30 Sep

Daily Watch – PIB non-passage costs Nigeria dear, Arik is delay king of the skies

  • Nigeria has lost about $200 billion (₦61 trillion) as a result of its failure to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, according to a new Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative policy brief. NEITI’s brief titled, ‘The urgency of a new petroleum sector law’, said some of the losses were cancelled projected investments due to regulatory uncertainty, which experts had put at $120 billion since the commencement of the process for the passage of the bill, or about $15 billion annually. The document said clear unambiguous rules, predictable policy-making and efficient regulations had been lacking in Nigeria’s petroleum sector since the process of enacting a law for the industry commenced and the setbacks suffered by the bill were not due to a poor understanding of the problems or a deficiency in expert input, but are largely a result of disagreements among stakeholders on the governing regulatory framework.
  • Kwara says it plans to suspend an effort to raise ₦20 billion in bond issuances to the capital market for infrastructure development following the establishment of the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund (IF-K). Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed in a statement said the launch of the IF-K will attract resources for funding infrastructure, thus rendering the bond issue unnecessary as all ongoing and new projects would be funded by the IF-K. The state government plans to inject ₦5.8billion into the state’s economy in the next 10 months through the IF-K.
  • MTN Group shares slumped the most in almost two months after federal lawmakers raised new allegations about the wireless carrier, this time accusing the company of illegally moving almost $14 billion out of its largest market. The Senate will thoroughly investigate the claim, it said on its Twitter account on Tuesday. Africa’s biggest wireless carrier by sales is accused of repatriating the funds over 10 years starting in 2006, according to Dino Melaye, the politician who proposed the motion. The four banks involved in the alleged illegal transfers are Citigroup, Standard Chartered, and Nigerian lenders Stanbic IBTC, and Diamond Bank. MTN shares fell 3.4 percent to 119.77 rand by the market close in Johannesburg, the steepest decline since August 2. That values the company at 221 billion rand ($16.4 billion).
  • Nigerian banks contending with the effects on earnings of weak oil prices, a US dollar shortage, the fall in the local currency and slowing economic growth may not all be sharing these burdens equally – Tier 2 banks may be in for choppier waters, a report has indicated. Analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited released a “Health Check” report which indicates that the situation was having a weighty effect on the Tier 2 banks owing to lower efficiency levels, a reduced capacity to absorb losses, smaller margins and in some cases, inability to compete for quality loans resulting in lower asset quality. The report was focused on Diamond Bank Plc, Sterling Bank and Fidelity Bank Plc, stating that the three banks are currently trading at an average price to earnings ratio of 2.5x and an average price-to-book value (PBV) of 0.2x. It stressed that such low valuations have not lured in investors who appear to be discounting these banks based on justifiable concerns over asset quality and capital adequacy.
  • Royal Exchange Group grossed income on premiums of ₦10.79 billion in 2015, according to chairman Kenneth Odogwu who spoke at the firm’s AGM in Lagos. He said the result showed an increase of 14 percent from the company’s performance last year noting the company recorded ₦9.43 billion in gross premium in 2014. He said the firm’s net premium income peaked at ₦8.08 billion, profit/loss for the period (₦1.29 billion) and total assets stood at ₦26.53 billion. According to him, the firm’s net claims rose ₦3.04 billion, as against the ₦2.43 billion recorded in 2014, while underwriting expenses decreased by four percent from ₦2.74 billion in 2014 to ₦2.64 billion last year. Also, management expenses stood at ₦3.27 billion as against ₦3.09 billion in the previous year, adding that an increase in reserve of ₦1.2 billion was made by the group for the insurance and investment liabilities of its life subsidiary within the period under review.
  • Domestic airlines operating in Nigeria recorded 16,353 cases of delayed flights between January and June, data from the Consumer Protection Department of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) show. According to the document, 30, 100 flights were operated by eight airlines during the period under review. According to the document, 601 flights were cancelled for various reasons. Arik, which operated 10,261 flights, topped the chart of delayed and cancelled flights with 5,780 and 156 respectively. Aero Contractors followed with 2,895 delayed flights and 231 cancellations out of its 4,714 flight operations, and Air Peace operated 5,366 flights with 2,328 cases of delayed flights and 12 cancelled flights, the report added. The airlines blamed delays and cancellations on a lingering scarcity of aviation fuel.