By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian- British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has pledged to remain a key driver of initiatives aimed at fostering and increasing bilateral trade and investment between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
This assurance was given last Friday by President and Chairman NBBC, Mr Dapo Adelegan, at the special lecture to mark the 40th anniversary of the Chamber.
While delivering his welcome address, Mr Adelegan said as Nigeria continues on the journey of a second centenary of economic relations with the United Kingdom, the NBCC has an abiding focus on optimizing bilateral relations between the two countries with a view to achieving the set target of doubling inter-country trade and investment volumes soon.
According to him, the Chamber would focus on a number of initiatives such as actively re-engineering and strengthening its partnerships; attracting top range economic players as premium members and pulling in new members in other categories.
While lauding the support of Lagos State for the Chamber over the past 40 years, the NBCC President said a special day themed ‘Lagos Day’ would be designated for discussing the economic milestones and business development opportunities in Lagos State during the forthcoming NBCC 40th Anniversary Trade Mission to London between May 22nd and 26th this year.
Delivering the lecture titled ‘Nigeria – British Relations: The Next 100 Years’, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, said he was confident that even with the UK exiting the European Union, her economic ties with Nigeria would remain strong.
“The ties that bind the UK and Nigeria, that are cultural, linguistic, historical and business will grow stronger and the UK looks forward to becoming the top non-oil trading partner with Nigeria very soon.
“Today, the UK’s bilateral trade relationship with Nigeria is worth 3.8 billion pounds per annum and there are several British companies who are interested in various other sectors, apart from oil and gas, in Nigeria such as power (including solar), infrastructure, agriculture, education, the digital economy and financial technology. We will remain steadfast in our resolve to partner with Nigeria to support social and economic development of both countries,” Mr Arkwright disclosed.
Stock Market Rebounds by 0.29% as GTCO, Others Enjoy Patronage
By Dipo Olowookere
A 0.29 per cent growth was recorded by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Thursday on the back of renewed demand for stocks after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) aggressively cut down the stop rate of treasury bills on Wednesday.
The disappointment resulted in investors looking for alternative investment instruments, and equities were the next point of call.
In the previous two trading sessions, the stock market was down, but it rebounded yesterday on the back of a fresh bargain-hunting, which consequently pushed the All-Share Index (ASI) higher by 153.31 points to 52,752.96 points from 52,599.65 points, and the market capitalisation increased by N83 billion to N28.733 trillion from N28.650 trillion.
According to data from the NGX, the banking and energy sectors appreciated by 1.58 per cent each, the insurance space rose by 1.01 per cent, and the consumer goods counter grew by 0.05 per cent, while the industrial goods index depreciated by 0.01 per cent.
During the session, investors traded 139.7 million shares worth N2.0 billion in 3,549 deals compared with the 119.8 million shares valued at N2.7 billion traded in 3,552 deals, indicating an increase in the trading volume by 16.61 per cent, a decline in the trading value by 25.93 per cent, and a drop in the number of deals by 0.08 per cent.
GTCO emerged as the most traded equity yesterday with the sale of 17.8 million units, followed by Access Holdings, which transacted 15.4 million units. Fidelity Bank exchanged 11.9 million shares, Mutual Benefits sold 6.9 million equities, and Dangote Sugar traded 6.7 million stocks.
The market breadth was positive on Thursday, with 25 price gainers and seven price losers, indicating a very strong investor sentiment.
Geregu Power gained 10.00 per cent to trade at N147.40, Coronation Insurance appreciated by 9.76 per cent to 45 Kobo, Chellarams improved by 9.70 per cent to N1.81, International Energy Insurance grew by 9.43 per cent to 58 Kobo, and Tripple Gee jumped by 9.09 per cent to 96 Kobo.
On the flip side, RT Briscoe lost 9.09 per cent to settle at 30 Kobo, Royal Exchange dropped 8.24 per cent to sell at 78 Kobo, Courteville depreciated by 7.84 per cent to 47 Kobo, Linkage Assurance fell by 4.00 per cent to 48 Kobo, and Transcorp shed 0.82 per cent to N1.21.
Crude Oil Prices Up on Positive US, Chinese Data
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude oil prices rose more than 1 per cent on Thursday on expectations that global demand will strengthen following signals from the world’s top two economies: the United States and China.
