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Stock market halts weekly decline with 0.21% gain

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Trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) halted the weekly downtrend as the NSE All-Share Index and market capitalisation appreciated by 0.21 per cent to close last week at 40,928.70 and N14.784 trillion respectively. Similarly, all other indices finished higher with the exception NSE CG, NSE-Main Board, NSE 30, NSE Banking, NSE Insurance, NSE Consumer Goods and NSE Pension indices that depreciated by 1.04 per cent, 0.23 per cent, 0.44 per cent, 2.22 per cent, 0.76 per cent, 0.69 per cent and 0.33 per cent respectively while the NSE ASeM Index closed flat.

A total turnover of 1.415 billion shares worth N19.644 billion in 20,659 deals were traded last week by investors on the floor of the Exchange in contrast to a total of 1.765 billion shares valued at N26.562 billion that exchanged hands last week in 20,265 deals. The financial Services Industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.136 billion shares valued at N12.336 billion traded in 12,240 deals; thus contributing 80.26 per cent and 62.80 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Consumer Goods Industry followed with 103.975 million shares worth N5.723 billion in 3,369 deals.

The third place was occupied by Oil and Gas Industry with a turnover of 51.007 million shares worth N436.610 million in 1,417 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely – Zenith International Bank Plc, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, and Skye Bank Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 437.704 million shares worth N5.609 billion in 2,659 deals, contributing 30.93 per cent and 28.55 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Thirty-seven equities appreciated in price during the week, higher than nineteen of the previous week. Thirty-eight equities depreciated in price, lower than fifty-three equities of the previous week, while ninety-four equities remained unchanged lower than ninety-nine equities recorded in the preceding week. Also traded during the week were a total of 616,587 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N9.185 million executed in 21 deals, compared with a total of 125,282 units valued at N2.835 million that was transacted the previous week in 11 deals.

A total of 2,500 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N2.367 million were traded last week in 10 deals, compared with a total of 4,457 units valued at N4.247 million transacted the previous week in 13 deals. The price of United Bank for Africa Plc was adjusted on the 10th of April, 2018 for a dividend of N0.65 as declared by the board of directors.

The last close price was N11.85, hence the ex-div price N11.20. The price of Custodian & Allied Plc was also adjusted on the 12th of April, 2018 for a dividend of N0.32 as declared by the board of directors. The last close price was N5.00, hence the ex-div price N4.68 among others.

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Tincan Customs chief to implement 48-hour cargo clearance

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Customs Area Controller (CAC), Tin Can Island Port Command, Musa Baba Abdullahi has reiterated the command’s unshaken commitment to achieve 48hour cargo clearance from the port without compromising revenue collection and national security.

The customs chief said efforts are being put in place to maximise benefits of technology and build the command’s manpower to meet with the growing challenges of modern trade.

 

While addressing maritime journalists in his Apapa office, Musa identified swift dispute resolution as a key component to facilitate trade. He said the command has put in place a faster mechanism to address any area of disagreement in interpretations of guidelines for duty collection and other related matters.

 

He added that a committee put in place for disputes resolution meets as soon as any dispute arises to avoid port users incurring costs caused as a result of delays in resolving such disputes.

 

According to him, there is a quicker process of bringing issues to his attention and contacting the headquarters where necessary to avoid delays associated with such disagreements. He said the command has stepped up efforts at keeping officers and relevant stakeholders abreast with the use of technology for the purpose of customs operations.

 

The Controller disclosed that senior officers and licensed customs agents are being trained at the command’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre on the latest Nigeria Customs Information System (NICIS 2) in batches.

 

Musa said the training and retraining of customs personnel and stakeholders will continue with a view to getting as many persons as possible knowledgeable in the workings of the system.

 

He also stressed the need for all stakeholders to increase their levels of compliance with rules and improve on their knowledge as ways of achieving seamless flow of trade thereby achieving faster clearance of goods from the port.

The Controller also advised the maritime media to uphold the ethics of their profession and be fair and truthful in all they do.

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Early rainfall to boost Nigeria’s cocoa mid-crop

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Nigeria’s mid-crop cocoa output for 2017/18 could rise by 15 per cent from last season, helped by a mix of rainfall and sunshine in the main growing regions which has helped the trees, President of Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) Sayina Riman said in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

 

Drought cut last season’s mid-crop harvest by 40 per cent. The dry weather continued into the main crop of the new season.

 

Riman said the drought affected the trees, reducing output of between 300,000 tonnes and 320,000 tonnes projected at the beginning of the 2017/18 season.

 

He said that early rains in March and April have helped boost the mid-crop, which could see the season’s output close at around 290,000.
Riman farms on a 170 hectare cocoa plantation in Nigeria’s second-biggest region of Cross Rivers.

 

The cocoa season in Nigeria runs from October to September, with an October-to-February main crop and a smaller light or mid-crop that begins in April or May and runs through September.

 

“Despite the drought of last year which affected cocoa we believe we would be close to 290,000 tonnes for 2017/18 season,” Riman told Reuters.

 

The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), however, gives much lower estimates of Nigerian cocoa output. It forecast last season’s production at 225,000 tonnes.

 

Riman did not give a reason for the discrepancy. Nigerian government production figures are also significantly higher than ICCO estimates.

 

Nigeria has recently emerged from recession and a currency crisis which caused a chronic dollar shortage, forcing exporters to under-invoice their goods in order to use the foreign exchange black market to get premium for their hard currency.

 

The action caused the West African country slip to the sixth producer of cocoa in the world at the peak of the crisis. Riman said Nigeria was getting back to number four grower as exporters now use the official currency markets.

Riman said Nigeria was working on improving its bean quality especially with renewed demand from Europe.

 

However, bean count, a measure of the number of beans needed to produce 100 grams of cocoa, reached as high as 140 for the main crop.

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Rising Nigerian bonds drags yields down

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Nigeria’s local-currency bonds are on a roll, rising for the last eight days and driving their yields below Turkey’s for the first time in more than two years.

 

The average rate on Nigerian government bonds has fallen around 400 basis since an August-peak to 13 per cent. Yields are now 100 basis points below the Central Bank of Nigeria’s benchmark interest rate of 14 per cent, where its been held since July 2016.

Investors have piled into the naira market thanks to slowing inflation, a stable currency and rising Brent crude prices, which climbed about 25 per cent in the past six months to more than $70 a barrel. In contrast, they’ve turned bearish on Turkey, which has the worst-performing local bonds in emerging markets this year, because of accelerating inflation and loose monetary policy.

 

Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, may be tempted to commence his long-touted easing cycle and help revive the economy that has faltered since the 2014 oil crash. While that would reduce the attractiveness of naira assets, Nigerian yields are still high relative to other major emerging markets. Aside from Turkey, Argentina and Egypt’s bonds are the only ones to yield more in the Bloomberg Barclays EM Local Currency Index.

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