CBN extends stamp duty collection to savings accounts – Punch

By Everest Amaefule, Abuja

Banks are no longer restricting the deduction of stamp duty on deposits made into current accounts, but now apply it to deposits made into savings accounts, investigation has shown.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had through a circular issued on January 15, 2016 directed the Deposit Money Banks to deduct N50 stamp duty on each deposit made into current accounts with a value of N1,000 and above in order to boost government’s revenue drive and in compliance with Stamp Duties Act, 2004.

The apex bank anchored its directive on a court ruling obtained by Kasmal International Services Limited in 2014 to the effect that the 22 banks operating in the country should remit more than N6tn to the Nigerian Postal Services through the company as the stamp duty they were supposed to have collected since the Stamp Duties Act was passed into law.

However, the CBN exempted savings accounts from the deduction of stamp duty.

The circular stated, “With immediate effect, all DMBs and other financial institutions shall commence the charging of N50 per eligible transaction in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act and the Federal Government’s Financial Regulations 2009; that is, all receipts given by any bank or other financial institution in acknowledgement of services rendered in respect of electronic transfers and teller deposits from N1, 000 and above.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the following receipts are, however, exempted from the imposition of stamp duties: payment deposits or transfers by self to self, whether inter or intra bank; and any form of withdrawals/transfers from savings accounts.”

Investigation by our correspondent, however, showed that the banks had extended the deduction of the stamp duty to savings account transactions.

It was gathered that the Nigerian Postal Services, the implementation agency of the Stamp Duties Act, was against the exemption of any bank account except savings accounts held by children.

It was not clear as of press time when the collection of the duty was extended to savings accounts, but some bankers who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said the only exemption were deposits made by the owners of savings accounts.

This means that when a third party makes a deposit into a savings account with a value of at least N1,000, the sum of N50 is automatically deducted as stamp duty, which the bank has a responsibility to transfer to the NIPOST Stamp Duty Account domiciled with the CBN.

The Lagos Division of the Appeal Court had ruled that imposing a stamp duty on electronic transactions was illegal.

Ruling on an appeal filed by Standard Chartered Bank against Kasmal International Services Limited and 22 others, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa and four other justices of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Judicial Division, held that the Stamp Duties Act, 2004 did not impose a duty on the DMBs to deduct N50 on bank deposits.

CBN urged to review forex restriction on 41 imported items – Vanguard

Lagos—A financial expert yesterday called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the foreign exchange restriction placed on 41 items imported into the country. Dr Uche Uwaleke, the Head of Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, made the suggestion in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. He said the review had become   important, especially those items   critical to the economic development   of the country. CBN had in July, 2015, restricted about 41 items, including vegetable oil, poultry products, cosmetics and plastic and rubber products, among others, from access to foreign exchange from its official window. The apex bank said the country has the capacity to produce those items locally. Uwaleke stated that the apex bank should , however, revisit the list of 41 items with a view to exempting a few, especially pharmaceutical items, considered critical to the health sector. Uwaleke, who was assessing the apex bank’s management of the forex crisis, said that the restrictions on a number of items should remain until the country’s export base was sufficiently diversified. He also scored the apex bank  a pass mark on the management of the crisis, especially since the naira was floated in the second quarter of 2016. “I would score the CBN a pass mark. It would be suicidal for the value of the naira to be left completely to market forces on account of the disequilibrium in favour of the demand side. “Until the country’s export base is sufficiently diversified and there are sustainable multiple streams of forex, the restrictions on a number of items from accessing forex from the CBN should remain,” Uwaleke said. He stated that the introduction of the future segment had gone a long way in reducing pressure on the spot market. According to him, the CBN should improve on market transparency due to allegations of multiple exchange rates in use. “Much as it makes sense to adopt a concessional window for critical manufacturing inputs and fuel imports if the pump price of fuel must remain at present level, it is unacceptable to use preferential rates for top government officials,” he said. Uwaleke said that the CBN should not contemplate the idea of using force to extinguish the parallel market. He said that the strategy did not work in Venezuela and Egypt ,  noting that it would be a waste of resources if attempted in Nigeria.

