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Trading ends negatively with N17bn loss on Friday

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Analysis by Nigerian NewsDirect of last week’s Friday trading has shown that the Nigerian stock market lost N17 billion at the close of trading on Friday.

This is as the All-Share Index (ASI) declined to 98,125.73 from 98,233.76 at the close of the previous trading day.

The loss was largely attributed to a value dip in Transcorp Hotel, NEM Insurance, and UPDC stocks.

The three companies shed 9.72 percent, 9.63 percent, and 9.57 percent each to close at N92.00, N8.45, and N4.25 from the initial N101.90, N9.35 and N4.70 per share respectively.

On the positive, PZ, Julius Berger, and Sterling Bank led other gainers with 9.92 percent, 9.53 percent, and 6.67 percent growth in share price to close at N21.60, N79.30, and N4.48 from the previous N19.65, N72.40, and N4.20 per share.

In terms of value, Airtel Africa recorded the highest value for the day trading stocks worth N4.25 billion in 39 deals followed by SEPLAT which traded equities worth N2.3 billion in 113 deals.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has admitted additional 402,082,657 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each per share of Cadbury Nigeria Plc on its platform.

This was contained in the NGX’s weekly report seen by Nigerian NewsDirect.

According to the report, the additional shares listed on NGX arose from Cadbury’s conversion of N7,036,446,501.26 intercompany loan to equity.

The statement read, “Trading Licence Holders are hereby notified that additional 402,082,657 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each per share of Cadbury Nigeria Plc (Cadbury or the Company) were on Thursday, 16 May 2024, listed on the Daily Official List of Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).”

The additional shares listed on NGX arose from Cadbury’s Conversion of N7,036,446,501.26 Intercompany Loan to Equity.

With this listing of the additional 402,082,657 ordinary shares, the total issued and fully paid-up shares of Cadbury has now increased from 1,878,201,962 to 2,280,284,619 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each.”

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Crypto: SEC launches new initiative to speed up VASP registration

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The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a new program aimed at speeding up the registration process of Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASP).

According to the regulatory body, the new program will serve as an amendment to existing rules and is targeted at improving the current regulatory framework to fit the existing complexities of the crypto industry in the country.

In March, the Nigerian SEC announced steep changes to its Rules on Digital Assets Issuance, Offering Platforms, Exchange, and Custody.

The most significant aspect of the change was the increase in registration fees of VASPs from 30 million naira ($20,161) to 150 million ($100,806) which raised much criticism and speculation because of the potential to reduce business participation.

The latest adjustment was announced in a memo on June 21 unveiling a specific amendment to these VASP registration rules which introduces the Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program (ARIP).

The new program which is expected to last for 30 days creates a window of opportunity for all “operating and prospective” VASPs in Nigeria to speedily complete all requirements thus ensuring full compliance across board.

The commission mandated all active and existing VASPs in the country to head to the SEC ePortal to commence the Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Program.

All defaulting VASPs are liable to prosecution by the nation’s regulatory body.

The new initiative is another brainchild of SEC Chief Emomotimi Agama who rode into office with a crypto-friendly reputation but his actions and initiatives since entering office have resonated wrongly on the stakeholders in the Nigerian crypto space.

One of his loudest Anti-crypto policies occurred in May when the SEC chief led an onslaught on the listing of the Naira on various crypto exchanges. The SEC chief argued that Peer-to-peer trading of the naira on crypto exchanges is responsible for the devaluation of Nigeria’s local currency.

The onslaught led to several crypto exchanges like Binance and Kucoin delisting Naira from their platform.

The SEC’s body language so far reflects a stringent approach to regulating cryptocurrency and its entities in Nigeria.

In December 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria lifted its two-year prohibition on banks operating accounts for VASPs in a bid to embrace a more friendly regulatory approach towards cryptocurrencies rather than banning them outright.

