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Again, CBN reviews cash withdrawal limits to N500,000, N5m

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CBN confirms evacuation of banknotes, directs banks to open for weekend operations

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced an upward review of cash withdrawal limits to N500, 000, and N5 million for individuals and corporate accounts respectively.

The apex bank also reviewed downward, the stipulated percentage cost for withdrawals above the stipulated limits.

This is according to a statement by Haruna Mustapha, CBN’s Director, Banking Supervision.

According to Mustapha, in compelling circumstances where cash withdrawals above the limits is required, they shall be subject to a processing fee of three percent and five percent for individuals and corporate organisations respectively.

The apex bank, in a statement on Dec. 6, indicated that beginning from Jan 9, 2023, the amounts individuals and corporate organisations could withdraw per week would not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively.

The decision had, however, received criticisms from a wide range of stakeholders, including members of the National Assembly, who urged the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to increase the withdrawal limits.

The House of Representatives had also invited Emefiele to make further clarifications on the policy to its members. Mustapha said in spite of the new review, customers should still be encouraged to use alternative channels like Internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, POS and eNaira to conduct banking transactions.

He added that bank and mobile agents were important participants in the financial system, enabling access to financial services in underserved and rural communities.

“They will continue to perform strategic functions in line with existing regulations governing their activities.

“The CBN recognises the vital role that cash plays in supporting underserved and rural communities and will ensure an inclusive approach as it implements the transition to a more cashless society,” he said.

He warned all banks and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) that aiding and abetting the circumvention of the new policy would attract severe sanctions.

“The above directives supersede that of Dec. 6, and take effect nationwide from Jan. 9, 2023,” he said.

Banking & Finance

NGX Market Capitalisation Sheds N134bn

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NGX Market Capitalisation Sheds N134bn

 …As Nigeria Exchange Group confirms Jude Chiemeka as NGX CEO

 Bearish trading dominated the Nigerian stock market on Thursday, leading to a loss of N134 billion or 0.24 per cent on the market capitalisation.

Specifically, the Nigerian Exchange Ltd.(NGX) market capitalisation which opened at N56.738 trillion, closed at N56.604 trillion.

The All-Share Index also declined by 0.24 per cent or 236.2 points to close at 100,063.32, compared to 100,299.48 recorded on Wednesday.

Consequently, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return fell to 33.82 per cent.

Selloffs in MTN Nigeria, Unity Bank, Wema Bank, Wapco, United Capital, Honeywell Flour, and Mutual Benefits Assurance, among other declined equities propelled the market’s weak performance.

Meanwhile, market breadth closed negative with 25 losers and 24 gainers on the floor of the Exchange.

On the gainers’ chart, Daar Communications led by 8.33 per cent to close at N44k, UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust trailed closely by 8.26 per cent to close at five Naira per share.

Guinea Insurance lost 7.69 per cent to close at 36k, UPL declined by 6.67 per cent to close at N2.10 and MTN Nigeria dropped 6.54 per cent to close at N200 per share.

Conversely, Oando Plc led the gainers’ chart by 9.93 per cent to close at N15.50, Conoil followed by 9.52 per cent to close at N115 per share.

Veritas Kapital Assurance also gained 9.38 to close at N1.05, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals advanced by 8.61 per cent to close at N1.64 and Jaiz Bank rose by 7.55 per cent to close at N2.28 per share.

Analysis of the market activities however showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up by 164.30 per cent.

A total of 863.58 million shares valued at N12.56 billion were exchanged in 7,931 deals,in contrast to 342.20 million shares valued at N4.75 billion exchanged in 7,592 deals traded in the previous session.

Meanwhile, Fidelity Bank led the activity chart in volume and value with 539.40 million shares  worth N5.66 billion, followed by Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO) with N59.43 million shares valued at N2.79 billion.

Veritas Kapital Assurance sold 40.42 million shares worth N41.49 million, United Bank For Africa(UBA) transacted N35.98 million shares valued at N839.60 billion.

Zenith Bank traded 24.02 million shares worth N882.33 million..

In another development, the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group) on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Mr Jude Chiemeka as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX), its operating exchange subsidiary, effective July 1.

NGX, in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, said the appointment was sequel to an approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Chiemeka has been serving as the acting CEO of NGX since Jan. 1.

He succeeded Mr Temi Popoola, who transited to the role of Group Managing Director of the NGX Group.

Also, Group Chairman, NGX Group, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga, said that the strategic appointment aligns perfectly with the Exchange’s succession plan.

Kwairanga stated that the appointment reinforces the synergy that NGX continuously foster across its group operations.

He said: “Chiemeka’s extensive experience and proven leadership qualities are invaluable assets that will propel NGX towards long-term success.

“Under his leadership, I am confident that NGX will play an even more pivotal role in contributing to the sustainable growth of Nigeria’s and Africa’s economies.”

Mr Ahonsi Unuigbe, Chairman of NGX, as quoted by the statement, also expressed the satisfaction of the Board of NGX to confirm Chiemeka’s appointment as CEO of the Exchange.

“It is our hope and expectation that he will drive growth and innovation, enhance our operational perspectives, democratise investment in the capital market, and unlock opportunities for investors,” Unuigbe said.

Mr Temi Popoola, GMD/CEO, NGX Group, speaking through the statement also expressed delight to see Chiemeka step into the role of CEO of NGX.

Popoola added that Chiemeka’s extensive experience and deep understanding of the markets will be crucial in driving NGX’s growth while aligning with a broader group strategy.

