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Fortis MFB’s shares trading resumes

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NSE: Market indices extend growth by 0.35%

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, (NSE) has in a correspondence referenced NSE/LRD/LE1/09/17, dated September 13th, addressed to the Fortis Microfinance Bank’s Company Secretary, approved the resumption of trading on the shares of the lender on the bourse.

The development, which comes as a relief, is riding on the back of a short period of technical suspension on the company’s shares due to late rendition of its 2016 Audited Annual Accounts to the regulatory body.

In the letter, the Acting Head, Listings Regulation Department, Godstime Iwenekhai, wrote that: “Having submitted your audited accounts for the period ended 31 December 22 August 2017; The Exchange wishes to inform you that it has lifted the suspension of trading in the shares of your Bank which is in line with Rule 3.3, Rules for filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default filing, Rulebook of The Exchange (Issuers’ rules)…”

The contents of the Audited Accounts approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and submitted to the NSE, revealed that despite the harsh economic operating environment, the bank posted positive increases in major facets of its activities over the last 12 months.

In order to maintain its place as a market leader in the Nigerian and African Microfinance markets, the bank recently launched its five-year strategic plan that will enable it become the dominant microfinance brand by heavily investing in technology to drive financial and economic inclusion.

Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc recently became the first MFB in Nigeria to get the prestigious Micro Rate and Smart Campaign of USA’s Customer Protection Principle (CPP) certification, 2nd in Africa, and 16th in the entire world.

Fortis MFB was granted a national microfinance banking licence in 2015, with the clear mandate to open shop in all 36 states of the federation plus the Federal Capital Territory. The bank currently has a presence in 22 states plus the FCT.

As one of the only two microfinance banks (out of the nearly 1000 mfb’s registered by the CBN) listed on the NSE, its operations are subjected to further regulatory oversight by Capital Market regulatory authorities.

Also, about seven foreign investors/development organisations are currently in partnership with it to expand access to the economically active poor and vulnerable groups in the society.

These include FMO (The Dutch Development Bank), KfW (The German Development Bank), Symbiotics, Cordaid (Agricultural Finance), Triodos, Shelter Afrique (Micro-Housing), Cyrano and AfDB.

In addition to these foreign investment partners, Fortis is a key partner with entities like CBN (through the MSME Development fund, Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, and People Living with Disabilities Project), and the Bank of Industry (Bottom of the Pyramid Project) to mention a few.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Hits 33.95% In May -NBS Explains Nation’s Anger

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Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Hits 33.95% In May -NBS Explains Nation's Anger

 The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent in May 2024.

The NBS said this in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Inflation Report for May, which was released on Saturday in Abuja

According to the report, the figure is 0.26 per cent points higher compared to the 33.69 per cent recorded in April 2024.

On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2024 was 11.54 per cent higher than the rate recorded in May 2023 at 22.41 per cent.

In addition, the report said, on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2024 was 2.14 per cent, which was 0.15 per cent lower than the rate recorded in April 2024 at 2.29 per cent.

“This means that in May 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in April 2024.”

The report said the increase in the headline index for May 2024 on a year-on-year basis and month-on-month basis was attributed to the increase in some items in the basket of goods and services at the divisional level.

It said these increases were observed in food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel, clothing and footwear, and transport.

Others were furnishings, household equipment and maintenance, education, health, miscellaneous goods and services, restaurants and hotels, alcoholic beverage, tobacco and kola, recreation and culture, and communication.

It said the percentage change in the average CPI for the 12 months ending May 2024 over the average of the CPI for the previous corresponding 12- month period was 29.06 per cent.

“This indicates a 7.86 per cent increase compared to 21.20 per cent recorded in May 2023.”

The report said the food inflation rate in May 2024 increased to 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023 at 24.82 per cent.

“The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis is caused by increases in prices of Semovita, Oat Flake, Yam flour prepackage, Garri, and Bean,

“Others are Irish Potatoes, Yam, Water Yam, Palm Oil, Vegetable Oil, Stockfish, Mudfish, Crayfish, Beef Head, Chicken-live, Pork Head, and Bush Meat.”

