- Oil tanker drivers ended a strike over pay and the poor condition of the roads just hours after it began on Monday, following a government intervention, ending the threat of fuel shortages developing. The union called off the strike “because the FG has intervened and promised to look into the drivers’ demands,” said Charles Eleto, a regional chairman for NUPENG, one of Nigeria’s two major oil workers’ unions. In a meeting in the Abuja on Monday, the head of the NNPC agreed with NUPENG’s president to increase transportation fees for the workers.
- The CBN said on Monday that it had offered $150 million in currency forwards, as it sold dollars to try to narrow the spread between the naira’s official and black market exchange rates. Earlier, currency traders said the forwards had been offered to be settled within 60 days. The bank also said on Monday, in an emailed statement, that it had released $90 million to meet requests for dollars to pay some expenses, such as medical and school fees, and to cover travel allowances. “In a bid to further ease the access of customers, the CBN has also directed all banks to pay cash over the counter to desiring foreign exchange customers,” the regulator said in its statement. The local currency was quoted at ₦395 to the dollar on the black market on Monday, against ₦390 at close on Friday.
- The tight monetary policy recommended for Nigeria by IMF is inconsistent with the economic recovery process, said Muda Yusuf, the DG of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said. Yusuf was reacting to the report of the IMF Article IV Consultation on the Nigerian economy. The IMF Article IV Consultations is an independent assessment of the Nigerian economy and the current economic management framework. “We do not share the view of the IMF that monetary policy needs to be further tightened at this time. It is inappropriate to call for a further tightening of monetary policy in an economy that is grappling with recession, high unemployment, high operating costs, high-interest rates, faltering real sector. Such a move would not be consistent with the economic recovery process. “It will also not be consistent with the Federal Government’s vision to build an inclusive economy, spur growth, support the real economy and create jobs,” Yusuf said. He, however, concurred with the IMF’s concern over the nation’s fiscal deficit increase from 3.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2015 to 4.7 percent of GDP in 2016.
- The African Development Bank has approved a $450 million trade finance deal for the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), a move that is designed to “boost intra-Africa trade, promote regional integration, and contribute to the reduction of the trade finance gap in Africa. The bank said the facility will contribute to macroeconomic resilience in at least 28 countries. “It will provide financing to more than 100 financial institutions and corporates and support at least $2.8 billion of trade in Africa over a four-year period. AfDB’s additionality in this project stems from its ‘AAA’ rating that will enable Afreximbank enhance its trade finance confirmation capabilities; its ability to avail medium-term liquidity support to Afreximbank to provide appropriate trade finance to local banks and corporates in Africa; and its demonstrable appetite for Africa risk,” the bank said in a statement.
- FBNInsurance has announced a PBT of ₦3.13 billion for the 2016 financial year, a 70 percent increase compared to the ₦1.8 billion achieved in the previous year. But the firm’s gross premium written dropped by four percent from ₦10.3 billion in 2015 to ₦9.9 billion in 2016. Meanwhile, FBN General Insurance also recorded a gross premium income of ₦2.2 billion in its 2016 financial year, representing 17.4 percent increase when compared to ₦1.8 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2015. Its claims expenses also rose by 24 percent from ₦205 million to ₦270 million in the year under review. FBNInsurance CEO, Val Ojumah, while commenting on the results, attributed the strong performance to a combination of factors including the deployment of innovative products, deeper retail penetration, robust risk management, efficient service delivery and the commitment of its staff. According to its audited accounts, the company’s total assets stood at ₦6.1 billion, an 11.9 percent increase from the ₦5.3 billion it had last year.
- The FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange recorded ₦22.99 trillion worth of transactions in fixed income and currency markets in the first two months of 2017. A Market Turnover Report from the company on Monday indicated that this was an increase from ₦13.92 trillion recorded in the corresponding period in 2016. A breakdown of the new report showed that transactions in Treasury Bills contributed the highest of ₦11.60 trillion to turnover. It was trailed by repurchase agreements/buy-backs which accounted for ₦5.22 trillion worth of transactions, while foreign exchange derivatives totalled ₦2.43 trillion. There was ₦2.35 trillion worth of Federal Government bonds while FX deals were worth ₦1.19 trillion. Ten leading member banks dominated activities in the FMDQ market during the period with Ecobank Nigeria leading the pack. Access Bank came second on the activity chart and was followed by UBA, Stanbic IBTC, First Bank, FBN Merchant Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. Others are Union Bank, Diamond Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank, respectively. The report said that the top 10 dealing member banks accounted for 70.97 percent of transactions.