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Stock Market Downturn: Shareholders Task FG On Friendly Economic Policies

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Some shareholder groups
on Monday in Lagos decried the free fall of equities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), The Tide source reports.
The shareholders said that government needed to pursue policies that would propel economic activities and boost investor confidence.
They urged the Federal Government to pursue a friendly economic blueprint that would revamp the economy.
The NSE market capitalisation last week lost N1.21 trillion or 13 per cent to close at N8.087 trillion against N9.296 trillion achieved in the preceding week.
Also, the All-Share Index which opened for the week at 27,028.39 lost 3514.35 points or 13 per cent to close at 23,514.04 due to massive profit taking.
A turnover of 1.46 billion shares worth N14.17 billion were exchanged by investors’ in 15,164 deals last week.
This was against 899.60 million shares valued at N7.67 billion traded in 14,164 deals in the corresponding week.
The Financial Services Industry led the week’s activity chart with 1.29 billion shares worth N8.95 billion transacted in 10,020 deals.
The Consumer Goods sector followed with 59.83 million shares worth N3.07 billion achieved in 2,165 deals.
The third place was occupied by the conglomerates Industry with a turnover of 56.61 million shares worth N152.95 million in 695 deals.
Reports also say that the market since the beginning of 2016 had dropped by 17.89 per cent, compared with 17.4 per cent decline posted in 2015.
Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, a founding member of Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, said that government should work harder to fix the economy.
Olatokunbo said that National Assembly members should ensure a speedy passage of the budget.
“We expect NASS to hit the ground running instead of the rumour of missing or new-versions of the budget.
“Nigerians expect all hands to be on deck for the betterment of the economy,’’ Olatokunbo said.
He said that government at all levels should ensure discipline in order to correct the errors of the past.
“We messed up our economy and have to pay the price, and until things get back to order, we have to live with the sad situation we have created,’’ he added.
The shareholder, however, said that bad habits of the past years could not be fixed within a very short period.
He noted that the ongoing downward trend did not affect the book values of quoted companies, but their price of equities.
Olatokunbo said the fundamentals of quoted companies were sound and strong, adding that stocks would bounce back once the economy recovered.
President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, said that government should pursue diversification to enhance revenue generation.
Okezie said he was optimistic that the market would pick up with friendly economic and foreign exchange policies.
He said that government could not bail the market with funds, urging the country to learn from the lessons of China.
Okezie said the free fall would continue if market regulators failed to pursue strategies that would bring retail investors back to the market.
He blamed the NSE, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria for the current market development.

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Crude Hits Seven-Year High On Recovery Hope … Equity Rally Runs Out

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Crude oil hit a more than seven-year high yesterday on optimism that the global recovery will ramp up demand.
However, concerns about the end of long-running central bank support and rising Treasury yields saw most equity markets reverse early gains.
After an almost uninterrupted rally from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, world markets are showing signs of levelling out as global finance chiefs shift from economy-boosting largesse to measures aimed at reining in inflation.
Still, there is an expectation that equities will enjoy further gains this year as countries reopen and people grow more confident about travel, especially as studies suggest the more prevalent Omicron coronavirus variant appears to be milder and as vaccines are rolled out.
Analysts are also watching the corporate earnings season that is underway, with hopes that firms can match their stellar performances last year.
But while Asian markets started the day brightly after Monday’s travails, traders returned to selling, with US Treasury yields surging on expectations the Federal Reserve will have to unveil several interest rate hikes to tackle a worrying spike in inflation. Wall Street was closed Monday.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Mumbai, Bangkok and Jakarta all fell.
There were gains in Shanghai in hopes of fresh economy-boosting measures, while Wellington and Manila also edged up.
London, Paris and Frankfurt all fell at the open.
But oil built on its early promise, with Brent climbing to $88.13 a barrel and WTI hitting $85.74, both levels not seen since October 2014.
The gains came thanks to demand optimism as the world reopens and concerns about Omicron ease. The loosening of travel restrictions in several countries has seen jet fuel costs soar.
Hopes for more monetary easing by major consumer, China, to reinforce its stuttering economy were also seen as key support for the oil market.

