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Bitcoin continues to tumble, briefly breaking below $6,000 - CNBC

FEBRUARY 06, 2018
  • The digital currency briefly falls below $6,000 to its lowest since mid-November, according to CoinDesk.
  • The decline follows reports in the last week that have raised worries about increased regulation and potential price manipulation at a major cryptocurrency exchange.
  • The heads of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are also set to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

BY  @chengevelyn

 

Bitcoin is in free fall - here's why

Bitcoin is in free fall - here's why  5:26 PM ET Fri, 2 Feb 2018 | 00:43

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Bitcoin dropped to its lowest in more than two months.

The digital currency fell to a low of $5,947.40, its lowest since mid November, according to CoinDesk, whose bitcoin price index tracks prices from four major exchanges.

At a price of $6,088.02 at 8:56 a.m. London time, the cryptocurrency was down more than 11.9 percent on the day, according to CoinDesk. The site measures bitcoin based on Coordinated Universal Time — currently the same time zone as the U.K.

With that decline, bitcoin has now lost more than 50 percent for the year so far.

Bitcoin 12-month performance

Source: CoinDesk

The latest sell-off follows reports in the last week that have raised worries about increased regulation, hackers and potential price manipulation at a major cryptocurrency exchange. On Friday, J.P. Morgan ChaseBank of America and Citigroup also said they have decided to ban cryptocurrency purchases by their credit card customers.

A report from China's Financial News on Sunday said authorities will increase efforts to restrict virtual currency trading platforms, especially those that may have moved overseas following Beijing's ban on initial coin offerings in September. The South China Morning Post first highlighted the report.

The heads of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are also set to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

In prepared remarks, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said investors should remain cautious about investing in cryptocurrencies and gave an overview of the commission's efforts so far.

Bitcoin remains several hundred percent higher over the last 12 months, while ethereum and ripple are several thousands of percent higher.

Bitcoin price will crash to zero, Nouriel Roubini says - CNBC

FEBRUARY 06, 2018
  • The noted economist thinks the price of bitcoin is going to zero.
  • Roubini, who is also known as "Dr Doom," claimed some people will use a market manipulation tactic known as wash trading to prop up the bitcoin price.
  • He called bitcoin the "biggest bubble in human history" last week.

BY  @ArjunKharpal

 

 

Nouriel Roubini at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Noted economist Nouriel Roubini thinks the price of bitcoin is going to zero.

The chairman of Roubini Macro Associates, also known as "Dr Doom" for his pessimistic economic outlooks, called the price crash on Twitter on Tuesday.

Bitcoin crashing now to $6,100. And the US Hearing on cryptoscams is only a day away. So a $5K handle looks highly likely unless the crypto-manipulation gangs starts pumping and dumping or wash trading again. So HODL nuts: be ready for a 75% loss from recent peaks.

As expected Bitcoin now crashes below $6000. Now the $5K handle is reached. And the US Congressional Hearing on Crypto-Scams is still a day away. HODL nuts will hold their melting Bitcoins all the way down to ZERO while scammers and whales dump and run...

Roubini was referencing a Congressional hearing that will see Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), testify in front of lawmakers about cryptocurrencies.

The economist also used the term HODL, which stands for "hold on for dear life." Itoriginated in an online forum when someone spelled the word "hold" wrong. It has now become a meme and is often used in times of extreme volatility in the cryptocurrency market for people holding rather than selling.

Roubini said that "HODL nuts" will hold bitcoin until it plummets to zero.

Dr Doom also said that traders will use wash trading to prop up the prices. Wash trading in the crypto world involves someone buying and selling their own order to manipulate markets. Some have feared that wash trading takes place on bitcoin exchanges.

Roubini asked if the authorities will look into this practice.

As Bitcoin crashes to a $5K handle the wash traders move rapidly into action to prop it up...price and quantity action now clearly consistent with criminal wash trades...will the SEC and CFTC start looking into these criminal activities?

His tweets followed comments on Bloomberg last week in which he called bitcoin the "biggest bubble in human history."

Cryptocurrencies have seen a major sell-off in the last few days. Bitcoin fell below $6,000 for the first time since mid-November on Tuesday. Other major cryptocurrencies are all well off of their all-time highs.

Manufacturers spend N66bn on gas, diesel, inverters in 6 months - BUSINESSNESS

FEBRUARY 06, 2018

Nigeria’s manufacturers are spending more on diesel, gas, inverters, UPS and other alternative energy sources, indicating poor levels of power supply across Nigeria.

