Archives May 2016

Nigeria risks losing oil buyers to Iran, S’Arabia

Nigeria, which recently lost its Africa’s top oil producer status to Angola on the back of huge decline in its output, stands a chance of losing some of its traditional buyers to rival producers such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, industry experts have said.

Following the spate of production disruptions largely caused by the recent upsurge in militant attacks on oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta that have cut Nigeria’s output to the lowest in almost three decades, exports of the commodity from the country have taken a serious beating.

The nation relies heavily on earnings from oil exports, and the production cuts come as an additional headache for an economy that is already suffering from the sharp drop in oil prices since 2014.

Currently, four of the nation’s five largest export streams have been totally suspended as Forcados, Qua Iboe, Bonny Light and Brass River are under force majeure – a legal clause that allows the exporters to stop shipments without breaching contracts.

All but that of Qua Iboe was as a result of militant attacks.

Iran, which is engaged in a battle for market share in a bid to regain customers after years of curbed oil sales that crippled its economy, has ramped up its production and exports. Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, does not look set to rein in production.

An oil expert and Professor of Law and Co-Director, Institute for International and Immigration Law, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, United States, Emeka Duruigbo, in an emailed response to questions from our correspondent, said, “There is a real struggle to acquire or maintain market share by existing or fully returning players, notably Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“Venezuela is facing severe budgetary constraints verging on an economic calamity, a problem that can be ameliorated by extra income from additional oil sales, especially outside its OPEC quota.”

While noting that the US had recently removed a decade-long prohibition on export of crude oil, Duruigbo said, “Any opening created by Nigeria’s inability to meet its supply commitments is an invitation to these countries to exploit the gap and leverage their strengths. I would be deeply concerned if I were manning Nigeria’s economic ship at the moment.”

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had on May 16 put the drop in the nation’s oil output at 800,000 barrels per day following attacks and disruption of production in the Niger Delta.

With more disruptions seen since then, the nation’s output is said to have plunged by about 1.1 million bpd.

The Head of Energy Research, Ecobank Capital, Mr. Dolapo Oni, said, “Since that supply is no longer available for the market, it will give room for other producers such as Iran and Saudi Arabia to ramp up production and fill the gap. And that is what I expect to happen.

“There is a risk that Nigeria may lose its market share to those countries. But countries such as India like Nigerian crude,” he said, adding that other buyers in Asia such as Malaysia and Singapore might turn to other producers for their imports.

Iran is fulfilling its pledge to raise oil production and exports almost six months after western sanctions on the nation were lifted, surprising many analysts and commentators, the Financial Times reported last week.

Oilfields in the country pumped almost 3.6 million bpd in April, a level last reached in November 2011 before sanctions over its nuclear programme were tightened, said the International Energy Agency. Crude exports surged to two million bpd last month, just 200,000 bpd below late 2011 levels.

Iran was said to have shipped more crude oil to India, China and other countries it was permitted to sell to under sanctions. It has also re-established relationships with European buyers and secured new sales agreements with big international oil traders such as Vitol and Glencore, as well as energy majors such as Repsol of Spain.

Meanwhile, imports of Nigeria’s Liquefied Natural Gas by Japan fell by 22.3 per cent from a year earlier to 143,347 metric tonnes in April, according to Platts.

Japan’s LNG imports reached 6.4 million metric tonnes in April, down 3.3 per cent from a year ago, led by lower supply from Qatar and Nigeria, data released on Friday by the Ministry of Finance showed.

Source:© Copyright Punch Online

Nigeria to Refine 1.3mbpd of Oil for Consumption by 2023

The International Institute for Petroleum Energy Law and Policy (IIPELP) has said Nigeria would refine up to 1.3 million barrels of crude oil daily (mbpd) by 2023 to meet the fuel demand of her growing population.

IIPELP, an energy law and policy think-tank disclosed this in its recent policy analysis and brief on the government’s review of operations in the country’s downstream, which saw it increase petrol pump price.

The policy brief was obtained by THISDAY in Abuja. It contained amongst other things, the Institute’s support for the government decision on the downstream sector, but called for deeper policy thrusts.

It said at the country’s current crude oil production level, such demand would be huge on the country, hence, the need for proactive policy measures to avert possible instances of energy crisis.

