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Palm Oil Investor Gets N10m from Heritage Bank

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The Next Titan Season 7

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

An investor in the palm oil industry, Mr Joshua Joseph Idiong, has received N10 million from Heritage Bank and the fund is expected to boost his business.

Mr Idiong is into the oil palm processing business. He is the chief executive of the Akwa Ibom State-based Josult Oil Processing Company.

He was one of the contestants of the prestigious The Next Titan Season 7. In fact, he won the edition of the programme themed The Unstoppable.

The Next Titan is an entrepreneurial reality show sponsored by Heritage Bank and aimed to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Mr Idiong, who is a graduate of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) with Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science, emerged winner after competing with Ifeanyi Nkwonta, Chidinma Eriobu and Ifeoma Benjamin at the grand finale in Lagos.

Idiong’s entry on the show was amongst the 18,000 entries, followed by online auditions before the top 16 moved into the Titan House for 10 weeks to compete against top-notch young entrepreneurs in real-life entrepreneurial tasks.

They were grilled by a panel of judges who are technocrats with the perfect blend of entrepreneurial requisite skills comprising Kyari Bukar, co-founder/CEO of Trans-Sahara Investment; Lilian Olubi, CEO of Primera Africa Securities Ltd; Chris Parkes, Chairman/CEO of CPMS Africa and Tonye Cole, co-founder of Sahara Group.

The winner, who highly commended Heritage Bank for its continued supports to entrepreneurs and sponsorship of the Next Titan, said, “Heritage Bank is an amazing bank that has stood strong on this show. My love for Heritage Bank stems from the fact that this is my second time on this show but before I came in, I have learnt so much from the show.

“This means that Heritage Bank is truly affecting the lives and businesses of entrepreneurs positively, alongside the viewers. This is a bank that has differentiated itself from other banks in boosting the strength of SMES in Nigeria.”

Speaking at the grand finale, MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo, stated that the programme easily aligns with the primary focus of the management of Heritage Bank to promote every laudable entrepreneurial idea meant to broaden economic horizon of the country for the benefit of citizens and other residents of Nigeria.

Mr Sekibo who was represented by the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Fela Ibidapo, further affirmed, “as a catalytic institution in the empowering of entrepreneurs in the MSME sector, Heritage Bank has continued to make relentless efforts in this space to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria through championing several empowerment schemes like the HB Innovation Lab Accelerator programme (HB-LAB), Ynspyre Account, Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP), Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) on Young Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP), Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) Grant and Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF), Big Brother Nigeria, Lagos Comic Con, amongst others.”

The Executive Producer of The Next Titan, Mr Mide Kunle-Akinlaja, in his address explained that the project was created and designed as a deliberate attempt to provoke the spirit of entrepreneurship of young Nigerians, not only the contestants on the show but another multitude of aspiring entrepreneurs who can watch the show on TV.

He said that Season 7 was designed to search for business ideas that are immune to any pandemic, innovations that break boundaries and technologies that can survive any lockdown.

“It does not matter what your business idea is all about or its focus, but you must be able to prove that your business has what it takes in terms of ideas or technologies to survive any future pandemic or lockdown,” he said.

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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Economy

NGX Group Gains 10% to Lift Stock Market by 0.26%

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NGX Group Shares

By Dipo Olowookere

The nation’s stock market rebounded by 0.26 per cent on Wednesday after going down by 0.71 per cent on Monday, which was the last trading session as the exchange was closed on Tuesday for a public holiday in Nigeria.

Investors were in high spirits yesterday when they returned to the market and this reflected in the level of activity as the trading volume rose by 47.47 per cent to 499.5 million stocks from 338.7 million stocks, the trading value increased by 25.16 per cent to N5.1 billion from N4.1 billion, while the number of deals grew by 2.25 per cent 5,998 deals from 5,866 deals.

Business Post reports that when the exchange closed for the day, FBN Holdings was the most traded equity with the sale of 147.6 million units valued at N1.8 billion, followed by eTranzact, which transacted 105.2 million units worth N215.6 million.

Furthermore, Access Bank sold 27.9 million units worth N266.0 million, Transcorp traded 22.3 million units valued at N22.8 million, while GTCO recorded a turnover of 20.6 million shares worth N612.9 million.

It was observed that the market closed in the positive territory as a result of the growth posted by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc as its share price went up by 10.00 per cent to settle at N21.45.

GlaxoSmithKline rose by 6.87 per cent to N7.00, NPF Microfinance Bank gained 5.85 per cent to trade at N1.81, Coronation Insurance grew by 4.17 per cent to 50 kobo, while FBN Holdings appreciated by 3.83 per cent to N12.20.