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/01/cbn-urged-to-review-forex-restriction-on-41-imported-items/

African Markets – Factors to watch on Jan 3 – Reuters

NAIROBI, Jan 3 (Reuters) - The following company
announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency
market moves and political events may affect African markets on
Tuesday.
    - - - - -
 GLOBAL MARKETS
 Global markets marched confidently into 2017 on Tuesday,
 with Asian stocks extending gains after European shares
 surged to their highest in a year, while the dollar resumed
 its climb after last week's stumble.
            
 
 WORLD OIL PRICES
 Oil prices rose in the first trading hours of 2017, buoyed
 by hopes that a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC members to
 cut production, which kicked in on Sunday, will be effective
 in draining the global supply glut.
      
 
 EMERGING MARKETS
 For the top emerging markets news, double click on
            
 
 AFRICA STOCKS
 For the latest news on African stocks, click on     
 
 SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS
 The rand retreated from a two-week peak in thin trade on
 Friday, taking its direction largely from global moves after
 South African financial markets closed early on the last
 trading day for 2016.
             
 
 GAMBIA POLITICS
 Gambian security agents closed three private radio stations
 near the capital, Banjul, amid an escalating political
 crisis triggered by President Yahya Jammeh's refusal to
 accept his election defeat.
             
 
 SOMALIA VIOLENCE
 Suicide bombers attacked the main peacekeeping base in
 Somalia's capital on Monday, killing at least three Somali
 security officers, police said.
             
 
 NIGERIA CURRENCY
 Nigeria's naira NGN=D1 currency lost around a third of its
 offical value against the dollar in 2016 while the stock
 market declined 6.17 percent over the same period,
 reflecting the economic crisis in Africa's biggest economy.
             
 
 TANZANIA ECONOMY
 Tanzania's economy grew 6.2 percent in the third quarter of
 2016, compared with 6.3 percent in the same period the
 previous year, Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango
 said on Monday.
                
 
 EQUATORIAL CORRUPTION
 The son of Equatorial Guinea's president was put on trial in
 his absence on Monday in France, accused of buying palatial
 Parisian properties and exotic cars with money plundered
 from his native country, a small oil-rich state on Africa's
 west coast.
             
 
 GHANA OIL
 Ghana's domestic oil importers said on Friday they may take
 legal action against the government to recover interest on
 an outstanding debt of $384 million that presents an early
 headache for the incoming government.

African Markets – Factors to watch on Jan 3 – Reuters

NAIROBI, Jan 3 (Reuters) - The following company
announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency
market moves and political events may affect African markets on
Tuesday.
    - - - - -
 GLOBAL MARKETS
 Global markets marched confidently into 2017 on Tuesday,
 with Asian stocks extending gains after European shares
 surged to their highest in a year, while the dollar resumed
 its climb after last week's stumble.
            
 
 WORLD OIL PRICES
 Oil prices rose in the first trading hours of 2017, buoyed
 by hopes that a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC members to
 cut production, which kicked in on Sunday, will be effective
 in draining the global supply glut.
      
 
 EMERGING MARKETS
 For the top emerging markets news, double click on
            
 
 AFRICA STOCKS
 For the latest news on African stocks, click on     
 
 SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS
 The rand retreated from a two-week peak in thin trade on
 Friday, taking its direction largely from global moves after
 South African financial markets closed early on the last
 trading day for 2016.
             
 
 GAMBIA POLITICS
 Gambian security agents closed three private radio stations
 near the capital, Banjul, amid an escalating political
 crisis triggered by President Yahya Jammeh's refusal to
 accept his election defeat.
             
 
 SOMALIA VIOLENCE
 Suicide bombers attacked the main peacekeeping base in
 Somalia's capital on Monday, killing at least three Somali
 security officers, police said.
             
 
 NIGERIA CURRENCY
 Nigeria's naira NGN=D1 currency lost around a third of its
 offical value against the dollar in 2016 while the stock
 market declined 6.17 percent over the same period,
 reflecting the economic crisis in Africa's biggest economy.
             
 
 TANZANIA ECONOMY
 Tanzania's economy grew 6.2 percent in the third quarter of
 2016, compared with 6.3 percent in the same period the
 previous year, Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango
 said on Monday.
                
 
 EQUATORIAL CORRUPTION
 The son of Equatorial Guinea's president was put on trial in
 his absence on Monday in France, accused of buying palatial
 Parisian properties and exotic cars with money plundered
 from his native country, a small oil-rich state on Africa's
 west coast.
             