“In IIPELP’s analysis, by 2023, given the current rate of growth, Nigeria’s refining capacity would have to grow to 1.3 million barrels of oil per day which currently exceeds government entitlement crude under current fiscal arrangements.

“This means that Nigeria would need to import crude to feed potentially an expanded refinery capacity or compel its partners’ entitlement crude to be delivered to the domestic market,” said the institute in the brief.
It explained its choice to support government’s recent move in the downstream sector saying: “IIPELP welcomes the move by the federal government, though belatedly, to restore some semblance of macro-economic stability in the country.

“Going by the latest news of a possible devaluation of the currency, these steps would enable sound economic management and encourage genuine investors.”

It further said: “The removal of subsidy or shall we say, the adjustment of petroleum products prices to reflect an exchange rate closer to reality should allow for the country to be served by oil companies other than NNPC.

IIPELP has always believed that the way to reform the petroleum sector or any other sector is to incentivise supply and this can only be done when there are potentially, multiple sources of that supply and investment decisions can be made on a sound economic basis.”

The Institute added that between 2010 and 2014, Nigeria spent in excess of ₦7 trillion on a subsidy programme it said was widely fraudulent.

It added: “In the process, the country exhausted its “excess crude account” and increased domestic borrowing from ₦4trillion as at 2010 to ₦11 trillion as at end of the year 2014.”
Subsidy in Nigeria, it explained represented the largest wealth transfer scheme from the poor to the wealthy ever invented.

It said in its advice to the government on the best way to manage the process: “It is trite that the liberalisation of the downstream petroleum sector is both a necessary and sufficient condition for Nigeria’s economic development.
“However, it is apt to state here that this policy has had a track record of success in countries where there is economic transparency, fiscal discipline and consolidation.”

“IIPELP’s position is that this decision of the government will be akin to “chasing shadows” if these policies are introduced, as they have, without a complementary emphasis on fiscal discipline and strong institutional governance.
“Worthy of note is the fact that fiscal discipline goes beyond simply fighting corruption activities by past leaders in the country, this is only a part of it. A good fiscal discipline framework should and must be non-partisan,” it added.

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

Stock market lost N1.732tn in one year under Buhari

The Nigerian stock market crashed by N1.732tn within one year of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange data showed that the NSE market capitalisation on May 28, 2015 was N11.658tn, while that of May 27, 2016 was N9.926tn.

Market capitalisation is the total market value of the shares outstanding of a publicly traded company.

The NSE All-Share Index also crashed to 28,902.25 basis points from 34,310.37 basis points.

Investors in the country’s capital market (equity category) lost over N1.053tn in the first quarter of 2016.

During the first three months this year, the equities market depreciated by 10.79 per cent.

As of the first day of trading this year (January 4), the NSE market capitalisation stood at N9.757tn, while the All-Share Index was 28,370.32 basis points.

But as of the last day of trading in 2016 Q1 (March 31), the market capitalisation and All-Share Index crashed to N8.704tn and 25,306.22 basis points, respectively.

Equity investors in the country’s capital market had, in the first seven trading days on the floor of the NSE in 2016, lost N804tn of their investment’s worth. Market capitalisation after the close of trading on the floor of the Exchange on the first seven days closed at N8.953tn.

The All-Share Index also dropped from 28,370.32 basis points recoded on the first day of trading in 2016 to 26,034.94 on the seventh trading day of this year.

The downward trend in the Nigerian stock market, weeks into 2016, did not show any sign of abating as the market capitalisation continued to fall, with 10 out of the 12 indices of the NSE recording negative stance 10 weeks into 2016.

The market capitalisation of the NSE fell by N811bn in the first 10 weeks of trading this year.

The NSE market capitalisation dropped from N9.75tn on January 4, 2016 to N8.939tn 10 weeks into the year, while the All-Share Index also closed at 25,988.40 basis points from the 28,643.67 basis points recorded on the first trading day of the year.

Investors had also made huge losses in the Nigerian equities market last year as the market capitalisation (equities only) of the NSE shed a total of N2.354tn between December 2014 and December 2015.