It said on a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in May was 2.28 per cent, which was a 0.22 per cent decrease compared to the rate recorded in April 2024 at 2.50 per cent.

“The fall in food inflation on a month-on-month basis was caused by a decrease in the average prices of Palm Oil, Groundnut Oil, Yam, Irish Potato, and Cassava Tuber.

“Others are Wine, Bournvita, Milo, and Nescafe.”

The report said that “all items less farm produce and energy’’ or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce and energy, stood at 27.04 per cent in May on a year-on-year basis.

“This increased by 7.21 per cent compared to 19.83 per cent recorded in May 2023.’’

“The exclusion of the PMS is due to the deregulation of the commodity by removal of subsidy.”

It said the highest increases were recorded in prices of Actual and Imputed Rentals for Housing Class, Bus Journey intercity, and Taxi Journey per drop.

“Others are Accommodation Service, X-ray photography, Consultation Fee of a medical doctor, Laboratory service, among others.”

The NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the core inflation rate was 2.01 per cent in May 2024.

“This indicates a 0.18 per cent decrease compared to what was recorded in April 2024 at 2.20 per cent.”

“The average 12-month annual inflation rate was 23.45 per cent for the 12 months ending May 2024, this was 5.34 per cent points higher than the 18.11 per cent recorded in May 2023.”

The report said on a year-on-year basis in May 2024, the urban inflation rate was 36.34 per cent, which was 12.61 per cent higher compared to the 23.74 per cent recorded in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the urban inflation rate was 2.35 per cent, which decreased by 0.32 per cent compared to April 2024 at 2.67 per cent.’’

The report said on a year-on-year basis in May 2024, the rural inflation rate was 31.82 per cent, which was 10.63 per cent higher compared to the 21.19 per cent recorded in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the rural inflation rate was 1.94 per cent, which increased by 0.024 per cent compared to April 2024 at 1.92 per cent.’’

On states’ profile analysis, the report showed that in May, all items’ inflation rate on a year-on-year basis was highest in Bauchi at 42.30 per cent, followed by Kogi at 39.38 per cent, and Oyo at 37.73 per cent.

It however, said the slowest rise in headline inflation on a year-on-year basis was recorded in Borno at 25.97 per cent, followed by Benue at 27.74 per cent, and Delta at 28.67 per cent.

The report, however, said in May 2024, all items inflation rate on a month-on-month basis was highest in Kano at 4.24 per cent, followed by Gombe at 4.06 per cent, and Bauchi at 3.75 per cent.

“Ondo at 0.57 per cent, followed by Kwara at 1.19 per cent and Yobe at 1.24 per cent recorded the slowest rise in month-on-month inflation.”

The report said on a year-on-year basis, food inflation was highest in Kogi at 46.32 per cent, followed by Ekiti at 44.94 per cent, and Kwara at 44.66 per cent.

“Adamawa at 31.72 per cent, followed by Bauchi at 34.35 per cent and Borno at 34.74 per cent recorded the slowest rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis.’’

The report, however, said on a month-on-month basis, food inflation was highest in Gombe at 4.88 per cent, followed by Kano at 4.68 per cent, and Bayelsa at 3.62 per cent.

“While Ondo at 0.02 per cent, followed by Yobe at 0.95 per cent and Adamawa at 1.02 per cent, recorded the slowest rise in inflation on a month-on-month basis.”

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Equity Market Opens With N324bn Gain, eTranzact, Champion Lead Losers Table 

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Equity Market Opens With N324bn Gain, eTranzact, Champion Lead Losers Table 

 The Nigerian equity market on Monday opened the week on a positive note with a gain of 0.58 per cent.

Consequently, investors gained N324 billion or 0.58 per cent, as the market capitalisation which opened at N56.128 trillion, closed at N56.452 trillion.

