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Giant Containerships to Access NYNJ Terminals as of June



  •  As Economy in rebound shows Leading firms in stock exchange posting N1.74trn revenue 

In less than two months, ships of up to 18,000 TEUs will be able to pass below the Bayonne Bridge, connecting New Jersey to New York, and access terminals located in New Jersey and Staten Island.

Namely, the USD 1.6 billion raising of the Bayonne Bridge roadway project is ahead of schedule and will allow the world’s ultra-large, environmentally friendly container vessels to pass beneath the span as of June 30, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced on Tuesday.

This would mean that the project would be finished six months ahead of scheduled completion date.

Recently U.S. Coast Guard Sector New York and pilot organizations lifted air draft restrictions enabling vessels carrying up to 9,800 TEUs to call terminals west of the Bayonne Bridge without worrying about tidal conditions. Soon, the newly raised roadway will provide a clearance of 215 feet – the same as the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the announcement from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reads.

“‘Raise the Roadway’ is a visionary project, accomplishing what once seemed impossible for the long-term benefit of our regional economy,” Port Authority Chairman John Degnan said.

“It began with the unprecedented accomplishment of building a new roadway through an existing bridge structure, with traffic continuing to flow on a lower roadway. Removal of the lower roadway will make it one of the most important American infrastructure projects in history to facilitate global trade.”

The project was launched in 2013 so as to enable the ever bigger boxships to travel under it, boosting the port’s competitiveness. The bridge currently has a navigational clearance of 151 feet, which means that only ships ranging between 8,000 to 9,000 TEUs can pass under it.

In February, a new elevated roadway through the existing arch bridge and over the original roadway was opened, while maintaining traffic flow on the lower span. The bridge is scheduled to be built to its full width by 2019.

The announcement comes on the back of the completion of the 50-foot Harbor Deepening Project.

The US East Coast ports, mainly New York and Norfolk are expected to reap the most fruit from the cargo influx from the expanded Panama Canal.

In the meantime, on the side of recovery optimism, early corporate results for first quarter 2017 (Q1’17) from sector leaders in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, have indicated a real rebound may be underway in 2017.

Financial Vanguard’s inquest into the reports turned in to the NSE for Q1’17, indicates general upbeat in turnover and Profit Before Tax, PBT, with companies drawn from various sectors of the NSE posting combined revenue of N1.74 trillion, representing 45 per cent increase against the N1.2 trillion reported in the corresponding period of 2016 (Q1’16).

The companies, numbering 62, accounting for the largest capitalization in the stock exchange, also recorded combined PBT of  N270.92 billion, representing 36.9 per cent increase over N197.9 billion in Q1’16.

The results, both the turnover and pre-tax profit of the companies, outperformed the latest GDP and inflation figures, thereby affirming the position by the World Bank and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who said that Nigeria is already coming out of recession.

Also, the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had last month said that the country will come out of recession in the second quarter of the year. The inflation figure has improved from a high of 18.6 per cent by end 2016 to 17.26 per cent  at end of Q1’17 (March), while the GDP though a contraction at -1.30 per cent in year-on-year, yoy, in Q4’16, is an improvement over the previous quarter when the number contracted -2.24 per cent.

Also the CBN’s latest Manufacturing PMI index at 51.1 index points for the month of April, 2017 compared to 47.1 points recorded in March, showed recovery in the private sector. The PMI index showed that of the 34 sub-sectors surveyed in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors, 20 sub-sectors recorded growth in activities, while 14 sub-sectors recorded decline in activities.

Breakdown of the Q1’17 corporate results showed that the oil and gas sector led turnover in percentage terms, rising by 86.3 per cent to N297.4 billion in Q1’17 as against N159.7 billion in Q1’16, far outperforming the nation’s inflation rate and gross domestic product (GDP).

