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Economy

Micro-pension Scheme will Deepen Asset Accumulation in Nigeria–Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers

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Micro-pension Scheme will Deepen Asset Accumulation in Nigeria--Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers

By Dipo Olowookere

Managing Director of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, Mr Eric Fajemisin, has backed measures taken by the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) to sustain growth of the Nigerian pension industry.

According to him, micro pension scheme, multi-fund investment structure and Pension account transfer window, to mention but a few, are among initiatives capable of putting the sector in stronger footing going forward.

Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited is the biggest pension fund administrator (PFA) in the country.

From Sunday, July 1, 2018, the new multi-fund structure announced by the industry regulator would become operational.

Speaking at a media interactive session in Lagos on Monday, May 28, 2018, Mr Fajemisin said such reforms and innovations are necessary to maintain the strength and depth of Nigeria’s Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

Mr Fajemisin noted that the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Multi-Fund Investment structure, which replaces the “one-size-fits-all” arrangement that puts all active contributors into one RSA Fund, would resolve the challenge of asset-liability risk management faced by the operators.

According to him, the micro-pension scheme will help in deepening asset accumulation in the country, and provide the crucial capital required for investment in critical sectors of the economy.

As an initiative designed to cover an estimated 70 percent of Nigeria’s working population in the informal sector, the scheme offers enormous benefits to the society and ensure improved standard of living for the elderly, guarantee the safety of funds and may provide access to other incentives, such as mortgage facilities and health insurance., regardless of challenges associated with its seamless implementation.

By aligning the age and risk profile of RSA holders to match the four funds, contributors would have a better chance to earn improved returns on their investments in proportion to their risk appetites.

The different categories of the multi-funds structure are Fund 1, Fund 2, Fund 3 and Fund 4. Fund I is targeted at people of 49 years and below who in the quest for higher returns are willing to take more risks. Fund 2 is aimed at people who are aged 49 years and below and still working but are satisfied with moderate returns and levels of risks. Fund 3 targets people 50 years and above but still working and have very low risk appetite. In Fund 4 are retirees who have the lowest risk profile of all categories.

Among its other benefits include improved standard of living for the elderly, safety of funds and access to other incentives, such as mortgage facilities and health insurance. In addition are flexible contribution remittances, the opportunity to make withdrawal prior to retirement and the enhancement of financial inclusion in the country.

On the proposed pension transfer window, which allows a RSA holder to switch PFA once a year, the Stanbic IBTC Pension helmsman said it would deepen the democratic space in the pension industry as well as encourage healthy competition, resulting in further transparency and accountability, which would in turn enhance efficiency, innovation and service delivery.

Mr Fajemisin also reviewed the 2014 Pension Reform Act and the impact on the CPS. On the enabling law, he said the introduction of more stringent penalties for erring operators and directors, especially as it relates to mismanagement of funds, has engendered greater corporate governance, making it almost impossible to misapply pension funds by anyone.

By increasing the contributions of the employer and employee to 10 and 8 percent respectively, Mr Fajemisin said the Act has ensured the availability of more benefits to contributors at retirement. In addition, the Act makes the non-remittance of employees’ contribution by the employer an offence which the regulator can prosecute in court.

Amongst its provisions, which expanded its coverage, private sector organizations with just three employees or more are required to register under the scheme; while the law also compels an employer to open a Temporary Retirement Savings Account (TRSA) on behalf of an employee that fails to open a Retirement Savings Account within three months of being employed.

The PFA’s Head of Business Development, Mrs Nike Bajomo, said the company is already reaching out to its over 1.6 million RSA holders nationwide to create awareness about commencement of the multi-fund structure with effect from July 1, 2018. She said the PFA will continue to engage various stakeholders on developments in the industry to ensure the provisions of the CPS are fully harnessed to the benefit of all. Such platforms as the employers’ forum, preretirement seminars, among other initiatives Stanbic IBTC Pensions organises yearly, are fashioned to ensure regular engagement and to drive awareness.

Backed by the experience and expertise of Stanbic IBTC Group, a member of the over 155-year-old Standard Bank Group Mrs Bajomo said the PFA will not relent in providing excellent services to its RSA holders and Nigerians. Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, she said, has over 1.6 million RSA holders nationwide, with assets under management in excess of N2 trillion. It pays approximately N1.3 billion to over 37,000 retirees monthly and over N279 billion has been paid to retirees since the PFA commenced operations in 2006, Bajomo added.

Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited is a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a member of Standard Bank Group, a full service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Standard Bank Group is the largest African financial institution by assets. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 countries on the African continent. Standard Bank has been in operation for over 155 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services institutions in chosen countries in Africa; and connecting selected emerging markets to Africa by applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, power and infrastructure.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Economy

Popoola Urges Investors to Diversify Portfolios to Reduce Risks as Stock Prices Rise

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Nigeria's stock exchange

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Investors in the stock market have been advised to embrace the strategy of diversification of portfolios in order to get a better return on investment (RoI).

The chief executive of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, while reacting to the current uptrend rally in the equity market, stressed that diversification of portfolios would go a long way to reduce risks, explaining the need for investors to re-balance their stock basket.

So far this year, the local bourse has been buoyant with the NGX-All Share Index (NGX-ASI) Year-to-Date (YTD) returned at 26.62 per cent as of Friday, May 27, 2022, and is currently over the psychological 54,000-level for the first time since the 2008 crash, as opposed to the broad-based bearish performance experienced in other markets.