 
 GHANA OIL
 Ghana's domestic oil importers said on Friday they may take
 legal action against the government to recover interest on
 an outstanding debt of $384 million that presents an early
 headache for the incoming government.
             

African Markets – Factors to watch on Jan 2 – Reuters

NAIROBI, Jan 2 (Reuters) - The following company
announcements, scheduled economic indicators, debt and currency
market moves and political events may affect African markets on
Monday.
    - - - - -
 
 GLOBAL MARKETS
 The dollar, oil and U.S. stocks slipped on Friday in thin
 pre-holiday trading on the last trading day of 2016, but
 ended the session with sizable gains for the
 year.                       
 
 WORLD OIL PRICES
 Oil prices settled slightly lower on Friday, the year's last
 trading day, but attained their biggest annual gain since
 2009, after OPEC and partners agreed to cut output to reduce
 a supply overhang that has depressed prices for two
 years.                 
 
 EMERGING MARKETS
 For the top emerging markets news, double click on
            
 
 AFRICA STOCKS
 For the latest news on African stocks, click on     
 
 AFRICA CURRENCIES
 Kenya's shilling and Zambia's kwacha are seen holding steady
 against the dollar in the next week to Thursday, while
 Nigeria's naira will likely weaken, traders said.
             
 
 TANZANIA POLITICS
 Tanzanian President John Magufuli sacked the head of the
 state-run electricity company on Sunday after the firm put
 up tariffs, a move the president said would stymie his plans
 to industrialize the east African country.            
 
 SUDAN CEASEFIRE
 Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has announced a
 one-month extension of his unilateral ceasefire in fighting
 with rebels in the country's war zones.            
 
 BURUNDI VIOLENCE 
 A gunman killed Burundi's environment and water minister
 early on Sunday, police said, the first senior government
 figure to be murdered in nearly two years of political
 violence.            
 
 NIGERIA INSURGENCY
 A group of former Nigerian militants said on Sunday it had
 lost confidence in the president's efforts to end attacks on
 oil facilities in the Niger Delta, a major goal in efforts
 to reach a lasting peace settlement.            
 
 GAMBIA POLITICS
 Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh accused West African regional
 body ECOWAS of declaring war, after it said it was putting
 forces on alert in case he refused to step down at the end
 of his mandate this month.        

Nigeria’s Lagos state sells 47 bln naira of bonds – governor – Reuters

LAGOS Dec 31 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s Lagos state has sold 47 billion naira ($154.50 million) of bonds maturing in 2023 to help finance its efforts to improve basic infrastructure in the country’s commercial hub, its governor said on Saturday.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said in an emailed statement that the debt issue, with a 16.5 percent coupon, was the first tranche of a 500 billion naira debt issuance programme approved by the state’s parliament in September.

The state had offered 60 billion naira of the bonds.

Ambode said “despite the continued challenges in the economy and difficult market conditions …the state sold some 80 percent of the bonds it offered at a 57 basis points spread to the sovereign.”

“Lagos state government remains committed to improving the physical and social infrastructure base of the state …,” he said.

Lagos state in April agreed to pay off holders of an outstanding 167.5 billion naira bond before maturity to cut its interest payments after a plunge in oil prices slashed government revenues in the OPEC member nation.

The state is home to the commercial hub of Africa’s most populous nation, a sprawling city of more than 21 million people which badly needs infrastructure upgrades.

Lagos is the first state to issue a bond since the country slipped into recession in the second quarter of 2016. It is also rare among Nigeria’s 36 states in generating around 70 percent of its revenue internally from taxes.

Most of the country’s other states rely heavily on their share of federal oil revenues.

($1 = 304.2000 naira) (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Adrian Croft)

Naira beats analysts’ expectation, closed 2016 at 490/dollar – Punch

The naira beat analysts’ expectation and closed the year 2016 at 490 against the United States dollar at the parallel foreign exchange market.

Due to the intense pressure on the naira, currency and financial analysts had predicted that the local currency would hit 500/dollar on or before the New Year.

However, the naira was sold on the streets of Lagos and Abuja at 490/dollar on Saturday, the same rate it closed on Friday.