Local manufacturers spent N66.03 billion on alternative energy sources between January and June 2017, as against N62.96 billion expenditure made in the same period of 2016, according to a latest report prepared by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), sent to BusinessDay.

The largest chunk of expenditure went to diesel, which occupied 39.4 percent of the total. While N26.02 billion was spent on diesel, N21.35 billion was expended on procuring new generators within the period.

Also, manufacturers spent N17.75 billion on gas, while N906 million was for inverters, UPS, and other power storage and purifying gadgets.

“Energy shared 36 percent of the total cost of production in the manufacturing sector within the period. This accounts for the poor competitiveness of made-in-Nigeria goods,” MAN says.

The report shows that the average daily electricity supply in H1 of 2017 declined to five hours, from seven hours supplied in the corresponding period of 2016 and eight hours in the preceding half.

Poor power supply ranks among the biggest challenges facing Nigerian manufacturers, which also include lack of or limited availability of good transportation systems, water, credit and high taxes.

Diesel is mainly used by small and medium manufacturers, while large enterprises, including conglomerates and multinationals, use gas plants.

Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group, installed coal-fired plants for his cement factory in 2016, and urged large enterprises with financial muscles to do the same. Coal is cheaper than gas, diesel and Low-Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO).

Gas is however subject to availability. Early this year, the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline (ELP), a natural gas pipeline, which supplies gas from Escravos region of the Niger Delta area to Lagos, was ravaged by fire, shrinking the levels of gas available for manufacturers. 

Gas users contend that dollarising the product is not in the interest of manufacturers who are scrambling for dollars to import inputs.

“There is a need to review the pricing policy of gas companies which prescribe payment in dollars for gas used by industries,” Babatunde Paul Ruwase, president, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said at the State of the Nation press conference in Lagos on January 24.

“We believe this is not consistent with the objective of promoting industrialisation, economic diversification and job creation. Most manufacturers are producing for the domestic market; it is therefore inappropriate to compel them to pay for gas in dollars,” Ruwase said.

Similarly, manufacturers are increasingly abandoning power distribution companies popularly called DisCos for private companies that can provide 24-hour incremental and quality electricity at cheaper rates.

Already, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, through its recently formed MAN Power Development Company, has signed an agreement with Tower Energy Solution & Systems Limited for the supply of six to 10 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Henry Carr Industrial Cluster in Ikeja, Lagos.

MAN has an agreement with Negris Group for the supply of up to 80 MW of electricity to Odogunyan in Ikorodu industrial cluster.

The organisation is also talking with solar power supply firms in the northern Nigeria, where there is limited gas supply, to enable clusters in Kaduna, Kano and other parts of the north to have incremental power at cheaper rates. Similarly, a negotiation is on the pipeline with Sahara Energy, Geogrid LighTec Limited and other companies for the supply of power to industrial clusters, according to Ibrahim Usman, chairman of MAN Power Development Company Limited.

“The idea is to be able to put manufacturers together in clusters and arrange for power, which can be supplied through providers that will engage in power supply through hydro, solar, gas and  will remove  the cost of manufacturers  getting  involved in producing their own power, “ said Reginald Odia, chairman of Economic Policy Committee of MAN and director of the MAN Power Development Company.

 

