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Thread: Latest Nigerian News from Forex Forum Nigeria.

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    Oil hits highest in nearly 2 weeks

    Oil prices extended gains to hit their highest level in nearly two weeks on Monday, buoyed as Asian shares joined a global recovery in equity markets and as worries grew over tensions in the Middle East.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Feb. 18, that Israel could act against Iran itself, not just its allies in the Middle East, after border incidents in Syria brought the Middle East foes closer to direct confrontation.

    U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery was up 73 cents, or 1.2 per cent at 62.41 dollars a barrel by 0600 GMT, after earlier touching its highest since Feb. 7.

    Brent sweet crude was up 52 cents, or 0.8 per cent at 65.36 dollars, after rising more than three per cent last week.

    Trading is expected to be slower than usual due to market holidays in the U.S. as well as Greater China.

    Surging U.S. production is offsetting efforts by the OPEC and some other producers, including Russia to curb production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of 2018.

    Money managers slashed their bullish wagers on ICE Brent crude oil futures by the most in nearly eight months in the week to Feb. 13, data showed.

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    CBN new guidelines means only 6 banks may be able to pay out dividend

    The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), last week published an update on an earlier issued (8th October, 2014) Circular on Internal Capital Generation and Dividend Pay-out Ratio of Nigerian Banks.

    The major focus of the circular is on the capital reserves of the banks as well as the proportion of Non-Performing Loans in a bid to forestall any threats to customer deposits in the system.

    The circular affirm some of existing provisions while some have been updated as a proactive step by the CBN in light of current economic realities.

    In line with recent developments as well as perception of potential risks on the horizon, the apex bank released further guidelines for Nigerian banks with regards to dividend payment.

    Expert at Afrinvest analysed the current state of the banks and the potential impact this can have on the banks.

    The expert said based on the analysis of the banks using their 9M:2017 results, most of the banks, especially the Tier-1 banks (ACCESS, GUARANTY, UBA and ZENITH), are not likely to be significantly impacted and are expected to sustain the historical dividend payment trend.

    They further added that Ecobank Transnational Plc (ETI) meets the regulatory requirement for CAR, but has NPL above recommended maximum by the CBN; hence a maximum payout ratio of 75.0% is placed on the bank.

    “For the banks affected by the restrictions, we opine more attention will be turned towards improving NPL and shoring up capital buffers in order to ensure dividend payment. Already, DIAMOND sold off its African operations for a consideration of US$75.7m (N27.3bn) in order to improve its CAR buffers. Similarly, Union Bank concluded a N50.0bn rights issue in order to improve its capital base,” It added.

    The experts are of the opinion that, given the premium Nigerian investors place on dividend paying stocks, they believe banks will strive to improve on dividend payment.

    Nevertheless, “We do not rule out the possibility of some kneejerk sell-off reactions by investors especially in stocks that are affected by the dividend payment restrictions. Hence, we advise that investors thread cautiously especially ahead of the release of full year earnings.”

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    Fuel pricing our greatest challenge – Kachikwu

    One of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria is the pricing of petroleum products, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, said yesterday, emphasising the need for the country to urgently address the issue.
    Speaking at a special session at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja, Kachikwu said that unless the problem of appropriate petrol and gas pricing was addressed, fixing the existing refineries and encouraging private investors to build new ones would not solve the country’s downstream problems.

    The minister who addressed industry stakeholders on “The 7 Big Wins-Short and Medium Term Priorities to grow Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry” however, said that care must be taken in any attempt to review the prices of petroleum products so as to ensure that people did not suffer unduly.

    He said, “Everybody wants power, available gas and freely delivered fuel with no queues, but people are not willing to make the sacrifices that are essential for these things to happen.

    “However, if we get refineries back by 2019, does that solve the problem? No, it doesn’t. You still have to deal with the pricing issues, because nobody is going to build a refinery and sell products at a loss,” he said.

