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Fitch Retains Brent Price Forecasts till 2025 



Brent Price

By Adedapo Adesanya

Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research has kept its Brent crude forecasts out to 2025 unchanged, the company’s latest oil price outlook report has revealed.

The company’s June report sees Brent price averaging $66 per barrel this year, $64 per barrel in 2022, $65 per barrel in 2023, $70 per barrel in 2024, and $72 per barrel in 2025. These forecasts are the same as the ones in the company’s May report.

The Bloomberg Consensus, which was also highlighted in the report and which Fitch Solutions is a contributor, sees Brent averaging $65 per barrel in 2021 and 2022, $64.5 per barrel in 2023, $65 per barrel in 2024 and $65.9 per barrel in 2025.

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Last month, Fitch Solutions’ May report, the Bloomberg Consensus saw Brent averaging $64 per barrel in 2021, $64.5 per barrel in 2022, $65.3 per barrel in 2023, $65 per barrel in 2024, and $66 per barrel in 2025.

“Brent finally closed above the key resistance of $70 per barrel on June 1 after testing that level on several occasions during 2021,” analysts at Fitch Solutions stated in the company’s June oil price outlook.

“There is scope for prices to hold above this level in the coming months with a number of bullish triggers forming on the horizon, including strong demand signals from markets that appear to be re-emerging from COVID-19-related headwinds such as the United States, Europe, and China,” the analysts added in the report.

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“However, there are still few downside risks, not least in the form of re-surging Covid-19 infections in parts of Asia. The number of daily new infections in India have more than halved from its peak in early May, although significant risks remain, including the over-burdened domestic healthcare system and threats from the emergence of other non-Covid infectious diseases such as the black fungus,” the analysts continued.

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Analysts warned in the report that a few other markets across South and South East Asia are also seeing relapses in infections, which they highlighted have prompted governments to re-introduce strict containment measures, including partial lockdowns.

Currently, there are over 172 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 3.7 million deaths, according to the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Vaccination numbers show that more than 1.6 billion vaccine doses have been administered around the world, the WHO data shows.

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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SEC Introduces Regulatory Incubation Program for Fintechs




By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A regulatory incubation (RI) program for financial technology (fintech) companies operating or seeking to operate in Nigeria has been introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A circular issued by SEC disclosed that this framework would be officially launched in the third quarter of 2021 and will operate by admitting identified Fintech business models and processes in cohorts for a one-year period.

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Participation in the RI program will encompass an Initial Assessment Phase and the Regulatory Incubation Phase.

The categories to be admitted into each cohort will be determined based on submissions received through the Fintech Assessment Form and communicated ahead of each take-off date.

SEC explained that the scheme was designed to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorisation to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities.

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The RI Program has thus been conceived as an interim measure to aid the evolution of effective regulation which accommodates the innovation by fintechs without compromising market integrity and within limits that ensure investor protection.

It was disclosed that review of completed Fintech Assessment Forms will continue on an ongoing basis and those who consider that there is no specific regulation governing their business models or who require clarity on the appropriate regulatory regime for seeking the authorisation of the commission, are encouraged to complete the Fintech Assessment Form.

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NGX Suspends Trading on GTBank Shares Ahead of Delisting



GTBank Branch

By Dipo Olowookere

In preparation for the eventual delisting of shares of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc from its trading platform, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Friday, June 18, 2021, placed the banking stock on a full suspension.

GTBank, a tier-one lender trading its equities on the exchange, intends to transform into a financial holding company (Holdco) so as to offer a wide range of services it is restricted to do.

Some years ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed banks in the country to offload their subsidiaries not performing core lending services.

This was after many deposit money banks (DMBs) were delving into different business ventures, including insurance, stockbroking, asset management, amongst others.

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For the CBN, which regulates the banking industry in Nigeria, most of these banks were losing focus and were not supporting businesses that need funds to grow and then stimulate the economy in the process.

To address this issue, the apex bank asked banks to sell off their non-banking assets and this forced many of them to offload their companies not offering core banking services.

However, there was an opening for banks to still delve into other sectors within the financial and capital markets and this was by operating as a Holdco.

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A few of them towed this path, including FBN Holdings, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and FCMB Group.

Not wanting to be left out, GTBank is joining the party and to achieve this, it is delisting its banking arm, which is the popular GTBank from the stock exchange.

GTBank will now operate as a private company, while the new Holdco, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, will now be a public company. The shares of this new firm will be listed on the NGX after the delisting of GTBank.

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Last Friday, the stock exchange informed the investing community of the latest development, announcing the suspension of trading on GTBank shares.

In the circular sighted by Business Post, the NGX explained that the rationale behind placing GTBank stocks on full suspension is to “prevent trading in the shares of the bank” in preparation of its “eventual delisting”

Before trading on its stocks was suspended on Friday, GTBank closed at N28.55 on Thursday after appreciating by 50 kobo or 1.78 per cent.

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DLM Capital Remains Best Structured Finance & Securitization Team in West Africa



DLM Capital

A prominent developmental investment bank, DLM Capital Group, has emerged winner at the Capital Finance International (CFI) 2021 awards as the best-structured finance and securitization team in West Africa.

This award has been won consecutively in three years and affirms the group’s strong performance as a leading investment institution and asset manager.

CFI awards seek to identify the contributions of individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to the advancement of economies and truly add value for all stakeholders.

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DLM Capital Group creates bespoke business solutions for alternative financing and harnessing funds for growth.

The group focuses on four key sectors — consumer credit, agriculture, microfinance, and education with a mandate to reduce poverty and improve living conditions for Africans while mobilizing resources for the continent’s economic and social development.

“In the past three years, our portfolio management team’s performance has remained consistent, and our clients have benefited immensely from exposure to our solutions, including the NMRC securitization deal and the DLM Primero BRT Securitization,” said Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, DLM Capital Group, Ms Chinwendu Ohakpougwu.

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“We are positioned to provide services to an expansive client base of retail, high net-worth and institutional customers.

“DLM Capital Group remains committed to constantly providing financial solutions that will enable our clients to make a difference, and we are honoured to be recognized once again as a reflection of the quality of support offered to our clients,” she added.

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DLM has won recognition in West African capital markets, acting as a sole arranger to over 80 per cent of structured finance transactions in Nigeria — and all the securitization transactions. It provides deal structuring, advisory execution and capital raising services across the Nigerian capital market.

The institution recently launched an asset financing scheme and is preparing a venture into digital banking under its subsidiary, Sofri.

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