Nigeria’s petrol price peg distorts West African markets - BUSINESSDAY

FEBRUARY 06, 2018

Nigeria is not only the biggest country in Africa; it is also the continent’s most foolishly generous. With 20 million litres smuggled out of the country daily, Nigeria’s subsidised petrol is a favourite commodity on West Africa’s black markets.
The sale of illicit Nigerian petrol has become widespread across the West African sub region helping to oil black markets and distorting price mechanisms of these countries. Nigeria’s retail price peg of N145 per litre is not only hurting investments in the downstream sector, it is encouraging smuggling across its porous borders.
On roadsides in Cameroun and other West African countries, vendors fill customer’s car, using the cut-off top of a plastic bottle as a funnel. The fuel is less expensive with a 30 litres of petrol costing FCFA 17,000 in the country rather than FCFA 19,000 at the pump according to a report by African Arguments, a pan-African news platform on issues plaguing Africa. This translates to N382 per litre on the streets and N426 per litre at the pump.
With landing cost of petrol in Nigeria put at N171 per litre, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) incurred N37 on each litre of fuel at a depot price of N133.80, leading to a daily subsidy of N2.046billion for 55million litres. The landing cost of petrol has been higher than the pegged retail price of N145 per litre, after crude oil prices rose to $45 per barrel in January 2017.
This puts total subsidy spends since February 2017 to date at N746.79billion, according to BusinessDay calculations. There is no better manual on how to self-destruct an economy.
This figure is higher than budgetary allocation for the ministry of Power, Works and Housing (N555.88bn), transportation (N263.1bn), Agriculture and Rural development (N118.98), Universal Basic education (N109.6bn) and combined capital expenditures for defence (N145bn), health (N71.11bn) and education (N61.7bn) according to an analysis by SBM Intelligence.
On January 24, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) raised alarm over the sustained nefarious activities of some cross-border fuel smuggling syndicates that makes it difficult to account for about 20million litres of fuel a day.
Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of the state-owned corporation, told the Joint National Assembly Committee on Petroleum Downstream that if the activities of the fuel truck diverters and smugglers were left unchecked, it would constrain local supply.
Worse still, the economies of these neighbouring countries, such as Benin, Ghana and Togo are feeling the squeeze. At the 11th edition of Oil Trading & Logistics Expo that held in Lagos from October 23 – 25, Mohammed Amin Adam, deputy minister of Energy Ghana while delivering the keynote address, said Nigeria’s regulated price is distorting price mechanisms in the region.
Adam said that policy is not only unsustainable but creates problems for its neighbours. Adam argued that since Nigeria constitutes the region’s biggest market, its policies has serious impact for other countries in West Africa.
“On this note, I wish to call on the Nigerian government to make efforts at reaching full price deregulation given that it is the largest market for products on our continent and any failure at reaching full price deregulation will lead to distortion on the sub regional market on the continent,” said Adam.
Petrol smuggled from Nigeria is known as “Funge” or “Zoa Zoa”, in Cameroon’s North West region.
“When police officers raid this area and collect bribes from vendors, they increase prices to make up for what they paid to the police,” someone patronising the roadside fuel sellers told Africa Arguments. In the city, buyers say price is far from the only benefit to buying petrol in this way.
“We don’t only buy because it is cheaper,” he says, “but also because it is available everywhere and at all times.”
Despite the fact that Cameroon is one of Africa’s biggest oil-producers and sold 17 million barrels of crude in 2017, sale of illicit Nigerian petrol has become a common sight across the country. Meanwhile, in Nigeria where, over 1.9million barrels are produced daily, citizen’s continue to sleep in fuel stations to get petrol subsidised in Lagos and Abuja.
A centrally controlled market for petrol which is the most consumed petroleum product in the sub region creates room for smuggling and discourages investments in the downstream sector of the region, stakeholders say.
“At the same time, we must put in place polices that punish domestic anti-competitive behaviours. This will make deregulation polices become effective instruments for increase in public confidence in our markets and prevent us from turning to the days of subsidies and under recoveries which have very negative long-term effect on many economies on our continent,” said Adam.

 

ISAAC ANYAOGU

Nigeria signs air agreements with five countries - JOURNAL du CAMEROUN

FEBRUARY 06, 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed bilateral air service agreements with the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria; the Republic of Congo; the People’s Republic of China; the State of Qatar and the Republic of Singapore.The Instruments of Ratification of the Bilateral Air Services Agreements signed on Monday by Buhari were approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

“With the execution of these instruments, it is expected that Nigeria’s aviation links with the respective countries will improve significantly,” the statement read in part.

Buhari also signed the Executive Order 5 to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.

The Executive Order is expected to promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy.

“The President, pursuant to the authority vested in him by the Constitution, ordered that all ‘procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007,” the presidency said on Tuesday.

 

The Executive Order, according to the presidency, also prohibits the Ministry of Interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.

According to the instrument, where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.

Buhari also directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects.

It added that ‘‘consideration shall only be given to a foreign professional, where it is certified by the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria”.

Euro Falls After German Coalition Talks Collapse - WSJ

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

Single currency also declines 0.6% against the British pound

 

By Saumya Vaishampayan

The euro fell on Monday after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a government in Germany collapsed overnight, leaving the eurozone’s largest economy in political limbo almost two months after its general election.

The currency fell 0.5% against the U.S. dollar, its biggest decline since Oct. 26, to $1.1733. The euro also lost 0.6% against the British pound to €1.1279 per pound. The Wall Street Journal dollar index, which measures the currency against 16 others, rose 0.4% to 87.40 from 87.09 Friday. Investors continue to focus on the odds of a tax bill passing in the Senate, where a vote is scheduled after Thanksgiving.

