US Stocks Open Flat as Maguire Testifies on Whistleblower’s Complaint
By Investors Hub
The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a pointing to a roughly flat opening on Thursday, suggesting stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading.
Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves as they digest the whistleblower complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The document outlines concerns about Trump ?using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.?
After initially showing a lack of direction, stocks climbed firmly into positive territory over the course of the trading session on Wednesday. The advance on the day came on the heels of the significant downturn seen in the previous session.
The major averages pulled back off their highs going into the close but held on to notable gains. The Dow climbed 162.94 points or 0.6 percent to 26,970.71, the Nasdaq jumped 83.76 points or 1.1 percent to 8,077.39 and the S&P 500 rose 18.27 points or 0.6 percent to 2,984.87.
Stocks moved to the upside in reaction to the release of the transcript of Trump’s controversial call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The transcript confirms Trump discussed a possible investigation of former Vice President and Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden in the call with Zelensky, although he does not directly link the issue to U.S. aid.
The release of the transcript comes amid claims Trump threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless Zelensky conducted an investigation of Biden and his son Hunter.
Traders seemed relieved the evidence contained in the transcript does not appear to be enough to convince Republicans to jump ship and potentially derail Trump’s pro-business presidency.
A day before the release of the transcript, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the Democrat-controlled House is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry of Trump.
Pelosi said she is directing six House committees to proceed with their investigations under the umbrella of the impeachment inquiry, saying Trump “must be held accountable” and “no one is above the law.”
The speaker accused Trump of a breach of his constitutional responsibilities by calling upon a foreign power to intervene in the upcoming election.
On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing U.S. new home sales rebounded strongly in the month of August following a sharp pullback in the previous month.
The Commerce Department said new home sales surged up by 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 713,000 in August after plunging by 8.6 percent to a revised rate of 666,000 in July.
Economists had expected new home sales to jump by 3.9 percent to a rate of 660,000 from the 635,000 originally reported for the previous month.
Tobacco stocks showed a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index up by 1.9 percent. The index rebounded from its lowest closing level in nearly eight months.
Philip Morris (PM) led the tobacco sector higher, surging up by 5.2 percent after ending merger talks with Altria (MO).
Considerable strength also emerged among steel stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent gain posted by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.
Semiconductor, computer hardware, and networking stocks have also moved notably higher, contributing to the jump by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
On the other hand, gold stocks moved sharply lower along with the price of the precious metal, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 3.5 percent.
Subsidy Removal: CNG at N130 Per Litre Cheaper Than Petrol—IPMAN
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Petroleum Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has advised Nigerians to begin to look into the direction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative energy source to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
The National President of IPMAN, Mr Chinedu Okorokwo, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, as the federal government continues its dialogue with the organised labour over the hike in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
On May 29, 2023, during his inaugural speech, President Bola Tinubu said the payment of subsidy for fuel had ended because there was no provision for it in the 2023 budget beyond June 30.
His announcement triggered the hoarding of fuel by marketers, and when the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited increased the price of the product across its retail outlets, prices of food, transportation and services went up, forcing the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to threaten a nationwide strike, which was supposed to start today but was stopped by the National Industrial Court.
At a meeting on Monday night between the government and the labour unions, it was agreed that the adoption of CNG as an alternative fuel would be the best option, and it was agreed that the CNG conversion programme earlier planned in 2021 should be revived.
CNG, which is a gas mainly composed of methane and produces less emission, is the cleanest burning fuel operating today with less vehicle maintenance and longer engine life.
In the interview with NAN, Mr Okoronkwo said bringing CNG, which was cheaper than even firewood, as an alternative energy, would create relief for the government and its citizens.
“We have also discovered that bringing an alternative that is cheaper than even firewood which is CNG, will not only create relief for the government and its citizens but it is environmentally friendly.
“The CNG is abundantly available in Nigeria than anywhere in Africa.
“In the Niger Delta region, you see billions of tonnes of gas flare being wasted daily, these are huge amounts that should be accruing to our GDP, but we are wasting it because there is no market for it.
