The European shares sank yesterday, as investors digested a huge overhaul of British state-controlled banks Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, while falling metals prices hit the mining sector.
In late morning European trade, London’s first 100 index of top shares tumbled 2.12 percent to 4,996.53 points, diving under the psychological 5,000 barrier for the first time since October 5.
Frankfurt’s Dax 30 shed 1.88 percent to 5,328.73 points and Paris CAC 40 lost 2.25 percent to 3,557.66 points near the half-way mark.the Euro stoxx 50 index of top euro zone shares plunged 2.25 percent to 2,700.75 points.
Britain said it would force Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds to sell assets in a bid to revive the sector and address EU concerns, and inject another 30 billion pounds (33 billion euros, $49 billion) into the pair.
The government hopes to create new banks, private competition and guarantee more lending to business and individuals as a result of the assets sales, which comprises 10 percent of Britain’s troubled retail banking market.
“The focus has been on the banking sector with RBS taking an additional 25.5 billion pounds from the government and Lloyds confirming its rights issue,” said David Jones. “The biggest losers on the day overall, though, are mining stocks as once more concerns about global demand and weaker metal prices have hit this ever volatile sector.”
Under the plans, the British government will pump another 25.5 billion pounds into RBS, which in turn will place 282 billion pounds of highrisla debts into the government toxic asset insurance scheme.
As a result, the government economics interest in RBS will climb to 84 percent to 36.69 pence.
However, Lloyds stock rose 1.20 percent to 1.20 percent to 86.02 pence as the group also said that the record rights issue would allow it to avoid taking part in the state toxic asset insurance plans.
Lloyds unveiled fund- raising plans including a 13.5 billion pound rights issue which would represent Britain’s biggest ever sale of new shares to existing shareholders.
The government said it would take part and maintain its 43 percent stake in Lloyds.
In Asia yesterday Hong Kong ploughed 1.76 percent, the second consecutive day of falls, as investor confidence remained low despite a pick-up on Wall Street. The Japanese stock market was closed for a public holiday.
New York stocks rose in hesitant trade on Monday after a surprise profit reported by Ford Motor Co. and a strong factory sector survey boosted sentiment after last week’s drubbling.
Senate Confirms Cardoso, 11 Others As Monetary Policy Committee Members
The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Olayemi Cardoso as the chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Also confirmed for appointment as members of the MPC yesterday, include, Muhammad Abdullahi, (CBN deputy governor), Bala Bello (CBN deputy governor), Emem Usoro (CBN deputy governor), Philip Ikeazor (CBN deputy governor), Lamido Yuguda, (DG Securities and Exchange Commission) and Jafiya Lydia Shehu, (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance).
Others are Murtala Sabo Sagagi (CBN director) Aloysius Ordu, Aku Odukemelu, Mustapha Akinwunmi, and Bamidele Amoo.
President Bola Tinubu had on Wednesday named Cardoso as the chairman and 11 others as members of the MPC.
Tinubu in his letter of nomination to the Senate, said his action was in line with the provisions of Section 12 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007.
The President had about a week ago asked the Senate to confirm Cardoso, as the chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee of the apex bank.
CBN MPC will hold its first policy meeting for the year on February 26 and 27.
The Senate had , on Wednesday, screened the nominated members of the CBN Monetary Policy Committee, questioning them on the lingering foreign exchange and food crises.
‘Unemployment Rate Hit 0.8% In 2023 Q3’
The unemployment rate in Nigeria rose by 0.8percent in the third quarter of 2023.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), this was a significant rise, adding that the unemployment rate rose from the 4.2percent recorded in Q2 2023 to 5.0 percent in Q3 2023.
The NBS, the custodian of official statistics in the country, disclosed this in a report it published last Monday titled “Nigeria Labour Force Survey Q3 2023”.
“The employment-to-population ratio was 75.6 percent in Q3 2023 with a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to a ratio of Q2 2023.
“The combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3percent in Q3 2023 from 15.5percent in Q2 2023.
“About 87.3 percent of workers were self-employed in Q3 2023. The proportion of workers in Wage Employment in Q3 2023 was 12.7 percent.
“The unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 percent. This is an increase of 0.8 percent from Q2 2023.
“The rate of unemployment among persons with post-secondary education was 7.8 percent in Q3 2023”, the report stated in part.
It added that the unemployment rate for youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years was recorded at 8.6 per cent in Q3 2023 while the informal employment rate in Q3 2023 was 92.3 per cent.
The report added, “The unemployment rate in urban areas was 6.0 percent percentin Q3 2023, a slight increase of 0.1 percent from Q2 2023.
“Time-related underemployment in Q3 2023 was 12.3 percent, showing a slight increase of 0.5 percent from the rate recorded in Q2 2023. This shows an increase of 1.4 percent compared to the rate in Q4 2022.
“4.1percent of the working-age population was in subsistence agriculture in Q3 2023. Informal employment rate in Q3 2023 was 92.3percent, while Q2 2023 was 92.7percent.
“Percentage of youth Not in Employment, Education or Training was 13.7percent in Q3 2023”.
Recall that Nigeria’s inflation rate last Thursday climbed to 29.90 per cent in January 2024 from 28.92 per cent recorded in the previous month.
The 0.98 percent increase shows that the inflation rate in the country is yet to slow down.
The NBS revealed this in its ‘Consumer Price Index’
The development adds more pressure on the Central Bank’s monetary policy committee to sharply raise interest rates at a February 26-27 meeting its first in seven months.
Merchant Navy Lauds NIWA Over Staff Welfare
The Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO/WTSSA) has expressed optimism that the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mr. Bola Oyebamiji, will prioritise workers welfare for optimal performance of the agency.
Jibril Darda’u, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, NIWA, in a statement over the weekend, disclosed that the seafarers’ union’s remarks are one of the highlights of the meeting between the Trade Union Congress (TUC) affiliate group and management of the agency.
The statement quoted the Chairman of the NMNO/WTSSA, Comrade Suleiman Danjuma, as commending the Managing Director of NIWA for the good initiative of the kind of interaction that brings the staff closer to the management.
“This will definitely boost the morale of the staff and pledge their loyalty and confidence in the Managing Director’s leadership style”, Danjuma stated.
Earlier, the Managing Director of NIWA promised to build on the progress already achieved at the Lokoja River Port, Kogi State.
The MD disclosed this when he went on a familiarisation tour of NIWA’s facilities in Lokoja.
According to the MD, the importance of Lokoja River Port being in the confluence State is to boost the economic viability of the State and Nigeria at large.
“We are here for facility tour to see for ourselves what is on ground at Jamata Port, Lokoja. It is important we come here to assess the facilities to see, at least, how we can move the facilities forward”, he stated.
Recall that in continuation of his familiarisation tour, the Managing Director’s visited the NIWA Lokoja Area office to inspect the Dockyard facilities.
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