Direct Cash Settlement Will Boost Investors’ Confidence—NSE
**Educates Stakeholders on Dematerialisation, Others
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Executive Director of Market Operations and Technology at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Ade Bajomo, has disclosed that the direct cash settlement system will enhance investors’ confidence because proceeds from the sale of securities are remitted directly into investors’ accounts.
He made this disclosure last week at an enlightenment programme organised by the NSE for capital market stakeholders on dematerialization, direct cash settlement and e-dividend.
The event, tagged Investor Clinic and themed ‘The role of Dematerialization, Direct Cash Settlement and E-dividend in the development of the Nigerian Capital Market,’ took place at the Stock Exchange House, Lagos.
It was targeted at sensitizing the investing public and brokerage community of contemporary initiatives in the market.
The programme shed light on the importance of dematerialisation as a necessity in the trading of shares.
Participants were also made to understand the advantages of direct cash settlement and e-dividend processing in the consolidation of returns on their equity investment as well as the overall benefits to the Nigerian capital market.
“The NSE Investor Clinic brings to the fore the importance of dematerialisation in ensuring improved market velocity and integrity as well as the role of direct cash settlement in enhancing investor confidence by ensuring that proceeds from the sale of securities are remitted directly into investors’ accounts,” Mr Bajomo said.
He stressed the importance of e-dividend in not only reducing the perennial issue of unclaimed dividend growth, but in ensuring that investors derive the full benefits of their investments by having their dividends paid directly into their bank accounts as soon as these are disbursed by issuers, regardless of whether these are savings or current accounts.
He added that, “At The Nigerian Stock Exchange, we are committed to improving overall financial literacy and inclusion in the country, and ensuring we implement efficient processes that provide investors easy and intuitive access to grow their wealth.
“This commitment is expressed in the various initiatives undertaken by The Exchange. In 2016 alone, we executed over 200 free capacity building workshops, aimed at enhancing investor understanding of the workings of the capital market.
“The multiplier effect of these workshops is phenomenal, as over 25,000 participating investors have been equipped to make better investment decisions”.
Over 200 participants attended the NSE Investor Clinic which had seasoned and certified subject matter experts, such as Mr Henry Rowlands, Director, Capital Market Development, Securities and Exchange Commission; Mr Seyi Owoturo, CEO, United Securities Limited and Mr Kenneth Nwafor, Operations Manager, Market Operations NSE as facilitators.
It will be recalled that the Exchange on June 1, 2017, launched X-Academy, its financial literacy and inclusion platform designed to provide education services to individual, corporate and government institutions who want to gain a better understanding of the various aspects of the capital markets and also improve overall corporate governance within their respective institutions. X- Academy offers a wide range of courses geared towards bridging the knowledge gap of investors and issuers about products and services of the capital market.
It is also a platform to enhance financial literacy and inclusion and build on our track record of pushing the boundaries of financial education in Nigeria across all segments of investors.
This edition of the NSE Investor Clinic which was sponsored by ARM Pension Fund Managers Limited and Africa Prudential Registrars Plc.
OPEC+ Likely to Keep Output Cut Levels as Group Meets April 3
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) will likely stick to its existing deal to cut oil output at a meeting on Monday, April 3.
According to Reuters, this was said disclosed by five delegates from the producer group after oil prices recovered following a drop to 15-month lows due to banking fears and demand worries.
Brent crude has recovered towards $80 a barrel after falling to near $70 on March 20 as fears ease about a global banking crisis and as a halt in exports from Iraq’s Kurdistan region curbs supplies.
OPEC+ is due to hold a virtual meeting of its ministerial monitoring panel, which includes Russia and Saudi Arabia, on Monday.
The consensus was that Kurdistan curbs and recent price drops were not sufficiently important to affect the overall OPEC+ policy path for 2023.
