By Investors Hub
Asian stocks ended a choppy session on a mixed note on Tuesday after U.S. shares recovered from sharp losses to close higher overnight.
A cautious undertone prevailed as U.S.-China trade tensions simmered, oil held its biggest loss in two weeks and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a Parliamentary vote on a Brexit deal.
Chinese shares closed higher ahead of industrial output and retail sales figures for November due on Friday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 9.51 points or 0.4 percent to 2,594.09, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up 19.29 points or 0.1 percent to 25,771.67.
Meanwhile, Japanese shares fell modestly to close near their lowest level since March, dragged down by financials and cyclical stocks.
The Nikkei 225 Index dropped 71.48 points or 0.3 percent to 21,148.02, the lowest level since late March. The broader Topix Index closed 0.9 percent lower at 1,575.31, the lowest closing level since May of 2017.
Growing uncertainty in the face of trade friction pulled down automakers, with Toyota Motor, Mazda Motor and Nissan Motor falling 1-3 percent.
Banks Mizuho Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 1-2 percent as the threats of a no-deal Brexit become very real. Insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings declined 1.5 percent and T&D Holdings gave up 2.8 percent.
On the other hand, SoftBank jumped 2.5 percent after it set the final price for the 2.65 trillion yen initial public offering of its Japanese telecom business at its original target.
Australian stocks rebounded from near two-year lows to end modestly higher. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 23.40 points or 0.4 percent at 5,575.90, while the broader All Ordinaries Index climbed 23.70 points or 0.4 percent to 5,651.20.
Healthcare shares led the surge, with Cochlear jumping 2.9 percent and CSL surging up 2.1 percent. Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto rose over 1 percent, while gold miners ended on a mixed note.
Energy stocks fell after U.S. crude oil futures fell over 3 percent on Monday on concerns about a likely drop in demand. Santos, Oil Search and Beach Energy lost 1-2 percent.
QBE Insurance Group slumped 4.1 percent after it announced a three-year operational efficiency program targeting net savings of A$130 million in 2021 and restructuring costs of A$95 million over 2019-20.
On the economic front, official data showed that house prices in Australia dropped 1.5 percent sequentially in the third quarter. That exceeded expectations for a decline of 1.6 percent following the 0.7 percent drop in the three months prior.
Dollar Shortages Strike Again…Nigeria Indexes in Crosshairs
By Lukman Otunuga
Despite oil prices surging to multi-year highs, Nigeria has failed to cash in.
The destructive combination of sub-optimal oil production, poor infrastructure, and fuel subsidies have drained oil revenues that account for roughly 90% of foreign exchange earnings.
Lower oil revenues and falling foreign exchange reserves are forcing Nigeria to ration dollars. The negative impacts continue to be reflected across the economy and local currency. But now the dollar shortages have attracted the attention of MSCI Inc. which is considering downgrading the MSCI Nigeria indexes to the status of a standalone market from frontier markets.
It is worth keeping in mind that a developed market is the highest ranking, followed by emerging markets, frontier markets, and then finally standalone markets at the bottom.
Given the difficulty in repatriating funds from Nigeria, this has placed the MSCI Nigeria Indexes in the crosshairs. Such a negative development may hit sentiment toward the county’s assets at a crucial period where economic growth remains fragile.
To add insult to injury, the NGX All Share Index has gained roughly 20% this year in local currency terms. A blockbuster performance when compared to the MSCI Emerging market Index which is down roughly -19%.
In other news, the Naira was trading around N419 versus the dollar on the official spot rate and has weakened only 1.3% year-to-date. However, on the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX, the Naira ended Thursday at N620 versus the dollar and N602 on the black market. Nigeria still faces the issue of multiple exchanges but this will be a discussion for another time.
Lukman Otunuga is a Senior Research Analyst at FXTM
Binance, Cristiano Ronaldo to Release Exclusive NFTs
By Adedapo Adesanya
Binance, the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, has announced the signing of an exclusive and multi-year NFT partnership with football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Through this partnership, Binance will launch a global campaign aiming to give Ronaldo’s fans an introduction to Web3 with a compelling entry point into the world of NFTs.
The company disclosed that over the course of the agreement, Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance will create a series of collections for sale exclusively on the Binance NFT platform.
The first collection of the exclusive NFTs will be released later this year and will feature designs created in collaboration with Ronaldo.
Speaking on the deal, Binance founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said, “Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s best footballers, and has transcended sport to become an icon in multiple industries.
“He has amassed one of the world’s most dedicated fan bases through his authenticity, talent, and charity work.”
“We are thrilled to provide his fans with exclusive engagement opportunities to connect with Ronaldo and own a piece of iconic sports history,” he added.
“My relationship with the fans is very important to me, so the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something that I wanted to be a part of,” said Ronaldo.
“I know the fans are going to enjoy the collection as much as I do.”
The Cristiano Ronaldo NFT collections will be available exclusively on Binance NFT at www.Binance.com/en/nft/home.
Binance is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume.
The Binance platform is dedicated to increasing the freedom of money for users, and features an unmatched portfolio of crypto products and offerings, including trading and finance, education, data and research, social good, investment and incubation, decentralization and infrastructure solutions, and more.
Cellulant Wins Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year
By Adedapo Adesanya
Cellulant, Africa’s leading payments company, has been awarded the Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year in Nigeria at the 13th Beacon of ICT Awards 2022.
This award is a recognition of Cellulant’s work in providing a payments platform that focuses on driving merchant business and digital payments for local, regional and global merchants in the continent.
It was also lauded for digitising both online and offline payments.
The award was presented to Cellulant Nigeria by Communication Week Media Limited, the publishers of Nigeria Communications Week.
The annual event, which recognises leading players in the ICT sector in Nigeria whose outstanding achievements contribute to the industry’s growth, was themed Impact of Blockchain Technology in a Digitalized Nigeria.
Renowned businesses such as Emirates, GIG logistics, Coldstone, Bolt, Dominos and Ethiopian Airlines to name a few, have partnered with Cellulant to use their Tingg digital payments solution as a single collection gateway in Nigeria.
Cellulant simplified their product, unifying their offering into Tingg — a digital payments platform that addresses the complex needs of managing different payment channels for a business.
This has made it easy for businesses to conveniently and affordably accept payments from a single integration.
Customers can make payments for goods and services using locally relevant payment options.
Founded in 2003, Cellulant has more than 18 years of experience providing locally-relevant payment solutions for businesses and their consumers. Its evolution over the years, from a digital content business to mobile banking and now to payments, has allowed the company to build an expansive network, strong relationships and partnerships.
Cellulant provides a unified, single-contract, and single API payments platform – named Tingg- that makes it easy for businesses to receive and make payments; while allowing anyone to pay from their mobile money, local and international cards or directly from their bank.
Today, Cellulant has an office presence in 18 countries, including Nigeria, with a payments platform connecting thousands of businesses with 257 payment options across 35 countries. The platform powers payments for 200 million consumers on a single inclusive network for interoperability across Africa.
Speaking on the recognition, Mr Opeyemi Fowler, Cellulant’s Head of Enterprise Sales stated “the digital payments landscape in Nigeria and Africa is evolving rapidly with differing payment channels such as card, mobile money, bank transfer and cash – with volatile currency fluctuations and no single settlement framework.
“This is creating a highly fragmented landscape for businesses whose customers increasingly request to pay for their purchases using digital payment options. Every day, our job at Cellulant is to work with our customers and partners to solve this fragmentation in payments.”
“This award is a testament to our work in providing a payments platform that is transforming the way people do business in Nigeria and beyond; and a reflection of the hard work done by our people.”
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