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Business News

First MPC Meeting in 2019 …MPR Retained at 14%

The Monetary Policy Committee held its first meeting of the year on the 21st and 22nd of January 2019. The Committee voted to maintain the MPR at 14.00%.

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The Monetary Policy Committee held its first meeting of the year on the 21st and 22nd
of January 2019. The Committee voted to maintain the MPR at 14.00%, CRR at 22.5%
while also retaining the asymmetric corridor at +200bps & -500bps and liquidity rate
at 30%.
The Committee considered the divergent performance across most economies in
2018, which led to the moderated global output. The Committee further noted the
rising global uncertainties due to the increasing financial market volatilities, trade
tension between the US and China, slowdown in Chinese economy, amongst others.
On the back of increased downside risks, the IMF moderated its global growth
projection to 3.5% from 3.7%.
In the domestic space, the Committee noted the improvement of some key economic
indicators in 2018, which includes; the gradual improvement in output growth,
Q3:2018’s GDP grew by 1.81% from 1.50% in Q2:2018; stability in exchange rate,
supported by the continuous CBN interventions; and the moderation in inflation rate
for most part of the year.
The heightened political uncertainties due to the upcoming elections may continue
to weigh on activities within the financial market. The decision to keep rates
constant should therefore not have any major impact on the performance of the
equities and fixed income markets.

Committee’s Considerations

  • The Committee assessed both the global and domestic macroeconomic and
    financial environment in 2018. The Committee considered the key risks and
    outlook in the short to medium term.
  • In the global economy, the Committee noted the heightened uncertainties in
    2019, as a result of factors such as the increasing financial market volatilities,
    trade war between the US and its key allies, continued monetary policy
    normalization by the US, negotiations surrounding Brexit, and the slowdown in
    China.
  • On the domestic front, the Committee commended the improved output growth
    as shown by the higher GDP growth of 1.81% in Q3:2018 from 1.5% in Q2:2018.
    The Committee highlighted the major drivers of growth to include the services
    and agriculture sectors, but however mentioned that the herdsmen and farmers
    conflict, alongside flooding in some part of the countries moderated agricultural
    and livestock outputs. While growth in 2019 is expected to be driven by improved
    oil and non-oil sector receipts, the Committee however stated that the growth
    outlook remains fragile.
  • The resurgence of inflationary pressure in the economy was of concern to the Committee, as the headline inflation rate inched up to 11.44% in December 2018
    from 11.28% in November 2018. The Committee observed that the near-term risk
    to inflation remains the residual impact of flooding on agricultural output,
    insecurity in agriculture producing states and campaign related spending towards
    the 2019 general election.
  • The Committee stated the improvement in credit to the private sector and the
    government in December 2018. The Committee noted the aggressive growth in
    credit to the private sector which has been a constraint to real sector growth and
    further expressed optimism for improved lending to MSMEs in the economy.
  • In the case for tightening, which was more likely, the Committee noted that
    tightening will result in the reversal of gains achieved thus far and will drive banks
    to reprice assets, thus increasing the cost of credit and elevating credit risk in the
    economy. The Committee further noted that it may result in an increase in Non-Performing loans, and also dampen investments and the improvement noted in
    output growth.

▪ Key Decisions

  • Maintain MPR at 14%
  • Maintain CRR at 22.50%
  • Retain liquidity ratio at 30%
  • Retain asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500bps around the MPR.

Anticipated Impacts

Unflinching Investors’ sentiment, despite MPC Decision
Since the last MPC meeting, Treasury bills yields have remained relatively high,
recording a 0.53% increase to reach 14.69% on January 22, 2019. The secondary market for bonds however recorded a 0.24% decline in yields to settle at 15.21% on January 22,2019. The high yield in both markets, coupled with the poor performance of the equities space due to the cautious choice for low-risk investments should continue to encourage the influx of participants to the fixed income space. Consequently, we do not foresee any changes in the yield environment, due to the decision to keep the rate constant.

Loan performance continues to Improve

At the recent meeting, the MPC noted the encouraging growth in the lending to the
private sector in 2018. The Committee however reiterated the need for improved
lending to the private sector as net credit to the private sector increased by 5.13% YoY
in November 2018, annualized to 4.95% which was lower than the 2018 benchmark
rate of 12.4%. The MPC also expressed satisfaction regarding the reduction in the level
of NPLs in the banking sector.
We expect that with the intensified efforts towards increasing credit to the private
sector, the improved asset quality and partnership between the Banker’s committee
and Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL)
will go a long way towards achieving this goal. We also envisage some payment to
contractors by the government in the coming months which should further
moderate the NPLs in the banking sector.

