By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Amid Nigeria’s current economic headwinds, a message of relief is coming from Stanbic IBTC Bank and experts on how individuals and businesses can weather the storm and remain on the path of profitability and growth.
This glimpse came at a knowledge sharing economic update session organized by Stanbic IBTC Bank with the theme “committed to solutions that drive your progress” to review the latest trends in the economy and to assist individuals and organizations attain their business objectives. Over 70 participants attended the event, which took place in Lagos on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
In his welcome address, Executive Director, Personal and Business Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Babatunde Macaulay said apart from providing clients the opportunity to learn new things, the forum was also meant to help them develop appropriate resilience to the economic situation in order to guard against vulnerabilities.
By providing such a platform to glean important information and backing it up with financial solutions, the bank hopes to create long-term win-win relationships with individuals and businesses and the economy at large.
“We are always seeking to understand the needs of the entire spectrum of our clientele and by so doing, strive to connect with every market segment so that we can provide the much needed solutions to their financial needs,” he stated.
Macaulay reiterated that as an African institution, the Standard Bank Group, to which Stanbic IBTC belongs, will continue to demonstrate commitment to the development of Nigeria by supporting critical sectors of the economy and helping to highlight investment opportunities in the country.
Among issues dissected at the forum, headlined by Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane and Co-Founder and Director of Programmes, Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, Femi Longe, were the economic outlook, indicators and forecasts, trends and opportunities around innovation and digital technology for Nigerian businesses.
Diagnosing the current economic trends, Bismarck Rewane noted that the drop in Nigeria’s inflation rate to 17.78 percent in February, the lowest level in 15 months, is uplifting.
However, what should be celebrated is the direction of the inflation, not necessarily the figure, which is still double digit.
The easing of pressures on the local currency, he stated, suggests that the Central Bank of Nigeria is beginning to do the right things, which should be sustained.
Pulling the country out of recession, he emphasized, requires significant spending on capital projects which will trigger a multiplier effect leading to a gradual lessening of recession from the second quarter of 2017.
However, some risks to be considered in the economic dynamic include a stumbling of the oil price rebound, further escalation of militancy in the Niger Delta and proper management of the borrowing programme. He said the meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) slated for Lagos on 20th – 21st March will provide further insight on the economic direction.
Femi Longe, who spoke on ‘Technology and the Nigerian Economy,’ said the benefits of technology and innovations are innumerable for the individual, business and economy. The ability to identify new opportunities and develop appropriate business strategies based on the ingenious application of cutting edge technology will make a huge difference, he said. Rather than wait for foreign investment to drive Nigeria’s development, he said the country should explore home-grown solutions to its economic needs. In pursuing this objective, Longe said partnerships between start-ups and businesses are imperative. The expansion of social and economic enablers such as power, roads, communication, ICT, transport, education and health will trigger exponential economic growth and aid the ease of doing business in the country, he added.
Stanbic IBTC Bank is a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, a full service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets and earnings. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 countries on the African continent. Standard Bank has been in operation for over 153 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services organisations in chosen countries in Africa and connecting other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other, applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, globally.
Access Holdings Merges Sigma, FGPL for Formidable PFA Business
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
To create a formidable pension funds administration (PFA) business in Nigeria, Access Holdings Plc has merged its subsidiary, First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL), with Sigma Pensions Limited.
The marriage between the two PFAs was made possible after Access Holdings acquired an indirect equity stake in Sigma.
Recall that in October, the company announced that it was buying a stake in Sigma to revolutionise the PFA sector.
On Thursday, a court approved the merger between the firm and FGPL, giving room for the organisations to become one and offer innovative products to customers.
A notice signed by the group company secretary of Access Holdings, Mr Sunday Ekwochi, confirmed the development.
“Sequel to our announcement on October 25, 2022, Access Holdings Plc, trading as Access Corporation, today announces the completion of its acquisition of an indirect equity stake in Sigma and the merger of its subsidiary, FGPL, with Sigma.