The All-Share Index also closed 0.58 per cent or 573 points stronger to close at 99,793.71 as against 99,221.14 recorded on Friday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 33.46 per cent.

The market’s positive performance was primarily driven by gains in Seplat, Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) Zenith Bank, United Bank For Africa(UBA), Transcorp Hotel and Nigerian Breweries, among other advanced equities.

Market breadth closed positive with 30 gainers and 10 losers on the floor of the Exchange.

On the gainers’ chart, Flour Mill led by 10 per cent to close at N41.80 per share.

Total Energies followed closely by 9.98 per cent to close at N353.60 per share.

Access Corporation gained 9.86 per cent to close at N18.95, Chams rose by 9.74 per cent to close at N1.69, and Veritas Kapital Assurance advanced by 9.52 per cent to close at 69k per share.

On the other side, eTranzact led the losers’ chart to close at N4.55, and Daar Communications trailed at 9.52 per cent to close at 57k per share.

Champion lost 6.67 per cent to close at N2.80, Unity Bank shed 6.67 per cent to close at N1.12 and Wapic Insurance went down by 2.86 per cent to close at 68k per share.

Market analysis revealed that trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session with the value of transactions up by 83.55 per cent.

A total of 963.54 million shares valued at N13.50 billion were exchanged in 8,657 deals, compared to 388.02 million shares valued at N7.35 billion exchanged in 7,106 deals.

Meanwhile, Fidelity Bank led the activity chart in volume and value with 605.26 million shares worth N6.03 billion, Access Corporation followed by 93.07 million shares valued at N1.74 billion.

UBA transacted 58.73 million shares worth N1.26 billion, Nigerian Breweries traded 45.26 million shares valued at N1.27 billion and Zenith Bank sold 16.08 million shares worth N539.55 million.

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Strike: Labour records 100% compliance in Niger, As Anambra Records 90% Compliance

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Strike: Labour records 100% compliance in Niger, As Anambra Records 90% Compliance

Mr Ibrahim Gana, Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Niger, on Monday, said the union recorded 100 per cent success compliance with the ongoing strike over the minimum wage in the state.

He said this in an interview with newsmen shortly after monitoring the level of compliance in Minna, the state capital.

Gana said that unlike in the past, the officials of organised labour did not struggle with workers in their offices this time around.

“This is a fantastic strike we have ever had, the level of compliance is 100 per cent, and we didn’t struggle with people in their offices this time around.

“Just a circular that workers should comply with the national directive of both NLC and TUC and virtually everywhere we have gone we have 100 per cent compliance.

He said that the level of compliance indicates that workers were beginning to listen to the labour leaders and also understanding the yearnings of the union in the country.

The chairman said both Federal and state organisations observed total compliance, adding that the strike would continue until the union received further directives from its national body.

It was reported that parts of organisations shut down by NLC included the Minna General Hospital, Bola Ahmed Tinubu International Airport, Federal Inland Revenue and the state High Court.

Other places visited by the union officials were the Niger State House of Assembly, the state Secretariat, the Office of the Secretary to the Niger Government and the Office of the Deputy Governor.

It was also recalled that NLC had on June 1, announced a nationwide strike commencing on June 3, following the tripartite committee’s failure to reach an agreement on a new minimum wage for workers.

In addition, unions are protesting against recent hikes in electricity tariffs, which they said have placed an undue burden on workers and consumers across the country. 

In a related development, Mr Humphrey Nwafor, Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Anambra on Monday, said that the organised labour recorded 90 per cent compliance in the state.

Nwafor told newsmen after going around Awka to monitor compliance in Awka and its environs.

Offices at the federal and state secretariats, the state House of Assembly schools, banks and courts did not open for business.

Nwafor, while commending union leaders for their cooperation, said the strike would continue until the federal government yielded to their demands

“To be honest with you, I am very much delighted with the Anambra workers’ total compliance to the strike.

 “Picketing is ongoing across the state according to the directive from the national body, and it will continue until 6 p.m. to ensure that no office is open for any administrative businesses,” he said

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