The local currency was expected to witness another round of decline against the dollar in the days preceding the New Year as an increase in dollar flows from Nigerians living abroad coming home for holidays fell short of expectations.

A Director at Union Capital Markets, Mr. Egie Akpata, said it was really difficult to predict the direction of the naira shortly before the New Year because part of the currency market had shut down for the year.

“You can’t really predict the market because part of the market had shut down for the New Year. Things will really take shape this week,” he said

On Thursday, the naira closed at 490 to the dollar, the same level it closed on Wednesday.

The naira had fallen against the greenback from 485 to 490 on Wednesday, reversing part of the gain it recorded the previous week.

The local currency fell to 495/dollar the previous week.

The naira has been under severe and continuous pressure as the scarcity of the US currency continues to create ripples in the financial markets and economy.

The CBN had about two weeks ago sold about $1bn on the forward market to clear a backlog of dollar obligations in selected sectors, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The traders said that the dollar sale, the largest special auction by the CBN since the naira peg was removed in June, was made two weeks ago, Reuters reported.

Outstanding dollar demand was about $4bn before June, when the 16-month-old peg was removed. Efforts to cut dollar demand have been largely unsuccessful due to low oil prices.

Crude sales account for about 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.

Traders said the CBN told banks to prioritise airlines, manufacturing firms, petroleum products importers and agriculture sectors, the sectors worst hit by the dollar shortage, in the auction.

Some weeks ago, the naira plunged to 470/dollar, down from 455/dollar on the back of dollar shortage at the official and parallel forex markets.

The naira has, however, consistently closed around 305.5 a dollar level since August via the official window.

The CBN had on June 20 lifted its 16-month-old naira peg, following overwhelming dollar demand from companies and calls for a free floating of the naira by industry experts.

Experts, however, argued that the central bank had yet to fully allow the naira to float freely.

The Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, said there was a need to overhaul the foreign exchange market and policies, in order to stabilise the forex market.

“The current state of the forex market in Nigeria must be reformed and completely overhauled. If you don’t do that, no matter what happens you are not going to get the results you want,” he said.

The CBN has struggled to support the naira as the country’s external reserves continue to fall.

Dollar shortages have caused many companies to halt operations and lay off workers, compounding an economic crisis exacerbated by the fall in global prices of oil, which accounts for over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s budget revenue.

Economic and financial experts said unless the lingering dollar supply problem was abated, the volatility in the exchange rate and the consequent economic challenges might continue.

 

 

Bid/Ask spreads stable at interbank FX as Naira holds value – Proshare

Today, Naira continued to enjoy stable trading outlook, holding its key support level atN304.00 against Dollar at the interbank market. It depreciated by 0.08% to settle atN305.00 and N399.00 at Interbank FX Market and Parallel Market respectively as trading data had indicated.

According to analysis, Naira depreciated by 0.08% at the interbank FX market to end the week lower on modest note.  Further analysis revealed a sustained price recovery pattern, similar to trading pattern recorded in the previous week as Naira maintained stable trading pattern in both markets during the week.

The sustained sale of Dollar to BDCs and the stiff measures towards road-side currency traders had played significant role in achieving the stability observed, particularly in parallel markets. However, speculative tendency and scarcity of FX remain the driving factors depressing the value of Naira.

Furthermore, the Nigerian currency still maintained its support level at N304.00 at interbank market while Naira maintained support level at N399.00 atparallel market as trading pattern in both markets had indicated.


In addition, post Flexible FX regime analysis revealed that Naira had lost 8.21% and 15.65% in value at interbank and parallel markets respectively as at end of trading session today. The spread between the interbank and parallel market rates gained modest weight to close at 30.82% as against 30.71% recorded in previous week.

The Biggest Billionaire Gainers In Africa In 2016 – Forbes

I track the world’s wealthiest people

 

Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga is Africa’s biggest gainer in 2016.

Exactly half of Africa’s 20 billionaires got richer in 2016. The continent’s biggest gainer — in both dollar and percentage terms – is Nigerian oil and telecom tycoon Mike Adenuga, whose net worth increased $2.7 billion to $5.8 billion since December 31, 2015. No other African billionaire added more than $1 billion to his or her net worth in the past year. Overall, the combined net worths of African billionaires decreased $3.1 billion in 2016.

