By Adedapo Adesanya
Crypto exchange, KuCoin, has raised a $150 million pre-Series B round at a valuation of $10 billion, with plans to use the new round to boost its service expansion to new and emerging technologies.
The round, which was led by Jump Crypto, also saw the participation of multiple investment funds, including Circle Ventures, IDG Capital, and Matrix Partners.
KuCoin noted that it would use the funds to expand its product offering, going beyond the current centralized trading services and increasing its presence in the broader Web 3 market.
This will see it make more investments such as building out cryptocurrency wallets, decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible token (NFT) platforms through its investment arms like KuCoin Labs and KuCoin Ventures.
Speaking on this, Mr said Tak Fujishima, Head of Asia at Jump Crypto, in a statement, said, “We are pleased to support the company as it continues to grow and expand its offerings in futures and margin trading, lending, staking, and passive yield generation to support the growth of Web 3.0 and the crypto markets.”
On his part, the CEO of the exchange, Mr Johnny Lyu added, “As the Web 3 industry is growing quickly, we are seeing a massive need for new solutions and talents.
“KuCoin is glad to contribute financial, technological and human resources to accelerate the research and adoption of Web 3.0 technologies.”
Some of the funds would also go towards the development of infrastructure and applications on KCC, the public chain built by KuCoin’s community members.
KuCoin is the fifth largest crypto exchange on the market by trading volume. In November of 2018, KuCoin secured $20 million in Round A funding.
Launched in September 2017, KuCoin is a global cryptocurrency exchange for over 700 digital assets. It currently provides Spot trading, Margin trading, P2P fiat trading, Futures trading, Staking, and Lending to its 18 million users in 207 countries and regions around the world.
In 2022, the Ascent named KuCoin the Best Crypto Exchange and app for enthusiasts.
JUST IN: CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 13%
By Dipo Olowookere
For the first time in two years, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) has been raised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to 13.0 per cent from 11.5 per cent.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the CBN, who announced this development on Tuesday in Abuja, explained that the decision to increase the benchmark interest rate was taken at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held yesterday and today.
While addressing financial reporters this afternoon, Mr Emefiele said members of the committee were unanimous with the decision to hike the rates as it was the best thing to do after holding them for about two years.
According to the central bank chief, one of the reasons for raising the rate is to control liquidity ahead of the 2023 general elections as politicians would be expected to flood the system with cash in a bid to woo voters.
However, the other parameters were left unchanged by members at the gathering as the Asymmetric corridor remained around the MPR at +100/-700bps, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent and the Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 30.0 per cent.
Nigeria’s GDP Grows by 3.11% in Q1, What Next?
By Lukman Otunuga
There are two ways one could interpret Nigeria’s latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figure of 3.11% in Q1 of 2022.
The optimists will say the country’s economy grew for the sixth consecutive quarter in Q1 while pessimists may highlight how economic growth slowed for the third consecutive quarter.
Either way, Nigeria’s economy continues to display resilience against external and domestic risks. With the improvement in the non-oil sector driving growth, this may brighten the growth outlook. But could these be signs of Nigeria breaking away from the chains of oil reliance to derive growth from sustainable sources? It may be too early to come to any meaningful conclusion. However, the report is encouraging and illustrates progress made by the country in reclaiming stability post-Covid-19.
With economic conditions somewhat improving, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is unlikely to raise interest rates this week. Given how Africa’s largest economy has been able to maintain growth in the past six quarters on the back of loose monetary policies by the CBN, a rate hike could disrupt Nigeria’s economic recovery.
As the global war against inflation rages on, central banks are stepping up.
However, the CBN is likely to remain on the sidelines for now. Nevertheless, inflation is still a cause for concern with consumer prices accelerating for the third straight month to 16.82% in April 2022.
With the general elections around the corner, pre-election spending could translate to rising price pressures. On top of this, the widening policy divergence between the Federal Reserve and the CBN could punish the Naira.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the dollar remains heavily supported by aggressive Fed rate hike bets and is likely to remain strong for the rest of 2022. A powerful dollar is bad news for emerging market currencies including the Naira which continues to depreciate in both the official and unofficial markets.
Lukman Otunuga is the Senior Research Analyst at FXTM
NGX All Share Index Weakens Further by 0.13%
By Dipo Olowookere
The bearish sentiment on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited continued on Monday as the bourse further depreciated by 0.13 per cent.
Sustained profit-taking especially in the industrial goods sector contributed to the decline suffered during the session as the All Share Index (ASI) slumped by 68.45 points to close at 52,911.51 points compared with the previous session’s 52,979.96 points.
As for the market capitalisation, it depreciated by N37 billion amid sell-offs in 24 stocks to settle at N28.525 trillion as against last Friday’s closing value of N28.562 trillion.
On the first trading day of this week, the insurance sector depleted by 2.32 per cent, the industrial goods sector fell by 0.09 per cent, while the energy, banking and consumer goods counters increased by 0.28 per cent, 0.10 per cent and 0.05 per cent respectively.
Presco led the losers’ chart yesterday with a price decline of 10.00 per cent to trade at N180.00, Global Spectrum Energy Services lost 9.97 per cent to finish at N3.07, Neimeth fell by 9.66 per cent to N1.59, UAC Nigeria depreciated by 8.33 per cent to N13.20, while NEM Insurance retreated by 7.74 per cent to N4.05.
The gainers’ log had 22 members on Monday, with Conoil leading after its value improved by 9.95 per cent to N34.25. MRS Oil gained 9.93 per cent to quote at N14.95, McNichols appreciated by 9.86 per cent to N2.34, Academy Press increased its price by 9.76 per cent to N1.35, while NPF Microfinance Bank expanded by 8.02 per cent to N2.02.
On the activity chart, a total of 263.3 million stocks worth N3.6 billion exchanged hands in 4,856 deals during the session compared with 436.6 million stocks worth N3.2 billion bought and sold in 4,716 deals in the preceding session. This implied that the volume of trades depreciated by 39.68 per cent, while the value of trades and the number of deals increased by 10.15 per cent and 2.97 per cent respectively.
Jaiz Bank closed the day as the most active stock with the sale of 114.0 million units valued at N101.8 million, GTCO transacted 12.9 million shares for N302.8 million, Transcorp exchanged 12.8 million stocks worth N16.7 million, Access Holdings traded 11.7 million equities valued at N115.7 million, while Zenith Bank sold 8.6 million shares for N207.0 million.
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