Ms. Merkel’s conservative alliance won the September election but finished with its worst result since 1949, forcing the longtime German leader to try to cobble together a coalition with a majority in Parliament. That effort hit a roadblock late Sunday in Germany after the chairman of the small, pro-business Free Democratic Party ended talks with Ms. Merkel’s conservative camp and the center-left Greens.

“It’s very concerning, and creates this big uncertainty in the eurozone,” said Kisoo Park, a global bond manager at Manulife Asset Management in Hong Kong, adding that he expects the euro to fall further in the short term.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks after talks on forming a new government broke down in Berlin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks after talks on forming a new government broke down in Berlin. PHOTO: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

The collapse of coalition talks in Germany is the latest episode of political turmoil to hit Europe. Spain has cracked down on the region of Catalonia after it declared independence following a referendum the Madrid government had deemed illegal. Meanwhile, the U.K. has made little progress in its divorce proceedings from the European Union.

The prospect of prolonged political uncertainty in Germany is particularly worrying for markets. Ms. Merkel has long been seen as Europe’s pre-eminent political leader, having steered Germany through both the global financial crisis and the subsequent crisis in Greece.

 

Her decision to let in hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants from Syria and other countries in 2015 stoked strong domestic opposition, however. Anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany performed strongly in September’s election, winning some 13% of the vote.

“Germany has been the more stable country in the region and globally, but if that goes away, then that could cause a cascade of fallouts,” said Mr. Park, citing possible effects on the Brexit talks and parliamentary elections due next year in Italy.

Ms. Merkel will continue to lead a caretaker government in Germany for now. The chancellor could try again to woo enough parties to form a ruling coalition, or attempt to run a minority government. A further option is for Germany to have a fresh general election.

Despite periodic political problems in Europe this year, the euro has surged more than 11% against the U.S. dollar. The common currency has also advanced nearly 7% against the yen and more than 4% against the British pound so far in 2017.

“What we’ve seen globally is a shift to more extreme parties. The euro has managed to ride this out, and the reaction in the euro [this year] has been much more dependent on growth,” said Mitul Kotecha, head of Asia foreign-exchange and rates strategy at Barclays in Singapore.

 

The eurozone economy is on track for its strongest year since 2007, though growth slowed slightly in the third quarter and inflation fell. That combination of improved economic growth and low inflation should ensure that the European Central Bank will begin reducing its monthly bond purchases slowly, much like the Federal Reserve, as it begins to unwind its easy monetary policy.

Mr. Kotecha said he still expects the euro to end 2017 at $1.17, near its current level, and he expects the euro to rise further next year, driven by improving growth and a weaker dollar.

 

—Andrea Thomas contributed to this article.

Write to Saumya Vaishampayan at saumya.vaishampayan@wsj.com

Forget The Fed: The Long Bond Is Deciding the Dollar’s Future - WSJ

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

Short-term interest rates aren’t the big deal to currency markets that they once were

 

By James Mackintosh

The foreign exchanges have a message for central bankers: the short-term interest rates they set aren’t the big deal they once were. After more than $12 trillion of quantitative easing world-wide, currency markets are now more sensitive to the gyrations of the long-dated bonds vacuumed up by the central banks—and that makes them even harder to predict than usual.

The change comes at a delicate time for central banks, with the U.S. tentatively cutting its holding of Treasurys and mortgage bonds by $10 billion a month and the European Central Bank about to taper its bond-buying program. A currency market more focused on long-dated bonds gives policy makers less control over exchange rates and domestic financial conditions than usual, just at a moment when they want to keep a firm grip to avoid upset.

In the past it was short-term interest rates—and the two-year bond yield, which reflects near-term anticipated rate changes—that were most important for major currencies. The more interest it was possible to earn in a country, the more money was attracted, and the more the currency went up. The extra yield available on U.S. two-year bonds above German two-year bonds, for example, was typically tightly correlated with moves in the dollar-euro exchange rate.

