By Dipo Olowookere
The share capital reconstruction embarked upon by LASACO Assurance Plc has been completed and the suspension placed on the company lifted.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) had on February 1, 2021, suspended trading in the shares of the organisation on its platform.
This was to allow the process of the share reconstruction to run smoothly.
Share capital reconstruction is the process of reducing the listed shares of a company for better value. The process involves merging shares together at a given ratio.
In the case of LASACO Assurance, it merged four equities into one and this reduced its total issued and fully paid-up shares to 1,833,585,855 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each from 7,334,343,421 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.
To break it down further, a shareholder of LASACO Assurance with 100 units of the company’s equities will be left with only 25 units after the exercise.
So, after the share reconstruction of LASACO Assurance was concluded, the equity price moved from 42 kobo per unit to N1.68 per unit on Monday morning.
This development was confirmed by the NSE in a circular issued to dealing members today.
“We refer to our market bulletin of February 1, 2021, with reference number: NSE/RD/LRD/MB07/21/02/01, wherein the market was notified that trading in the shares of LASACO Assurance Plc was placed on full suspension effective Monday, February 1, 2021, as a result of the company’s proposed share capital reconstruction.
“Also refer to the subsequent extension of the suspension communicated to the market through our market bulletin of February 16, 2021, with reference number: NSE/RD/LRD/MB10/21/02/16.
“Dealing members are hereby notified that the full suspension placed on trading in the company’s shares was lifted on Monday, February 22, 2021, following the completion of the share capital reconstruction.
“Consequent to the completion of the reconstruction exercise, LASACO’s entire issued share capital of 7,334,343,421 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at 42 kobo per share prior to the share capital reconstruction was delisted from the NSE’s daily official list, while the 1,833,585,855 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N1.68 per share arising from the share capital reconstruction were listed on the exchange’s daily official list on the same day.
“With the completion of the company’s share capital reconstruction, the total issued and fully paid-up shares of LASACO Assurance Plc has now reduced from 7,334,343,421 to 1,833,585,855 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each,” the notice.
Meanwhile, Business Post reports that when trading activities were halted for today, the equity price of LASACO Assurance reduced by 9.52 per cent to N1.52 per unit.
Friesland Milks NASD OTC Exchange by 0.10%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The bearish situation on the trading floor of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange entered the third day on Wednesday.
The unlisted securities market depreciated yesterday by 0.10 per cent, no thanks to FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, a popular milk manufacturer in Nigeria.
During the session, the market capitalisation of the bourse reduced by N490 million as a result of the poor performance of Friesland to N498.99 billion from N499.48 billion on Tuesday.
Equally, the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) lost 0.68 points to wrap the day at 695.45 points as against 696.13 points recorded at the previous trading session.
Business Post reports that the share price of FrieslandCampina went down on Wednesday by 0.4 per cent or 50 kobo to N119 per unit versus N119.50 per unit of the earlier session.
However, there was no single price riser when trading activities were wrapped up yesterday.
The market witnessed another decline in the volume of securities exchanged among investors at the midweek session as 20,614 units were transacted compared to the previous day’s 77,320 units, indicating a 73.3 per cent decrease in the trading volume.
The value of transactions also went down again yesterday by 39.7 per cent as all traded securities amounted to N3.8 million compared to the previous day’s N2.3 million.
However, the number of deals traded on Wednesday amounted to six deals, the same number of deals recorded on Tuesday at the exchange.
Five of these deals were executed on FrieslandCampina, while Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc carried out a single deal.
Yesterday, UBN Property Plc remained as the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with the sale of 15.5 million units valued at N16.8 billion. CSCS Plc followed in second place with 4.7 million units worth N74.5 million, while FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc held the third position with 2.7 million units worth N331.7 million.
However, FrieslandCampina was the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) with the sale of 2.7 million units valued at N331.7 million. Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc has traded 612,249 units of its securities valued at N198.1 million, while CSCS Plc has traded 4.7 million units worth N74.5 million.
Local Currency Gains 0.15% at I&E, Flat at Parallel Market
By Ahmed Rahma, Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira recorded some gains on the US Dollar on Wednesday, March 3 at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange market.
Business Post reports that the Naira appreciated by 0.15 per cent or 63 kobo at the trading session to close at N411/$1 in contrast to N411.63/$1 it traded at the preceding trading day.
