olowookere

The renewed interest in Nigerian stocks continued on Wednesday, contributing to the 0.14 per cent growth seen at the market during the session.

The news that Zenith Bank has proposed the payment of N2.70 final dividend on Tuesday has continued to make investors take a good look at Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Business Post reports that at the close of transactions yesterday, Zenith Bank was the most traded stock, transacting 154.6 million units worth N4.1 billion.

GTBank exchanged 48.8 million shares for N1.5 billion, FBN Holdings transacted 25.3 million equities worth N185.6 million, Transcorp traded 25.1 million stocks for N23.4 million, while United Capital sold 22.0 million shares for N136.8 million.

At the close of business, a total of 469.6 million shares worth N7.1 billion were traded in 5,470 deals compared with the 338.0 million stocks worth N3.9 billion transacted in 5,232 deals the preceding session, indicating a rise in the trading volume, value and number of deals by 38.94 per cent, 84.15 per cent and 4.55 per cent respectively.

The energy sector was the biggest riser by sector, gaining 0.79 per cent, followed by the banking space, which rose by 0.77 per cent and the industrial goods sector, which appreciated by 0.22 per cent.

However, the insurance counter depreciated by 1.87 per cent, while the consumer goods index declined by 0.32 per cent.

When trading activities were wrapped up for the day, the All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 56.44 points to settle at 40,221.30 points in contrast to 40,164.86 points of the previous day, while the market capitalisation gained N29 billion to close at N21.044 trillion versus Tuesday’s N21.015 trillion.

On the price movement chart, news that a shareholder obtained a court order to free Oando Plc from the claws of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) buoyed its share price by 10.00 per cent to N3.41 per share.

ABC Transport gained 9.38 per cent to settle at 35 kobo per unit, Japaul rose by 9.23 per cent to 71 kobo per share, Royal Exchange grew by 8.70 per cent to 25 kobo per unit, while Academy Press appreciated by 7.89 per cent to 41 kobo per share.

On the flip side, Lasaco Assurance continued its downward trend with a 9.49 per cent loss to finish at N1.24 per share and was followed by Consolidated Hallmark Insurance, which fell by 8.33 per cent to trade at 33 kobo per unit.

Cornerstone Insurance went down by 7.81 per cent to 59 kobo per share, Flour Mills lost 6.94 per cent to finish at N28.85 per unit, while Wapic Insurance fell by 6.90 per cent to 54 kobo per share.

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Economy

Naira Loses 0.05% to Trade N408.80/$1 at I&E FX  Window

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Naira BDC Segment

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira gave up some gains made on the US Dollar at the previous session on Wednesday, February 24 at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange market.

At the previous session, after a constant plunge, the domestic currency rose to N408.60/$1 but gave up 0.05 per cent or 20 kobo of this yesterday to quote at N408.80/$1.

This happened as the demand for FX overpowered the local currency as transactions worth $212.43 million were recorded, $89.06 million or 72.2 per cent higher than the $123.37 million recorded at the preceding session.

However, at the parallel market, the domestic currency maintained its stability against the greenback on Wednesday to trade at N480/$1.

But at the same unregulated segment of the market, the Nigerian currency depreciated by N5 against the Pound Sterling to close at N670/£1 in contrast to N665/£1 it was sold on Tuesday and gained N2 against the Euro to close at N580/€1 compared to the previous trading rate of N582/€1.

At the interbank segment of the market, the value of the Naira against the Dollar still remained unchanged on Wednesday at N379/$1. It also traded flat against the American currency at the Bureaux De Change (BDC) window at N395/$.

Meanwhile, in the cryptocurrency market, which had some recorded losses recently, things are beginning to look again as all the seven digital coins tracked by Business Post closed positive.

The largest surge was recorded by Dash (DASH), which gained 30.6 per cent to sell at N169,800. It was followed by Ethereum (ETH), which made a 16.4 per cent jump to sell at N1,088,988.00, while Tron (TRX) recorded a 13.7 per cent strengthening to sell at N31.90.

Bitcoin (BTC) saw its value rise by 9.8 per cent to trade at N31,900,699, Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 5.5 per cent to trade at N116,000, the US Dollar Tether (USDT) rose by 7.9 per cent to trade at N650.55, while Ripple (XRP) recorded a 3.4 per cent growth to trade at N301.02.

