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Oil Drops Further After OPEC Delay With Asian Stocks Mixed

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Oil extended losses Thursday after OPEC announced the shock delay of a key policy meeting, suggesting fresh upheaval in the bloc, while equities were mixed after two US reports dented recent euphoria over the future of interest rates.

Both main crude contracts slipped on news that the much-anticipated gathering of the major producers — combining OPEC and 10 allies — would be put back by four days to November 30.

Prices had dived almost five percent at one point Wednesday, before paring the losses.

Reports said the decision was made after Angola and Nigeria pushed back against lower targets that were urged by others, with Saudi Arabia said to have been preparing to extend a one-million-barrel-a-day output cut into the new year.

Riyadh and Russia unveiled massive cuts earlier this year in a bid to boost prices, which have come under pressure owing to stuttering economies in the United States, Europe and particularly China.

Pierre Andurand, of Andurand Capital Management, said global supplies were healthier than expected, meaning the OPEC+ cartel would need to reduce output.

READ ALSO: OPEC Cuts Nigeria’s Oil Output By 20.7% To 1.38 mb/d

The Saudis will probably want the other countries to cut as well,” he told Bloomberg TV. “It’s going to be a negotiation.”

Equity markets in Asia fluctuated, even after a fresh pre-Thanksgiving bounce on Wall Street.

Hong Kong bounced back from morning losses to edge higher in the afternoon, with developers in ascendance as it emerged China is preparing to offer the property sector more support, calling for banks to do more for the industry.

That came after Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that authorities had drawn up a draft list of 50 firms that would be eligible for more monetary support.

Among the winners, struggling Country Garden soared more than 23 percent after it was reported the company was on the list. Another troubled developer, Evergrande, was up more than three percent.

Elsewhere, Shanghai, Seoul, Wellington, Mumbai and Jakarta also rose but Sydney, Singapore, Taipei, Manila and Bangkok were in retreat.

READ ALSO: Naira Depreciates Against Dollar, Loses N81

London, Frankfurt and Paris all rose at the open.

The tepid performance came after data showed a pick-up in inflation expectations among US consumers, who now see it at 4.5 percent over the next year, against 4.4 percent previously expected, according to the University of Michigan.

Separately, US jobless claims came in far lower than forecast, showing that the labour market continues to hold up.

The Fed has repeatedly said it would make its rate decisions based on data, particularly inflation and jobs.

The readings gave a little jolt to the good mood on trading floors that has been swirling since below-par consumer price figures last week reinforced optimism the rate-hike cycle had ended and cuts could be on the way next year.

Markets can be capricious sometimes, and at the present junction, investors are looking for clues confirming the Fed is done with its current tightening cycle, thus evidence to the contrary can be unsettling,” said National Australia Bank’s Rodrigo Catril.

READ ALSO: Again, OPEC Increases Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Quota To 1.8mbpd

The latest US data “triggered a (disproportionate) market reaction, US jobless claims and inflation expectations data did not support the story US inflation is easing against a weakening US labour market”, he said.

Still, observers said the outlook was bright for equities.

“We do expect the stock market rally to continue,” said Audrey Goh of Standard Chartered Bank.

“If you look at inflation, that clearly has moderated, so that will allow the Fed to stand pat. Our expectation is that policy rates have peaked.”

Key figures around 0810 GMT
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 1.0 percent at 17,910.84 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 3,061.86 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,480.41

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.6 percent at $76.63 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.7 percent at $81.36 per barrel

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 149.10 yen from 149.59 yen on Wednesday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0914 from $1.0890

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2516 from $1.2494

Euro/pound: UP at 87.20 pence from 87.13 pence

New York – DOW: UP 0.5 percent at 35,273.03 (close)

AFP

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JUST IN: CBN May Increase Bureau De Change’s Share Capital To N2bn

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The Central Bank of Nigeria is considering plans to increase the share capital of Bureau De Change operators to N2bn and N500m for Tier 1 and Tier 2 licenses.

The currency operators were previously charged N35m for a general license.

This was contained in the draft paper of a “Revised Regulatory And Supervisory Guidelines For Bureau De Change Operations In Nigeria” published by the apex bank on Friday.

The new guidelines contain several new changes to the guidelines for BDC operations in the country and if endorsed will be effective at a date decided by the CBN.

READ ALSO: CJN To Swear In New Supreme Court Justices Monday

Recently, operations of the currency operators have suffered heavy backlash following the free fall of the naira against the dollar.

Government officials have severely blamed the black market operators for this fall though liquidity remains a huge challenge.

This week, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commision arrested over 250 BDC operators in Abuja and many more in other states of the federation.

Under the minimum capital requirements, the central bank is introducing a two-tier license for BDC operators in the country.

A Tier 1 BDC is authorised to operate on a national basis can open branches and may appoint franchisees, subject to the approval of the CBN.

READ ALSO: Economic Hardship: Delta Protest Canceled As Soldiers Arrest Journalist

A Tier 1 BDC (which is the franchisor) shall exercise supervisory oversight over its franchisees. All franchisees shall adopt their franchisor’s name, branding, technology platform, and rendition requirements.