Bonds and the DollarThe link between the dollar and the extra income available from U.S. safe assets is strong. Unusually,this year the link was stronger with long-dated bonds than short-dated ones.Correlation between weekly change in dollar-euro exchange rate and in spreads between Treasurysand German bunds

%10 yearTwo year2000’02’04’06’08’10’12’14’16’18-20-1001020304050607080

Correlation between weekly change in dollar-yen exchange rate and in spreads between Treasurys and Japanese governmentbondsTHE WALL STREET JOURNALSource: Thomson Reuters DatastreamNote: Correlation of weekly change, rolling 47 weeks (2017 so far)

%10 yearTwo year1996’982000’02’04’06’08’10’12’14’16’18-60-40-2002040608010 yearxJune 15, 2001x16.536%

There are at least two really good reasons why this should be causal, not merely chance correlation. First, money flows. Higher interest rates attract short-term speculative cash chasing what traders call “carry,” the extra interest available in one currency over another. Second, fundamentals. Higher rates are a sign that an economy is doing better or inflation is rising, both of which justify a stronger currency, at least in nominal terms.

The logic has broken down this year for both flows of money and fundamentals, and the year-to-date correlation between 10-year yield differentials and the dollar’s value against each of the euro, yen and sterling hit the highest since at least the early 1990s in September.

 

Japanese and European investors have been buying longer-dated U.S. Treasurys because of negative interest rates on cash and short-dated bonds at home, so flows are more sensitive to long bond yields than in the past. At the same time, central banks are suppressing the usual reaction of economic fundamentals. The ECB has promised not to raise rates for a long time, even as the eurozone economy is growing at its fastest pace in five years. That means speculation about economic fundamentals moves longer-dated bonds a lot more than short-dated bonds, and in turn moves the currency.

“The short-term [rates] differential contains less information because you essentially have stability of short-term rates in Europe,” says Amundi fixed income and foreign exchange strategist Bastien Drut in Paris. Instead, the German 10-year bund swung about as bets on the ECB reacting to a stronger economy by pulling back from its bond-buying program ebbed and flowed—and the euro’s value against the dollar moved with it.

Even during the rally in the dollar in the past two months the focus has stayed on long bonds, as 10-year Treasury yields rose more than those on Germany’s bunds, which are still well below their July high for the year.

The focus on long bonds helps explain why many traders were caught off guard by the plunging value of the dollar this year, when the currency disconnected from its usual tie to short-term yields. The dollar dropped even as the Federal Reserve raised the overnight policy rate twice, with a third raise expected next month. What mattered instead was the 10-year Treasury yield, which plummeted from 2.5% in late December to a low of 2.05% in September, even as German 10-year bond yields picked up and Japanese yields did almost nothing.

Technically the major central banks should care little about the currency, with policy about the dollar the preserve of the U.S. Treasury and the ECB targeting inflation, not the exchange rate. In practice a stronger or weaker currency can have dramatic effects on how tight monetary policy is, neutralizing or exaggerating the effects of changes in interest rates.

This year the Fed’s efforts to tighten monetary policy have been undone by the weaker dollar and lower 10-year yields, which supported booming credit and equity markets. The U.S. has the loosest financial conditions since 1993, according to a measure compiled by the Chicago Fed, despite two rate rises. Back in 1993 bond differentials were strongly tied to the value of the dollar, although back then short-dated bonds mattered more.

With inflation still below target, the Fed hasn’t been that bothered by the failure of its interest-rate policies to bite. If that changes, 1993 was a past that would make an unpleasant prologue: the following year the Fed seized control with surprise rate increases that shocked investors, pushing up bond yields and breaking their link to the dollar entirely.

Write to James Mackintosh at James.Mackintosh@wsj.com

Expectations as Monetary Policy Committee meet to review interest rate - BUSINESSDAY

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

With the country being out of its five straight quarterly contraction and falling inflation rates, the monetary policy committee (MPC) of the central bank is scheduled to have its last meeting of the month on 20th and 21st of November 2016, and there are high expectations on the outcome.

 

The MPC  had on September 2017 held on to the 14% interest rate to observe various economic indicators – including growth, budget implementation in order to curb inflation, make naira attractive, increase foreign direct investment(FDI),and also help our bleeding external  reserves. The last time the interest rate was changed was in July 2016 when the CBN monetary rate was moved from 13percent to 14percent.

 

At a communiqué issued after the MPC meeting in September, “the Committee believes that the effects of fiscal policy actions towards stimulating the economy have begun to manifest as evident in the exit of the economy from the fifteen-month recession. Although still fragile, the fragility of the growth makes it imperative to allow more time to make appropriate complementary policy decisions to strengthen the recovery”.

