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Brokers on the floor of Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos.
 
Continued share price depreciation on the equity sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday pulled the market capitalisation further down by N110 billion.
At the close of trading yesterday, All-Share Index (NSE-ASI) shed 303.16 absolute points, representing a decline of 0.81 per cent to close at 36,963.70 points, while year-to-date loss rose to 3.35 per cent.
 
Also, the market capitalisation declined by N110billion to close at N13.390trillion.
 
The depreciation was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, Okomu Oil, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Lafarge Africa, International Breweries, and Julius Berger.
 
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited, said: “Despite the negative sentiment in the market, we anticipate a rebound in subsequent sessions as investors hunt for bargain opportunities.
 
Our view is further buttressed by the Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 36.1 points which is close to the oversold region.”
 
Market breadth closed negative, with 14 gainers versus 33 losers. Sovereign Trust Insurance recorded the highest price gain of eight per cent to close at 27kobo per share.
 
Wema Bank followed with a gain of 7.94 per cent to close at 68kobo, while Japaul Oil and Maritime Services appreciated by 6.45 per cent to close at 31kobo per share.
 
Mutual Benefits Assurance appreciated by 5.88 per cent to close at 36kobo, while Continental Reinsurance gained 3.45 per cent to close at N1.50 per share.
 
On the other hand, Capital Oil, and Julius Berger led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent each, to close at 27kobo and N24.30 respectively, while GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria followed with a loss of 9.97 per cent to close at N16.70 per share.
 
PZ Industries declined by 9.94 per cent to close at N15.40, while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance shed 9.68 per cent to close at 28kobo per share.
 
Also, the total volume traded declined by 32.84 per cent to 203.80 million shares worth N2.39billion traded in 4,178 deals.
 
Transactions in the shares of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) topped the activity chart with 20.71 million shares valued at N26.56million.
 
Source: The Guardian
The Akwa Ibom State Government has signed a  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SERGE Capital Investment Limited on the resuscitation of Ibom Science and Technology Park. 
 
Speaking on the occasion, the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel hinted that the Ibom Science and Technology Park is receiving priority attention from his Government as science and technology is the underpin of development across the world. 
 
The Governor who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem said at the event that was held in his conference room that in reviving the Ibom Science and Technology Park, the State will adopt a bottom up approach to ensure that those incubated at the park would move up to set up cottage industries in the local communities. 
 
He said the initiative is geared towards enhancing the human empowerment agenda of the State Government and promised the investors of Government's cooperation and support in the completion of the project. 
 
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Prof. Nse Essien who described the event as epochal stressed that the signing of the MOU is a culmination of series of discussions with the investors on the completion of the Ibom and Science and Technology Park. 
 
He said the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel is determined to ensure that Akwa Ibom State has become a front line State in science and technology and gave the assurance that the science and technology park when completed will open a window of vast opportunities for young scientists and innovators. 
 
The President of SERGE Capital Investment Limited, an Australian based firm with Chinese affiliation, Mr. Greg Todd in his remarks said they will combine resources from Australia, China and the local communities to develop industry, agriculture, infrastructure and trade under a model that will be world class.
 
He assured that his outfit is ready to reinvent the operational philosophy of the science park in conformity with world leading technologies in order to ensure sustainable development of economic, environmental and social sectors of the State.
 
Mr. Greg Todd and the Company Secretary of SERGE Capital Investment Limited, Mrs. Sally Conoid signed the MOU on behalf of the company while the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Prof. Nse Essien, the Executive Chairman of Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation (AKICORP), Dr. Elijah Akpan, the Chairman of Foreign Direct Investment in the State, Mr. Gabriel Ukpe and the Permanent Secretary in the office of Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Eno Offiong signed on behalf of the State Government. 
 
The event featured a presentation of some inventions by Mr. Nse Esu, an Akwa Ibom budding scientist and innovator. Some of the inventions presented include, Electric Source Indicator, Automatic Source Control System, Automatic Change Over Switch, Solar Charge Controller, Automatic Water Pump Control Switch and Generator Shutdown System.
 
 
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday injected $210 million into the inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market.
It offered $100 million to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got $55 million.
 
Another $55 million was allocated to invisibles such as tuition fees, medicals and Basic Travel allowance (BTA).
 