Mr Popoola stated that in spite of the current appreciation in prices of equities in the country, opportunities still exist for investors in other asset classes.

He said as a multi-asset Exchange, NGX has various products for every investor regardless of what their investment goals, risk appetite or return expectations might be, listing the products like equities, fixed income, Exchange Traded Funds and Derivatives.

According to him, there are opportunities in every segment of the market, emphasising that it is important for investors to do the analysis, and understand where those opportunities are, as there are opportunities, not only on the equity side but across the various assets classes.

He, however, said that the Nigerian capital market and the business of the stock exchange would always be impacted by dynamic economic trends and investor demands.

Explaining further, he said achieving success through growth that creates value will increase the Exchange’s ability to operate efficiently and profitably in the transient advantage economy that has unfolded in Nigeria and around the world.

“While there has been no respite in the macroeconomy and operating environment due to lingering oil price and foreign exchange pressures, our long-term outlook for the Exchange remains positive as listed companies continue to show resilience and our members have been repositioned to deliver superior value to investors,” he said.

Mr Popoola noted that NGX would continue to find more products that a lot of Nigerians and the youth demography are attracted to, and introduce to the market.

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Economy

Nigerian Exchange Index Skyrockets to 54,085.30 points After 1.76% Rise

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Nigerian Exchange

By Dipo Olowookere

It was another fantastic day at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) as the recent bullish run witnessed lately continued after a short disruption caused by the raising of the interest rate to 13.0 per cent from 11.5 per cent by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday.

Yesterday, the stock market appreciated further by 1.76 per cent on the back of renewed interest in local equities buoyed by the release of the much-awaited financial statements of FBN Holdings Plc for the 2021 fiscal year.

At the exchange on Friday, the All Share Index (ASI) skyrocketed by 933.98 points to 54,085.30 points from 53,151.32 points, while the market capitalisation jumped by N504 billion to N29.158 trillion from the preceding day’s N28.654 trillion.

The gains were influenced by sustained buying pressure in shares in the banking, insurance, energy and industrial goods sectors, which appreciated by 0.48 per cent, 0.32 per cent, 0.24 per cent and 0.01 per cent respectively, while the consumer goods counter depreciated by 2.41 per cent due to sell-offs in Nigerian Breweries, UAC Nigeria and others.

During the session, investors traded 208.1 million equities valued at N5.5 billion in 4,898 deals compared with the 266.2 million equities worth N5.1 billion transacted in 5,501 deals a day earlier, representing a decline in the trading volume and number of deals by 21.83 per cent and 10.96 per cent respectively and an increase in the trading value by 7.92 per cent.

Cutix was the highest price gainer yesterday as its value went up by 9.96 per cent to N2.87, Airtel Africa appreciated by 9.89 per cent to N1,767.00, Wema Bank gained 8.63 per cent to finish at N3.65, Ardova improved by 7.09 per cent to N15.10, while FBN Holdings increased its value by 6.98 per cent to N11.50.

On the other side of the coin, the heaviest price loser was Nigerian Breweries as it deflated by 10.00 per cent to N69.30, UAC Nigeria reduced by 9.87 per cent to N10.50, University Press declined by 9.52 per cent to N2.85, Royal Exchange went down by 9.26 per cent to 98 kobo, while Linkage Assurance depleted by 6.67 per cent to 56 kobo.

Business Post reports that the market breadth was at equilibrium on Friday as there were 19 appreciating stocks and 19 depreciating stocks.

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Economy

Naira Trades N617/$1, N419.50/$1 at P2P, I&E FX Windows

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strong dollar demand Naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira had a bad day on Friday as it depreciated in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the foreign exchange market against the Dollar by 0.16 per cent or N1 to N617/$1 in contrast to the previous day’s N616/$1.

Also, at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the forex market, the Naira depreciated by 0.15 per cent or 62 kobo against the American currency to N419.50/$1 compared with the N418.88/$1 it was transacted on Thursday.

According to data obtained from FMDQ Securities Exchange, the domestic currency suffered this loss amid a reduction in the forex turnover for the trading session.

FX trades worth $107.84 million were carried out yesterday compared with the $157.46 million executed a day earlier, representing a decline of $49.62 million or 31.5 per cent.

At the interbank segment of the market, the local currency closed weaker against the Pound Sterling as it depleted by N1.01 to trade at N524.57/£1 compared to the previously traded rate of N523.56/£1 and against the Euro, the domestic currency fell by 19 kobo to close at 445.26/€1 in contrast to N445.07/€1.

In the cryptocurrency market, the bulls took control as seven of the 10 cryptos tracked by Business Post pointed north, with Dogecoin (DOGE) recording the highest rise of 6.9 per cent to trade at $0.0827.

Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 2.4 per cent increase to trade at $302.89, Solana (SOL) appreciated by 2.1 per cent to $41.99, Ethereum (ETH) gained 0.7 per cent to sell at $1,770.73, Cardano (ADA) added 0.4 per cent to its value to finish at $0.4625, Litecoin (LTC) improved its price by 0.3 per cent to trade at $62.66, while Bitcoin (BTC) appreciated by 0.1 per cent to settle at $30,000.

On the flip side, the highest loser was the rebranded TerraClassicUSD (USTC), which continued its windfall with a 6.4 per cent loss to trade at $0.0397, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 2.4 per cent slide to quote at $0.3867, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) moved downwards by 0.01 per cent to sell for $0.998.

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