Kurdistan’s crude oil exports – around 400,000 barrels per day shipped through an Iraqi-Turkey pipeline to Ceyhan and then on tankers to the international markets – were halted late last week by the federal government of Iraq.
Last week, the International Chamber of Commerce ruled in favour of Iraq against Turkey in a dispute over crude flows from Kurdistan. Iraq had argued that Turkey shouldn’t allow Kurdish oil exports via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline and Ceyhan without approval from the federal government of Iraq.
Talks between officials from Kurdistan and from the Iraq federal government have failed in recent days, but they are set to continue next week.
Three other OPEC+ delegates also told Reuters that any policy changes were unlikely on Monday. After those talks, the next full OPEC+ meeting is not until June.
Last November, OPEC+ reduced its output target by 2 million barrels per day – the largest cut since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The same reduction applies for the whole of 2023.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, has said OPEC+ will stick to the reduced target until the end of the year.
Oando to Quit Nigerian, Johannesburg Stock Exchanges
By Dipo Olowookere
The board of Oando Plc has informed the investing community of its intention to leave the Nigerian and Johannesburg stock exchanges in the coming months.
The reason for exiting the stock market, according to the energy firm, is to become a private company and to achieve this, its core investor, Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited (OODP), has offered to buy all the shares held by minority shareholders in Oando.
OODP is offering to pay N7.07 in cash or its equivalent in South African Rand (ZAR) for each of the stock, which it said represents a 58 per cent premium to the last traded share price of Oando on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, being the day prior to the date it submitted the scheme application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Oando trades its shares on the floors of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
This news comes hours after the company announced that it had bounced back into profitability after years of dishing out losses to the frustration of shareholders.
In its unaudited financial results for 2021, Oando reported a profit after tax of N34.7 billion, in contrast to the loss after tax of N140.7 billion of the preceding year.
Before now, Oando has had it rough with regulators in Nigeria, leading to its suspension from the market and a court tussle over allegations that it tampered with its financial statements to deceive investors.
In the notice released this week, Oando said after the acquisition of “the shares of all minority shareholders in Oando,” it would “subsequently be delisted from NGX and JSE and re-registered as a private company.”
At the moment, the energy firm said it has “applied for the SEC’s No Objection to the scheme, noting that the deal is “subject to the approval of the shareholders of Oando at the Court-Ordered Meeting of the company, as well as the sanction of the Federal High Court.”
However, it disclosed that, “The terms and conditions of the transaction will be provided in the scheme document, which will be dispatched to all shareholders following the receipt of an order from the Federal High Court to convene a Court-Ordered Meeting,” promising to update the market “upon receipt of requisite approvals from shareholders and regulators.”
Ajay Banga to Become World Bank President Unopposed
By Adedapo Adesanya
The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has announced Mr Ajay Banga, a US national, as the only nominee for the position of the bank’s next president and may clinch the post if he passes the next hurdle.
This was contained in a statement issued by the World Bank on Friday.
“The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today confirmed that, as announced on February 22, the period for submitting nominations for the position of the next President of the World Bank Group closed on Wednesday at 6:00 pm ET.”
“The board received one nomination and would like to announce that Ajay Banga, a US national, will be considered for the position.
“In accordance with established procedures, the Board of Executive Directors will conduct a formal interview with the candidate in Washington D.C., and expect to conclude the Presidential election in due course,” the board said.
US President Joe Biden in February nominated Mr Banga to lead the World Bank, saying he is “well equipped” to lead the global institution at “this critical moment in history.”
No other country proposed an alternate candidate for the prestigious post.
Mr Banga, 63, was born in India and is a naturalised US citizen. He has led Mastercard Inc and now currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic.
If confirmed, Mr Banga would become the first-ever Indian-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Mr Banga is expected to replace the current World Bank president, Mr David Malpass, who will step down in June, nearly a year before his term is scheduled to expire.
Mr Malpass faced strong criticism over the bank’s commitment to climate action and over his personal views on climate change.
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