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Economy

SEC, Others Working to Improve Nigeria’s Policy Environment to Attract Investors

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Nigeria's policy environment

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said it was working hard with other agencies to improve Nigeria’s policy environment so as to make it more attractive to investors.

According to the Director-General of the agency, Mr Lamido Yuguda, efforts are being made to position the capital market as a viable platform for getting long-term funds for infrastructure development, among others.

He said working with a think-tank group like the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) could fast-track the development of effective policies that will drive economic growth.

“Our collective economic power is bigger than the government and in many countries, you find out that the capital market is actually funding the government.

“When you save, the finance is used to create economic value that actually enhances your standard of living and this is a win-win. You get financial returns and also get utility from the investments and this is actually achievable,” the DG said when a team from NESG visited him in Abuja at the weekend.

The organisation was at the commission’s office to seek collaboration towards the development of the economy, which Mr Yuguda was happy about.

“On the capital market, it is a welcome development that we are talking with the NESG for there is something that really needs to happen in this country.

“When you look at our policy environment, in many areas, it is not conducive for the return of capital to investors and we are working hard to tackle this,” the SEC DG noted.

He stated that the telecommunications companies are successful because no one is getting the services for free as everyone pays.

“We all pay for the services, no one is getting the services for free. But when we move on our roads, we say no we do not want to pay for it. In other countries, people pay for their roads and they are happy doing that because the roads are good.

“We need to have collaboration with a group like NESG. Once we are able to put things right, investors will be willing to put in money and there will be returns,” Mr Yuguda stated.

In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer of NESG, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, expressed worry that the banking sector is being over-stressed by borrowers, urging the governments and corporates organisations to look towards the capital market for their funding needs.

Mr Jaiyeola stated that transactions can be restructured to raise bonds, bills and all of those things that will fund whatever it is that needs to be funded without going through banks.

“The securities market needs to take the bull by the horn otherwise we are going to be in perpetual debt as a Nation and that will not help us. That is one of the reasons we say let’s re-engage, how can we get an Investments and Securities Act that will ensure that the needed funding for development in Nigeria is given priority and then we can fund Nigeria for a longer-term.

“The short-term funding cannot help us; we need to begin to move to long-term. We are passionate about it and we need to raise these funds for the needed development funding for Nigeria,” he stated.

Responding to the call for a robust ISA, the Executive Commissioner for Legal and Enforcement at SEC, Mr Reginald Karawusa, stated that efforts are being made toward this.

According to him, the law was signed by late President Musa YarÁdua in 2007, which makes it 15 years old now. He said SEC set up an industry-wide committee to rework the law, adding that several market experts were involved in redrafting it with inputs from stakeholders.

“A draft was tabled to the 8th assembly. Unfortunately, the assembly left before passing the Bill. Getting the bill passed will be a major thing for the capital market.

“There are new provisions that will strengthen the SEC to effectively regulate to make us a top-notch regulator to increase the number of products.

“There is also a provision that will enable us to play with National Savings Scheme, which is another major gate changer if the Bill becomes passed. Therefore, any support we can get from the NESG will be appreciated,” he stated.

Economy

Sterling Bank Assures Shareholders More Value With New Structure

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sterling bank logo

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Recently, shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc authorised the board of the company to transform its organizational structure into a holding firm to be known as Sterling Financial Holdings Company.

A holding company or Holdco is a company set up for the purpose of making and managing, for its own account, equity investment in two or more companies, being its subsidiaries, engaged in the provision of financial services, one of which must be a bank.

The Chief Executive of Sterling Bank, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, said with the new arrangement, shareholders would have value for their money as the company would have the opportunity to increase its income streams because of its involvement in new ventures.

He disclosed that the advantages of the newly formed holding company include value creation to maximise earnings through new businesses, agility to optimise for opportunities and adapt to a rapidly changing market, maximise current and future talent potential with opportunities within the group and subsidiaries to nurture and engage its wealth of young and innovative talent.

According to him, the holding company also affords Sterling another opportunity to leverage its successful HEART strategy, which has seen the bank make consolidated investments in the Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation sectors, growing the company’s year-on-year profits to record highs despite strong economic headwinds.