Meanwhile, the naira continued to exchange at an average of N360/$1 in the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the market on Tuesday, July 17.
 
In a statement, the bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the figures and restated the bank’s resolve to continue to intervene in the interbank forex market, in line with its pledge to sustain liquidity in the market and maintain stability.
 
Okorafor maintained that the continued forex intervention was to ensure that the apex bank met genuine customers’ requests in various segments of the market.
 
 
The Guardian.

Some major stakeholders on Monday have expressed their worries over the signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

They said it was too early for Nigeria to sign such agreement, noting that for an agreement like AfCFTA to be reached, the country would need to put in place necessary infrastructures to make investments thrive.

The stakeholders made this known at the 8th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House in Abuja.

Last week, President Buhari had disclosed that he would soon sign the AfCFTA on behalf of Nigeria, noting that the Federal Government was making necessary consultations with major stakeholders.

The stakeholders, who warned that the country will eventually become a dumping ground, said infrastructures like good interstate roads, power, access to ports, efficient rail transportation are needed in the country.

Speaking at the forum, the Chairman of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Business Group and former President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Mrs. Nike Akande, said the country was not ready for the agreement.

She added that Nigeria’s goods and services are not competitive enough, pointing out that good infrastructure is key to promoting trade and investment.

On his part, the Vice President of the North-West Zone of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engineer Ibrahim Usman, warned that trouble is likely to loom if the nation fails to get it right.

“We agree that the agreement is for services and not goods. If things are still work in progress, why the hurry?” he queried

In his reaction, Osinbajo said the country cannot afford to take the back seat on the issue, stressing that this is the time for Nigeria to act on the agreement.

“While the engine is running, we are not going to wait. I think this is the time to go ahead and do something about it,” he said.

The Vice President noted that the current administration has invested massively on infrastructures in the country.

Source: TheRipples. Com

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its growth projection for the Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy to 3.8 percent in 2019 from 2.8 percent in 2017, implying 0.1 percentage point increase compared with its April, 2018 projection.

The fund also upgraded Nigeria’s 2019 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 0.4 percentage point to 2.3 percent.

The IMF disclosed this in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update for July 2018 titled “Less Even Expansion, Rising Trade Tensions” released on Monday.

According to the release, the upgraded forecast “reflects improved prospects for Nigeria’s economy” and supported by the rise in commodity prices.

The global monetary authority said Nigeria’s growth is expected to rise from 0.8 percent in 2017 to 2.1 percent in 2018 and 2.3 percent in 2019 on the back of an improved outlook for oil prices.

But, it left its 2019 growth prediction for South Africa unchanged at 1.7 percent, South Africa is Africa’s most-industrialized economy and hasn’t grown at more than 2 percent a year since 2013.

Nigeria and South Africa’s economies account for about half of the Africa’s GDP.

In May, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the GDP report for the first quarter of 2018 indicating that Nigeria economy grew by 1.95 percent from 2.11 percent recorded in Q4 2017.

“Despite the weaker‑than-expected first quarter outturn in South Africa, the economy is expected to recover somewhat over the remainder of 2018 and into 2019 as confidence improvements associated with the new leadership are gradually reflected in strengthening private investment,” the fund said.

Nigeria’s economy is recovering after it plunged into recession in 2016 after a drop in the prices of crude oil in the international market, owing to its over dependence on the oil, the country’s main source of foreign exchange earnings.

Credit: TheRipples.com

Economic uncertainties and slowdown of market activities have continued to weaken investors’ appetite for equities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as the All-Share Index and market capitalisation depreciated further by 0.6%. 
 Specifically, at the close of transactions last week, the market capitalistaion, which stood at N13.637 trillion when the market reopened for transactions on July 9, lost N94 billion or 0.6 per cent, to close at N13.545 trillion at the weekend.
  Also, the ASI depreciated by 255.16 points from 37,647.93 to 37,392.77.
 

Furthermore, turnover of 1.219 billion shares worth N17.333 billion were recorded in in 17,362 deals by investors on the floor of the Exchange lower than 1.842 billion shares valued at N16.594 billion that changed hands in 18,941 deals during the preceding week.
 Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of the NSE oil/gas and the NSE Lotus II Indices that appreciated by 0.71 per cent  and 0.37 per cent respectively.
  Analysts attributed the downturn to the impact of 2019 elections and ongoing security challenges that have bedeviled the nation’s political space.
  For instance, the Chief Reseatch Officer of Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omodion, said: “The unfolding events regarding weekend’s Ekiti State governorship election confirm the fears among investors and analyst.
 
