Global equities market ignore wars, others as Nigerian bourse gains N2.1trn

In spite of raging wars in the Middle East and between Russian and Ukraine,  both the Nigerian and global equities market went on unconcerned last week with the local bourse adding N2.1 trillion to close at N57.8 trillion last Friday.

The result is that the Nigerian Exchange (NGX)’s All Share Index (ASI) went up by 3.3 per cent, week-on-week (W/W).

The global stock market remained resilient evidenced by the 0.3 per cent w/w gain in the MSCI world index due to bullish dominance across major regions. In the US, the S&P 500 index experienced a mild gain of 0.1 per cent w/w, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ index booked a 0.7 per cent loss. 

In other advanced markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng indices gained 4.4 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively. Likewise, France’s CAC 40, Germany’s XETRA DAX and UK’s FTSE also appreciated 1.6 per cent, 1.1 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.

In the BRICS market, performance was largely bullish, as three of the five indices under our coverage closed positive. Leading the gainers, India’s BSE Sens index rallied by 1.2bper cent  w/w, followed by South Africa’s FTSE/JSE ASI which advanced 0.2 per cent w/w. Conversely, Russia’s RTS index declined 1.4 per cent w/w.

In Nigeria, the NGX-ASI rose 3.8bper crnt w/w to 105,722.78 points, market capitalisation advanced N2.1 trillion to N57.8 trillion, while Year-to-Date (YTD) return inched higher to 41.4 per cent (previously: 36.2 per cent). Activity level waned as average volume and value traded fell 36.8 per cent and 23.5 per cent w/w to 342.5 million units and N8.0 billion respectively. Top traded stocks by volume were VERITASKAP (108.9 million units), UBA (104.1 million units) and TRANSCORP (98.8 million units) while GEREGU (N4.7 billion), GTCO (N3.9 billion) and UBA (N2.6 billion) led in terms of value.

 Performance across sectors under our coverage was positive as four indices closed in the green while the other two lost. The Consumer Goods and AFR-ICT indices advanced 11.0 per cent and 5.7 per cent w/w respectively, due to buying interest in BUAFOODS (+20.8 per cent), HONYFLOUR (+4.3 per cent), AIRTELAF (+10.0 per cent) and CHAMS (+9.2 per cent). Similarly, the Oil & Gas and Insurance indices rose 5.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent w/w respectively, on the back of gains in SEPLAT (+9.6 per cent), CORNERST (+12.1%) and MANSARD (+5.3 per cent). Conversely, the Industrial Goods and Banking indices fell 1.8 per cent and 1.3 per cent w/w sequentially, owing to losses in BUACEMENT (-4.6 per cent), WAPCO (-4.6 per cent), ACCESSCORP (-9.1 per cent) and ZENITHBA (-2.8 per cent).

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Naira exchange rate approaches N1,700/$1 despite CBN policies

By Segun Odunewu, Lagos

Despite various policies implemented by the Central Bank aimed at halting the currency’s devaluation, the exchange rate between the naira and the dollar has depreciated to an all-time low, reaching N1,537.96/$1 at the official market.

In the parallel market, where the naira is also traded the exchange rate has hit N1650/$1.

The persistent depreciation of the naira, despite an increase in forex turnover in the official exchange window, is often attributed to the lack of forex inflow amid rising demand. This sentiment is widely echoed in social media discussions and television commentary.

The parallel market exchange rate surpassed N1000/$1 on October 9th, 2023, and the official market followed suit on December 8th, 2023, with the rate continuing to weaken thereafter. 

In response to the depreciation last year, the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, announced that Nigeria was expecting a $1 billion inflow, with a prospective $10 billion in foreign exchange anticipated in the near term, more specifically within weeks rather than months. This statement was made on October 24th, yet nearly four months later, no significant inflow has been recorded. 

The exchange rate has experienced a significant depreciation of 10 per cent since the Central Bank initiated a series of foreign exchange reforms.

These reforms were designed to enhance the supply of foreign exchange while also reducing restrictions on demand.

As of January 31, following a directive from the Central Bank instructing banks to manage their net open positions, the exchange rate stood at N1,455/$1 in the official market but deteriorated to close at N1,577.9/$1.

