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Economy

CBN to Hold 280th MPC Meeting July 26

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MPC Meeting

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

On Monday, July 26, 2021, the 280th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will commence.

The gathering is for two days and will involve members of the team who are experienced bankers, economists and others.

They will discuss the economy and the security situation of the nation and its effect on the economy, especially inflation, food prices and others.

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At the end of the MPC meeting on Tuesday, July 27, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, will address the media to announce the outcome of the gathering.

He would be expected to end his briefing with the decision of the committee on the main monetary policies like the interest rate, liquidity ratio and others.

At the previous MPC meeting, which was held in May, the team agreed to leave the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5 per cent. The MPR is the interest rate the apex bank lends money to financial institutions.

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Also, the committee voted to keep the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent, the Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 30 per cent and the Asymmetric Window left at +100 and -700 basis points around the MPR.

But as members of the MPC prepare for the meeting next week, one of the things that could sway their decision on the rates is the latest inflation figure released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last Friday, which said the rate moderated to 17.75 per cent.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Brent Crude Sells at $74 Amid Tight Supplies Forecasts

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brent crude oil

By Adedapo Adesanya

The price of the Brent crude finished higher by 31 cents or 0.42 per cent on Friday to sell at $74.10 per barrel as expectations remained that supply will continue to be tight through the year.

On its part, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude grew by 16 cents or 0.22 per cent to trade at $72.07 per barrel.

For the week, Brent gained 0.7 per cent after declining for three consecutive weeks, while WTI rose 0.4 per cent after falling for two weeks.

Both benchmarks slumped about 7 per cent on Monday but pared those losses, with investors expecting demand to stay strong and the market to receive support from falling oil stockpiles and rising vaccination rates.

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Market analysts noted that despite the expansion in oil supply, the market will remain slightly undersupplied until the end of the year.

This is expected to happen after the deal between the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, collectively known as OPEC+ to add back 400,000 barrels per day each month from August till December.

The market is counting on the fact that the OPEC+ increase will not be enough to keep the market balanced and inventories in the United States and across some developed countries would continue to fall.

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Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released Wednesday revealed a weekly increase in US crude supplies, following eight straight weeks of declines.

Meanwhile, there are concerns that rising global Delta variant infection rates of the coronavirus could undermine the current economic rebound.

Also, oil rigs rose by seven to 387 this week, their highest since April 2020 and for the fourth week in a row, implying a production increase ahead.

Meanwhile, the Bank of America has joined other analysts to give a bullish outcome for crude, noting that Brent will hit $100 per barrel next year.

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“We still think the OPEC+ driven dip in crude and distillate prices is a buying opportunity and project Brent will hit $100 a barrel next year, with distillates tagging along for the ride,” it said in a note.

Morgan Stanley had forecast that global benchmark Brent will trade in the mid to high-$70s per barrel for the remainder of 2021 while Barclays raised its 2021 oil price forecast by $3 to $5 to average $69 a barrel.

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Economy

Africa Prudential Suffers Decline in H1 2021 Revenue, Profits

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Africa Prudential office

By Dipo Olowookere

The first half of 2021 was not good for Africa Prudential, the company’s financial statements released on Friday and analysed by Business Post has shown.

The top and bottom lines of the results depreciated in the first six months of the year, with the revenue generated going down to N1.7 billion from N1.9 billion in the same period of 2020.

The results revealed that revenue from contracts with customers went down by 12 per cent to N517.7 million from N590.7 million due to a significant renegotiation of fees rate by customers along with its corporate actions revenue lines as well as slow sign off of contracts within the period in digital consultancy.

ALSO READ  CBN Retains Benchmark Interest Rate At 14%

Also, the interest income decreased to N1.2 billion from N1.3 billion as a result of a decline in interest on loans and advances and a nil income on treasury bills relative to HY 2020.

However, the other income improved to N86.3 million from N23.8 million and this was largely buoyed by withholding tax credit notes recovered, which raked in N65.8 million for the company. In H1 2020, there was no provision for this item. Also, the dividend income recorded in the first half of this year waned to N9.3 million from N21.2 million last year.

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In the period under review, Africa Prudential said personnel expenses gulped N287.6 million, lower than N318.2 million of last year and this was due to a slice in wages and salaries to N264.1 million from N291.0 million in the period.

However, the other operating costs rose to N450.4 million from N323.0 million as a result of an increase in professional fees, directors fees and other emoluments, legal and professional expenses, amongst others.

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On the bottom line, the company posted a profit before tax of N972.3 million, lower than the N1.2 billion achieved in the first half of last year, while the profit after tax went down to N827.6 million from N1.1 billion on account of the business considerations around revenue and operating cost, with the Earnings Per Share (EPS) declining to 41 kobo from 54 kobo in H1 2020.

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Economy

Market Rises 0.21% as Appetite for Total Nigeria Shares Persists

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Total Nigeria shares

By Dipo Olowookere

The interim dividend proposed by the board of Total Nigeria and the news of the settlement of the dispute between Oando Plc and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is starting to drive appetite for the two energy stocks at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.

Business Post reports that appetite for Total Nigeria shares persisted on Friday and this helped the market to close 0.21 per cent higher when trading activities were ended during the session.

This buying pressure increased the All-Share Index (ASI) of the bourse by 82.38 points to 38,667.90 points from 38,585.52 points and expanded the market capitalisation by N43 billion to N20.147 trillion from N20.104 trillion.

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Universal Insurance was the best-performing stock at the last trading session of this week, appreciating by 10.00 per cent to close at 22 kobo.

Oando gained 9.97 per cent to trade at N3.97, Total Nigeria grew by 9.96 per cent to N203.20, Cutix improved by 9.82 per cent to N4.81, while Guinness Nigeria appreciated by 9.14 per cent to N31.65.

However, University Press finished the session as the worst-performing equity with a price depreciation of 9.03 per cent to settle at N1.41.

Champion Breweries lost 8.89 per cent to sell for N2.05, Red Star Express declined by 3.03 per cent to N3.20, International Breweries went down by 2.80 per cent to N5.20, while NAHCO fell by 2.65 per cent to N2.20.

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At the close of transactions, the market breadth remained strongly positive with 30 price gainers and 11 price losers.

On the activity chart, the trading volume rose by 13.36 per cent to 230.3 million shares from 203.1 million shares, the trading value appreciated by 34.04 per cent to N2.3 billion from N1.7 billion, while the number of deals increased by 4.18 per cent to 4,135 deals from 3,969 deals.

Fidelity Bank closed the day as the most traded stock for transacting 24.8 million shares valued at N59.4 million and was followed by Zenith Bank, which exchanged 24.3 million equities worth N604.1 million.

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United Capital transacted 14.5 million shares worth N102.6 million, UBA traded 11.0 million shares valued at N85.3 million, while Sovereign Trust Insurance transacted 10.4 million stocks for N2.9 million.

In terms of the performance of the sectors, apart from the insurance counter, which depreciated marginally by 0.01 per cent, the four other major sectors closed positive.

The energy index maintained its strong position with an appreciation of 3.98 per cent, the banking counter rose by 0.51 per cent, the consumer goods space rose by 0.40 per cent, while the industrial goods sector appreciated by 0.04 per cent.

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