NAICOM Mulls Sanction for Insurance Firms with Huge Unsettled Claims
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has disclosed that it will start profiling insurance companies with huge unsettled claims for necessary regulatory action.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, at the 2020 insurance directors’ conference, organised by NAICOM and the College of Insurance & Financial Management (CIFM) in Lagos on Tuesday.
He noted that the era of a huge backlog of claims should no longer be associated with insurance companies, urging those responsive to the plight of their clients in prompt settlement of claims to sustain the good business conduct.
Mr Thomas charged operators in the industry to strengthen their human and financial capital for effective participation in big-ticket risks, stressing that it has been observed that the gains of domestication policy of the government as enshrine in the Nigeria Content Development Act 2010 is gradually losing its meaning for the insurance sector.
“More businesses especially in the oil and gas and the aviation sectors are now been reinsured abroad. Of more concern is the declining participation of life companies in the annuity business which is the emerging business for our industry. These are the areas where the industry can impose itself on the economy through the control of funds for national development.
“The industry must invest handsomely in technology, one of our key drivers for developing the market. The Institutions should be prepared to digitalise their processes, procedures and systems in order to make their operations seamless and real-time.
“The commission is investing heavily in automating its processes and expects nothing less from the insurance institutions. An industry Information Technology Guideline has been issued for the operators and the commission requires your support and cooperation for effective compliance,” he said.
The need to invest massively in an awareness campaign about insurance, he said cannot be overemphasized as there seems to be a consensus that public perception of insurance still remains very low largely due to lack of awareness by the public.
He said the total lack of understanding of the business aspect of insurance and the benefits that are offered has continued to hurt insurance business in the country.
He added that the strategy must change, insurance institutions must make themselves visible in all geo-political zones in the country and must take the marketing of insurance products to a higher level than the present.
He said the recent crises associated with #EndSARS protest which lead to the destruction of lives and properties is indeed an eye-opener and an opportunity for companies to engage in massive awareness programs on relevant insurance cover for lives and properties of individuals and all businesses.
He further emphasized that innovation in the insurance industry will differentiate companies in terms of meeting stakeholders expectation.
“As you may be aware, the Commission on its part has shifted its focus to market development for inclusive development of insurance across all strata. These initiatives are anchored on Innovation, Distribution and Efficient Service Delivery.
“We expect that insurance institutions will also formulate policies along this direction,” he said.
Mr Thomas noted the commission is committing huge resources for manpower development in the insurance sector in collaboration with relevant partners in order to bridge the gap currently existing in its system.
NDEP Pulls Down Unlisted Stock Exchange by 0.08%
By Adedapo Adesanya
Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc sank the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.08 per cent on Thursday, June 1, rubbing off the gains posted by three other stocks on the platform.
The share price of NDEP Plc went down by N9.09 to N245.05 per unit from the N254.14 per unit it closed a day earlier.
As earlier stated, it suppressed the growth printed by the trio of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, and Acorn Petroleum Plc.
FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc grew by 20 Kobo to N70.20 per share from the previous session’s N70.00 per share, CSCS Plc added 8 Kobo to close at N14.00 per unit versus Wednesday’s value of N14.08 per unit, and Acorn Petroleum Plc gained 1 Kobo to close at 14 Kobo per unit versus 13 Kobo per unit.
At the close of business, the market capitalisation of the unlisted stock exchange fell by N840 million to N1.007 trillion from N1.008 trillion, while the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) depreciated by 0.61 points to 728.37 points from 728.98 points.
At the close of transactions yesterday, investors traded a total of 1.0 million units of securities, in contrast to the 5.4 million units of securities transacted in the preceding session, indicating a slump of 80.7 per cent.
However, the value of shares exchanged by the market participants went up by 194.3 per cent to N189.5 million from N64.4 million, as the number of deals declined by 16.7 per cent to 15 deals from 18 deals.
