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NSE: Shareholders Identify Cause Of Falling Market Indices

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Some shareholders have
blamed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for the bearish trend in the equities market, which led to drop in the market indices by 11.52 per cent last week.
The shareholders told newsmen in Lagos that the exchange’s dependence on foreign investors was the major cause of the bearish trend in the market.
National President, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN),  Mr Bayo Adeleke, said that the bears were having a free reign in the market due to the dominance of foreign investors.
Adeleke said the exchange was disconnected from retail shareholders and depended solely on foreign investors.
“The NSE doesn’t have a blueprint to develop local capacity for long term capital formation. The preference is to hand over Nigerian economy to foreign investors,” Adeleke said.
He said that the market had lost over N2 trillion in capitalisation in the last one month.
Adeleke said that shareholders were concerned about the free fall of equities in the last couple of weeks, noting that some stocks lost more than 30 per cent of their value.
President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Mr Boniface Okezie, said that local investor’s confidence in the market had been dashed due to government’s policies.
Okezie said that foreign investors were given more attention in the market against the domestic investors.
Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, founding member, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, attributed the development to the exit of foreign investors.
Olatokunbo said that capital market regulators should protect and develop the interest and confidence of local investors in the market and not foreigners’.
He said that foreign investors concentrated solely on capital appreciation, noting that capital market was not a casino but for long-term investment purposes.
Olatokunbo said that investors should be encouraged by the regulators to pay less emphasis on capital appreciation.
He, however, urged local investors to seize the opportunity to increase their stake in the market.
The Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., Malam Garba Kurfi, said the operators were engaging local investors to increase their participation in the market.
Kurfi said that pension fund administrators should see the development as an opportunity to increase their position in the market.
“The market offers higher potential in terms of dividend yield when compared with interest offered by banks,’’ he said.
Kurfi said that the market had never lost 11 per cent in a week in the last five years.
He attributed the development in the market to developments in the foreign exchange market and unfriendly policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Kurfi said the trend would not persist because most stocks were trading below their fair value.
Our correspondent reports that the NSE All-Share Index last week lost 4333.93 basis points or 11.54 per cent to close at 33,216.31 compared with 37,550.24 achieved in the preceding week.
Also, the market capitalisation depreciated by N1.44 trillion or 11.54 per cent to close at N11.002 trillion against N12.437 trillion posted in the previous week due to huge loss.
Lafarge Africa topped the losers’ table, shedding 30.14 per cent or N33.15 to close at N76.84 per share.
It was also reported that 73 equities posted price depreciation during the review period, while one equity appreciated in price.
Dangote Sugar Refinery came second with a loss of 29 per cent or N2.03 to close at N4.97, while Ashaka Cement lost 28.62 per cent or N8.97 to close at N22.37 per share.
On the other hand, Betaglass was the only company that recorded gain during the review period, appreciating by five per cent or N1.05 to close at N22.05 per share.
Also, a turnover of  3.78 billion shares worth N26.74 billion was traded on by investors last week in 22,771 deals.
This was against 2.09 billion shares valued N20.23 billion exchanged in 21,802 deals in the previous week.
The Financial Services led the week’s activity chart with 3.33 billion shares
Worth N17.10 billion transacted in 13,676 deals.
The Conglomerates Industry followed with a turnover of 181.56 million shares worth N772.64 million achieved in 1,286 deals.
The third place was occupied by  the Services Industry with 90.01 million shares worth N259.19 million in 659 deals.

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Lawmakers Want CBN To Halt Naira Devaluation