 

DolapoAsiru CEO CLG Securities Limited while reacting to the forthcoming MPC meeting, “He foresees a do-nothing MPC next week Monday, although he admitted that all indication shows the interest rate will come down but not this year. He foresees the rate coming down from Q1, 2018”.

 

With FOREX now relatively stable, Inflation rates decreasing to 15.98percent, and External reserves at $33.69b and increase in dollar stability. Analysts are expecting a looser policy from the MPC scheduled to meet next week Monday. According to Moscow based investment firm Renaissance Capital, “MPC believes we will have more clarity on growth and inflation by first quater 2018. We think the committee may start cutting the policy rate at the March 2018 meeting, by 1 ppt. Additional arguments in favour of looser policy are: inflation is not demand driven; we see non-food inflation slowing to 10-11% in first quarter 2018″

 

Ayo Akinwummi says “they will likely reduce MPR due to stability in the economy and the positives coming from foreign exchange. On the implications of the reduction of MPR, “the yield in the market will go down and source of funds may likely go down and with improvement on the economy credit accessibility will also increase”. Akinwummi added

 

On the reason for the for the MPC rate still at 14% as at September 2017 The CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele addressing newsmen at the last MPC meeting said “we are Conscious of the prevailing market sentiments in favour of a rate cut; the committee reasoned that most of its decisions in 2016 were informed by the need to address the delicate balance between price stability and growth. Noting that the pressures on consumer prices were yet to abate and even as the economy continued to be in recession despite the intervention support by the CBN, the committee stressed that it was not oblivious of the full ramifications of the economic challenges facing the country,“

 

On the implication of the interest rate remaining at 14percent ,Mr DolapoAsiru said ”Banks will gradually embrace the fact that the case of high interest income is coming to a close; banks will start doing proper lending rather than placing money on Treasury bill.”

 

The MPC will also be reviewing the cash reserve ratio, liquidity ratio and asymmetric corridor. Majority of the key stakeholders in the economy will be monitoring the outcome of the meeting and be expecting the CBN to be more hawkish in its policies.

 

Oladehinde Oladipo

 

Nigeria, US sign MoU to deepen economic cooperation - BUSINESSDAY

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

Investors dumped Zimbabwean stocks every day since the military seized power on optimism that 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe will be forced to step down.

The stocks, which are denominated in U.S. dollars and were used to hedge against rising inflation, fell 10 percent on Monday to an eight-week low of 387.38, bringing the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Industrial Index’s retreat since the army’s takeover on the morning of Nov. 15 to 27 percent.

The bourse’s market capitalisation has plunged $4.8 billion in that period to $11.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

Zimbabwe’s stocks soared this year after the government printed a new form of money — called bond notes — to deal with a cash shortage, stoking concerns over price growth in a nation that saw inflation jump into the billions of percent about a decade ago. While the southern African nation has mostly used the dollar since scrapping its own worthless currency in 2009, greenbacks have become scarce as Zimbabwe’s balance of payments position has worsened.

Investors pointed to the so-called Old Mutual gap as a sign of how unrealistic Zimbabwean valuations had become. While the insurer’s shares trade at the dollar-equivalent of about $2.52 in London and Johannesburg, they rose to $14.30 by Nov. 14 in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. They have since fallen to $9.25.

The developments have “materially improved the prospect of a change in leadership and an ultimate re-opening of foreign capital inflow,” driving the Old Mutual Implied Rate down, Hasnain Malik, an analyst at Exotix Capital in Dubai, wrote in a note on Monday. “Falling local share prices are, until OMIR approaches zero, a reflection of increasing macroeconomic optimism.”

AU to investigate sale of African migrants as slaves in Libya - BUSINESSDAY

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

The AU said on Tuesday it had launched an investigation into the sale of African migrants as slaves by armed groups in Libya.

“The AU would try to get access to illegal detention centres in which migrants were held without charges.

“We have asked the Libyan authorities to facilitate the ongoing inquiries. The perpetrators will be dealt with through the justice system,’’ AU Commission Chair, Moussa Mahamat told journalists in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Mahamat said the AU had dispatched its Commissioner for Social Affairs, Amir El-Fadil as a special envoy to Libya to launch the inquiry, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The AU has appealed to its 55 member states to provide logistics support to enable the evacuation of the migrants held in Libya to their countries of origin.

The AU decision to launch an investigation comes days after American television network CNN broadcast footage of African migrants being auctioned off as slaves in Libya for as little as 400 dollars.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres had on Monday said he was “horrified’’ by the footage.

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