“For many, happenings around the July 14, 2018, election continue to feed the polity with unnecessary wrong signals that none of the regulators or government is doing much to play down, ahead of general election in 2019.
“We expect a slowdown in the decline that leads to reversal soon as Q2 earnings season kicks off any moment from now, since equities remain undervalued with higher yields. Investors should review their position in line with their investment goals and act as events unfolds in the global and domestic environment.

 “However, we would like to reiterate our advice that investors should go for equities with intrinsic value, especially during this season were Q2 interim dividend payment are expected in the market arena very soon.”
  Analyst at Codros Capital Limited said the continued selloffs and the absence of a near term one-off positive catalyst dampen the outlook for equities in the short-to-medium term, adding that strengthened macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of gains in the long term.

 
Vetiva Research Limited said: ”With market sentiments staying negative after a week of bearish trading, we expect the tepid sentiments to filter into the market at week’s opening.”
  Further breakdown of last week’s trading showed that the financial services Industry led the activity chart with 842.823 million shares valued at N9.587 billion, traded in 9,231 deals; thus contributing 69.15 per cent to the total equity turnover volume.
 The consumer goods industry followed with 113.667 million shares worth N4.657 billion in 3,120 deals, while the services industry ranked third with a turnover of 105.623 million shares worth N519.813 million in 593 deals.
  Trading in the top three equities- Access Bank Plc, Zenith International Bank Plc and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc accounted for 497.482 million shares worth N6.619 billion in 2,251 deals, contributing 40.82 per cent to the total equity turnover volume.
 

Also traded during the week were 79,304 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N1.491 million and executed in 18 deals, compared with 25,220 units valued at N454,438.90 that were transacted last week in four deals.
  A total of 13,517 units of Federal Government valued at N14.899 million was traded this week in 30 deals, compared with a total of 2,359 units valued at N2.188 million transacted last week in 24 deals.

Credit: The Guardian

After 25 years of operations that kicked off in Abuja, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said it has mobilised no fewer than $65 billion worth of loan syndications for trade financing and the development of the continent’s economies.

Nigeria, as a major stakeholder and contributor to the pan-African largest multilateral lender, has received about 40 per cent of the bank’s interventions, covering public investments and private sector working capital, particularly, the banks.

Today, while Nigeria and the rest of the African economies are still battling with financing challenges, the question of what it would have been like for the continent, without the emergence of the bank remains at large.

Meanwhile, the bank noted that there is as much as $120 billion in trade finance gap that needs to be closed; yearly $93 billion trade infrastructure gap; and a global trade share at three per cent, that needs to be raised; while Intra-African trade is still far below aspirations.At the weekend, during the yearly meetings of Afreximbank, part of the $65 billion syndications was injected further into Nigeria’s economy, as the Bank of Industry signed for a $750 million facility for on lending to small businesses.

Also, Aliko Dangote, signed a $650 million loan facility with the for an oil refinery project in Lekki, Nigeria, on a seven-year term loan, with five years moratorium.The government received a provision of $1.8 billion to support the economy during the recent oil price shock between 2015 and 2016, while a provision of liquidity and trade finance lines of more than $800 million was made during the banking consolidation when many international banks cut credit lines to the country.

Currently, Afreximbank’s initiatives in Nigeria include the development of testing and inspection centres across the country in collaboration with the Standards Organization of Nigeria; and establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Tertiary Healthcare/Medical Park.There is ongoing talks to participate in the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited being promoted by the government; the support for industrial projects through loans to strategic banks; provision of trade and letter of credit lines to all Nigerian banks, in close coordination with Central Bank of Nigeria; and development of an Afreximbank Africa Trade Centre in Abuja.

The bank’s President, Dr. Benedict Oramah, told The Guardian that the emergence of the bank was in reaction to challenge by an unprecedented debt crisis that ravaged the continent like a plague those days and as a child of necessity, was conceived for Africa and by Africans and now effectively delivered by Africans.So far, the bank has provided over $50 billion, granted in support of trade and project activities across Africa, supported the emergence of world class hotels across the continent, including upscaling facilities in Island economies like Cape Verde and Seychelles.