The increase in Adenuga’s net worth is largely due to new information FORBES obtained in 2016 about the value of his assets. Adenuga owns Nigerian telecom company Globacom and Nigerian oil company Conoil Producing. While Adenuga’s net worth has increased since the beginning of 2016, it has dropped significantly since March 2016, when FORBES valued his fortune at $10 billion on the 2016 Billionaires List. Since then, his net worth has dropped $4.2 billion, due to the devaluation of the Nigerian Naira and the country’s struggling oil sector. Adenuga was the only Nigerian billionaires whose net worth increased this year. (Aliko Dangote, the richest Nigerian and Africa’s richest man, saw his fortune drop nearly 28% to $12.4 billion over the course of 2016.)

South African mining billionaire Patrice Motsepe and Egyptian billionaires Nassef Sawiris and Naguib Sawiris were the next biggest gainers in Africa, each adding $500 million to their fortunes over the year. Motsepe was also Africa’s second biggest percentage gainer; his net worth increased by 32% in 2016, bringing his fortune to $1.5 billion. The stock price of Motsepe’s African Rainbow ARBJY +% Minerals has risen nearly 130% in the past year, following a steep decline in 2015.

 
 

Nassef Sawiris, the richest billionaire in Egypt with a fortune that FORBES pegs at $5.2 billion, runs one of the largest nitrogen fertilizer producers in the world, OCI, and also owns 7% of Adidas and nearly 5% of cement giant LafargeHolcim. While OCI stock is down 27% over the past year, Adidas stock is up 58% and LafargeHolcim is up 7%, leading to the bump in his net worth. Egyptian telecom billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who has a $3.5 billion fortune announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Orascom Telecom Media & Technology in December 2016.

Egypt and South Africa were the only African countries where more than half of the country’s billionaires got richer in 2016. In both, four out of seven billionaires added to their wealth in the past year. In Nigeria, meanwhile, only one of four billionaires got richer this year.

 
 In total, the twelve African billionaires whose net worths increased this year added a combined $6.2 billion to their fortunes in 2016. The continent outperformed the overall FORBES World Billionaires List, where only 46% of billionaires saw their fortunes increase in 2016.  The year’s biggest global gainer, American billionaire Warren Buffett, has a fortune that jumped almost twice that amount in 2016.

All net worth changes were measured between Dec. 31, 2015 and Dec. 23, 2016.

Naira lost more than half value in 2016 – Daily Trust

By Hamisu Muhammad

 

The Naira has witnessed its worst year in history as it fell woefully against the United States Dollar by 57.8 percent in the interbank and 84.2 percent in the parallel segment in 2016. 

The local currency began the year 2016 at 199.5 to a dollar at the interbank segment and ended last Friday at 315/$1. Similarly, at the parallel market it began at 266/$1 and ended at 490/$1. 

The currency remains unstable in the most part of the year due to the high demand of forex and short supply from international trade. The country’s main source of forex, oil, remained weak, averaged at $49 per barrel of crude within the period. 

Also, the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers, which left several crude supply pipelines vandalised, brought down the production level to nearly a million barrel per day capacity. 

The introduction by the Central Bank of Nigeria of the flexible exchange rate policy which ended the fixed exchange rate policy of the bank has plummeted the local currency by about 44.6 percent. In the first day of trading, the naira nosedive from 197 to 285 to a dollar and since then kept reducing in value.

The Naira was not only the currency that witnessed setback against the dollar in 2016, the acting chairman of the Association of the Bureau de Change Operators, Aminu Gwadabe, said.

He said even some major currencies such as the Pound Sterling and Chinese Yuan suffered similar crises against the dollar though the Nigerian case was different.

According to him, the reduction in Forex earning from the sale of crude oil due to the activities of the Niger Delta militants and the fall in the price of oil in the international market  worsened Nigeria’s case.

Gwadabe said though the CBN tried its best to manage the situation within the period, the activities at the black market which made the gap so wide between the different rates was responsible for the weakness of the Naira.

He said if government would ensure an end to the different rates as suggested by the finance minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, and increase the engagement with the international money transfer operators and other stakeholders by the CBN, that will help stabilise the local currency in the New Year.
Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/business/naira-lost-more-than-half-value-in-2016/178675.html#ZqHU6izKqb7m0oIW.99