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US Stocks Generate Buying Interest on Renewed Trade Talks Optimism

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US Stocks Generate Buying Interest on Renewed Trade Talks Optimism

By Investors Hub

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a higher opening on Friday following the volatility seen over the two previous sessions.

The upward momentum on Wall Street comes after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly said the U.S. and China are making ?a lot of progress? in trade talks.

A report from Reuters said Mnuchin is looking forward to a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He next week, which will also include discussions on currency issues.

Traders also seem to be expressing optimism about negotiations to end the government shutdown even though two separate proposals to re-open the government failed in the Senate yesterday.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as no major U.S. economic data will be released on the day due to the ongoing shutdown.

Extending the volatile performance seen on Wednesday, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Thursday. The Dow and the S&P 500 spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq managed to remain positive.

The major averages eventually ended the session mixed. While the Dow edged down 22.38 points or 0.1 percent to 24,553.24, the Nasdaq advanced 47.69 points or 0.7 percent to 7,073.46 and the S&P 500 inched up 3.63 points or 0.1 percent to 2,642.33.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC the U.S. is “miles and miles” from a trade deal with China.

“Frankly, that shouldn’t be too surprising,” Ross said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” noting the U.S. and China have “lots and lots of issues.”

The comments from Ross come ahead of Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s trip to Washington next week for the next round of trade negotiations.

Concerns about a U.S.-China trade deal partly offset positive sentiment generated by a report from the Labor Department showing initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level in almost fifty years in the week ended January 19th.

The report said initial jobless claims slid to 199,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 212,000.

The drop surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to rise to 220,000 from the 213,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 197,000 in November of 1969.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Conference Board showed a modest decrease by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of December.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged down by 0.1 percent in December after rising by 0.2 percent in November. The slight drop by the index matched economist estimates.

“The US LEI declined slightly in December and the recent moderation in the LEI suggests that the US economic growth rate may slow down this year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Economic Research at the Conference Board.

He added, “While the effects of the government shutdown are not yet reflected here, the LEI suggests that the economy could decelerate towards 2 percent growth by the end of 2019.”

Despite the lackluster performance by the broader markets, semiconductor stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index spiked by 5.7 percent to its best closing level in well over a month.

Shares of Xilinx (XLNX) moved sharply higher after the chipmaker reported better than expected fiscal third quarter results and provided upbeat guidance for the current quarter.

Significant strength was also visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 2.2 percent jump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index. The rally came amid an increase by the price of crude oil.

Computer hardware, housing, and natural gas stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, while tobacco and pharmaceutical stocks showed significant moves to the downside.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

Economy

NGX to Reward Innovation, Capital Market Compliance

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capital market compliance

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The 2022 NGX Made of Africa Awards, slated for Tuesday, December 6, 2022, would be for rewarding innovation, commitment to sustainability and capital market compliance, the Divisional Head of Business Support Services at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Ms Irene Robinson-Ayanwale, has stated.

Speaking in an interview with Channels TV, she said the awards ceremony themed Innovation in Capital Markets: The Panacea for Exponential Growth was designed to recognise the outstanding performance of capital market stakeholders in multiple categories as the fiscal year draws to a close for many stakeholders.

According to her, the nomination and selection process was intensely analytical as a trove of data generated by the exchange was analysed by NGX Regulation Limited (NGX RegCo) and verified for accuracy by an independent auditor.

“As you can see, the process was made transparent and verifiable. We hope the Awards will encourage the companies to continue to maintain higher standards and ensure that their stakeholders hold them accountable to higher standards.

“We are banking that it’ll encourage more innovation, compliance, adherence to rules and regulations,” she told the news platform.

Ms Robinson-Ayanwale added that NGX would be focusing on driving more listings, executing more capacity-building programs across different capital market stakeholders group and driving forward its sustainability agenda in 2023.

The decision to hold the awards and celebrate exceptional performance underscores NGX’s commitment to the growth and sustainability of the Nigerian capital market. This further accentuates the position of the exchange as a leader and driver of excellence in the financial markets ecosystem.

BUA Group and CardinalStone Partners Limited are the headline sponsors for the ceremony. Other sponsors include United Bank for Africa Plc, Coronation Asset Management Limited, Zenith Bank Plc, Seplat Energy Plc, Access Holdings Plc, Notore Chemicals Plc, Transnational Corporation Plc, Bank of Industry and Central Securities and Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc

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Economy

Liquid Government Bonds Market Can Spur Economic Growth—SEC

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liquid government bonds market

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The need for the development of a liquid government bonds market has been emphasised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, while speaking at the 2022 conference of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN), stated that this would have a positive effect on the economy.