The President, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, last week, said the country’s capital market could not continue to lag behind in the global arena, adding that it needed to strategise for growth to better the economy.

He said the capital market must facilitate capital raising for economic growth as well as mobilise savings for investment.

Aig-Imoukhuede said part of the strategies was a broad consensus on sectorial priorities for growth, which should feed into policy formation.

He advocated for incentives for priority economic sectors like Information and Communications Technology, while pushing for non-listed national champions to be listed on the NSE for others to follow.

He said, “Nigeria is facing a huge growth challenge. Nigeria, indeed, has a big challenge in terms of growth. Employment rate must grow owing to the fact that the population is also growing very fast. Growth is difficult to realise; so, government must stimulate growth.

“Nigeria is only exaggerating the impacts of falling oil prices now. This is because with a robust financial market the economy can be sustained. The financial market must be encouraged.”

He described the Nigerian financial market as a ‘high-risked’ market, saying the situation was capable of attracting limited investors who could ultimately stop at nothing to maximise returns.

An analyst at WSTC Financial Services Limited, Mr. Tola Oni, said in the last one year, the efficiency of the country’s economy had been constrained by policies – monetary and fiscal.

He noted that the country had not been able to chart the right path in the past one year, saying some actions by the Federal Government in recent times had shown a rethink especially in the partial deregulation of the petroleum downstream sub-sector and the flexible foreign exchange market.

“Our concern is that this flexibility must mean flexibility in the whole sense of it. We’ve seen the capital market make progress recently owing to these. Any attempt by the government to interfere again could drag us back significantly,” he added.

The President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Shehu Mikail, said the happenings in the stock market in the past one year were a reflection of the country’s economic stance, which is very hostile policy-wise

He said the country had been plagued with serious economic and financial challenges, which had resulted in activities being slowed down especially in the financial sphere, which included the NSE.

Mikail added, “The prices can be better if things turn around economically. The 2016 budget had been passed and the implication of the passage would start filtering into the economy in due course. With the recent forex flexibility, we expect the game to change.

To this end, the NSE Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oscar Onyema, while commenting on the state of the market, had said, “Among emerging markets, recession has materialised in Brazil and Russia, and the trend is likely to continue amid weakening oil and other commodity prices. The Nigerian stock market had already lost $30bn since July 2014.

“In the sub-Saharan Africa, while the recent performance of Nigeria and South Africa, has been lackluster, the overall region has weathered the commodity slump better than Latin America and elsewhere, with growth slated at 4.3 per cent in 2016, up from 3.8 per cent in 2015.”

Source:© Copyright Punch Online

FirstBank Gets $13.745m Forex Allocation from CBN

The latest returns on forex utilisation for FirstBank Nigeria Limited have shown that the bank was allocated $13,745,768.19 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week.

The returns published in THISDAY monday showed that FirstBank sold the greenback to 678 customers.

FirstBank’s biggest customers, according to the returns dated May 19, were Dangote Cement Plc, which got $2 million for the importation of machinery for its cement plants; Gulf Treasures Limited, which purchased $1 million from the bank for the importation of gasoline; and Kam Industries Nigeria Limited, which got $1 million also.
The bulk of the forex it sold was for the payment of school fees abroad.​

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

Lagos’ Aje Oilfield Produces in Excess of 10,000 bpd

The two wells in Aje oil field located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 113, offshore Lagos, have tested in excess of 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, Panoro Energy, an independent oil and gas company based in the United Kingdom, has announced.

After spending over two decades exploring for hydrocarbon resources off the coast of Lagos, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum, in partnership with Panoro Energy ASA and First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) Limited, among others, had on May 3, 2016 achieved first oil on Aje field, catapulting Lagos State into the league of oil and gas producing states in the country.

In its first quarter 2016 financial results released at the weekend, Panoro announced that the two wells in Aje field have tested in excess of 5,000 bopd each.
Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. John Hamilton, CEO of Panoro, commented that his company was extremely pleased to have reached first oil production at Aje, offshore Nigeria.

