By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto, said the volume of trade between Nigeria and his country reduced to 1.75 billion dollars in 2015 from four billion dollars in 2014.
Mr Purwanto made this known in an interview in Abuja on Sunday.
He said that the signing of economic and technical agreement in 2001 had been of benefit to both countries, but added that interactions between the countries were slowing down.
“From 2001 till now is some period of time and I think up till 2014, there are many things we have done in following up our technical and economic agreement.
“However, after 2014, because of difficulties in the global economy, both countries have focused on their domestic affairs and it looks like the interaction between our countries is slightly slowing down.
“And what we have seen are more explorations rather than manifestations of real and concrete cooperation between two countries.
“It is rather discouraging because in 2014, our trade with Nigeria was almost four billion U.S. dollars.
“In 2015, it went down to about 1.75 billion U.S. dollars because of, perhaps, the oil prices and the global difficulties in economic and financial times.
“From January to June last year, trade on both sides was about one billion U.S. dollars, but this year from January to June, it is going down to less than 800 million U.S. dollars.
“The other thing is perhaps the transition in Nigeria, the change of government, and in Indonesia we did have our new government in late 2014 and we also transitioned; we already have two cabinet reshuffles.
“The new administrations need to learn and see what is on the files before they leap forward,” he said.
The envoy said that the Nigeria-Indonesia Commercial Association facilitated investment opportunities among businessmen of both countries.
He also explained that both countries shared similarities that formed the background of mutual relations between them, and added that efforts were being made to sustain existing relations.
He, however, called for more collaboration that would promote stronger business ties for both parties.
“Before 2013, there was a Nigeria-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce in Lagos which was very active but the Nigeria-Indonesia Commercial Association was formed when our president visited Nigeria in 2013.
“This year, we have brought Indonesian trade missions to Nigeria twice to get new partnerships and also to see possibilities of increasing our trade balance between our two countries.
“We share many commonalities – the youth potential between our two countries economically and we both share ideas on political outlook.
“We put our focus on the high potential of the two countries and we want to transfer these modalities into mutual progress and prosperity for both countries and also find solutions for international challenges.
“That is why, on our part, we try to encourage more interaction between the business communities of the two countries.
“We want to see a stronger organisation or forum of Nigerians who can be vehicles and motivators to encourage more of the Nigerian business community to see opportunities in Indonesia and explore more businesses bilaterally,” he said.
Mr Purwanto said that the provision of the Memorandum of Understanding for a Joint Commission of Cooperation established in 2013 between both countries was “already adequate”.
He said that the first meeting of the joint commission was held in 2013, adding that the next meeting was expected to have held in Nigeria in 2015.
“Patiently we will wait until there is a hint from Nigeria to host the second joint commission because in the commission, we are not only represented by the government side but the private sector,’’ he said.
The envoy expressed Indonesia’s interest to enhance cooperation in the areas of science and technology, agriculture, and industry.
Investors Gain N1.09bn as NASD Share Price Rises 9.1%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The unlisted securities market closed the last trading session of the week on a positive note after it appreciated by 0.18 per cent on the back of growth in the share price of NASD Plc.
Business Post reports that the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the bulls’ territory on Friday after it closed flat on Thursday.
NASD Plc was the major driver of the return of the bourse to the green region as its value went up during the session by N2.45 or 9.1 per cent to close at N26.99 per unit in contrast to N24.54 per unit it closed at the previous session.
As a result of this, the NASD unlisted security index (NSI) moved up by 1.32 points to 745.44 points from 744.12 points, while the market capitalisation gained N1.09 billion to wrap the day at N615.86 billion in contrast to the previous day’s N614.77 billion.
On the activity chart, there was an improvement as the trading volume surged by 34,985.6 per cent because of the 2.3 million units of shares exchanged by market participants compared with the 6,688 units transacted at the previous session.