The bank prevented the implosion of Zimbabwe by providing an aggregate of about $4 billion to avert hunger and support critical businesses when virtually all international banks cut off the country.“Who would today have stepped in to provide trade services lines in excess of 4 billion to about 500 banks across Africa so that no country can be denied access to trade finance as a result of high compliance cost?

“Who would have supported connectivity among African markets by leveraging close to $3 billion in support of African airline operations?“How would some indigenous Nigerian entities have been able to acquire oil production acreages if the Bank had not stand by them?“Who would have financed the creation of at least 130 thousand metric tonnes of cocoa processing capacity in Cote d’Ivoire and revived processing plants in other major producing countries, namely Ghana and Nigeria?“Who would have provided $9 billion to a number of African central banks and commercial banks at the height of the commodity price induced crises of 2014-16?” he queried.Oramah said Afreximbank is powering the Collective Will of the Continent to boost intra-regional trade and export manufacturing and now about to launch a pan-African payment and settlement platform in support of intra-African trade.

Already, there are SMEs operating in export supply chains with hopes of improved access to finance as a result of the bank’s efforts to promote factoring, such that from almost nothing, Africa can today boast of 32 factoring companies sharing in near trillion dollar global market.President Muhammadu Buhari, while declaring open the bank’s yearly meetings, in Abuja, at the weekend, commended Afreximbank’s strategy in the continent through its dynamism and tenacious leadership, saying the lender had proved that Africans could come together to build something meaningful.

While delivering his keynote address, he said that those attributes had enabled the bank to record the successes so far since its establishment 25 years ago.He noted that the bank’s efforts to integrate Africa through its African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), is already undergoing a careful review, with several consultations to get the inputs of the nation’s diversed professionals, entrepreneurs and investors.South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who attested to the portents of AfCFTA, being driven by Afreximbank, when adopted, would provide the integrated and diversified markets that will unlock Africa’s full productive capacity.He lamented that “intra-African trade is only 15 per cent of Africa’s total trade, compared to Europe’s 67 per cent and we need a sustained strategic shift to industrialisation, increased Intra-African trade, and de-commoditisation through increased value addition and export diversification.”

Afreximbank’s Chief Economist, Dr. Hippolyte Fofack, said: “The AFCFTA must emphasise policies promoting export diversification for each member country. In addition, efforts must be increased to motivate more technology-intensive manufactured goods.“Given the current average technology and skill content in Intra-African trade, the AFCFTA seems to be well positioned to help achieve and deliver more technology-intensive manufactured goods.”

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said that continued infrastructure improvements and a focus on trade, particularly regional trade, would drive sustainable growth.Adeosun commended Afreximbank for its role during the last global recession when it supported many African countries with trade support and lines of credit at a time when others were withdrawing from Africa.

Credit: The Guardian

Persistent price depreciation in the shares of most highly capitalised firms on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday dragged the All-share index further by 0.07 per cent.
Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the All-Share Index (NSE-ASI) shed 26.81 absolute points, representing a decline of 0.07 per cent to close at 37,226.44 points.
Also, the market capitalisation declined by N10billion to close at N13.485trillion.The decline was occasioned by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Beta Glass, Forte Oil, Nigerian Breweries, Dangote Sugar, and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria.
 
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “As highlighted, we continue to see some late bargain hunting in the market, albeit, insufficient to upturn market performance. Hence, we expect to see a similar trend in today’s trading activity.”
 
Market breadth closed negative, with 15 gainers versus 30 losers. Custodian and Allied Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 8.45 per cent to close at N6.80 per share. International Breweries gained 5.61 per cent to close at N40.50.
 
Multiverse Mining and Exploration appreciated by five per cent to close at 21kobo per share.Vitafoam Nigeria added by 4.52 per cent to close at N3.24, while Japaul Oil & Maritime Services gained 3.03 per cent to close at 34kobo per share.
 
On the other hand, Beta Glass led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent, to close at N81 per share. Tantalizers followed with a decline of 9.09 per cent to close at 30kobo, while McNichols shed 8.99 per cent to close at 81kobo, per share.
 
Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) declined by 7.25 per cent to close at N3.71, and Honeywell Flour shed 6.37 per cent to close at N1.91 per share.However, the total volume traded rose by 22.08 per cent to 350.47 million shares worth N4.6billion traded in 3,228 deals. Transactions in the shares of NAHCO topped the activity chart with 88.13 million shares valued at N483.47million. Access Bank followed with 42.87 million shares worth N428.75million, while Zenith Bank traded 40.84 million shares at N980.23million.
Sovereign Trust Insurance traded 33.77 million shares valued at N7million, while International Breweries transacted 20.95 million shares worth N777.03million.
  
 
Source: The Guardian
Representatives of Austria, Germany and Switzerland have reiterated commitment to expanding business activities and workforce in Nigeria, following the recent ranking by the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index which placed the country among the 10 most improved economies.
 
The delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria, Marc Lucassen, said foreign businessmen were optimistic about the economic climate in Nigeria, noting that German companies were becoming more interested in the market.
 
At the third presentation of Austria-German-Swiss Business Outlook (AGSBO) in Lagos on Wednesday, Lucassen said though Nigeria moved up 24 points in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index and was among the 10 most improved economies, its business prospects in the next one year might be static.
 
According to the survey, 47.2 per cent expressed strong believe in general growth of businesses before the end of the year, as against the 8.3 per cent, who thought otherwise.
 
Lucassen, however, stressed that finding skilled workforce, especially in the field of engineering, was a major challenge, hence, most foreign companies result to recruitment and training of staff in-house.
 
“Nigeria has to invest heavily in education, as human capital is key for industrialization and diversification,” he advised.
 
He listed the major factors affecting investment activities in the country as forex supply, transport infrastructure and security.
 
The Deputy Consul General of the German Consulate General in Lagos, Ms. Alexandra Herr, said a German business desk was launched last year at Access Bank in Lagos in conjunction with the Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), aimed at addressing the particular needs of German firms and their local partners seeking financing solutions to enter the Nigerian market.
 
“I am confident that the interest in the Nigerian market will continue to translate into a series of initiatives, including visits of trade delegations in the months to come.
 
We will continue to work tirelessly in order to promote our bilateral trade relations,” she said.
 
 
Source: The Guardian

Shareholders of Cadbury Nigeria Plc on Friday approved N301.51 million as total dividend for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2017.

The shareholders gave the approval at the company’s 53rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dividend, which will be paid on July 9, translated to 16k per share.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Emmanuel Popoola , a shareholder, commended the company for the dividend declared and return to profitability in spite of the challenging operating environment. Popoola urged the company to work harder to ensure enhanced dividends in the years ahead.

Mr Taiwo Oderinde, another shareholder, urged the company introduce new products to increase its market share and bottom line.

Oderinde said the company should target products that would address the health issues in the country such as diabetes.

He also called on the company to look for cheaper means of financing its activities to reduce costs of operation.

Oderinde advised the company to work toward floating rights issue in the future to raise fresh capital instead of obtaining bank loans.

Responding, Mr Atedo Peterside, the company’s Chairman, said the company was working on some new products, which would be launched at the appropriate time.

Peterside said the company built its business on four key pillars, such as price competitiveness, aggressive route to market initiatives and sustained consumer-driven activations.

He said the company’s top priorities in the current year were to sustain focus on quality, drive improvements in productivity and reinforce operational efficiency to maximise its competitive advantage.

The chairman added that the company would drive growth ahead of competition to increase market share within its product categories.

The company, during the period under review, recorded a revenue of N33.08 billion compared with N29.98 billion in 2016.

It also benefited from cost savings initiatives, which saw selling and distribution costs as well as administrative costs decline by seven per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

Its profit before tax stood at N350.32 million from a loss before tax of N562. 87 million recorded in the previous year.

Profit for the year stood at N299. 99 million against a loss of N296. 40 million in 2016.

The company said revenue contribution for the 2017 financial year came from 55 per cent refreshment beverages which includes Bournvita and Cadbury 3-in-1 hot chocolate.

It stated that 31 per cent was from confectioneries such as Tom-Tom peppermint and its variants, while 14 per cent of the revenue came from Intermediate Cocoa products comprising cocoa powder, cocoa cake and cocoa butter.

Source: NAN

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