Brent futures increased by $1.35 or 1.6 per cent to settle at $87.47 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude improved by 86 cents or 1.1 per cent to settle at $81.01 per barrel.
The US economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter, but a measure of domestic demand rose at its slowest pace in 2½ years, reflecting higher borrowing costs.
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased at a 2.9 per cent annualized rate last quarter. The economy grew at a 3.2 per cent pace in the third quarter.
The Commerce Department’s advance fourth-quarter report on Thursday showed half of the boost to growth came from a sharp rise in inventory held by businesses, some of which is likely unwanted.
Consumer spending maintained a solid pace of growth, supported by consumption early in the fourth quarter. Retail sales weakened sharply in November and December, and business spending on equipment contracted last quarter, the data showed.
China has been easing stringent COVID-19 restrictions this month, with the country reopening borders for the first time in three years.
Analysts noted that China’s reopening is supporting demand prospects for oil.
Market participants are closely tracking the upcoming JMMC (Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee) meeting of the Organisation of the Exporting Countries and its allies, OPEC+ and the European Union(EU) embargo on refined products.
The OPEC+ ministerial panel meeting on February 1 is likely to endorse the oil producer group’s current output levels, OPEC+ sources reportedly said.
Prior to this, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported an oil inventory build of 500,000 barrels for the week to January 20.
That was short of forecasts for a 1 million barrel rise, though the EIA says crude stocks are at their highest since June 2021.
The latest change in inventories compared with two sizeable weekly builds—one of 8.4 million barrels for the second week of January and a 19-million-barrel one for the first week of the month.
At 448.5 million barrels, crude oil inventories in the United States are 3 per cent above the five-year average for this time of year.
Jumia, Churches, POS Operators, Others Reject Old Naira Notes
By Dipo Olowookere
One of the leading e-commerce companies in Nigeria, Jumia, has announced that from Monday, January 30, 2023, it will no longer accept the old Naira notes as a form of payment for goods purchased on the platform.
In a message to its customers on Thursday, the company said this action followed the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop the use of the N200, N500, and N1,000 for financial transactions in Nigeria from February 1, 2023.
On October 26, 2022, the governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced that the three denominations would be redesigned. The new banknotes were introduced into circulation on December 15, and Nigerians were asked to return the old notes on or before January 31, 2023.
In order not to miss the deadline, and with the central bank insisting that it would not extend the deadline, Jumia has said its customers have till Sunday to pay for its goods and services with the old notes.
“From Monday, January 30, 2023, Jumia Delivery Associates will not be able to accept the old notes of N200, N500, and N1,000 sequel to the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Should you wish to pay by cash, our delivery associates will only accept the new series of notes.
“Alternatively, you can find details on how to prepay on Jumia using JumiaPay or call us if there are any further questions.
“We will communicate further in case of any change from the federal government or central bank,” the notice from the firm, which was seen by Business Post, stated.
Meanwhile, a few churches in Lagos have asked their members not to pay tithes and offerings with the old banknotes from Sunday, January 29, 2023, due to the CBN directive.
“In reference to CBN’s directive and policy on old Naira notes, we hereby appeal to members not to come to church starting from this Sunday with old Naira notes (200, 500 & 1000).
“Please kindly make your payments (tithes, offerings, project donations and other payments) in new Naira notes.
“You can as well make an online transfer to the designated accounts (check the flier for details).
“Please share this message with members that are not on this platform,” a message from one of the parishes of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) said.
Also, checks by this reporter indicated that some POS operators have said they would no longer accept the old notes from their customers from Saturday, January 28, 2023.
“I will not accept cash deposits with the old notes from Saturday because I know the banks will be filled up next week with people who want to deposit their cash.
“This morning, I was at one of the banks to deposit the cash with me, but the crowd there scared me.
“The banks were still giving customers the old notes. I am just confused about the situation. We do not have the new notes. Almost all the ATM terminals in this area are not dispensing cash to customers,” a POS operator in the Egbeda area of Lagos, Mrs Modupe Adediran, told Business Post.
Similarly, a trader at Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos, Mr Ikenna Okechukwu, informed this reporter that he has stopped accepting the old banknotes from his customers.
However, some commercial bus drivers in Lagos said they will still accept the old banknotes next week.
“I don’t have any issue with the money. I have a strong belief that the central bank will extend the deadline. The announcement will be made next week,” a danfo driver in Ikeja, who identified himself as Mr Tajudeen, said.
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