    Also contributing, the President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Eng. Dada Thomas, called for a consensus in the price of gas that is acceptable to both buyers (gas consumers) and sellers (gas producers).

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    FG mulls incentives for modular refinery investors

    The federal government said it will in a matter of weeks conclude discussions on number of incentives lined up for investors who establish modular refineries in Nigeria.

    The government had been considering granting duty waivers and tax holidays to investors although implementation road map had been unclear.

    Speaking at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja, Mr. Rabiu Suleiman, who is the Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that discussions on incentives right from custom duty waivers and tax reliefs have reached a comfortable stage and would happen soon.

    “Only last week we engaged with the minister of finance and with customs to see how we can achieve that. Hopefully, by next week we should be able to conclude on that,” Suleiman said.

    He said that in addition to tax and custom duties waivers the government would also guarantee the investors regular crude oil supply.

    He explained that the federal government was in talks with a number potential financiers like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) amongst others to provide contributory funding to investors in modular refineries in the Niger Delta region.

    Apart from NSIA, CBN, and IFC, Suleiman, noted that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and some state governments have equally indicated their willingness to invest in the refineries and gain equity share in them.

    The federal government in November 2017 disclosed that it was considering granting 13 operational licenses for modular refineries in the Delta.

    Also speaking in a presentation titled “An Assessment of the Economic Viability and Competitiveness of Modular Refinery in Nigeria,” a Lecturer at Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun Prof. Ogbarode N. Ogbon said that Nigeria will need 75 modular refineries with capacity of about 10,000 barrels per day by 2020 if the problem of fuel shortage will end.

    “Irrespective of the revamping of the four refineries and the Dangote refinery coming on board, come 2020 you will need 75 modular refineries operating in this country of about 10,000 barrels per stream day or we will go back to the situation of the fuel shortage,” he said.

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    IAG, RBS drops put FTSE 100 on course for weekly loss

    The UK’s top share index took a knock on Friday after bank RBS and airline operator IAG tumbled following their results, putting the FTSE 100 on track for a slight weekly loss.

    Britain’s blue chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.2 percent at 7,240.07 points by 1002 GMT, while mid caps gained 0.2 percent.

    A number of big, earnings-driven falls weighed on the blue chips.

    “We are emerging from a situation where the recovery was almost like easy pickings,” Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index, said.

    “As we enter a period where all of that has passed, the companies are stronger, the outlook for growth is a lot more tenuous,” Odeluga added.

    Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland were the biggest fallers, down 4.5 percent and on track for their biggest one-day drop in nearly one year after the bank reported its full year results.

    While RBS posted its first profit in a decade, analysts flagged higher-than-expected restructuring costs and a large misconduct fine.

    IAG was another big faller, down more than 4 percent after the British Airways operator reported annual figures.

    Analysts at Liberum said that while IAG’s results were in line with their forecasts, revenue was a little light and fuel costs came in worse than expected.

    However, Pearson’s update was well-received by investors, with shares in the educational publisher rising more than 1 percent.

    Pearson has been grappling with the switch to digital from paper textbooks, issuing a series of profit warnings along the way.

    Analysts at Investec said that while they were encouraged by certain aspects such as Pearson’s cost savings and double-digit digital sales, Pearson has yet to prove itself in terms of its new generation of digital personalised learning products.

    A rise in BT’s shares led the index, however, with the telco up 3.8 percent after UK regulator Ofcom unveiled new rules on the roll-out of full-fibre broadband, saying that it would not regulate the prices of BT’s Openreach superfast broadband products.

    Elsewhere deal-making was in focus, with shares in mid cap Phoenix Group rising more than 5 percent to the top of the index after Standard Life Aberdeen agreed to sell the bulk of its insurance unit to Phoenix Group, Britain’s largest owner of closed life assurance funds.

    SLA’s shares gained 3.1 percent, helped also by its broadly in-line full year results.

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