“This is a transformational milestone and establishes Panoro as a full cycle E&P company. In Gabon, we continue to see enormous potential upside at Dussafu where we are working on securing partners to drill an exploration well. We feel this well will be the catalyst to move the project forward and unlock its inherent value. Having achieved production at Aje, we have established a strong platform from which to grow Panoro and add value for our shareholders. Looking forward, our strategy is to now expand our portfolio by acquiring further high quality production and development assets in West Africa,” Hamilton explained.

The first two wells in Aje Are expected to peak at 12,000 barrels of oil per day, and the flow rates would increase as more wells are drilled on the field.

However, of greater significance also is the disclosure that the oil field holds untapped reserves of about 650 billion cubic feet (bcf), which if harnessed in two to three years’ time, could supply Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, all the gas feedstock it needs for the thermal power stations and other manufacturing concerns domiciled in the state and its environs.

The subsea installation activities had been underway at Aje since January and were completed in early March, ready for the hook up of the Front Puffin Floating Production Storage Offshore (FPSO), which arrived in Nigeria on March 16.
Oil produced from the Aje field will be stored in the Front Puffin which has a production capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and storage capacity of 750,000 barrels.

Located in the extreme western part offshore Nigeria, adjacent to the Benin border in the Dahomey Basin, the field is situated in water depths ranging from 100 to 1,500 metres, about 24 kilometres from the coast.
The field is situated 64 kilometres from Lagos and 12 kilometres close to the West African gas pipeline operated by Chevron.

The current Aje partnership, which was formed in August 2013, is made up of Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum (operator), New AGE (African Global Energy), FHN, Energy Equity Resources (EER), Panoro, and Jacka Resources.

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

Mobil records drop in revenue, profit

Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc. has continued to record decline in its operational financials, with its turnover decreasing by 19 per cent and profit after tax by 24 per cent.

Specifically, the company’s turnover declined from N78.74 billion it recorded in the previous year to N64.2 billion in the year under review.

The Chairman/Managing Director, Adetunji Oyebanji, who made this disclosure during the company’s yearly general meeting, put the profit after tax at N4.9 billion.

“However, if the one-off surplus property disposal in 2014 is excluded, then profit after tax from operating activities rose by 27 per cent.

This was a very pleasing performance in the circumstances. Our results continue to be adversely impacted by the government controlled fixed margin on gasoline and kerosene”, he told shareholders.

Oyebanji further disclosed that the company has invested in retail chains, which comprise of tank and pump replacements as well as some service stations’ facelifts.

He added that significant investments were made in the company’s dealers in dealer-owned and operated sites, company’s commitment to investing in the lube oil blending plant with the provision of additional tanks for bulk additives and has embarked on a filling-line-automation and upgrade.

Oyebanji stated: “Mobil Nigeria Plc won the award for lubricant company of the year 2015 at the 10th Nigeria Auto Awards. Also, our Mobil lubricants were adjudged ‘best value for money’ in the motor oil category by ICERTIAS Best Awards. Our lubricant product lines continue to perform strongly, supported by a brand and quality image, which leads the market.

“Property rental income increased following the completion of the upgrade of Mobil Court. Some upgrades are also being made in Mobil House office building and these are expected to be completed in 2016.

“In accordance with our tradition of delivering shareholders returns that are competitive and superior in long-term-value, the board is pleased to recommend for approval a dividend of 720 kobo per 50 kobo share, subject to deduction of withholding taxes at applicable rates.

The recommended dividend represents an increase of nine per cent over prior year”.

Dwelling on the Nigeria’s business environment, he said that delay in reforms of the downstream petroleum industry sector remains a concern for operators as business continues to be challenged by products supply, margins on regulated products and the operating environment.

He stated: “In 2015, political activities took centre stage and elections were held which resulted in change in government. This was a significant event and an important step in consolidating democracy. At the same time, crude oil prices fell significantly which impacted government revenues and the availability of foreign exchange. This created many challenges for companies in the manufacturing sector”.

Source:© Copyright Guardian Online

Oil prices sustain rising profile, appreciate above $50 a barrel

Oil prices, for the first time in nearly seven months, scaled above $50 a barrel yesterday, due to growing disruptions in some Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and decline in inventories in certain countries outside the cartel.

At above $50 per barrel, crude oil prices have finally strongly surpassed Nigeria’s budgetary benchmark of $38 a barrel.

