“FG, States, LGs Share N345billion For February” – FAAC

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The three tiers of government on Tuesday, March 22, shared a sum of N345.09 billon for the month of February from the Federation Account.

This figure is a decline on what was shared in January following massive decline in government revenues during the period.

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) said that the N345.09bn allocation for February fell short of the N370.38bn shared in the month of January by N25.29bn.

Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, while speaking shortly after the FAAC meeting for the month of February, said the country recorded a shortfall of N20.46 in gross statutory revenue from N290.96bn in January to N270.49bn in February.

She attributed the decline in revenue to explosions at Escravos terminal as well as force majeure declared at Brass terminal which led to the shutdown of pipelines at other terminals for repairs and maintenance.

Represented by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mahmud Dutse, the minister also said a revenue loss of $45.9m, caused by a drop in average price of crude oil from $39.04 in December 2015 to $29.02 in January this year, had a negative impact on government revenue.

She said: “The distributable statutory revenue for the month is N270.49bn. The sum of N6.33bn was refunded by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to the federal government.”

“Also, there is an exchange gain of N3.49bn which was proposed for distribution. The total revenue distributable for the current month is N345.09bn.”

-bizwatchnigeria

EFCC arrests Diezani’s cousin, recovers implicating documents

Champion Breweries Plc, FCMB Group Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Eterna Plc emerged the top five gainers after the close of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The firms, alongside 16 other companies, boosted market capitalisation by N55bn in one day.

The NSE market capitalisation, which stood at N8.216tn on Wednesday, rose to N8.271tn, while the All-Share Index rose to 24,883.34 basis points from 24,042.73 basis points recorded on Wednesday.

A total of 271.617 million shares, worth N1.543bn, were traded in 3,360 deals with the highest index point hitting 24,432.51. The lowest and average index points stood at 23,883.34 and 24,174.59 basis points, respectively.

Other gainers on the floor of the NSE on Thursday were Ikeja Hotel Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc, A.G. Leventis Nigeria Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, Learn Africa Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, UAC Property Development Company Plc, and Fidelity Bank Plc.

Tiger Branded Consumer Goods Plc, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Union Bank Nigeria Plc also appeared on the gainers’ chart.

Champion shares rose to N2.83 from N2.58, recording a gain of N0.25 (9.69 per cent), while those of FCMB gained N0.06 (7.89 per cent) to close at N0.82 from N0.76.

The shares of ETI also rose to N15.96 from N15.20, gaining N0.76 (five per cent), while Stanbic closed at N14.85 from N14.15, gaining N0.70 (4.95 per cent).

Eterna shares closed at N1.94 from N1.85, gaining N0.09 (4.86 per cent).

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A total of 19 firms appeared on the losers’ table, with Unity Bank Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc and Fidson Healthcare Plc emerged as the top five losers.

Other losers after the close of trading on Thursday were Livestock Feeds Plc, Academy Press Plc, Africa Prudential Registrars Plc, Custodian and Allied Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Nascon Allied Industries Plc, Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc, and Access Bank Plc.

Nigerian Breweries Plc, Oando Plc, UAC Plc and FBN Holdings Plc also emerged as losers.

Unity Bank share price depreciated by N0.04 (5.63 per cent) to close at N0.67 from N0.71, while MRS shares lost N2.48 (4.99 per cent) to close at N47.18 from N49.66.

The shares of Flour Mills closed at N18.34 from N19.30, losing N0.96 (4.97 per cent), while those of AIICO shed N0.04 4.94 per cent) to close at N0.77 from N0.81.

The shares of Fidson also dropped by N0.13 (4.83 per cent) to close at N2.56 from N2.69.

-punchng

Ecobank sacks 50 top managers

Ecobank sacks 50 top managers

Ecobank Nigeria has sacked about 50 senior managers as part of its cost-cutting measures amid a challenging business environment.

The top officials laid off by the pan-African lender include general managers, deputy general managers and assistant general managers, sources within the bank told our correspondent on Wednesday.

The banking industry has been battered by the nation’s lingering foreign exchange crisis occasioned by the plunge in the global crude oil prices.

Nigeria derives over 90 per cent of its forex from the sale of crude oil. And the banking sector and the economy have taken a beating from the sharp decline in the oil prices.