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Economy

CSCS Buoys Bulls’ Return to NASD by 0.94%

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CSCS Stocks

By Adedapo Adesanya

After closing in the negative territory for four consecutive trading days, the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange finished bullish on Wednesday.

Business Post reports that the unlisted securities market closed higher by 0.94 per cent at the midweek session on the back of the gains recorded by Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS).

The share price of the company appreciated by N1 or 6.5 per cent to settle at N16.50 per unit compared to N15.50 per unit it finished at the previous session.

This positive price movement boosted the market capitalisation of the exchange by N4.79 billion to N512.24 billion from the previous N507.45 billion.

Also, it increased the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) by 6.67 points to 713.91 points from 707.24 points it finished on Tuesday.

It was not all rosy at the market yesterday as the share price of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc depreciated by 22 kobo or 0.2 per cent to trade at N119.43 per share in contrast to N119.65 per share of the preceding session.

Yesterday, the volume of trades dipped by 82.5 per cent as 41,100 units of securities were transacted by investors as against 234,152 units of securities traded on Tuesday.

Equally, the value of transactions went down by 46.9 per cent to N4.29 million from N8.1 million, while the total number of deals went up by 33.3 per cent to four deals from three deals.

These deals were performed on FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, which accounted for three, and CSCS, which accounted for one.

Again, UBN Property Plc remained as the most active stock by volume (year to date) for trading 15.5 million units valued at N16.8 billion. CSCS Plc has exchanged 4.7 million units worth N73.2 million, while FrieslandCampina has transacted 2.3 million units worth N284.2 million.

Also, FrieslandCampina was the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) for transacting 2.3 million units valued at N284.2 million. Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc has traded 603,911 units worth N195.9 million, while CSCS has traded 4.7 million units worth N73.2 million.

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Economy

Brent Trades $67/Barrel Despite High Crude Inventories

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brent crude oil

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Brent crude jumped to $67 per barrel on Wednesday despite a surprising report that showed a build in crude inventories in the United States, the largest oil-producing country in the world.

During the trading session, the global benchmark, which many country use to price their crude, appreciated by 2.8 per cent or $1.85 to trade at $67.22 per barrel, while the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, gained $1.78 or 2.9 per cent to sell at $63.45 per barrel.

Crude oil prices went on steroids after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a crude oil inventory build of 1.3 million barrels for the week to February 19. The build was much lower than the one the American Petroleum Institute (API) had estimated a day earlier.

The report came a day after the API estimated an oil stock build of over 1 million barrels. It also compared with analyst expectations of a 5.372-million-barrel draw for the reported week and a 7.3-million-barrel inventory draw the EIA reported for the previous week.

Last week’s frigid weather in the American state of Texas will likely keep oil prices higher for some time as production restarts slowly, and reports suggest that some of it may not return at all as companies have decided to halt production.

The bullish sentiment around the black gold could be attributed to the renewal of hopes from banks and traders, especially after Goldman Sachs said it expected prices to hit $70 and top it by the summer.

Also, confidence that a meaningful demand rebound will accompany widening vaccination availability by soon has supported prices and the production outages in the US only served to strengthen it further.

Key players in the oil market have been talking up the rising prices in the coming months, with some even floating the prospect of $100 crude in the next year or two as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, market participants continue to observed events leading to next week’s meeting between the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting and its allies (OPEC+).

This meeting, set for March 4, is likely to set the tone into the second quarter of the year as they decide on whether to bump up production or seek even higher prices before the pick-up in demand has started to fully materialize.

Back in December, the group decided to restore 500,000 barrels a day as part of the gradual process, which was paused in January, to push the remaining 7 million withheld barrels a day back into the market.

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Economy

Confusion Over Fresh Court Order on Suspended Oando AGM

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Oando SEC crisis

By Dipo Olowookere

There seems to be confusion over a fresh court order secured by a shareholder of Oando Plc concerning the suspension of the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

In 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suspended the yearly shareholders’ meeting of Oando, preventing the energy firm from meeting its obligations of filing financial statements to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

But on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, one Mr Patrick Ajudua claimed he obtained an order from Justice O. A Musa of the High Court of the FCT, Abuja, declaring the action of SEC, the apex regulator in the nation’s capital market, as illegal and unconstitutional.

It was reported that the court held that Mr Ajudua, as a member and shareholder of Oando, has a right and freedom of association and assembly with other shareholders and the right to receive information at the AGM.