Specifically, global benchmark – Brent crude futures rose by 1.2 per cent to $50.34 a barrel- the highest level recorded since November last year while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up by one per cent to $50.08 a barrel.

Brent had since mid-December 2015 continued to trade below the $38 per barrel mark. In January, it fell under $30 per barrel, its lowest in more than a decade.

Supply disruptions in Nigeria, Canada and Libya have been able to push Brent prices back above $50. In the lead-up to those outages, waning North American output helped drain a massive overhang in U.S. stockpiles, which eased from 80-year highs reached weeks ago.

But, there were fears that the strikes by French oil sector workers, which had led to the shutdown of many refineries, may result to fall in crude oil prices, as cargoes may be diverted to other ports, or of owners of physical barrels being forced to sell at steep discounts just to get rid of their cargoes.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest economic outlook on sub-Saharan Africa that the sharp decline in crude prices has put severe strains on many of the largest sub-Saharan African economies.

It noted that oil exporters, which include Angola and Nigeria, continue to face difficult economic conditions, just like non-energy-commodity exporters, such as South Africa and Zambia.

According to IMF, most oil importers are generally faring better, with growth in excess of five per cent and even higher in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Senegal. In most of these countries, growth is being supported by ongoing infrastructure investment efforts and strong private consumption.

It said that the decline in oil prices has also helped these countries, though the windfall has tended to be smaller than expected, as exposure to the decline in other commodity prices and currency depreciations have partly offset the gains in many of them.

IMF stated: “For natural resource exporters, a robust and prompt policy response is needed given the prospect of an extended period of sharply lower commodity prices. To date, the policy response—particularly among oil exporters—to a terms-of-trade decline of historic magnitude has to a large extent been hesitant and insufficient. But with fiscal and foreign exchange reserve buffers limited and financing constrained, the required adjustment will happen, one way or another: the options really are between orderly and disorderly adjustment.”

Source:© Copyright Guardian Online

Equities gain N211bn, 49 stocks appreciate

Gains in 49 stocks boosted the Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation by N211bn at the close of trading on the floor of the Exchange on Thursday, two days after the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee announced plan to adopt flexible exchange rate policy.

The NSE had gained over N300bn on Wednesday.

Amid positive bias in policy, NSE All-Share Index added further sizeable points at the close of the session as investors increased their stake across blue chips. The session’s gains guided the ASI to its first positive year-to-date return.

The NSE market capitalisation closed at N9.917tn from N9.706tn, while the NSE ASI appreciated by 28,877.47 basis points from 28,260.61 basis points.

A total of 651 million shares valued at N5.02bn were traded in 5,796 deals.

Guinness Nigeria Plc, Oando Plc, Union Bank Nigeria Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and United Capital Plc emerged as the top five gainers.

Guinness shares appreciated by N10.23 (10.25 per cent) to close at N110.08 from N99.85, while those of Oando gained N0.67 (10.11 per cent) to close at N7.30 from N6.63.

The share price of Union Bank recorded a gain N0.51 (9.96 per cent) to close at N5.63 from N5.12, while that of Diamond Bank closed at N2.32 from N2.11, appreciating by N0.21 (9.95 per cent).

United Capital shares also appreciated by N0.21 (9.63 per cent) to close at N2.39 from N2.18.

Other gainers were FCMB Group Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Tiger Branded Consumer Goods Plc, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, UACN Plc, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, among others.

However, a total of six stocks made the losers’ table. They were AG Leventis Plc, Learn Africa Plc, Fidson Healthcare Plc, 7UP Bottling Company Plc, Dangote Cement Plc and Julius Berger Plc.

AG Leventis shares closed at N0.95 from N1.00, depreciating by N0.05 (five per cent), while those of Learn Africa fell to N0.73 from N0.76, losing N0.03 (3.95 per cent).

Fidson share price also recorded a loss of N0.08 (3.64 per cent) to close at N2.12 from N2.20.

At the Nigerian bourse, the consumer goods (+452bps) and financial services (+358bps) sectors led advances, while the oil and gas sector (+211bps) rebounded on the back of gains in Oando and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited.