Geo-Fluids Plc closed as the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) for selling 832.1 million units valued at N1.3 billion, followed by Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc with 627.7 units worth N49.4 million, and UBN Property Plc with 395.9 million units valued at N336.6 million.
Also, VFD Group Plc was the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) for exchanging 10.7 million units valued at N2.4 billion, trailed by Geo-Fluids Plc with 832.1 million units worth N1.3 billion, and FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc with 17.1 million units valued at N1.2 billion.
Crude Oil Jumps as US Reps Pass Contested Debt Bill
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude oil increased on Thursday as the US House of Representatives’ passage of a bill to suspend the debt ceiling helped to offset the impact of rising inventories in the country.
Brent jumped by 2.3 per cent or $1.68 to $74.28 per barrel, as the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) expanded by 3 per cent or $2.01 to settle at $70.10 a barrel.
Both benchmarks recovered from two-straight sessions of losses after the House passed a bill late on Wednesday to suspend the US government’s debt ceiling and improve chances of averting a default.
The Republican-controlled House voted 314-117 to send the legislation to the Senate, which must enact the measure and get it to President Joe Biden’s desk before a Monday deadline when the federal government is expected to run out of money to pay its bills.
The legislation temporarily removes – the US federal government’s borrowing limit through January 1, 2025.
The timeline will allow President Biden and Congress to set aside the politically risky issue until after the November 2024 presidential election.
It would also cap some government spending over the next two years, speed up the permitting process for certain energy projects, claw back unused COVID-19 funds and expand work requirements for food aid programs to additional recipients.
With this good as done, the market’s focus has also shifted to a June 4 meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, collectively called OPEC+.
According to Reuters, sources noted that the alliance is unlikely to deepen supply cuts at the Sunday meeting, but some analysts maintained that it is a possibility as demand indicators from China and the US have been disappointing in recent weeks.
Pressure came as US crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week, as imports jumped and strategic reserves dropped to their lowest since September 1983.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an inventory build of 4.5 million barrels was reported for the week to May 26.
At 459.7 million barrels, crude oil inventories in the U.S. are around 2 per cent below the five-year average for this time of the year.
The market will also be looking at the next moves by the US Federal Reserve and what it would do concerning its interest rates.
Naira Crumbles at Parallel Market After CBN Devaluation Denial
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira tumbled against the Dollar in the parallel market on Thursday after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) refuted reports that it had devalued the local currency to N630/$1 in the official market.
The central bank described the news report as fake news, urging members of the public to disregard it as it had not authorised such.
This affected the value of the Nigerian currency on the streets yesterday as it lost N10 against the US Dollar to close at N750/$1 compared with Wednesday’s value of N740/$1.
In the official segment, which is also the Investors and Exporters (I&E), the domestic currency traded flat against the greenback during the session at N464.67/$1 despite the value of foreign exchange (forex) transactions rising by 53.3 per cent or $87.24 million to $250.98 million from $163.74 million.
In the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) segment, the local currency appreciated against its American counterpart by N9 to trade at N755/$1 versus the preceding day’s rate of N764/$1.
The Naira closed flat against the Pound Sterling on Thursday at N574.37/£1 but appreciated against the Euro by N2.31 to close at N493.58/€1 compared with the midweek session’s N495.89/€1.
In the cryptocurrency market, there was a renewed interest as optimism was injected into the assets, with top coins tracked by Business Post performing well.
Bitcoin (BTC) appreciated by 1.3 per cent to $27,201.31, Ethereum (ETH) improved its value by 2.0 per cent to $1,894.80, Litecoin (LTC) went up by 4.1 per cent to trade at $95.39, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 2.3 per cent gain to quote at $0.5193, and Cardano (ADA) appreciated by 2.2 per cent to trade at $0.3733.
Further, Solana (SOL) made a 2.1 per cent rise to sell at $21.12, Binance Coin (BNB) jumped by 1.2 per cent to sell for $308.33, and Dogecoin (DOGE) added 0.6 per cent to sell at $0.0722, while, the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) remained unchanged at $1.00 each.
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