This growth was boosted by the decline in the demand for FX at the market as the day’s turnover went down by 44 per cent or $26.02 million to $33.15 million from $59.17 million of the preceding session.
However, at the parallel market, the domestic currency closed flat against the United States Dollar at N480/$1 at the midweek trading session.
Also at the same window, the local currency closed flat against the Pound Sterling and the Euro yesterday at N672/£1 and N580/€1 respectively.
At the interbank segment of the market, the value of the Naira still remained unchanged against the US Dollar at N379/$1 and at the Bureaux De Change (BDC) window, the local currency closed flat at N395/$.
Meanwhile, at the cryptocurrency market, five of the seven main digital currencies tracked on Wednesday by Business Post on trading and tracking platform, Quidax, closed in the positive territory.
The US Dollar Tether (USDT) recorded the highest jump during the trading session with a growth of 5.7 per cent to trade at 652.00. The Dash (DASH) appreciated by 3.0 per cent to sell at N146,800, while the Bitcoin (BTC) gained 1.6 per cent to quote at N32,594,988.
In addition, the Ethereum (ETH) grew by 0.6 per cent to sell at N1,018,333.00, while the Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 1.3 per cent to trade at N123,000.
On the loser’s corner, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 2.0 per cent falloff to trade at N290.15 and was followed by Tron (TRX), which recorded a 0.1 per cent slide to sell at N31.79.
Oil Rises 2% on Speculative Halting of Supply Cut
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude prices halted their recent bearish trend on Wednesday amid speculations that an alliance of oil producers could decide not to increase oil production from April as widely expected.
Yesterday, the Brent crude rose by 2.03 per cent or $1.27 to sell at $63.97 per barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 2.56 per cent or $1.53 to sell at $61.28 per barrel.
The major talking point in the oil market these days is if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) can absorb extra barrels despite opposition from members.
There are two parts to the production rise that OPEC+ will discuss. The first is whether the cartel will proceed with a 500,000 barrel per day collective rise in April. The second is the question of how Saudi Arabia could phase out its extra reduction of 1 million barrels a day.
Reuters reported that the OPEC+ alliance is considering keeping the oil production cuts from March in place in April as well, in view of the still-fragile global demand recovery.
Key members of OPEC have proposed keeping the current level of the OPEC+ cuts intact in April, while it is not immediately clear if Saudi Arabia would reverse its extra 1 million barrels a day cut from April, according to Reuters’ sources.
This report is in contrast with the expectations of many analysts and the market as a whole that the ministers of the OPEC+ group are set to decide on Thursday to increase production from April.
Saudi Arabia is also expected to reverse its additional 1 million barrels per day unilateral cut from April.
The premise won’t be known until the meeting ends on Thursday when the decision will be announced from OPEC+, but ahead of that, the market will continue to speculate and react to all kinds of reports.
Prices were not affected even as crude oil inventories in the United States increased by more than 20 million barrels per day last week, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
There was a build of 21.6 million barrels for the week to February 26 just as demand levelled off, production rose and Gulf Coast refinery utilization rates dropped.
This was different from the estimated 7.4 million barrels build reported by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and analyst expectations of an inventory draw of 1.85 million barrels.
For the previous week, the EIA had estimated a crude oil inventory build of 1.3 million barrels.
300% ROI in 4 Weeks: Ponzi Scheme Operator Opts for Plea Bargain
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A Ponzi scheme operator based in Kano State, Mrs Maryam Abu Shinga, who lured her victims with a return on investment of 300 per cent in four weeks, has opted for a plea bargain.
According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which arraigned her, she was able to entice investors when she told them she was investing their funds in gold mining business.
But unknown to the unsuspecting investors, Mrs Shinga was not into the gold mining business she claimed. She was able to pay some early investors with funds taken from new victims.
The anti-graft agency informed Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Kano that Mrs Shinga told her victims that when they invest N500,000 in her business, she would give them N1.5 million in four weeks.
This claim was enticing to some investors, who parted away with their funds with the hopes of getting 300 per cent of the money within a month.
The EFCC, during the trial, told the court the Ponzi scheme operator allegedly diverted about N394.5 million she collected from different investors.
When she was arraigned on a one-count amended charge of retention of proceeds of crime, she pleaded ‘not guilty’, thereby setting the stage for trial.