With the adoption of a Holdco structure, Sterling now possesses the latitude to make inroads into other sectors within financial services, such as pensions, asset management, payment services, real estate, and different verticals, along with the current banking licenses held by the commercial and non-interest banking subsidiaries, Sterling Bank and The Alternative Bank.

In recent times, the bank has doubled down on digitisation with specialised products through the development and introduction of Specta, OneBank, I-invest, Gazelle and Omni X to fulfil the market’s needs for innovative retail and commercial banking solutions.

On his part, the Chairman of Sterling Bank, Mr Asue Ighodalo, said, “Following the implementation of the scheme, shareholders will exchange their shares in the Bank for shares in HoldCo in the same proportion as their current holdings in the Bank, which will be a regulated entity for CBN purposes.”

He added that the scheme would provide several benefits to the shareholders of the bank, some of which include facilitating diversification into other permissible business lines, thereby promoting growth and enhancing shareholder value and facilitating a consolidated financial strength of the group, which will improve access and ability to raise capital.

It was gathered that upon the final ratification by the regulators, the commercial banking subsidiary of the holding company, Sterling Bank; will continue to operate with its current name as a limited liability company, with shares transferred from the publicly traded company transferred to the newly formed Sterling Financial Holdings Company.

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Economy

Friesland Extends NASD OTC Securities Growth by 0.98%

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Friesland shares

By Adedapo Adesanya

FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc extended the bulls’ presence at the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.98 per cent on Tuesday, September 27.

This expanded the market capitalisation of the bourse by N9.38 billion to N963.94 billion from N954.56 billion and jerked the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) up by 3.19 basis points to end the day at 762.12 points as against the 765.31 points it recorded in the previous session.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc appreciated yesterday by N4.90 to sell at N78.00 per unit compared to the N73.10 per unit it was transacted a day earlier.

Despite the growth posted yesterday by the NASD OTC securities, there was a price loser and it was Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc, which declined by N1.00 to settle at N199.00 per share compared with Monday’s value of N198.00 per share.

During the session, there was a rise in the volume of securities traded by 408.8 per cent to 189,296 units from the 37,205 units transacted by market participants in the preceding session.

In the same pattern, there was a rise in the value of shares traded by 129.1 per cent to N6.2 million from the N2.7 million recorded on Monday.

These transactions were completed in 18 deals, the same amount of deals carried out in the previous trading session.

At the close of trades, AG Mortgage Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with the sale of 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with 687.6 million units worth N14.3 billion, and Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place with 178.1 million units worth N313.4 million.

The most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis was CSCS Plc with the sale of 687.6 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units valued at N7.4 billion, as FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in third place with 14.3 million units valued at N1.7 billion.

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Economy

Naira Appreciates at P2P, Falls at I&E, Stable at Black Market

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Naira devaluation

By Adedapo Adesanya

The value of the Naira appreciated against the United States currency in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the foreign exchange market on Tuesday by N2 to close at N740/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N742/$1.

However, it depreciated against the American Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the FX market yesterday by 33 Kobo or 0.08 per cent to trade at N436.33/$1 in contrast to Monday’s value of N436.00/$1.

Data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange disclosed that the value of forex transactions recorded at the spot market yesterday went up by 27.31 per cent or $21.33 million to $99.43 million from the $78.10 million reported a day earlier.

In the interbank segment of the market, the Naira closed flat against the Pound Sterling at N463.96/£1 and against the Euro, it also remained unchanged at N416.15/€1 on Tuesday.

In the same vein, the exchange rate of the local currency paired with the greenback closed flat at the parallel market yesterday at N722/$1.

Meanwhile, the digital currency market was bearish yesterday, with Bitcoin (BTC) falling below the $20,000 mark again after it managed to rise above that level a day earlier.

On Tuesday, its value went down by 6.5 per cent to close at $18,765.50 as Ripple (XRP) recorded a 10.1 per cent slump to trade at $0.4282.

Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go down by 6.9 per cent to sell at $1,284.29, Solana (SOL) recorded a 6.5 per cent slide to quote at $32.44, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 5.6 per cent decline to settle at $0.4312, Binance Coin (BNB) shed 5.1 per cent to sell for $270.03, Litecoin (LTC) went down by 5.0 per cent to trade at $52.07, and Dogecoin (DOGE) saw a 4.5 per cent slump to trade $0.0594.

But Binance USD and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closed flat at $1.00.a

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