Banks’ 2015 full year results are expected to show a major decline in earnings.

A top official of Ecobank said the move was part of a “corporate alignment strategy of the bank.”

The lender recently got a new group managing director and a chairman of board of directors.

“We are top heavy and this decision is just part of the bank’s corporate realignment strategy,” the bank official told our correspondent.

A statement by Ecobank confirming the layoff said the affected officials had performed below the company’s expectation.

The lender said while over 300 staff members were promoted, a few officials that had low performance were “exited.”

The statement quoted the Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank, Mr. Anthony Okpanachi, as saying, “The management of Ecobank Nigeria Limited has announced the recent promotion of about 300 top performing workers.

“The promotion exercise, which affected about 10 per cent of the employees, is in line with the bank’s commitment to recognising and rewarding excellence and exceptional performance. The promoted workers cut across all cadres of the workforce. Also, few staff members that performed below expectation have been exited.”

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Okpanachi said the affected staff members were selected through an appraisal exercise conducted using an in-house performance management system, which used both financial and non-financial metrics to categorise workers.

He noted that “the performance parameter used to determine the performance of those promoted also revealed the underperformance of the disengaged workers.”

Ecobank Nigeria is part of the Ecobank Group represented in 36 African countries. The group employs nearly 19,000 people from 40 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices.

-punchng

FBN Holding Shares Drop to 13-Year Low at 4.4%

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FBN Holdings Plc shares dropped to its lowest level in almost 13 years on Wednesday, February 24, after the lender by assets warned that earnings for the full year ended December 31, 2015, would be lower than those of 2014.

Shares dropped 4.4 per cent to N3.47 per share, which is its lowest since August 2003.

In statement to the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and market operators, signed by the Company Secretary, Tijjani Borodo, FBN Holdings said following the review of its management accounts for the 2015, it is expected that earnings will be materially below that of the prior year.

The bank said:“The reduction in earnings is as a result of the recognition of impairment charges on some specific accounts resulting from a reassessment of the loan portfolio within our commercial banking business.”

“This reassessment was driven by the challenging macro environment coupled with fiscal and monetary headwinds, which have resulted in marked reduction in domestic output. This is a prudent measure being taken while the bank has commenced active remedial action on the specific impaired accounts,” the bank said.

However, FBN Holdings assured stakeholders that its merchant banking, asset management as well as insurance businesses remain strong and resilient.

Senate Trims N7.6billion TSA Charges to N656.5million

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The Senate,on Wednesday, February 24, cut the N7.6 billion accrued charges to Systemspecs, commercial banks and Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN, from transfers toTreasury Single Account, TSA, by government agencies to N656.504 million.

The Upper Chamber also ordered the CBN to terminate the one per cent charge for any computation.

It also ordered the CBN to henceforth terminate the renewed contract it entered with Systemspecs in 2013, saying the award was at variance with major terms of agreement contained in the earlier 2011 contract.

It said the termination was necessary in view of the denial by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation that it knew nothing about the contract.

These resolutions were the aftermath of the adoption of the report of the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Accounts and Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions which investigated the allegation of “payment of N25 billion to Remita” in 2015.

While presenting the report for Senate’s consideration yesterday, chairman of the joint committee, Senator John Enoh, said the committee acknowledged Systemspecs’ provision of quick solution through the availability of its Remita software for the transfers.

However, he said the organisation should only be paid based on CBN’s approved rate band of between N500 and N700 per transaction for electronic transfer or payments as specified in the revised guideline.

The committee further said the reduction of N7.6 billion to N656.6 million was dictated by what it called the use of “upper end of the approved band of N700.00 per transaction for N937,869 transactions between March 1 and November 30, 2015.”

Highly Capitalized Stocks Shoot Market Value Up by N55billion

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Big capitalized stocks of Dangote Cement, Nestle Nigeria, Seplat Petroleum Development Company and several others, on Thursday, February 25, drove market capitalization of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, up by N55 billion.

Market capitalization had lost N186 billion between Monday and Wednesday this week before the N55 billion gained recorded yesterday.

Market breadth closed positive as Nestle Nigeria led 21 gainers against 19 losers topped by MRS Oil at the end of the trading session which was an improved performance when compared with previous outlook.