Also, a Tier 2 BDC is authorised to operate only in one state or the FCT. It may have up to three locations – a head office and two branches, subject to approval of the CBN. It is not permitted to appoint franchisees.”

Under Tier 1 operators are expected to have N2bn as minimum share capital while also depositing a Mandatory Caution Deposit of N200m.

The application and license fee is also N1 million and N5 million respectively.

“Under Tier 2 operators are expected to have N500 million as minimum share capital while depositing a Mandatory Caution Deposit of N50 million. The application and license fee are also N250,000 and N2 million respectively.”

The apex bank also stated that the prescribed minimum capital of BDCs and any subsequent capital injection shall be subject to verification by the CBN.

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MPC Nominees Promise To End Forex, Food Crises

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The Senate on Wednesday grilled nominees for membership of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee over the forex crisis and unending food crisis.

President Bola Tinubu had, last week, forwarded to the Senate for confirmation, the names of nominees for the committee of the CBN.

In giving the request expeditious consideration ahead of the MPC meeting slated for next Monday, February 26, the Senate, through its Committee on Banking, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions, grilled six out of the nominees with questions on required urgent solutions to forex volatility and food crisis.

READ ALSO: EFCC Grills Former Kwara Gov AbdulFatah Ahmed For Second Day Over ₦10bn

The first to be grilled was the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda, who informed the committee that his nomination into MPC would give the SEC the needed voice in monetary policy.

Yuguda lamented that the value of the Naira as it is today, is not real, having lost its intrinsic value but that the MPC, when inaugurated on Monday, would join other stakeholders to stabilise the national currency.

He said, “The value of any currency is measured by the goods and services that it can buy. The Naira, as it is today, does not possess that value sufficiently which is being critically looked into.”

READ ALSO: Nigerians Knock Seyi Tinubu For Preaching Endurance Over Economic Hardship

In his submission, the nominee from Lagos State, Dr. Mustapha Akinkunmi, said the way out now is to target the exchange rate and not inflation as currently being tackled which hasn’t yielded so much result.

He saod, “A more proactive way of addressing the Naira volatility problem at hand is for the CBN to target the exchange rate itself and not inflation.

“The inflation the country is facing now is largely that of food inflation, which is beyond CBN but for the entire country.

“Production and distribution of food commodities across the country would help to reduce the food inflation, while the aggressive target of the exchange rate, would help to stabilise the Naira with the required increase in productivity.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Reject IMF, World Bank Offers – Falana Cautions FG

In a similar submission, the nominee from Imo State, Mrs Aku Odinkemelu, said productivity is the key to arresting the volatility of the Naira and food inflation.

Other nominees grilled at the session by the committee were Prof. Murtala Sagagi, Kano State; Bamidele Amoo, Kwara State; and Aloysius Ordu, who worked with the World Bank and the African Development Bank for 30 years at different times.

In his closing remarks, the committee’s chairman, Senator Tokunbo Abiru (APC, Lagos East), told the nominees that their screening was done ahead of the MPC meeting slated for next Monday by the CBN.

Abiru said what Nigerians expect to come after the meeting are solutions to the rising inflation rate, worsening Naira volatility in the forex market and the general rejuvenation of the economy.

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MTN, Dangote Cement, Others Drag Equity Market To N1.8tn Loss

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The equity market opened in the reds on Monday as investors lost about N1.82tn.

Substantial depreciations were observed in bellwether stocks, fuelled by strong sell interest in the market. Specifically, securities such as Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria, NGX Group, NEM Insurance, and Tantalizer dipped by 10 percent, 10 percent, -9.76 percent, -9.74 percent, and -9.52 percent, respectively.

Both the All-Share Index and the market capitalisation of the local bourse depreciated by 3.15 percent to close at 102,393.23 points and N56.03tn due to waning market sentiment. Hence, the year-to-date return of the index dipped to 36.94 percent from 41.39 percent in the previous trading session.

Trading activities remained subdued into the new week with notable decreases in the total traded volume and value by 17.60 percent and 5.59 percent to 273.85 million units and N7.44bn, respectively. However, the total deals for the day bucked the trend, advancing by 17.60 percent to 9,688 trades.

In eight months of Tinubu administration, Nigeria’s stock market leads the world
Despite the market sentiments, buy pressure was observed in Juli Plc, Daar Communications, Sunu Assurances, ABC Transport, and NAHCO, as their share prices rose by 9.52 percent, 8.64 percent, 6.74 percent, 6.67 percent, and 5.86 percent.

READ ALSO: NAFDAC, PCN Raid, Seal 1,321 Patent Medicine Outlets In Kano

On the sectoral front, tracked sub-sector indices closed in red territory. The Industrial Goods sector topped the chart for the most losers with a massive 6.02 percent decline, primarily driven by sell-pressure in Dangote Cement. This was followed by the Insurance sector with a loss of 2.49 percent, attributable majorly, to share price declines in NEM Insurance, Linkage Assurance, and VeritasKap.

Sectors such as Banking, Consumer Goods, and Oil/Gas declined by 0.24 percent, 0.77 percent, and 0.28 percent, respectively.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc was the most traded security by volume with 28.85 million units, while Geregu led in value at N1.74bn.

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