The consumer goods sector followed with 81.8 per cent increase to N225.63 billion against N124.14 billion recorded in Q1’16, while the agriculture sector ranked third, rising by 70.2 per cent to N9.7 billion in Q1, 2017 from N5.7 billion turnover posted in Q1’16.
World Maritime News with additional report from Vanguard


Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down



Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down

…RT.BRISCOE, Tantalizer lead the losers’ table 

 The equity market on Wednesday lost N25 billion due to selloffs in MTN Nigeria, Dangote Sugar and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), among other stocks.

Specifically, the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.670 trillion, shed N25 billion or 0.04 per cent to close at N56.645 trillion.

The All-Share Index also dropped 0.04 per cent, or 43.3 points, to close at 100,032.32, as against 100,075.59 recorded on Tuesday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return slipped to 33.78 per cent.

United Capital led 10 per cent to close at N36.30, Africa Prudential followed by 9.88 per cent to close at N8.90, and Cutix gained 9.86 per cent to close at N6.13 per share.

Oando rose by 5.63 per cent to close at N16.90, and Julius Berger advanced by 4.79 per cent to close at N87.50 per share.

Conversely, RTBRISCOE led the losers’ log with 5.71 per cent to close at 66k, and FTN Cocoa Processors trailed by 4.44 per cent to close at N1.72 per share.

Tantalizer declined by 4.26 per cent to close at 45K, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals shed 3.53 per cent to close at N1.64 and Consolidated Hallmark Plc lost N3.45 to close at N1.40 per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 35.71 per cent.

A total of 1.10 million shares valued at N10.08 billion were exchanged in 8,720 deals, compared to 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion exchanged in 8,151 deals posted previously.

Jaiz Bank led the activity log-in volume with 528.49 million shares worth N1.15 billion, Cutix followed by 194.64 million shares worth N1.19 billion.

Zenith traded 77.75 million shares valued at N3.11 billion to lead the log-in value, Universal Insurance transacted 36.26 million shares worth N12.35 million and FCMB sold 33.88 million shares worth N257.09 million. 

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Stock Market Maintains Positive Trends, Up 0.11%



Stock market maintains positive trends, up 0.11%

…Redstarex, Deap Capital lead the losers’ table 

 The Nigerian stock market maintained its positive trends on Tuesday, increasing the overall market index by 0.11 per cent.

Investors gained N62 billion or 0.11 per cent as the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.608 trillion closed at N56.670 trillion.

The All-Share Index also advanced by 0.11 per cent or 109.3 points to close at 100,075.59, compared to 99,966.28 recorded on Monday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 33.84 per cent.

Sustained by interest in Tier-one banking tickers such as Zenith Bank, FBN Holdings, United Bank For Africa (UBA), and Access Corporation, alongside United Capital, UACN and other advanced equities drove the market’s positive performance.

Meanwhile, market breadth closed positive with 19 gainers and 15 losers on the floor of the Exchange.

On the gainers’ table, United Capital led by 10 per cent to close at N33, Cutix Plc followed by 9.84 per cent to close at N5.58 and Sunu Assurances gained 7.75 per cent to close at N1.39 per share.

Cornerstone Insurance rose by 7.69 per cent to close at N2.10 and UACN went up by 7.42 per cent to close at N15.20 per share.

On the other hand,  Redstarex led the losers’ table by 9.82 per cent to close at N3, and McNichols Plc trailed by 9.01 per cent to close at N1.01 per cent.

Deap Capital Management and Trust Plc lost 5.77 per cent to close at 49k, Eterna Plc declined by 4.44 per cent to close at N17.20 and Universal Insurance shed 2.78 per cent to close at 35k per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 0.78 per cent.

A total of 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion were exchanged in 8,151 deals, compared with 362.43 million shares valued at N7.37 billion exchanged in 8,405 deals posted previously.

Zenith Bank led the activity table in volume and value with 57.42 million shares worth N2.25 billion, and Access Corporation followed with 36.75 million shares valued at N707.17 million.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO) also sold 29.16 million shares valued at N1.33 billion, Jaiz Bank traded 28.34 million shares worth N60.94 million and UBA transacted 20.31 million shares valued at N466.16 million.

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Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others



 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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