“Following the sanction of the scheme of merger between Sigma and FGPL by the Federal High Court on December 1, 2022, FGPL has been dissolved without winding up, leaving Sigma as the surviving entity,” a part of the statement dated Friday, December 2, 2022.
“Following the successful completion of the merger, our plan is to leverage the synergies of these entities, as well as the corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to create a formidable pension funds administration business,” the group chief executive of Access Holdings, Mr Herbert Wigwe, stated.
FrieslandCampina Buoys Unlisted Securities Market by 1.11%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the positive zone on Friday, December 2, as it appreciated by 1.11 per cent at the close of business.
This was driven by a gain in the stock price of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc. The company appreciated by N5.29 price to close at N66.63 per share versus the previous day’s price of N61.34 per share.
This outweighed the 1 Kobo loss recorded by UBN Property Plc during the session as the price of the property investment company went down to 91 Kobo per unit from the preceding session’s 92 Kobo.
When the market closed for the day, the total value of the unlisted securities market increased by N10.27 billion to N933.71 billion from N923.44 billion.
In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) stretched by 7.82 basis points to 710.58 basis points from the 702.76 basis points in the previous session.
During the session, there was a surge in the volume of securities by 140,993.7 per cent as investors exchanged 2.2 million units, in contrast to the previous day’s 14,508 units.
Likewise, the value of shares traded at the session ballooned by 1,526.6 per cent to N10.7 million from the N657,534.75 recorded a day earlier, while the number of deals improved by 400 per cent to 20 deals from four deals.
When the market closed for the day, AG Mortgage Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc occupied second place with 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, while Lighthouse Financials Services Plc was in third place with 224.7 million units valued at N112.3 million.
Also, CSCS Plc ended the day as the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) by trading 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 29.1 billion units valued at N7.7 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc was in third place after selling 16.8 million units worth N1.9 billion.
Naira Sells N730/$1 in Black Market, N748/$1 at P2P, N445.33/$1 at I&E
By Adedapo Adesanya
Normalcy seems to have returned to the currency market in Nigeria as the Naira further appreciated against the United States Dollar at the various segments of the ecosystem.
In the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market, the Nigerian currency gained 50 Kobo or 0.11 per cent to quote at N445.33/$1, in contrast to Thursday’s rate of N445.83/$1.
It was observed that domestic currency withstood significant FX demand pressure during the trading session as forex traders completed transactions worth $159.02 million compared with the $99.50 million executed a day earlier, indicating a 59.1 per cent or $59.52 million increase in FX turnover.
Also, in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window, the local currency appreciated against the greenback by N14 or 1.8 per cent to trade at N748/$1 compared with the preceding day’s N762/$1.
In the same vein, the value of the Nigerian currency to its American counterpart improved by N10 yesterday to sell for N735/$1 against N745/$1 of the preceding trading session.
However, in the interbank segment, the Naira lost N3.19 against the Euro on Friday as it closed at N464.98/€1 versus Thursday’s exchange rate of N461.79/€1, and against the Pound Sterling, it depreciated by N7.66 to quote at N542.33/£1 compared with the previous day’s N534.67/£1.
Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market rebounded yesterday as investors showed renewed interest in digital assets, causing the value of Dogecoin (DOGE) to rise by 2.6 per cent to $0.1016.
Further, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 1.8 per cent increase to sell at $0.3189, Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go up by 1.3 per cent to close at $1,289.56, and Solana (SOL) appreciated by 1.4 per cent to trade at $13.65.
In addition, Binance Coin (BNB) grew by 1.1 per cent to settle at $291.72, Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 1.0 per cent to trade at $77.23, Ripple (XRP) made a 0.9 per cent rise to finish at $0.3924, and Bitcoin (BTC) rose by 0.5 per cent to $17,030.33.
However, the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) closed flat at $1.00 on Friday.
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