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Banks comply with CBN’s directive to open weekends



Banks in satellite towns of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Saturday opened for business as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Correspondent who monitored some banks in the Territory, reports that huge crowds of customers were seen at banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATM) galleries.

Customers were also seen standing on queues entering the banking halls one after another.

The banks that opened for operations along Nyanya-Mararaba road include First City Monument Bank (FCMB), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank, First Bank, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank, and Access Bank, among others.

Mrs Ngozi Ugoh, a customer at Access Bank said that although she did not know about the CBN directive, she entered to get some cash when she saw a large crowd in her bank.

“I didn’t know about the directive of opening at weekends but I was just passing by and saw people so I entered to see if I can get some cash,” she said.

Another customer, Mr Andy Jerry seen at Zenith Bank described the development as a welcome one.

He alleged that banks were complying with the CBN directive to work during the weekend to shelve the planned protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to the apex bank.

“I think the CBN compelled banks to work weekends so that the protest by NLC will not hold.

“I like this because it will give more time for people to access cash,” he said.

Miss Stephanie Ikpe commended the CBN for the directive.

She said the development would help reduce the cash crunch currently being experienced by the masses.

Ikpe appealed to the CBN to monitor banks to ensure that their weekends operation continued.

The CBN on Friday through the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, said that a substantial amount of money in various denominations had been received by commercial banks.

The apex bank also directed all commercial banks to open for operations on Saturdays and Sundays.

Money market

UBA pledges $6bn to support SMEs in Expert expresses confidence in Tinubu’s 2024 budget proposaltrade deal



A Professor of Capital Market at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Uche Uwaleke, has expressed optimism about the proposed 2024 budget presented by President Bola Tinubu.

Uwaleke, who is also the President of the Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria, made this statement during an interview with journalists in Abuja on Sunday.

While acknowledging the promising nature of the budget, Uwaleke highlighted the challenges posed by the distortionary impact of the Foreign Exchange (FX) regime.

He emphasised that addressing this issue is crucial for the successful implementation of the budget.President Bola Tinubu presented the 2024 Appropriation Bill, titled the “Budget of Renewed Hope,” to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The proposed budget amounts to N27.5 trillion. In Uwaleke’s view, the 2024 budget proposals offer significant potential for the economy if effectively executed.

“A major snag, however, stems from the likely distortionary impact of the new fx regime.

“A Naira float in the face of weak supply and strong demand with its attendant FX market volatility introduces uncertainty in budget implementation.

“This is why I consider the N750 to the dollar rate used for the 2024 budget as a tall order.

“It is most likely the exchange rate will be the major cause of wide variances in the 2024 budget on account of Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) operations,” he said.

Uwaleke said that a volatile and high exchange rate would increase the cost of servicing external debt and further widen the budget deficit.

“This is particularly so in respect of the dollar-denominated component of the budget, much of which can be found in the over three trillion Naira proposed defence spending as well as in recurrent debt expenditure.

“In my view, a well implemented and corrupt-free dual, not multiple, exchange rate regime helps to bring certainty in government procurements and short term planning in general,” he said.

He said that one tier of the dual rates should be official, including for debt service, and the other tier for other transactions.

According to Uwaleke, a related issue has to do with the mode of financing the over nine trillion Naira deficit and its likely impact on cost of capital for firms and the stock market.

“In previous budgets, the amount voted for new borrowings were split fairly equally between domestic and foreign sources.

“This time around domestic borrowing is taking up a huge chunk at about 78 per cent, N6.1 trillion out of N7.8 trillion, provisioned for new borrowings

“This can have the effect of crowding out the private sector, hiking interest rates, increasing cost of funds, and depressing the equities market as investors migrate to fixed income securities.

“The outcome will be a further weakening of the productive sector,” he said.

He advised the Federal Government to explore more opportunities for concessional project-tied loans from multilateral and bilateral sources.

He said that this would help to boost fx reserves and stabilise the exchange rate.

“With respect to borrowing domestically, it’s important that emphasis should be placed on the use of the right instruments such as infrastructure bonds as opposed to Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bonds that are inflationary prone,” he said.

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Money market

Access Bank boosts MSME loan scheme to N50bn, receives Govt praise



Access Bank Plc has received commendation from the Federal Government for increasing its loan scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from N30 billion to N50 billion.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs and Job Creation, Office of the Vice-President, Mr Temitola Adekunle-Johnson made this announcement in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

In November, Access Bank had initially announced the provision of N30 billion to support four million MSMEs, women, and youth businesses in Nigeria.

The Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, had disclosed this during a meeting with Vice-President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa.

The decision to increase the loan scheme was made to benefit more individuals and have a greater impact on livelihoods.

The loans will be given to beneficiaries at a discounted rate of 15 percent. Any further adjustments to the loan scheme will be based on its performance after a year.

Vice-President Shettima expressed his appreciation for the bank’s gesture and praised the impact of its partnership with the Federal Government in the MSMEs sector.

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Money market

Subscribe to FG bonds with competitive interest rates for Dec. 2023 — DMO invites investors



…Auctions N406.10bn worth of T-bills in July

By Sodiq Adelakun

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has announced the subscription process for two-year and three-year Federal Government of Nigeria bonds for December 2023.

The bonds will have an interest rate of 12.287 percent and 13.287 percent respectively and will mature on March 13th, 2024. The subscription period will last for 5 days, from December 4th to December 8th, 2023.

The DMO made the announcement on its official website..

