Business News in Brief

Investment Authority records ₦36.15b comprehensive income

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) recorded a Total Comprehensive Income (TCI) of N36.15 billion in 2019, Ms Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli, said on Friday.

Ojekwe-Onyejeli, the Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer at NSIA disclosed this at a virtual news conference in Abuja.

Ojekwe-Onyejeli said the 2019 income was less when compared to the TCI for 2018 which was N44.34 billion.

Federal Government reopens school for graduating classes

The Presidential Task Force on COVID19 has announced reopening of schools in Nigeria  for graduating classes which are Primary six, J.S.3, and SS3.

The National Cordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID 19 , Dr Sani Aliyu, made this known while announcing the extension of the eased lockdown which now comes with some modifications.

According to Aliyu,Schools will reopen nationwide only for graduating classes which are Primary Six, JS3, and SS3.

He added that all primary and daycare centers remain closed until further evaluation.

May 2020 CPI Report: Inflation Rises to a 25-Month High of 12.4%

The Consumer Price Index report published recently showed that headline inflation rose to a 25-month high of 12.4% y/y in May 2020, from 12.3% in the prior month. This was despite the sustained upward pressure on consumer prices as headline inflation rose 1.2% m/m from 1.0%, the highest since June 2018. 

Naira slides on official market on plan to align exchange rates

Nigeria’s naira opened 6.2% lower against the U.S. dollar on the official market on Wednesday as traders quoted the currency close to the over-the-counter spot market rate on indications the government would move to conserve dwindling reserves.

In a finance ministry document seen by Reuters on Wednesday, the Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed said the government would seek to unify the exchange rates to generate more naira from its foreign inflows and manage the rate in a sustainable manner.

OPEC extends oil production cuts to end of July

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and allies have agreed to extend oil production cuts until the end of July, 2020.

The agreement which was made during the 11th OPEC & non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting under the chairmanship of Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy was held via video conference to assess developments in the global oil market.

Oil demand improves

Oil prices rose amid coronavirus lockdowns ease as demand improves.

Brent crude futures rose by 0.8per cent at $35.82 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 2.3per cent, to trade at $34.02.

Nigeria’s Bonga crude oil export terminal will close for routine maintenance, a port source said yesterday.

Bonga operator Royal Dutch Shell would shut the floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO) for two weeks of works. Shell did not immediately comment on the closure.

Egypt to loan EgyptAir $127m to help it through coronavirus crisis

Egypt’s government will lend EgyptAir 2 billion Egyptian pounds ($127.39 million) due to the impact of the coronavirus on its operations, the finance ministry said.

A member of the Star Alliance led by Germany’s Lufthansa, EgyptAir halted regular international flights on March 19 when the government closed the country’s airports to combat the spread of the virus.

The government will support state-owned EgyptAir until it returns to 80% of its 2019 operations, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Foreign reserves gain $449.5m in one week

After 10 months of consistent decline, the country’s foreign reserves returned to a growth path, gaining $449.5m in one week, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said.

According to the CBN, the reserves rose from $33.44bn in April ending to $33.89bn on May 5, 2020.

The reserves had slipped into a decline after hitting a high of $45.17bn on June 11, 2019, losing $11bn at $33.89bn as of April 28, 2020.

Naira hits ₦509 per dollar at forwarding market

The Nigerian currency continues to depreciate at the forward market, amidst growing concerns that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) might have to devalue the naira again.

The 21-month naira forward contract was trading at N509 per dollar as at on Monday, indicating that currency traders have foreseen the naira falling to that rate before the end of 2020.

Last month, Nigeria’s apex bank moved to combine the two rates (i.e., the official rate and rate for investors) when it devalued the naira from N307 to N360 to the dollar.

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