“So, we are asking the government to create the market. How do you create the market?
“What Egypt and India did was to give soft loans to be paid back within stipulated periods; from there, you can get vehicles to use gas instead of fuel,” he said.
“There’s a franchise for the bottling of CNG so that an average woman in the kitchen can use it,’’ he added, noting that the introduction of CNG would cushion the effect occasioned by the high price of fuel currently as a litre of CNG would not cost more than N130.
He advised that repairing the local refineries as well would reduce the impact of the removal as it would eliminate the cost of importation and exportation.
Nigeria Upgrades Tax-to-GDP Ratio to 10.86% From 6%
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has been upwardly reviewed to 10.86 per cent from the 6 per cent earlier reported to reflect better data sources and improved estimation using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) manual.
The OECD manual is an improvement over the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008) classification of taxes.
Although the System of National Accounts conceptual framework and its definitions of the various sectors of the economy are reflected in the OECD’s classification of taxes, the OECD classifications provide the maximum disaggregation of statistical data on what is generally regarded as taxes by tax administrations.
In a disclosure, the statistics office said the country’s total tax revenue compared with its GDP was at that level in 2021, higher than 8.40 per cent in 2020, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the previous year, the ratio was 10.20 per cent, marginally lower than the 10.36 per cent recorded in 2018 but higher than the 9.02 per cent in 2017.
The NBS said the revised computation considered more comprehensive coverage of data at the federal, state, and local government levels and revenue items not previously included in the computations, particularly relevant revenue collected by other government agencies.
The review of the tax-to-GDP ratio was initiated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the NBS for better measurement of the ratio.
The data used were sourced from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), FIRS, NBS, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Joint Tax Board (JTB), and other relevant agencies of government that collect revenue.
VFD Group Intends to Join Nigerian Exchange
By Adedapo Adesanya
VFD Group Plc has announced its intention to list its shares on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) to allow it to gain access to public equity markets, increase its visibility, and strengthen its financial position.
VFD Group Plc is a leading proprietary investment company with a proven track record of generating attractive returns for its investors through a variety of investment strategies.
The company has a diverse portfolio of investments in various sectors, including banking, technology, media, energy, and real estate. The group has been listed on the NASD OTC Securities Exchange since 2020.
Speaking on this big step, Mr Nonso Okpala, Group Managing Director of VFD Group, stated, “We are excited to take this next step in the evolution of our company.”
“Listing on a major stock exchange will give us access to a larger pool of investors, enhance our profile, and provide superior returns to our investors,” he added.
However, its listing on the NGX is subject to regulatory approvals and market conditions.
VFD Group noted that it would provide additional updates as the listing process progresses.
At the close of business on Tuesday, the securities of the organisation closed on the NASD OTC exchange at N244.88 per unit, the same rate they finished in the preceding trading session.
Business Post reports that the NASD was created to provide an avenue for public companies to transition smoothly into the country’s main stock exchange.
However, it has witnessed the movement of firms from the NGX to the NASD, especially due to the very strict regulatory requirements of the former.
Latest News on Business Post
- Shipsy Hires Former Jumia COO to Meet African Expansion Target June 7, 2023
- Subsidy Removal: CNG at N130 Per Litre Cheaper Than Petrol—IPMAN June 7, 2023
- THF Secures $50 for Innovative Healthcare Models in Africa June 7, 2023
- Nigeria Upgrades Tax-to-GDP Ratio to 10.86% From 6% June 7, 2023
- Tinubu Swears in George Akume As SGF June 7, 2023
- Union Bank’s αlpher, Chrystallis Promote Women Empowerment June 7, 2023
- Civil Society Engagement at Core of US-African Relations in Multipolar World June 7, 2023
- Bolt, Uber Drivers Stop Work Over Hike in Petrol Prices June 7, 2023
- Edo Raises Minimum Wage by 33% to N40000, Slashes Work Days to Three June 7, 2023
- South Africa Faces Deep-Seated Economic, Energy Crisis June 7, 2023