During the trial which commenced on January 23, 2020, the prosecution called five witnesses and tendered several documents in evidence. However, before the prosecution could close its case, she opted for a plea bargain.
On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, while delivering his judgment, Justice Allagoa accepted the terms of a plea bargain agreement, convicted and sentenced the defendant to restitute the complainants in the sum of N110 million.
Nigeria to Commence of Export Ammonia to Morocco
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria will soon start exporting ammonia to Morocco following the signing of five strategic Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) between the federal government and the Kingdom of Morocco.
Both parties signed the agreements on Tuesday in a move that would foster Nigerian – Morocco bilateral collaboration and promote the development of hydrocarbons, agriculture, and commerce in both countries.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, led the Nigerian delegation to the agreement signing ceremony at Marrakech, Morocco, while the Chief Executive Officer of OCP Africa, Mr Anouar Jamali signed for the Kingdom of Morocco.
Under the agreement between OCP, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria will export ammonia and import phosphate from the Kingdom of Morocco and use it to produce blended fertiliser for the local market and export.
As part of the project, the Nigerian government plans to establish an Ammonia plant at Akwa Ibom State.
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Kesiye Wabote and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari were part of the delegation and they confirmed that their organisations would take equity in the Ammonia plant when the Final Investment Decision (FID) would be taken.
Other members of the delegation included Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel; Governor of Jigawa State, Mallam Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar and Managing Director of NSIA, Mr Uche Orji.
The Minister confirmed that the project will broaden economic opportunities for the two nations and improve the wellbeing of the people. He added that the project will also positively impact agriculture, stimulate the growth of gas-based industries and lead to massive job creation.
He revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its agencies and other government agencies to give maximum support for the project.
“He mandated me to ensure that at least the first phase of this project is commissioned before the expiration of his second term in office in 2023,” he added.
The MOUs that were signed were for the Support of the 2nd phase of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative; Shareholders Agreement for the creation of the Joint venture company to develop the multipurpose industrial platform and MOU for equity investment by the NNPC in the Joint Venture and support of gas.
Other agreements were term sheet for gas sales and aggregation agreement and MOU for land acquisition and administrative facilitation to the establishment of the multipurpose industrial platform for gas sales and aggregation agreement.
Value of Nigerian Mutual Funds Reaches N1.43trn
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The acceptance of mutual funds in the Nigerian capital market is now encouraging, though more efforts still needed to be done to grow the asset class.
Business Post reports that mutual funds involve the pooling of money from different investors for investment in financial assets like bonds, treasury bills, equities and others.
On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, the Fund Managers Association of Nigeria (FMAN) was virtually at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The group, led by its newly elected president, Mrs Tope Omojokun, was honoured with the digital closing gong ceremony.
While speaking at the event, the Divisional Head of Listings Business at the NSE, Mr Olumide Bolumole, disclosed that the participation of investors in mutual funds in Nigeria was encouraging.
According to him, “As at February 19, 2021, the number of registered mutual funds with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has grown to 102 with NAV of over N1.43 trillion from 76 in 2019 with Net Asset Value (NAV) in excess of N600 billion.”
He further said 56 of these funds with NAV of over N1.24 trillion are listed on the NSE, representing 88.3 per cent of the total NAV.
“This confirms the NSE as the preferred listing destination for this asset class and we will continue to strategically position ourselves to support the growth of our fund managers and our stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Bolumole commended FMAN for the “continuous collaboration in ensuring increased efficiency and investor participation in the Nigerian mutual funds market.” He also congratulated Mrs Omojokun on her election as president of the group.
In her remarks, Mrs Omojokun praised the exchange, saying “working with the NSE has brought about the trading of listed funds on the exchange and are working towards the display of mutual funds prices on the ticker tape of the NSE.”
“Furthermore, we are collaborating with the X-Academy to train our members and the public on adopting best investment practices and we look forward to other avenues to work together for the development of the capital market,” she noted.
The FMAN chief explained that the association was “established to promote the operations of fund managers registered with the SEC and its objectives include self-regulation and supervision of its members; the enforcement of global best practices in its members’ operations, and most importantly, the education of the public on investments.”
Recall that in 2020, the exchange admitted the N500 million ARM Fixed Income Fund and the $1 million ARM Eurobond Fund on its memorandum listing platform.
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