Mr Yuguda, represented by the Executive Commissioner of Operations of the agency, Mr Dayo Obisan, disclosed that a liquid government bonds market implies that there is a sufficient offering of government bonds across a range of maturities, which is key to the construction of the benchmark yield curve (which is important for the establishment of the market-based risk-free interest rate used in equity pricing).

He further stated that the synergistic relationship between the government bonds and equity markets had been observed in several East Asian economies, which experienced a surge in private investment and equity market capitalisation following the establishment of a liquid debt securities market.

“At the same time, an increase in government expenditure funded by debt crowds out private investment, which in turn adversely affects aggregate expenditure and, consequently, economic growth with implications for the capital market.

“In addition, an underdeveloped capital market will affect institutional investors negatively, restraining the amount and maturity of funding available to the government locally,” the DG said at the programme tagged Nigeria’s Public Debt and the Capital Market.

At the event held in Lagos over the weekend, Mr Yuguda stated that as the apex regulator of the capital market, SEC is committed to creating an enabling and facilitative oversight and regulatory framework supportive of the deepening and development of the Nigerian capital market.

“As you are aware, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, launched and unveiled the revised Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan 2021-2025.

“The updated master plan underscores the commission’s commitment to deepening and repositioning the financial market as a key anchor of our economy.

“The Master Plan, which represents collective aspirations of the capital market community, is focused on driving initiatives geared towards growing and deepening the Market with the ultimate goal of accelerating the emergence of our Country into the top 20 global economies by the year 2025,” he stated.

He disclosed that the capital market is more resilient and is on a steady growth trajectory, adding that capital market correspondents have contributed to the development of the market and expressed delight at their partnership with the agency in this noble task of developing and deepening the capital market.

According to him, the reporters have taken on an increasingly important role of communicating to the public some of the commission’s initiatives aimed at developing the market, noting that SEC is committed to supporting efforts aimed at addressing financial literacy and empowerment gaps within society.

“There is no doubt in my mind that, the capital market presents a good platform for addressing many of Nigeria’s economic challenges.

“On our part as regulators, we shall continue to introduce new ideas and policies towards developing and regulating a capital market that is dynamic, fair, transparent and efficient to contribute to the nation’s economic development.

“We will also continue to fulfil its mandate of protecting investors and creating an enabling environment for market operators.

“Policymakers and practitioners alike are keen to understand the complex nexus between the public debt market and the Nigerian capital market,” he added.

In her remarks, the chairman of CAMCAN, Mrs Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma, said that the annual workshop was part of the association’s contributions to the development and growth of the nation’s economy by bringing regulators, operators and company executives to discuss economic issues that affect the market in particular and the economy in general.

She said that the theme was picked because of concerns in different quarters concerning the nation’s rising total debt stock, which stood at N42.80 trillion as of June 2022.

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Economy

Purple Real Estate N10bn IPO Attracts Investors Ahead of NGX Listing

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Purple Real Estate

By Dipo Olowookere

The Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Purple Real Estate Income Plc (PREIP) is already attracting investors ahead of its planned listing on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.

Business Post gathered from a few stockbrokers, who asked not to be named, that the exercise is doing well, though a significant number of shares are yet to the purchased.

Purple Real Estate commenced the IPO last month and it hopes to conclude the exercise before Christmas.

The tech-enabled real estate firm intends to generate N10 billion from the IPO by selling 2 billion ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each at N5.

Intending investors are required to purchase a minimum of 4,000 ordinary shares and multiples of 1,000 ordinary shares thereafter.

After the IPO, which started on November 21, 2022, and will end on December 23, 2022, the stocks will be listed on the exchange.

According to the chief executive of the organisation, Mr Laide Agboola, investing in the company will give subscribers “blended yields” as the firm intends to expand its real estate footprint delivering similar investment-grade assets, including Purple Lekki, an all-inclusive mixed-use centre building on the learnings from its flagship asset.

The principal activities of Purple Real Estate include the purchase, lease, development, and management of properties to generate a sale and rental income as well as income from other services, including advertising and facilities management.

The firm is evolving into a tech-driven real estate company deploying proptech solutions such as Purpleshop and Fractions to eliminate the barriers to world-class retail and real estate ownership.

Its subsidiaries are Maryland Mall Limited, Purple Proptech Limited, Lekki Retailtainment Limited, Purple Asset Managers Limited, Purple Urban Limited and Cible Media Limited.

PREIP, which is on the path to becoming the first approved Real Estate Investment Company (REICO) in Nigeria, grew its revenue by 121 per cent to N1.8 billion in 2021, while the pre-tax profit was N1.5 billion, with total assets at N26.4 billion.

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