This rapid depreciation indicates that the market might be skeptical about the effectiveness of the Central Bank’s forex policies, as an anticipated increase in forex inflows has not materialised.

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Lagos insists on relocating Computer Village to Abule-Egba

By Segun Odunewu, Lagos

The Lagos State Government is set to relocate the Computer Village from Ikeja to Katangua in the Abule-Egba area as part of an effort to reorganize markets in the state.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on eGIS and Urban Development, Dr Olajide Babatunde, disclosed this on Saturday, during a joint inspection and enforcement exercise carried out by Lagos State Building Control Agency, in conjunction with some law enforcement agencies and other relevant government agencies in charge of emergency related matters.

He said, “We are trying to reorganise all our markets. I will give an example, in Ikeja, we have the computer village, which is being relocated to Katangua. Hence, it is not just the computer village alone, there are other activities that would happen in the Katangua market.”

According to him, in the coming weeks, the efforts of the government on the Katangua market will be seen.

He added, “We are moving those people who seem to be on the road in Ikeja and obstructing traffic, into a proper market big enough with all the services, with a creche for their children, schools, playground, churches, mosques, storage room, warehouses, some accommodations and and hotel facilities.

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NAICOM partners youth ministry on financial literacy, others

By David Agba

Abuja

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has revealed plans to collaborate with the Ministry of Youth Development in the areas of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career development.

The Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of NAICOM, Mr. Sunday Thomas, made this known when the Youth Development Minister of State, Mr. Ayodele Olawande paid him a courtesy visit in his office, Abuja recently.

The Commissioner for Insurance in his remark welcomed the minister and gave a brief history and overview of the Nigerian insurance industry, the administrative structure of the Commission as well as its achievements in the area of financial inclusion, transition to risk-based supervision and IFRS 17, setting up of the West African Insurance Supervisors Association and the College of Insurance Supervisors of the West African Monetary Zone.

The minister in his remark thanked the NAICOM management for the warm reception. He expressed his desires for the Ministry to collaborate with NAICOM in engaging the Nigerian youth formally and informally to develop their skills. He noted that the Ministry had developed a digital platform (app) called Nigerian Youth Academy (NIYA) where Nigerian youth could learn vocational and digital skills.

He requested to collaborate with NAICOM in the building of insurance educational module to be uploaded on the NIYA platform as this will go a long way in training the youths and improve their level of financial literacy, help in entrepreneurship and job creation, career development and sensitise youth on the benefits of insurances.

The CFI promised to convey the minister’s request to relevant parties (The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and the College of Insurance and Financial Management) within the Nigerian Insurance Industry.

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Valentine’s Day: Visually impaired Nigerians celebrate FCMB’s inclusiveness

By David Agba

Abuja

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) celebrated Valentine’s Day this year with a unique expression of love, reaching out to hundreds of visually impaired students and adults at two schools and two centres in Lagos.

Titled “A Different Kind of Love,” the initiative reflects FCMB’s dedication to inclusivity and empowerment. The bank donated N5 million, white canes, essential food items, and household materials to the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind Vocational Training Centre in Oshodi. Similar donations of white canes, food items, and household materials were made to the Bethesda Home for the Blind in Mushin, Pacelli School for the Blind in Surulere, and Nigeria Farmcraft Centre for the Blind in Isheri-Olofin.

Students and teachers expressed their heartfelt appreciation to FCMB for the thoughtful and inclusive celebrations.

Akinjide Akinpelu, a visually impaired teacher at the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind Vocational Training Centre, expressed his gratitude for FCMB’s consistent support for the centre and its kindness towards the visually impaired community.

Badru Asif, a student at the Pacelli School for the Blind, expressed his deep appreciation to FCMB for organizing the Valentine’s Day program. He acknowledged and appreciated the bank’s efforts, offering prayers for its continued success.

The Executive Secretary of the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind Vocational Training Centre, Mr Oluwamayowa Oke, expressed his gratitude for FCMB’s continuous support. He highlighted the challenges of blindness in Nigeria and the centre’s role in empowering visually impaired individuals.