The industrial goods sectors (+34bps) slowed momentum, albeit with a green close, as a decline in Dangote Cement tempered gains in Lafarge West Africa Plc

UBA topped the volume chart, trading 101 million units while Guaranty Trust Bank topped the value chart, for the second consecutive session trading 63 million units worth N1.3bn.

The NSE ASI and NSE 30 gained 218bps and 281bps, putting year-to-date returns at 0.82 per cent and 0.28 per cent, respectively.

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

FBN Holdings Shareholders Receive N5.4 Billion Dividend

Shareholders of FBN Holdings Plc on Tuesday approved a dividend of N5.38 billion proposed by the board for the year ended December 31, 2015. The dividend, which translates to 15 kobo per share, was paid despite a major fall in the profit of the bank.

The company posted a profit after tax of N 15.1 billion in 2015, down from N84 billion in 2014 due to N119 billion impairment charges.
The shareholders, who spoke at the annual general meeting (AGM) in Lagos, commended the payment of dividend.

For instance, the National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu said they were not expecting any dividend from the company because of impairments.

Speaking in the same vein, President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, Dr. Farouk Umar commended the company for its performance in spite of stringent regulatory policies and unfriendly operating environment.
“Even in times of difficult, we are in good hands, paying dividend in spite of challenges witnessed in 2015,” Umar stated.

Responding, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. UK Eke, said that the company’s ultimate goal was to restore shareholders value.

“We were trained by dividends FBN paid to our parents in the past and we will revert to those things that were in place then,” Eke said.
He also assured the shareholders that they were committed to restoring shareholders values and would continue to carry them along in everything.

“Times are hard truly but we must ensure you don’t suffer undue pain under my leadership. “We have intensify our efforts to drive the contribution of non-bank subsidiaries to Group portfolio to 10 per cent through enhanced coordination and synergy realisation,” he said.

In his address, Chairman of the company, Oba Otudeko told the shareholders that 2015 was challenging but FBN made significant progress in the execution of its ambitious but attainable three-year strategic plan.

“Given the performance of all operating companies, we are confident that significant opportunities for improved synergistic benefits exist within the group”, Otudeko said.
Looking into the future, he said the company will continue to focus on effective execution of its strategy and on delivering value to shareholders.

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online

United Capital Gains N1.5bn from Sale of Insurance Firm

United Capital Plc, one of the leading African investment banking and financial services firm, has completed the sale of its 50 per cent holding in United Metropolitan Life, a joint venture established in 2005, to its Joint Venture partner, Metropolitan International Holdings (Proprietary) Limited.

The purchase consideration for the shares in United Metropolitan Nigeria Life amounted to N3.25 billion and the transaction closed on 10 May, 2016. United Capital realised a capital gain of N1.5 billion from the transaction.

Commenting on the divestment, Group Chief Executive Officer, United Capital, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Sanni, said: “This marks the conclusion of a very successful investment. Our objective is always to maximise shareholder return and we look forward to redeploying the capital in further ventures. We remain strongly convinced of the opportunities in the Nigerian financial services sector.”

Sanni thanked Metropolitan International, saying it has been an excellent joint venture partner.
“This partnership has led the way in South African and Nigerian businesses working together for the benefits of Africans. Through this partnership, we established a pioneering insurance business, which has led in customer satisfaction and product innovation,” she said.

She explained that all requisite regulatory approvals have been obtained and the Nigerian Stock Exchange has since been notified of the divestment.

“United Capital Plc remains committed to achieving its goal of building Africa’s leading investment and financial services group and to continue delivering service excellence across all of its business units in pursuit of these strategic objectives,” Sanni assured.

Meanwhile, the bull run was sustained wednesday at the stock market as investors continued to react positively to Tuesday’s decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to adopt a flexible foreign exchange market.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index, which rose by 0.80 per cent on the day of the decision, surged 3.8 per cent yesterday to close at 28,260.61. Market capitalisation added N353 billion to be at N9.71 trillion. A total of 48 stocks appreciated while only 10 lost. Investors traded 474.40 million shares valued at N3.50 billion exchanged in 5,260 deals, up by 73 per cent from the volume of the previous day.

Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said: “We expect current momentum to be sustained in the coming session, as the impact of MPC decision lingers.”

Source:© Copyright Thisday Online