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Oil Market Dips as EU Tweaks Russian Energy Sanctions

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crude oil market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The crude oil market closed in the bearish territory on Friday after the European Union said it would allow Russian state-owned companies to ship oil to third countries under an adjustment of sanctions agreed by member states this week.

With this development, Russian state-owned companies, Rosneft and Gazprom, will be able to ship oil to third countries in a bid to limit the risks to global energy security.

Under tweaks to sanctions on Russia that came into force on Friday, payments related to purchases of Russian seaborne crude oil by EU companies would not be banned.

“With a view to avoiding any potential negative consequences for food and energy security around the world, the EU decided to extend the exemption from the prohibition to engage in transactions with certain state-owned entities as regards transactions for agricultural products and the transport of oil to third countries,” the EU said in a statement.

This might signify that supply fears were easing slightly after Libya resumed production at several oil fields earlier this week and the price of Brent crude dropped 0.64 per cent to trade at $103.20 per barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by 1.71 per cent to $94.70 per barrel.

Earlier in the week, the first tankers arrived in Libya to load oil for export, ending a force majeure on key oilfields and ports that had been in place since April.

Libya now expects to double crude output to 1.2 million barrels per day in a matter of 10 days, but this is threatened by the possible escalation of friction among factional parties seeking to hold political power.

Signs of strong demand in Asia propped up the Brent benchmark, putting it on course for its first weekly gain in six weeks.

Demand in India has remained strong, with refining holding above pre-pandemic levels, while China is expected to make great efforts to recover in the third quarter of this year.

This is happening as the global economy looks increasingly likely to be heading into a serious slowdown, just as central banks aggressively reverse ultra-loose monetary policy adopted during the pandemic to support growth.

Investors will also be watching for the US Federal Reserve decision on interest rates next week. Fed officials have indicated that the central bank would likely raise rates by 75 basis points at its July 26-27 meeting.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

NGX All-Share Index Outperforms Inflation Over Three Years

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All-Share Index

The 3-year trailing performance of the All-Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited surpasses the average inflation during the same period.

The annual inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) released in September by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) was 20.52 per cent in August 2022.

Meanwhile, the NGX ASI, a market capitalisation weighted index of all companies listed on the NGX’s platform, had a year-to-date performance of 15.68 per cent during the same period. This could be misleading about the market performance until you view it through a longer-term lens.

British Economist, Benjamin Graham, made a quote popularly used by Warren Buffett, the Fund Manager of Berkshire Hathaway Inc and widely regarded as the best living investor: “Markets are a voting machine in the short term, and a weighing machine in the long run.” On a 3-year trailing basis, the NGX ASI has outperformed the CPI average in the same period, ensuring that investors with a longer-term hold on their investments remain in the positive region.

Analysis of data of closing prices gathered from the NGX’s website showed that the index has a 3-year moving average of 22.97 per cent, compared to an inflation average of 15.72 per cent.

The year 2022 has been a slow year for global stocks due to volatility resulting from the hiking of interest rates by central banks in the United States and Europe amidst inflationary pressures.

The NGX ASI’s 15.62% YTD return is a significant positive performance compared to the US S&P 500, which has plunged by 22.46% or the FTSE 100, which has declined by 7.68%, according to Google Finance. The local bourse has exhibited resilience and insulated investors from negative return on investment over three years.

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Economy

Laolu Martins Was Minority Shareholder of Bukka Hut—Management

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Bukka Hut Laolu Martins

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The management of an online restaurant in Nigeria, Bukka Hut, has clarified that one of its late directors, Mr Laolu Martins, was a minority shareholder in the company.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the deceased breathed his last in Lagos. He was said to have co-founded the firm with Mr Rasheed Jaiyeola, who is the Chief Executive Officer.

The deceased was reportedly invited to join the firm by Mr Jaiyeola, who jointly owns majority shares of the company with his wife and sister.

Mr Jaiyeola and Mr Martins were co-owners of the Nigerian International Securities Limited (NISL) before the former resigned from his position as director to focus on Bukka Hut in 2016.

According to the statement from the organisation, Mr Jaiyeola established Bukka Hut but only invited the deceased and two others to invest in the eatery when it was established.

“To clarify, Rasheed Jaiyeola is the founder/CEO of Bukka Hut, a proudly Nigerian brand he built from inception in August 2011 from one outlet to 24 outlets comprising of restaurants, lounges and suya and grill spots, and a learning facility, BH Academy, as at today. He jointly owns the majority shares of the company with his wife and sister.

“Bukka Hut is not a one-man business as there are two other shareholders/directors, but they are not involved in the daily management of the business.

“Rasheed and the late Olaolu Martins were co-owners of Nigerian International Securities Lid (NISL), and naturally, Laolu was one of the three people he invited to invest in Bukka Hut when he founded it in 2011; Rasheed resigned from NISL as a director in 2016 to focus solely on building Bukka Hut while Olaolu remained the MD/CEO of NISL and its related businesses,” the statement explained.

Mr Martins was reported to have died from suicide, but fresh information revealed that he slumped at Lenox Mall after a cardiac arrest and was taken to a hospital in Lekki, where he passed on.

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Economy

Usman Laments Nigeria, Saudi Arabia Trade Volume of $5m

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trade volume of $5m

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The president of the newly-establishment Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr Ibrahim Usman, has lamented the low trade volume between both countries despite their historical relationship.

Mr Usman expressed this frustration when he visited the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, at his office in Abuja.

He said at the moment, the trade volume between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia is about $5 million, promising to deepen the relations between the two countries.

“And whereas many Saudi investors are looking out for profitable investment windows in friendly countries like Nigeria, our businesses have been unable to capitalise on such opportunities due to lack of an organised, reliable, safe and very secure private sector platform like a chamber of commerce,” he said.

Mr Usman said a 60-member inter-ministerial delegation from Saudi Arabia will be in Nigeria next week for the second session of the Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission, which will further create opportunities for the chamber to set up trade missions.

On his part, Mr Mohammed praised his guest for his effort to establish the organisation after over 10 years of trial, saying he has proven himself as a man of vision and deep conviction.

“Clearly from your presentation, it’s clear that the major objective is to change the narrative and ensure that the relations between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria should not be seen just from the narrow prism of Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage, but from the prism of two very important nations of the world creating a bridge through better cooperation for the two countries and their citizens,” the Minister said.

Mr Mohammed described the chamber as a clearing house for proposals from business people from the two countries in order to open new vistas for trade opportunities.

He said the absence of such a chamber has led to the decline in the volume of trade and also bred trust deficit between business people from the two countries.

“The absence of this vehicle has led to loss of businesses between the two countries and it has also aggravated the trust deficit between them,” he said.

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