In the same vein, the trading value rose by 17,680.6 per cent to N63.4 million from the previous day’s N356,563.60, while the number of deals witnessed a 100 per cent rise as investors carried out 12 deals compared to the six deals executed at the previous session.
At the close of trades, Food Concepts Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 11.4 billion units of its shares worth N14.4 billion, Lighthouse Financial Service Plc followed with 1.1 billion units valued at N546.2 million, while Geo Fluids Plc was in third place with 1.0 billion units worth N700.1 million.
Food Concepts Plc was also the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, trailed by Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc with 456.4 million units valued at N9.2 billion, VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.
Naira Trades N414.73/$1 as Cryptos Bleed Heavily
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange (forex) market by 0.02 per cent or 7 kobo on Friday, December 4.
Data showed that the local currency was sold for N414.73/$1 at the investors’ window yesterday compared with the N414.80/$1 it traded on Thursday.
At the final trading session of the week, the turnover was $103.01 million as against $139.67 million achieved at the preceding session, indicating a $36.66 million or 26.62 per cent decline.
Also, the exchange rate of the Naira to the United States currency recorded a movement on Friday, though downward as the Nigerian currency depreciated by 4 kobo as it closed at N411.74/$1 versus the preceding day’s N411.70/$1.
The local currency, however, appreciated by N2.17 against the British Pound Sterling to settle at N546.26/£1 compared to N548.43/£1 it traded at the previous trading session and 57 kobo against the Euro to trade at N465.68/€1 compared to the preceding day’s N466.25/€1.
At the cryptocurrency market, investors counted a heavy loss as the new variant of the coronavirus called Omicron and hawkish comments by the US Federal Reserve that it could raise interest rates have raised serious concerns, causing cryptos to bleed heavily.
The heaviest loss was suffered by Dash (DASH), which plunged by 35.3 per cent to sell for N66,595.85. Ripple (XRP) depreciated 30.6 per cent to trade at N381.85, while Litecoin (LTC) sold for N66,595.85 after declining by 24.1 per cent.
Dogecoin (DOGE) went down by 22.7 per cent to sell at N90.29, Cardano (ADA) depreciated by 20.8 per cent to N652.82, Bitcoin (BTC) depleted by 16.9 per cent to quote at N26,800,504.20, Ethereum (ETH) equally saw a 16.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N2,100,100.39, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 12.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N218,577.24, Tron (TRX) went down by 12.7 per cent to trade at N48.00, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) recorded a 0.1 per cent marginal loss to sell for N554.76.
Crude Mixed as Market Remains Unsettled by Omicron Jitters
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude prices closed mixed on Friday, December 3 after erasing earlier big gains on growing worries that rising coronavirus cases and a new variant could reduce global oil demand.
Brent crude gained 21 cents or 0.3 per cent to trade at $69.88 per barrel while on the other hand, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 24 cents or 0.36 per cent to sell at $66.26 per barrel.
Both benchmarks declined for a sixth week in a row for the first time since November 2018.
Oil prices had witnessed one of the most troubled weeks as the market reeled from the fear brought about by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus with speculations that it could spark new lockdowns and dent fuel demand.
The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to vaccinate their people to fight the virus, saying travel curbs were not the answer.
Even with this, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) surprised the market on Thursday when it stuck to its plans to add 400,000 barrels per day supply in January.
However, it said it will continue to monitor the market and this could make it change course if demand suffered from measures to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The alliance said they could meet again before their next scheduled meeting on January 4.
Analysts noted that with the coronavirus cases rising, the US jobs report for November also didn’t help demand outlook even as the unemployment rate plunged to a 21-month low of 4.2 per cent, suggesting the country’s labour market was rapidly tightening.
US employment growth slowed considerably in November amid job losses at retailers and in local government education.
Meanwhile, in Vienna, diplomats attempting to restore the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers face substantial challenges that need urgent solutions, the top European envoy said Friday. Talks are set to resume next week.
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