07 Aug

Daily Watch – Power generation plummets, Forte Oil hunting for a refining buddy

  • Nigeria’s interbank lending rate jumped to 23 percent on Friday from just five percent a week ago after the CBN tightened liquidity. The more than quadrupling of the rate came after the bank sold a total of ₦167.60 billion ($459.56 million) in treasury bills on Friday and withdrew an undisclosed amount from lenders to maintain its cash reserve ratio. It did so to support the currency, making naira scarcer in the market and more attractive to hold. The regulator’s sales on Friday amounted to ₦167.16 billion of 356-day open market operation treasury bills at 18.55 percent, and ₦439.45 million of the 188-day paper at 17.95 percent. The total banking credit balance opened at ₦75 billion but outflows from the system led the market into negative territory, traders said.
  • The country’s power grid crashed by 1,835.6 megawatts within a three-day period in August. After reaching a peak of 4,282.6MW on August 2, power generation dropped to as low as 2,447MW on August 5, according to the latest data on the performance of the grid released Sunday. Power generation has continued to fluctuate for the past few months, as operators blame the development on gas and frequency constraints. The recent power briefing from the Transmission Company of Nigeria stated that 1,651MW of electricity could not be generated as a result of frequency management constraint on Friday alone, which was due to loss of feeders of power distribution companies. It added that the reported gas constraint resulted in the inability to generate 505MW on that day. Electricity generation since the beginning of August has hovered between 2,387MW and 4,280MW.
  • Forte Oil said it was in talks with a major refinery to form a strategic partnership for local refining of petroleum products in Nigeria, its chief executive said. The country has been pushing to refurbish its decrepit refineries, as the country is still mainly dependent on exporting crude oil for imports of refined products. It has also been seeking new investments to reduce reliance on imported oil products that consume a large portion of its scarce foreign currency reserves, especially with oil prices low. CEO Akin Akinfemiwa said the company was exploring partnerships and joint ventures for local refining of petroleum products. “We are aggressively pursuing M&A opportunities along the energy value chain,” Akinfemiwa told investors in Lagos. Nigeria’s oil minister has said its existing, ageing refineries have a daily domestic refining capacity of 6 million litres, while the daily consumption stands at 35 million.
  • Jaiz Bank recorded a well-rounded performance in the first half with significant growths in income and profitability. Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of Jaiz Bank for the six-month period ended June 30, showed that gross income grew by 45.7 percent, while profit rose by 312 percent. Gross income rose to ₦3.08 billion in first half 2017, as against ₦2.11 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2016. Profit jumped from ₦114.04 million in H1 2016 to ₦470.19 million in H1 2017. Jaiz, which is still under a pioneer tax waiver, grew its gross income from Islamic financing had grown by 26.7 percent to ₦3.25 billion in H1 2017, as against ₦2.563 billion in H1 2016. The bank’s share as a Mudarib or equity investor also grew by 33.7 percent from ₦1.99 billion to ₦2.66 billion.