“I look forward to working closely with him to unlock value and to create new opportunities for stakeholders across the entire NGX Group ecosystem,” he said.

In his remark in the statement, Chiemeka said he was honored with the appointment at this critical period of the Exchange’s history while appreciating the Boards of NGX Group and NGX.

“As we aim to build on our achievements and maximise value for all stakeholders, I look forward to forging strong collaborations with NGX’s exceptional team and the broader capital market community.

“We are committed to creating a more dynamic and inclusive exchange that fuels Nigeria’s economic growth and competes on the global stage,” the NGX CEO said.

Chiemeka brings close to three decades of experience in African securities trading and asset management to his new role.

His career includes serving as Executive Director of Capital Markets at NGX and Managing Director, United Capital Securities Ltd.

He also worked at leading investment banking firms in Nigeria such as Chapel Hill Denham Securities and Rencap Securities (Nigeria).

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Chiemeka is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, Lagos Business School, and the University of Oxford, UK. 

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Banking & Finance

Equity Market Rebounds, Gains N26bn On Renewed Investors Interest

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NGX Market Capitalisation Sheds N134bn

The equity market rebounded by 0.05 per cent on Tuesday, driven by renewed investor interest in banking, insurance and some blue-chip stocks.

The Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) market capitalisation gained N26 billion or 0.05 per cent to close at N56.606 trillion, up from N56.580 trillion at the opening.

The All-Share Index also advanced by 0.05 per cent or 47 points to close at 100,067.77, compared to 100,020.83 recorded on Monday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 33.83 per cent.

Investor interest in Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), among other advanced equities, pushed the market into positive territory.

However, market breadth closed negative with 28 laggards and 20 leaders on the floor of the Exchange.

On the losers’ log, ETranzact led by dropping 50k to close at N4.50.

Fidson Healthcare Plc trailed by losing N1.45 to close at N13.50, while Cornerstone Insurance lost 20k to close at N1.90 per share.

LASACO Assurance declined by 24k to close at N2.31, UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust shed 45k to close at N5.00, and May & Baker dropped 40k to close at N5.50 per share.

On the other hand, Linkage Assurance led the gainers’ log by adding 10k to close at N1.10.

Africa Prudential followed, gaining 80k to close at N9.00 per share.

Unity Bank gained 15k to close at N1.69, Wapic Insurance rose by 6k to close at 73k, and Sovereign Trust Insurance went up by 4k to close at 49k per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed that trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions increasing by 10.86 per cent.

A total of 365.64 million shares valued at N4.12 billion were exchanged in 8,665 deals, compared to 274.68 million shares valued at N3.71 billion exchanged in 10,112 deals previously.

Universal Insurance led the activity log-in volume with 61.53 million shares worth N24.36 million.

AIICO followed with 31.72 million shares valued at N32.51 million.

UBA transacted 25.85 million shares worth N581.91 million, while UCAP led the log-in value with 25.27 million shares worth N711.31 million.

NEM Insurance traded 23.26 million shares worth N197.68 million. 

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Banking & Finance

Revocation Of Heritage Bank’s Licence Will Stabilise Financial System – Experts

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Revocation Of Heritage Bank’s Licence Will Stabilise Financial System – Experts

 ….Uwaleke, Ekechukwu opine it’s a step in the right direction 

 Some finance experts have commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for revocating the operating licence of Heritage Bank Plc, describing it as a proactive gesture, made to save depositors’ funds.

The CBN announced on Monday, the revocation of the licence of the bank with immediate effect.

The experts, who spoke on Monday in Abuja, said the action was in the overall interest of the financial system.

According to Uche Uwaleke, a Professor of Finance and Capital Market, and the president of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria, the revocation is a step in the right direction.

Uwaleke said that the proactive step taken by the CBN was in the overall interest of financial system stability.

He, however, said that efforts should be made to protect the depositors and employees of the liquidated bank.

“With the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) taking over the liquidation process, efforts should be made to protect the depositors as well as the interests of employees using liquidation dividends,” he said.

An economist, Dr Chijioke Ekechukwu, said that Heritage Bank had been struggling over the years to remain afloat, adding that the situation must have become irredeemable for the apex bank to revoke its licence.

According to Ekechukwu, a past president of the  Abuja  Chamber of  Commerce and  Industry, some years ago, some of us in the finance sector knew that the bank was struggling to remain afloat.

“For the CBN to revoke its licence, it means that it was irredeemable and probably not marketable to investors,” he said.

He said that there would be an initial setback to all the bank’s customers because it would take a while to verify them for the purpose of compensation and refund of their monies by the NDIC.

“It is, however, better to sanitise the financial system than to allow a sick and weak bank to continue to open its doors to customers,” he said.

Mr Gregory Mmaduakolam, also an economist, said that the action by the CBN was rash and capable of eroding the much-needed confidence in the banking system.

Mmaduakolam said that the action would also result in avoidable job loss of staff of the bank, thereby, further exacerbating the country’s unemployment challenge.

“I would have preferred a situation where the CBN supports ailing banks and prevents them from failing than simply withdrawing their licences.

“Such an action does not encourage confidence in the banking system, ” he said.

The CBN had on Monday, announced the revocation of the licence of the bank with immediate effect.

It said that the action was in accordance with the apex bank’s mandate to promote a sound financial system in Nigeria and in the exercise of its powers under Section 12 of the Banks and Other Financial Act (BOFIA).

It said that the board and management of the bank had not been able to improve the bank’s financial performance, a situation which constituted a threat to financial stability.

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