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The House of Representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to urgently put in place a policy to check further devaluation of the naira to the United States dollar and other international legal tenders.
The House decried that while the Nigerian currency was losing value, others in Africa were appreciating.
At the plenary on Wednesday, the House unanimously adopted a motion moved by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Pensions, Mr Bamidele Salam, which warned the CBN of the implications of further devaluing the naira.
The motion was titled, ‘Matter of urgent public importance on the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria to urgently put in place monetary policies to stop the free fall of the naira against the dollar and other international legal tenders’.
Salam recalled that the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, while addressing the Bankers’ Committee at a summit on the economy in Lagos earlier in February, informed the committee about the naira devaluation against the dollar.
The lawmaker also quoted Emefiele as saying at the summit that the official exchange rate stood at N410 to the dollar.
“That is 7.6 per cent weaker than the rate of N379 published on the central bank’s website,” Salam noted.
According to the lawmaker, while the value of the naira relative to the dollar had declined by nine per cent in the last six months, the South African rand and Ghanaian cedi had appreciated by 11.4 per cent and one per cent, respectively.
Salam also recalled that the CBN adopted multiple exchange rates in 2020, in a bid to avoid an outright devaluation. 
He noted that the official rate used as a basis for budget preparation and other official transactions differed from a closely controlled exchange rate for investors and exporters known as the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing Methodology.
He stressed that the naira had traded in a tight range between N400 and N410, while the NAFEX rate was different from the parallel market, considered illegal by the CBN, where the naira closed at 502.
Salam said, “The House is concerned that devaluation is likely to cause inflation because imports will be more expensive any imported goods or raw material will increase in price; aggregate demand increases, causing demand-pull inflation. Firms/exporters have less incentive to cut costs because they can rely on the devaluation to improve competitiveness.
 ”The concern is that the long-term devaluation may lead to lower productivity because of the decline in incentives.
 ”The House is further concerned that devaluation of the naira makes it more difficult for Nigerian youths especially in the IT sector, whose businesses are online and must necessarily transact businesses in the US dollars. 
“It also reduces real wages. In a period of low wage growth, a devaluation that causes rising import prices will make consumers feel worse off “.

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Four West African Countries To Buy Nigeria’s Unutilised Electricity

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Four West African countries, Niger, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso, are collaborating to buy the unutilised power produced in Nigeria. 
The Chairman of the Executive Board of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Sule Abdulaziz, disclosed this at the WAPP meeting on the North core project in Abuja, on Wednesday. 
Abdulaziz, who is also the acting Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said the four countries were collaborating to make the power purchase from Nigeria through the North core Power Transmission Line currently being built.
He explained, “The power we will be selling is the power that is not needed in Nigeria.
“The electricity generators that are going to supply power to this transmission line are going to generate that power specifically for this project. So, it is unutilised power”.
He said Nigeria was expecting new generators to participate in the energy export for the 875km 330KV Northcore transmission line from Nigeria through Niger, Togo, Benin to Burkina Faso.
Abdulaziz said, “In addition, there are some communities that are under the line route, about 611 of them, which will be getting power so that there won’t be just a transmission line passing without impact”.
The WAPP chairman noted that the project, funded by World Bank, French Development Council and the African Development Bank, had recorded progress, adding that the energy ministers would be addressing security issues for the project at another meeting in Abuja.
He said, “Nigeria has the greatest advantage among these countries because the electricity is going to be exported from Nigerian Gencos (generation companies). 
“So, from that, the revenue is going to be enhanced and a lot of people will be employed in Nigeria”.
The Secretary-General, WAPP, Siengui Appolinaire-Ki, said the cost of the project was about $570 million, adding that part of the investment in each country would be funded by that particular nation.
According to him, the countries in the partnership, including Nigeria, are also being supported by donors.
He said the funding agreement was ready as partner countries were awaiting the disbursements.
Appolinaire-Ki, however, said the donor agencies had said they needed a Power Purchase Agreement between the buying and the selling countries to be executed before releasing the fund.

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Reps Probe N275bn Agric Loans Under Yar’Adua, Jonathan, Buhari

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The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the disbursement of loans and credit facilities by the Federal Government in the agriculture sector since 2009.
The period under review covers the administrations of the late Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan as well as the present President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The resolution was sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Hon. Chike Okafor at the plenary last Wednesday, titled ‘Need to investigate disbursements of all agricultural loans/credit facilities to farmers from 2009 to date to enhance national food security’. 
Okafor said, from 2009 to date, the Federal Government had approved the disbursement of funds to farmers in various schemes to the tune of over N275billion, ranging from Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme to the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, to help farmers improve agricultural production and guarantee food security in Nigeria.
The lawmaker also noted that apart from increasing food supply, the schemes were to grant agricultural loans to large and small-scale commercial farmers to lower the prices of agricultural produce, generate employment and increase foreign exchange earnings.
He said, “The House is aware that since the approval, most farmers have not been able to access the loans due to stringent requirements being demanded by banks from prospective borrowers and the alleged siphoning of over N105billion meant for farmers by management of NIRSAL.
“The House is concerned that food production has not attained the expected level, despite the approval of over N275billion facilities to farmers. 
“The House is worried that the projected diversification of the economy from oil production to agricultural production and increase in agricultural output, food supply and promoting low food inflation will not be achieved if farmers are unable to access loans meant to increase agricultural production”.
Adopting the motion, the House resolved to mandate the Committee on Banking and Currency to “investigate disbursements and compliance of all agricultural loans/credit facilities to farmers from 2009 to date to enhance national food security in the country”.

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