Market turnover closed positive as volume moved up by 0.79 per cent against 33.60 per cent uptick recorded in the previous session. FCMB Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc were the most active to boost market turnover. Zenith Bank Plc topped market value list.

SEC Pays N30million to Investors of Failed Market Operators

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The Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mounir Gwarzo on Wednesday, February 24, disclosed that over N30 million had been paid to about 530 investors of failed companies in the capital market under the National Investor Protection Fund, NIPF, scheme.

The NIPF was launched by commission in 2015, following complaints by market investors who were unable recover monies invested in bankrupt companies.

The N5 billion-fund is to provide temporary succour to investors who are paid between a minimum of N5,000 and maximum of N200,000 in the event of any failure instead of losing out completely.

Gwarzo, who spoke in Abuja at the opening of a two-day workshop on Capital Market Laws, Ethics and Judicial Interpretation for Superior Court Judges which was organised by the commission, said the measure was among other things aimed at boosting investor confidence in the capital market.

He said: “When we launched the national investor protection fund last year in Lagos, we said we’d complains with respect to a particular operator; they collected people’s money and refused to pay them.”

According to him:”Part of the essence of the Fund is to find a way and means that we can temporarily alleviate thesufferings of those investors; not necessarily to pay the investor what he or she had actually lost but to temporarily give the investor some amount of relief and we’ve paid over N30 million to about 530 investors.”

The SEC boss further explained that the commission’s partnership with the judiciary has become inevitable to strengthen market investments.

Stock Market Mid-week Trading Plummets by N68billion

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Equities value on the of the Nigerian Stock Marketplunged further by N68 billion at the end of mid-week trading.

At the close of trading on Wednesday, February 24, market capitalization decreased from N8.285 trillion to N8.217 trillion.

Market turnover closes positive as volume moved up by 33.60 per cent against 94.16per cent decline recorded in the previous session. FCMB Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc were the most active to boost market turnover. Zenith Bank Plc topped market value list.

Japaul Oil Plc leads the list of active stocks that recorded impressive volume at the end of the trading session.

Naira already devalued, 28 professional associations insist

The naira is already devalued whether the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government accepts it officially or not, 28 professional associations registered in the country have said.

According to the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, the naira has depreciated significantly against the United States dollar at the parallel market regardless of the President’s recent stance on the matter.

The APBN is comprised of notable associations like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Nigeria Institute of Management, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Nigeria Medical Association, Nigeria Bar Association, and Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers.

The President and Chairman of Council/Board, APBN, Mr. Foluso Fasoto, said in his address at the board meeting in Abuja that the economy was under pressure due to the exchange rate surge at the parallel market.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, he said it was high time the Federal Government did something strategic about the ailing naira as the situation was “highly impacting negatively on businesses across the country.”

He dismissed claims by the Federal Government that the naira was not devalued, stressing that the market value of the naira was enough reason to show that it had already been devalued.

Buhari had last week Saturday reiterated his opposition to the devaluation of the naira, on the grounds that Nigeria could not compete with developed countries which produce to compete among themselves and could afford to devalue their local currencies.

But Fasoto argued that whether the President wanted it or not, the currency had been devalued.

He said, “Whether the government likes it or not, the naira is currently devalued. What the government is just trying to guard against is not to lose control over the valuation of naira. However, the fact right now is that the naira is already devalued but it has not gotten an official nod, whereas based on market realities our local currency has depreciated.

“Therefore, whether we like it or not the naira has gotten the market nod in terms of its devaluation. How can you say it has not been devalued when majority of forex seekers pay over N345 for a dollar? And if it continues in this trend, it may collapse to N1,000 to a dollar whether the government accepts to officially devalue it or not.”

On how to curb a further fall of the naira, the professional bodies urged Nigerians to patronise locally-made products.

Fasoto said, “We must increase our productivity and Nigerians must be interested in buying Nigerian made goods if we must check this collapse of the naira. When this is achieved, the quality of our products will be enhanced.

“Also, the Nigerian government should provide enabling environment for the manufacturers and to emerging businesses so that they can ensure that Nigeria becomes a very productive country. Therefore there’s no point arguing it for the naira is already devalued.

“The only thing that seem to counter and it is just that the government has not said it officially. But on the market arena, our local currency is already devalued.”

-punchng