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Britain Overtakes US As Top Financial Centre

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The United Kingdom has overtaken the United States to take the top spot in a ranking of the world’s leading financial centres.

The ranking, compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF), places the UK at the top of a leader board of 55 of the world’s largest financially-focussed countries.

The US, which had previously held the top spot, slipped to third, behind second-placed Australia.

The poll will fuel the ongoing debate as to whether London or New York is the best place to do business for financial communities, amid recent reports that a growing number of hedge funds are moving to New York due to lighter regulation.

The ranking came in spite of the distinct problems in the UK’s financial services industry has suffered in the last 12 months at the hands of the global financial crisis, problems that have seen significant parts of the banking sector nationalised as the centre-piece of a barrage of government interventions into the financial industry.

As a result, the UK’s overall score in the poll – which is based on a score of 1 to 7 – fell by 0.55 points to 5.28, still above the US’s, which fell 0.73 to 5.12.

The rankings are based on more than 120 different variables looking at the size and breadth of capital markets, institutional environments and financial stability.

Among the most significant fallers in the overall rankings were France and Germany, who fell out of the top 10 altogether, while second-place Australia, up from 11th last year, and Singapore, rising from 10th to 4th, were among the biggest winners.

However, the report, penned by the organisers of the annual WEF leadership conference in Davos each year, does show that from a stability perspective, the UK lags behind the rest of the world, ranked 37 out of 55, just one spot ahead of the US at 38.

“The UK and the US may still show leadership in the rankings, but their significant drops in score show increasing weakness and imply their leadership may be in jeopardy,” said Kevin Steinberg, chief executive of WEF USA.

Overall, the report showed signs of weakness among many established global financial centres as a result of the recent crisis, while at the same time developing countries demonstrated relative financial stability.

From a pure stability standpoint – which was topped by Norway and Switzerland – Chile came in third, while Malaysia, Brazil and Mexico were all in the top 15 rankings.

Professor Nouriel Roubini, the well-known economist who was the leading academic involved in compiling the study, commented: “The change in scores does demonstrate the implications of the downturn on our assessment of the long-term development of financial systems.”

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NSE Begins Week On Negative Note, Loses N19.49bn

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The Nigerian stock market began the week on a negative note as banking and consumer goods stocks, among others, triggered a N19.49bn loss.
At the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian  Exchange Limited , the NGX All-Share Index dropped by 0.09 per cent to end at 43,270.94 basis points, while the market capitalisation declined to N22.58tn.
Market activities were mixed as the total volume of shares traded decreased by 30.19 per cent while the value traded rose by 34.05 per cent.
A total of 213.13 million shares valued at N2.36bn were exchanged in 4,105 deals, compared to 305.32 million shares worth N3.58bn in 4,450 deals last Friday.
FCMB Group Plc topped the traded stocks in terms of volume, accounting for 27.43 per cent of the total volume of trades while Airtel Africa Plc emerged as the most traded stock by value, representing 28.81 per cent of the total value of trades on the exchange.
14 firms gained compared to 21 losers.
AIICO Insurance Plc was the biggest gainer for the day, topping the gainers’ chart with a price appreciation of 8.57 per cent to N0.76 per share.
It was followed by LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Plc with a rise of 7.95 per cent, ending the day at N0.95 per share.
Analysing by sectors, three of the five major indices closed lower, led by NGX Oil & Gas (-0.56 per cent), NGX Consumer Goods (-0.23 per cent) and NGX Banking (0.18 per cent).
But the insurance (0.82 per cent) and industrial goods (0.002 per cent) indices gained at the end of trading.

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… Introduces TIES To Boost  Business Loan

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), which provides undergraduates and graduates with a platform to access loans.
The TIES’ underlying aim is to provide access to capital for Nigerian undergraduates and graduates with innovative entrepreneurial and technological ideas from polytechnics and universities.
TIES intends to shift undergraduates and graduates away from white-collar job pursuits and towards a culture of entrepreneurship development for economic development and job creation.
In a national biennial entrepreneurship competition, the Developmental Component would be distributed in the form of awards to Nigerian polytechnics and universities.
The competition aims to increase undergraduates’ awareness and visibility of high-impact entrepreneurial/technological concepts, foster entrepreneurial talent hunts in Nigerian polytechnics and universities, and encourage commercially viable and transformative technologies.
Interested Nigerian polytechnics and universities shall apply to participate in the national biennial entrepreneurship competition on a dedicated online portal.
Outlining brief details of the project, potential impact and evidence of originality of project, CBN said it is an innovation for students entrepreneurs.

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CITN Applauds FG, Tax Authorities On Fiscal Policy Decisions

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The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has lauded the Federal Government and tax authorities on the giant strides made on fiscal policy decisions and tax administration measures initiated this year in the area of Finance Act 2021 and the introduction of TaxPromax solution.
President of the institute, Adesina Adedayo, who gave the commendation at the institute’s yearly award ceremony at the weekend in Lagos, assured the government and tax authorities of aligning with the measures and promised to provide professional thoughts and insights on ways through which they could achieve an efficient and effective Nigerian tax system.
Adedayo emphasised the need to address the database, adding that without knowing who the tax-payers are, there is no way they can take money from unknown tax-payers.
Database is the aspect we have been emphasising on as an institute and in doing this, there are so many of pockets of data we have. All the data must be harmonised to have a simple unique tax-payers identification number,” he said.

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