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Flee from Investments with Unrealistic Returns—SEC Warns Nigerians

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investment hub

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

For the umpteenth time, Nigerians have been warned to flee from investments that promise to offer them unrealistic returns as this will end in premium tears.

This warning was given by the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, when he addressed newsmen at the end of the quarterly Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting held last week.

According to him, Ponzi schemes are known to disappoint investors and Nigerians should be very careful with them and must treat them with caution.

He described a Ponzi scheme as a fraudulent investment operation where the operator, an individual or organisation, pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operators by new investors, rather than from profit earned through legitimate sources.

Mr Yuguda called on Nigerians to always check the website of the commission for a list of approved capital market operators before making such investment decisions, warning the investing public against making hasty investment decisions when the returns on such investment are too attractive.

The SEC DG assured that the commission will continue to work with relevant agencies of government and other critical stakeholders in the capital market to tackle the issue of Ponzi schemes.

He urged every capital market operator to conduct their businesses within the market functions approved for it by SEC, noting that the agency will not hesitate to deal decisively with any operator who carries out any activity outside its approved function.

“The commission continues its campaign against illegal operators in the capital market, especially Ponzi schemes and has adopted multi-level engagements with media platforms and regulators of publicity agencies in order to curb the reach and activities of these illegal operators.

“While we continue our activities to resolve the complaints that have been forwarded to the commission through the official channels, it is important to reiterate to the investing public to be wary of unscrupulous schemes that promise unrealistic returns on investment.

“We will like to use this opportunity to reiterate our commitment towards zero tolerance for market infractions. We urge every capital market operator to operate within the market functions approved for it by the commission.

“The commission will not hesitate to deal decisively with any operator who carries out any activities outside the function(s) approved for it by the commission,” he said, adding that, “No capital market can grow without discipline and adherence to laid down rules and regulations.”

On the performance of the capital market, he said the committee observed that market performance has been mixed, driven largely by domestic and global economic factors, the impact and responses to the pandemic and the regulatory environment.

In line with its mandate, he said the agency has been working on some initiatives that would put the market on the path to recovery.

He explained that the commission has registered two fintech capital market operators, which include a digital fund portfolio manager and a digital sub-broker, noting that more would be registered in due course.

Mr Yuguda stated that the agency has also approved some derivative contracts, developed the regulatory framework for derivatives trading as well as rules on Interoperability of Central Securities Depositories in Nigeria.

As part of measures to deepen the commodities ecosystem, he stated that SEC held engagements with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) towards de-risking and insuring certain commodity assets, which we believe will attract more investments within the space, particularly from the pensions industry.

A technical committee was also constituted comprising representatives of the Commission, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), AFEX, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) & Nigerian Commodities Exchange (NCX) to deliver agro-based standards within 3 months.

To develop an effective price discovery mechanism for the commodities ecosystem, he said a technical committee has been constituted for this purpose with the mandate of developing modalities for this exercise.

On the due date for renewal of registration, he said the registration portal has been reopened until August 31, 2021.

This, according to him, is to enable operators that are yet to update their information with the commission to do so before the end of the new deadline.

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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Economy

Airtel Africa, 17 Others Lift Stock Exchange by 0.46%

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Local Stock Exchange

By Dipo Olowookere

Nigeria’s stock exchange closed positive on Friday by 0.46 per cent following a renewed bargain hunting in Airtel Africa, Guinness Nigeria, Sterling Bank, Ardova and 14 others.

This pushed the All-Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 199.52 points to 43,308.29 points from the previous day’s 43,108.77 points and jerked the market capitalisation higher by N104billion to N22.598 trillion from N22.494 trillion.

Royal Exchange and ABC Transport grew by 10.00 per cent each at the trading session to finish at 55 kobo and 33 kobo respectively.

AIICO Insurance gained 9.38 per cent to close at 70 kobo, University Press appreciated by 8.89 per cent to N2.94, while Regency Assurance jumped 7.69 per cent to 42 kobo.

On the other hand, UPDC REIT topped the losers’ table of 24 members with a price depreciation of 9.82 per cent to settle for the day at N5.05.

Champion Breweries retreated by 5.90 per cent to N2.55, UPDC moderated by 5.07 per cent to N1.31, FTN Cocoa eased by 4.76 per cent to 40 kobo, while Veritas Kapital contracted by 4.55 per cent to 21 kobo.