Also, it was reported that a letter dated May 31, 2019, by SEC to Oando sanctioning its management was declared unconstitutional, null and void by the court because it was in violation of Mr Ajudua’s fundamental right to a fair hearing and his human right to receive information on the affairs of Oando and his interest and shares in Oando.

According to reports, the court set aside the directive of SEC suspending/postponing indefinitely the AGM of Oando because it was in violation, breach, and contravention of Mr Ajudua’s right and freedom of association and assembly with other shareholders and right to information from other shareholders and Oando Plc;

The shareholder was said to have obtained an order from the court restraining SEC and Oando from interfering with, disrupting, and or interfering with his constitutional right of association, assembly and right to receive information from other shareholders and members of Oando Plc at the postponed 2019 AGM.

He further received an order of injunction restraining SEC from acting and/or taking any steps pursuant to its letter of May 31, 2019, or interfering in any manner whatsoever with directors lawfully appointed him.

Also, Mr Ajudua was said to have secured an order directing Oando to convene and hold AGM within 90 days of the order of the court in compliance with the provisions of CAMA.

But SEC, in a statement made available to Business Post on Wednesday said it was not aware of the case or the judgment.

“The attention of the commission has been drawn to several publications in the social media, where it is reported that a shareholder of Oando Plc, purportedly obtained a judgment from the Federal Capital Territory High Court against the commission.

“The commission wishes to inform the general public that it was never at any time served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court.

“The commission will consequently take all necessary steps to verify and set aside the purported decision of the said court,” the statement signed by the management disclosed.

However, Mr Ajedua has described his action as “a win” for him and “all shareholders,” noting that, “The lingering delay in resolution of the conflict has brought untold hardship, financial difficulty and loss of capital appreciation on our investments.”

“Therefore, we receive this judgement with humility and the pray that with all hands on deck, we can move the company forward.

“We plead with the regulators to give peace a chance and allow for a harmonious resolution to the conflict.

“The shareholder community will continue to protect our investments by ensuring high compliance with the code of corporate governance and the integrity of the company’s operations in the capital market,” he added.

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Economy

AIICO, Zenith Bank, 14 Others Lift NSE Index by 0.03%

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AIICO rights issue

By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) was saved from the claws of the bears on Tuesday, bringing a sigh of relief to investors, who had been forced to endure a turbulent time lately.

The market appreciated by 0.03 per cent, thanks to AIICO Insurance, Zenith Bank and 14 other equities.

Zenith Bank on its part contributed chiefly to the growth witnessed yesterday as a result of the release of its 2020 full-year earnings and the declaration of N2.70 final dividend.

This announcement triggered buying pressure and lifted the All-Share Index (ASI) by 10.77 points to 40,164.86 points from 40,154.09 points and pushed the market capitalisation higher by N6 billion to N21.015 trillion from N21.009 trillion.

At the close of transactions, the volume of shares rose by 16.80 per cent to 338.0 million units from 289.3 million units, while the value of traded equities increased by 7.59 per cent to N3.9 billion from N3.6 billion, with the number of deals rising by 5.63 per cent to 5,232 deals from 4,953 deals.

For another trading day, FBN Holdings was the most active stock with the sale of 64.6 million units valued at N471.8 million, while Zenith Bank traded 52.7 million units worth N1.3 billion.

Transcorp exchanged 42.0 million equities for N38.1 million, United Capital transacted 21.0 million stocks valued at N128.2 million, while UBA traded 18.2 million shares for N153.2 million.

During the session, AIICO Insurance and Livestock Feeds topped the gainers’ table with a price appreciation of 7.14 per cent each to finish at N1.20 per unit and N2.25 per share respectively.

Flour Mills improved by 6.16 per cent to close at N31 per unit, Zenith Bank gained 4.84 per cent to trade at N26 per share, while Cutix appreciated by 4.65 per cent to sell for N2.25 per unit.

Sitting on top of the losers’ list was Sunu Assurances, which lost 9.88 per cent to settle at 73 kobo per share and was deputised by LASACO Assurances, which declined by 9.87 per cent to trade at N1.37 per unit.

Africa Prudential depreciated by 9.85 per cent to quote at N5.95 per share, ABC Transport lost 8.57 per cent to close at 32 kobo per unit, while University Press depleted by 8.53 per cent to trade at N1.18 per share.

For the sectors, only the banking index closed positive with a 1.68 per cent growth as the consumer goods and insurance sectors lost 1.61 per cent and 0.92 per cent respectively, with the energy and industrial goods counters closing flat.

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