Despite this positive move, Microfinance banks remained banned from facilitating crypto transactions. This development coupled with the hike in registration fees and the latest ARIP program suggests that the SEC is bent on upholding very strict regulatory measures for the crypto industry in Nigeria.

Nigeria is among the countries with very high and fast crypto adoption. Over 22 million people (10.3 percent) of the population are active crypto owners.

The crackdown on peer-to-peer naira trading by the Nigerian SEC resulted in Binance and Kucoin delisting the naira from its platform.

The Nigerian authorities and Binance limited, the largest crypto exchange in the world are currently amid a spat that led to the detention of a Binance executive in a Nigerian prison. The spat between both groups has made the headlines in most top news outlets.

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GTCO rated Nigeria’s ‘Strongest Brand and Best Banking Brand’ in Nigeria

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By Seun Ibiyemi

Africa’s leading financial services institution, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO), has added to its impressive haul of accolades as it was recently named Nigeria’s strongest brand and Best Banking Brand in Nigeria by Brand Finance and Global Brands Magazine, respectively.

These awards not only reaffirm GTCO’s position as a leading financial services group but also spotlights the Group’s enduring reputation as a customer-focused brand.

Over the years, GTCO has demonstrated remarkable commitment to shaping the future of financial services in Africa and is renowned for its innovative approach to customer service and stakeholder engagement.

The Group’s brand strength is underpinned by a strong commitment to delivering cutting-edge financial solutions, fostering meaningful customer relationships, and Promoting Enterprise using its proprietary free business platforms.

Commenting on the two awards, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Segun Agbaje, said, “These achievements are a reflection of our unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction, as well as to building a truly international brand from our proudly African roots.

“We are delighted to receive these recognitions and inspired to continue delivering our promise of enriching lives with every opportunity.”

GTCO is a leading financial services group with banking operations in Nigeria, West Africa, East Africa, and the United Kingdom alongside non-banking verticals in HabariPay, Guaranty Trust Fund Managers, and Guaranty Trust Pension Managers.

Its leadership in the banking industry and efforts at empowering people and communities has earned it many prestigious awards over the years.

The Group’s flagship banking franchise, Guaranty Trust Bank, was named Nigeria’s Best Bank and Best Bank in CSR at the 2023 Euromoney Awards for Excellence, Best Banking Group in Nigeria by World Finance, and Best Bank in Nigeria by Global Finance.

Guaranty Trust Bank is featured in the Top 1000 Banks in the World and Top 100 Banks in Africa rankings by The Banker.

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SEC introduces guidelines for banks to raise capital efficiently

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By Opeyemi Abdulsalam

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has introduced a comprehensive framework to support the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) bank recapitalisation program.

This framework aims to ensure a seamless, transparent, and efficient process for banks and holding companies to raise capital.

The framework serves as a guide for banks and market participants, outlining the necessary procedures and guidelines for raising capital through various methods, including rights offerings and private placements, between 2024 and 2026.

The SEC recognises the importance of strengthening banks’ asset base and supporting economic growth, as highlighted by the CBN’s directive.

The framework acknowledges the crucial role of the capital market in facilitating this program, enabling banks to access necessary funds and explore business combinations.

According to the SEC, this framework will ensure an efficient, transparent, and stakeholder-friendly capital raising process.

The SEC has established a streamlined application process, requiring electronic submission of applications and supporting documents via a dedicated email address.

The commission will review applications, communicate any deficiencies to applicants, and expect prompt resolution to avoid delays. Incomplete applications will incur penalties, including a N1,000,000 fine and N100,000 re-filing fee, encouraging banks to submit complete and accurate information.

The SEC encourages inquiries and clarifications via a dedicated email address, ensuring open communication and efficient navigation of the process.

Building on existing regulations, this framework should be read in conjunction with relevant provisions of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007, and the Commission’s Rules and Regulations.

In response to the CBN’s directive, the SEC framework provides a clear guide for banks and market participants, aiming to strengthen Nigeria’s banking sector and support economic growth.

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