On the flip side, Prestige Assurance was the worst loser as its value depreciated by 8.51 per cent to 43 kobo, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance fell by 8.33 per cent to 55 kobo, Academy Press also dropped 8.33 per cent to 33 kobo, Cadbury Nigeria lost 5.88 per cent to sell for N8.00, while Union Bank went down by 5.66 per cent to N5.00.

In all, a total of 21 stocks closed on the gainers’ chart while 18 stocks finished on the losers’ chart, indicating a positive market breadth and investor sentiment.

However, three of the five major sectors of the market closed bearish with the energy, consumer goods and banking counters losing 0.39 per cent, 0.24 per cent and 0.20 per cent respectively, while the insurance and industrial goods sectors rose by 0.58 per cent and 0.04 per cent apiece.

At the close of transactions, the All-Share Index (ASI) improved by 105.04 points to 41,249.71 points from 41,144.67 points, while the market capitalisation expanded by N54 billion to N21.526 trillion from N21.472 trillion.

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Economy

Naira Appreciates to N414.07/$1 as Bitcoin Hits $66k

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bitcoin nigerians

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange (forex) market by 0.16 per cent or 66 kobo on Wednesday, October 20 as trading returned after the Eid-el-Maulud holiday break.

At the close of business at the midweek session, the local currency was sold for N414.07/$1 in contrast to N414.73/$1 it was traded on Monday, according to data obtained from FMDQ Securities Exchange.

During the second trading session of the week, a turnover of $334.97 million was recorded as against the $172 million achieved at the preceding session.

This indicated a $162.97 million or 48.7 per cent rise in the value of transactions yesterday and because of the anticipation of pressure on the Nigerian currency, FX supply was made available to traders and this supported the growth posted by the domestic currency during the trading day.

But at the interbank segment of the market, the Nigerian currency maintained stability against the American Dollar as it remained unchanged at N410.89/$1 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, at the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin (BTC) rallied to an all-time high (ATH) of $66,000 yesterday as optimism surged for greater mainstream acceptance in the wake of the successful launch of the first exchange-traded fund for US investors.

In a Naira equivalent, the most popular digital coin in the world was sold for N37,004,384.99 after it rose by 2.8 per cent.

On October 19, 2021, the Proshares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) was launched. The bitcoin exchange-traded fund is the first ETF ever to be approved in the United States and it’s based on bitcoin futures markets.

This development, Business Post gathered, triggered a renewed interest in the cryptos and caused Litecoin (LTC) to rise by 9.3 per cent to N117,992.99. Dash (DASH) went up by 5.9 per cent to sell for N111,892.63, Tron (TRX) grew by 4.7 per cent to trade at N58.70, while Ripple (XRP) appreciated by 4.4 per cent to trade at N635.00.

Further, Dogecoin (DOGE) was 4.2 per cent higher to sell at N150.96, Cardano (ADA) saw its value rise by 4.1 per cent to N1,305.81, Binance Coin (BNB) made a 3.4 per cent gain to trade at N205,395.75, while Ethereum (ETH) rose by 1.7 per cent to trade at N2,203,900.99.

However, the US Dollar Tether (USDT) went down by 0.4 per cent to sell for N565.49.

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Economy

Oil Prices Continue Ascent as US Crude Inventories Drop

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oil prices cancel iran deal

By Adedapo Adesanya

Oil prices showed no sign of slowing yet again on Wednesday as a drop in crude inventories in the United States supported the market amid a supply crunch in the energy market.

Brent crude rose by 80 cents or 0.94 per cent to trade at $85.88 per barrel and the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added 91 cents or 1.1 per cent to sell at $83.87 per barrel.

A week after it reported a sizeable oil inventory build that pushed prices lower for a while, US crude stocks fell by 431,000 barrels in the most recent week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, as against expectations for an increase.

At 426.5 million barrels, inventories remain below the five-year average for this time of the year.

On its part, the American Petroleum Institute (API) noted a build last week which was estimated at 3.294 million barrels, above analyst expectations of a 2.233 million barrels build.

Crude markets, in general, remain supported on the back of a global coal and gas crunch, which has driven a switch to diesel and fuel oil for power generation.

The switching from gas to oil could account for the demand of 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day, depending on winter weather and prices of other sources of energy, a move that has supported oil prices.

However, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it plans on arresting the high energy prices, a move that could push down oil prices.

The commission said it would bring coal prices back to a reasonable range and crackdown on any irregularities that disturb market order or malicious speculation on thermal coal futures, according to foreign media.

The possible Chinese intervention sent the key Chinese coal futures plunging early on Wednesday.

In entirety, the market is highly bullish as supply has tightened especially with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) maintaining a slow increase in supply rather than intervening to add more barrels to the market, just as US demand has increased.

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