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NPA, MWUN, Others Synergise On Labour

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President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has reaffirmed commitment to ensuring smooth working relationship with  management, Tin Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC) of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on labour related issues.
Adeyanju, who made the commitment during a working visit to the Port Manager, TCIPC, Mr. Buba Jubril, in Lagos, noted that the union will continue to promote industrial peace and harmony in the  operational activities at seaports.
Noting that synergy among all the maritime stakeholders was key for port efficiency, he hinted that the union has changed the narrative from being tagged as hooligans to a more responsible and civil Institution in the maritime industry.
Earlier, the Port Manager, TCIPC, Buba Jubril, thanked the  PG of MWUN for the systematic approach on labour related issues at the port level
Disclosing that the PG has been instrumental to the existing peace in port operations, Jubril assured on the existing synergy the port authority and all the unions.
Jubril further said that “ Myself and the President General MWUN has come a long in the industry.
“I have known him (PG) for over 33years and that will tell you that he is my friend and friend to management of the Nigeria port authority”, he said.

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Osinbajo Wants More Stakeholders’ Involvement In Blue Economy … Inaugurates Committee

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has sought for wider participation of relevant stakeholders in the blue economy project to deepen participation and benefits of Nigerians from the country’s marine resources.
Making the call at the  inaugural meeting of an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria at the Presidential Villa yesterday, the Vice President said “a viable blue economy project will offer vista of opportunities not only for littoral states where there are bodies of waters, but for the entire country”.
He identified areas to be exploited to include ports, terminals, fishing, training, environment, tourism, power,oil and gas.
While identifying possible challenges of sustainability, the VP urged all the ministries, departments and agencies to strengthen their collaborations in an atmosphere of inter ministerial working groups and advised all members to attend the meetings faithfully for maximum results.
Osinbajo , who formally inaugurated the expanded committee, identified the need for a legal framework that will be more robust than other international maritime conventions on blue economy, which Nigeria has been signatory to.
He said the scope and participation of the committee will be further improved upon to accommodate more members from government agencies and relevant private sector stakeholders
“There is no doubt that the blue economy is a new frontier for economic development and a means of diversifying the economy through the use of resources from oceans, seas, rivers and lakes for the well being of the people.
“It also provides positive contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) 2052 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2052AIM) and the UN 2030 agenda
“This concept for economic diversification is promoted by the international community and provides friendly means of livelihood in line with this administration’s agenda on job creation’, he said.
He continued that “the ocean economy as an emerging economic frontier applies to ocean-based industry activities and the assets, goods and services of marine ecosystems.
“Countries have to define the scope of their blue economy based on their priorities. For example, in Bangladesh, the ocean economy consists of the following broad and growing economic sectors; living resources, minerals, energy, transport, trade, tourism and recreation, carbon sequestration and coastal protection.
“These industries and ecosystem services do not develop in isolation, but rather interact as an economic ecosystem”, the VP said.
Earlier in his remark,Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi said the blue economy is capable of improving government revenue, create employments and grow the gross domestic product of Nigeria.
Amaechi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, also expressed optimism in the benefits derivable from a well exploited marine environment
Speaking at the event,  Dr. Paul Adalikwu, Secretary General of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) lauded the initiative of the expansion while recommending inclusion of financial institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and African Development Bank (AfDB), as well as key financial institutions that will contribute meaningfully to realizing Nigeria’s Blue Economy objective.
In addition to  maritime agencies such as the Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and Maritime Academy of Nigeria, the expanded committee also include ten state governors.
They the Governors of Rivers, Lagos, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Ogun, Ondo, Cross River, Bayelsa and Edo States.
Other members are Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Power, Finance, Environment, Trade and Investment, Agriculture and Water Resources , Chief of Naval Staff, Comptroller General of Customs, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, etc.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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