28 Aug

Daily Watch – Almost 100k changed telcos in H1, Nigerian hack downs 4k companies

  • Nigeria’s overnight lending rate dropped to 12 percent on Friday after spiking to almost 100 percent on Wednesday due to a liquidity squeeze as lenders paid for hard currency and treasury bills purchased from the CBN, traders said. Money market rates moderated on Thursday after the state disbursed ₦224.54 billion ($715.10 million) in budget allocations to its three tiers of government, boosting liquidity. The bank also repaid around ₦95.7 billion in matured treasury bills, to boost liquidity, traders said. Subsequently, the bank sold around ₦26.90 billion at an open market treasury auction on Friday to soak up naira liquidity. Traders said the money market remained liquid despite the auction. One trader expects rates to rise up to 30 percent this week as the CBN issues more securities to mop up part of government disbursement from the banking system.
  • Nigerian mobile network operators exchanged about 94,656 subscribers in the first half of 2017. Mobile Number Portability, which was launched in the country in 2013, across all networks, is designed to offer subscribers the opportunity to port their GSM numbers from one network to another, without losing their original numbers. A Guardian analysis of NCC data showed that in January, about 16,159 subscribers moved between the networks, which rose to 19,719 in February. The number fell again in March to 16,835 before increasing in April to 21,170, more than halved in May to 11,060 subscribers and falling even further to 9,713 in June. Airtel lost the most customers, as about 29,235 subscribers left the network. This was followed by MTN, which lost 27,982 users on its network. Globacom and 9mobile formerly Etisalat lost 26,611 and 10,828 subscribers respectively to the competition.
  • The Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Tunde Fowler, recently signed two major multilateral instruments aimed at tackling tax avoidance and evasion. These are the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting and the Common Reporting Standard Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement. Fowler, according to a statement, signed the agreements on behalf of Nigeria in Paris, with the Head of Global Relations and Development Division of the OECD, Ben Dickinson in attendance. The statement issued by the Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Pascal Saint-Amans, said the signing of the agreements makes Nigeria the 71st jurisdiction to sign the MLI and the 94th jurisdiction to join the CRS MCAA. He said the agreements would give Nigeria automatic exchange of tax and financial information among 101 tax jurisdictions and enhance the country’s ability to contain tax avoidance and evasion as well as share financial data.
  • Check Point’s researchers have revealed the identity of a cyber criminal who attacked more than 4,000 organisations over the past four months. The Israeli-based cyber security firm says the cyber attacks aimed to infect organisations’ networks, steal data and commit fraud. Companies that Check Point researchers confirmed were infected during the campaign include a marine and energy solutions company in Croatia, a transportation company in Abu Dhabi, a mining company in Egypt, a construction company in Dubai, an oil and gas firm in Kuwait, and a construction organisation in Germany. Following extensive research into the campaign, Check Point researchers say the attacker is a Nigerian national, working on his own. On his social media accounts, he uses the motto: “get rich or die trying”, the firm says. His attack campaign uses fraudulent e-mails which appear to originate from oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco, the world’s second largest daily oil producer, targeting financial staff within companies to trick them into revealing company bank details or open the e-mail’s malware-infected attachment. The campaign has resulted in 14 successful infections, earning the criminal thousands of dollars in the process, says Check Point. Since uncovering the campaign and establishing its origins, Check Point’s research team has notified law enforcement authorities in Nigeria and internationally, and shared its findings with them.