26 Jul

Daily Watch – Aviation fuel relief for passengers, Nigerian equities soar in Q2

  • The naira slipped 2.5 percent to a new closing low of 310 to the American dollar on Monday, failing to lure in local investors or foreign players as trade dried up a day before an expected interest rate hike from the CBN. The currency had opened at a record low of 302.10 on Monday and traded a total of just $8.64 million by the close, far less than $100.54 million on Friday when the central bank spurred the market by selling some of its dollars. Last Thursday, the naira fell through 300, a month after the central bank lifted its controls on the currency. On Friday it hit an all-time intraday low of 331 before recovering ground by the close. This comes amid reports that banks are showing little appetite for implementing the new CBN directive that they sell dollars to BDC operators.
  • There may finally be some respite for domestic airlines and their passengers over the scarcity of aviation fuel, as eight million litres of Jet-A1 fuel have been discharged in Lagos. According to the Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Obafemi Olawore, a marketer had already taken delivery of the product. He told The Punch, “One marketer has the product now; we are expecting more. A ship has completed a discharge. We are expecting a second ship this week. Already, we have a minimum of eight million litres of Jet-A1 fuel in the market now.” In the past few weeks, air passengers have been forced to deal with flight cancellations and delays as airlines struggle to continue operations in view of the fuel scarcity.
  • Nigerian equities rose by ₦1.461 trillion in Q2 this year, with market capitalisation standing at ₦10.165 trillion on June 30 from ₦8.704 trillion on March 31. The NSE All-Share Index also moved to 29,597.79 basis points from 25,306.22 basis points within the same period. Between January and March, the equities market had depreciated by 10.79 percent, according to NSE data. Investors had made huge losses in the Nigerian equities market last year, as the NSE shed a total of ₦2.354 trillion between December 2014 and December 2015. Financial experts tied the improved performance of the market on the CBN’s decision to introduce the floating foreign exchange policy.
  • Zenith Bank says it will roll out free Wi-Fi at some of its branches nationwide to enable people within its premises and surrounding areas to perform a wide range of internet related activities such as app downloads, website browsing for information, online banking, online research among others. The bank also said it has installed a wide-range free Wi-Fi hotspot covering the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and its environs, to avail people within the hospital’s vicinity with access to online tools and resources. The service is accessible by simply entering a Zenith Bank account number. A list of all Wi-Fi enabled locations is available on their website.