The statement read, “Under the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act 2003 and the Local Loans (Registered Stock and Securities) Act, CAP. L17, LFN 2004 DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE on behalf of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA Offers for Subscription and is authorized to receive applications for the Federal Government of Nigeria saving bonds.”

The interest rate for the two-year bonds stands at 12.287 percent per annum, while the three-year bonds offer an interest rate of 13.287 percent per annum.

The statement also specifies the settlement date for both bond offerings as December 13th, 2023, with coupon payments scheduled for March 13, June 13, September 13, and December 13.

These bonds will accrue interest payments every quarter.

The DMO outlines the units of subscription as “N1,000 per unit, subject to a minimum subscription of N5,000, and subsequent multiples of N1,000, with a maximum subscription limit of N50,000,000.”

Potential investors are advised to reach out to stock brokerage firms authorised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) to inquire about FGN bonds.

These bonds can be traded on the NGX (Nigerian Exchange Group). It is crucial to understand that FGN bonds are completely supported by the federal government of Nigeria.

…Auctions N406.10bn worth of T-bills in July

Also, DMO has announced that it sold Treasury bills (T-bills) valued at N406.10 billion in its auctions in July 2023. This information was revealed in the FMDQ Markets Monthly Report for July.

The amount sold represents a 0.39 percent increase (N1.59 billion) compared to the previous month of June 2023, when T-bills worth N404.51 billion were sold.

In addition, the DMO reopened two 10-year, one 15-year, and one 30-year Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds, totaling N657.84 billion in July 2023.

The report highlighted that the total sale of these bonds was oversubscribed by 182.73 percent and represented a 39.03 percent increase (N184.68 billion) compared to the amount sold in June 2023 (N473.16 billion) for the same bond maturities.

The report also mentioned that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did not conduct any public Open Market Operations (OMO) Bills auctions in July 2023.

Furthermore, the FMDQ report revealed that no corporate bonds were listed on the FMDQ Exchange in July 2023, in contrast to the N17.50 billion worth of corporate bonds listed in June 2023.

According to the report, there were no corporate bonds listed on the FMDQ Exchange in July 2023 compared to N17.50 billion worth of corporate bonds listed in June 2023.

“As a result, the total outstanding value for corporate bonds remained unchanged at N1,757.95 billion in the review month,” it said.

The report stated that the total value of Commercial Papers (CPs) quoted on the FMDQ Exchange in July 2023 was N117.32 billion, representing a MoM increase of 42.85 percent (N35.19 billion) from the value of CPs quoted in June 2023.

“Quoted CPs were issued by institutions from various sectors including Financial Services (5), Manufacturing (4), Real Estate (3), Agriculture (2), Chemical Supply & Oil Field Services (2), Commodities Trading (1), Public Sector (1), Telecommunications (1) and Consumer Staples (1)./

“As a result, the total outstanding value of CPs increased MoM by 14.10 percent (N117.32 billion) to N949.26 billion,” it said.

According to the report, secondary market turnover on the FMDQ Exchange in July 2023 was N19.92 trillion, representing a MoM decrease of 8.37 percent (1.82 trillion) and a YoY increase of 0.81 percent (N0.16 trillion) from June 2023 and July 2022 figures, respectively.

It noted that Foreign Exchange (FX), Money Market (MM), and CBN Bills transactions dominated secondary market activity, accounting for 73.98 percent of the total secondary market turnover in July 2023.

“Total spot market turnover for all products traded in the secondary market was N18.47 trillion in July 2023, representing a MoM increase of 3.68 percent (N0.66 trillion) from June 2023 figures./

“The MoM increase in total spot market turnover was driven by an improvement in turnover across MM and FI transactions which increased MoM by 16.35% (N0.90 trillion) and 12.16 percent (N0.91 trillion), respectively, despite the MoM decline in FX transactions by 24.34 percent (N1.16 trillion)./

“The uptick in MM turnover was driven by an increase in Repos/Buybacks, offsetting the MoM decline in Unsecured Placement/Takings transactions. Likewise, the improvement in FI turnover was driven by a MoM increase across all FI products, excluding CBN Special Bills and FGN Bonds which decreased in the review period,” the report noted.

According to the report, “Spot FX market turnover was N3.61 trillion ($4.66 billion) in July 2023, representing a MoM decrease of 24.34 percent (N1.16 trillion) from the turnover recorded in June 2023 (N4.77 trillion).

“In the FX Market, the US Dollar appreciated against the Naira, with the spot exchange rate ($/N) increasing by 22.94 percent ($/N143.60) to close at an average of $/N769.51 in July 2023 from $/N625.90 recorded in June 2023./

“In July 2023, the Nigerian Naira experienced decreased exchange rate volatility, with the currency trading within a range of $/N740.08 – $/N803.90. This was a significant improvement compared to the range of $/N464.67 – $/N770.38 recorded in June 2023.”

The report also highlighted that the turnover in the financial instruments (FI) market reached N8.43 trillion in July 2023, showing a month-on-month increase of 12.16 percent (N0.91 trillion) compared to the turnover of N7.52 trillion in June 2023.

The increase in FI market turnover was primarily driven by significant upticks in turnover across T.Bills, OMO Bills, and Other Bonds, which saw increases of 52.55 percent (N0.94 trillion), 63.75 percent (N0.98 trillion), and 402.37 percent (N0.03 trillion) respectively. These increases offset the decreases in turnover for CBN Special Bills and FGN Bonds, which experienced declines of 57.36 percent (N1.00 trillion) and 1.24 percent (N0.03 trillion) respectively.

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