Unlike the preceding day, the level of activity was mixed yesterday with the trading value declining by 15.15 per cent to N3.6 billion from N4.2 billion, while the trading volume rose by 14.73 per cent to 305.3 million units from 266.1 million, with the number of deals rising by 13.96 per cent 4,450 deals from 3,905 deals.

FCMB finished the day as the most active stock with 81.1 million units worth N247.9 million, trailed by GTCO with 29.5 million units valued at N738.3 million.

Further, Access Bank transacted 28.1 million units valued at N253.9 million, Honeywell Flour sold 16.8 million units worth N70.2 million, while Zenith Bank exchanged 13.2 million units for N320.2 million.

At the market on Friday, the insurance sector gained 1.98 per cent, while the quartet of the consumer goods, banking, energy and industrial goods counter lost 0.89 per cent, 0.33 per cent, 0.03 per cent and 0.01 per cent respectively.

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Economy

Naira Closes Week Flat as Cryptocurrencies Suffer Heavy Loss

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Cryptocurrencies

By Adedapo Adesanya

The local currency closed flat against the US Dollar at both the Investors and Exporters (I&E) and the interbank segments of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Friday, November 26.

At the I&E segment of the market, the domestic currency retained the preceding session’s rate of N415.07/$1 amid an upshoot in the turnover for the trading session, according to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange.

At the market window, the turnover achieved at the final session for the week was $215.47 million, 119.7 per cent or $117.4 million higher than the $98.07 million recorded the day before.

At the interbank window, the Naira halted its depreciation against the American currency as it remained unchanged at N411.64/$1 at the close of transactions yesterday.

In the same trend, the local currency was flat against the Pound Sterling to sell for N548.55/£1, while the Nigerian currency stuck to N462.07/€1 as it was sold at the preceding session.

Bears Rampage Cryptocurrencies

Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies witnessed a bearish outcome on Friday as all the 10 cryptos monitored by Business Post weakened and analysts attributed the dip to the rout that gripped global investments following the discovery of a new coronavirus variant.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the new variant known as B.1.1.529 may contain more than 30 mutations. The United Kingdom and other nations have temporarily suspended flights from six African countries in response.

At the market, Bitcoin (BTC) recorded a 6.7 per cent depreciation to sell at N30,862,885.94, Ethereum (ETH) fell by 1.7 per cent to trade at N2,388,999.00, while Ripple (XRP) witnessed a 6.3 per cent fall to N543.44.

Furthermore, (DASH) dropped 5.9 per cent to trade at N109,054.38, Litecoin (LTC) slumped by 7.2 per cent to N111,931.77, Tron (TRX) made a 7.6 per cent loss to close at N52.66, Cardano (ADA) retreated by 5.0 per cent to N918.72, Binance Coin (BNB) witnessed a 4.2 per cent loss to sell at N242,540.63, Dogecoin (DOGE) also followed with a 4.2 per cent slide as it traded at N123.87, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) moved down by 0.7 per cent to sell for N569.90.

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Economy

Unlisted Stocks Trade Flat Friday Amid Low Investor Appetite

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unlisted stocks

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed in the flat territory on Friday as the interest of investors in unlisted stocks waned during the session.

According to data from the exchange, the level of activity declined as there was a 99.9 per cent fall in the volume of securities transacted by market participants as only 288 units exchanged hands compared with the 371,600 units traded at the previous day.

In the same vein, there was a decrease in the total value of shares transacted by traders on Friday and this depleted by 99.0 per cent as securities valued at N65,088 transacted in contrast to the N6.5 million exchanged on Thursday.

Business Post reports that the number of deals executed during the last trading session of the week waned by 50.00 per cent as only two deals were recorded as against the four deals carried out at the preceding trading day.

At the close of transactions, the major performance indicators of the exchange remained unchanged, with the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) flat at 744.90 points as the market capitalisation remained intact at N615.42 billion.

The unlisted securities market was without a price gainer or a price loser as the equity price of all the stocks on the exchange remained unchanged.

Also, the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis remained Food Concepts Plc as it has transacted a total of 11.4 billion units of its shares worth N14.4 billion. Lighthouse Financial Services Plc has traded 1.1 billion units worth N546.32 million to occupy the second spot, while Geo Fluids Plc, which claimed the third place, has traded 1.0 billion units worth N700.1 million.

By value, on a year-to-date basis, Food Concepts Plc was also on top of the chart with the sale of 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, followed by Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc with 456.5 million units valued at N9.2 billion, and VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.

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