Improved Activities within the Real Sector

The credit to the real sector improved towards the end of 2018. Increased funding
came through the industry-wide interventions such as the anchor borrowers’
programme, CBN agribusiness scheme and MSME funds. By December 2018, the real
sector sustained its healthy performance, with the manufacturing PMI rising by 2.2pts
to 61.1pts, the highest in 2018.
The industry’s economic welfare was also buoyed by the continuous FX interventions
by the CBN; however, the sector faced some headwinds as consumer spending grew
slowly, moderating the growth in the sales of goods and services offered by the
sector. Logistical challenges, owing to insecurity and flooding also pressured growth.
Despite the political uncertainties which heightened towards the end of 2018, the
sector grew, owing to the incentives put in place by the CBN. We expect the CBN to
continue to support the real sector through concessionary lending schemes and
moral suasion strategies with the banks. We also expect the continued CBN intervention to sustain FX liquidity and stability, in a bid to curtail FX pressures in the industry.

The Market Set to Look Away

The mood in the equities market remains largely negative. Increased political
uncertainty ahead of the elections continues to sour investor confidence. Opportunities
for bargain hunting has however supported the moderation of the decline in the
NSEASI. We do not expect the decision to hold rates to alter the current bearish course of the market, especially given the attractive yield environment in the fixed income space.
In our opinion, the prevailing political risks has more weight in dictating the current course of market activities, at least for the rest of this quarter.

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Corporate Press Releases

Transcorp Hotels launches Aura, an online marketplace for accommodation and experiences

Nigeria’s largest hospitality brand launches a new platform for booking vacation homes, holiday lets, and experiences.

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Dupe Olusola

Africa’s leading hospitality brand Transcorp Hotels Plc. has announced the launch of Aura, a new digital platform through which people can book accommodation, restaurants, and experiences.

The new brand, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.

“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc., Dupe Olusola said.

“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.

The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.

Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”

“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.

Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”

Working with thousands of partners across Nigeria and different cities in Africa, Transcorp Hotels Plc. is building the continent’s largest platform for people-driven hospitality. While travellers enjoy the right selections at the best prices on Aura, hosts can also earn a lot of money by receiving guests in their unoccupied homes and sharing the local culture with them.

For travellers who would rather stay in hotels, Aura also has a great selection of some of the best hotels in every city.

With the launch of Aura, Transcorp Hotels Plc. has further cemented its leadership in the hospitality industry and reinforced its commitment to innovation and superior guest experience across different demographics.

Guests and hosts can sign up at aura.transcorphotels.com to start booking or hosting. The service is currently available in Nigeria only, but the company said plans are already in place to expand to major cities in Africa.

 

Transcorp Hotels Plc is one of Africa’s leading hospitality companies, committed to redefining service standards across the continent while remaining truly and authentically African.

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www.transcorphotels.com

Aura by Transcorp

Aura is Africa’s best platform for connecting travellers with great accommodation, good food, and memorable experiences. The platform is also an avenue for people with unoccupied homes, hotels, restaurants, or different skill sets that may interest others can earn an income by becoming hosts.

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Corporate Press Releases

DISCLAIMER: Ex-Cavendish MD distances self from alleged statement on OML 110

Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe, a former MD of Cavendish Petroleum Limited, has dissociated himself from an alleged statement on OML 110.

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PUBLIC DISCLAIMER

My attention has been drawn to a statement with respect to OML110 and published online. This libelous statement purportedly originated from Cavendish Petroleum Limited and was allegedly authored by me whilst also falsely claiming that I, Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe signed in the capacity of Managing Director.

I, Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe, wish to state the following:

  • i. I have not authored any such statement in any capacity – personal or otherwise. I have also not caused another to write on my behalf neither have I had any just or probable cause to author such false, misleading and malicious statements with respect to the revoked OML110.
  • ii. I had also ceased to be the Managing Director of Cavendish Petroleum for a long time so to attribute a statement from me in that capacity or otherwise should be seen for what it is – a disdainful, calculated attempt by unscrupulous agents to mislead, malign and impugn on my integrity and that of others so mentioned for whatever sinister reasons.
  • iii. I completely dissociate myself from the false statement attributed to me and subsequent malicious report published on some faceless online sites without any proof to back it up whatsoever. The statement is highly libelous in its entirety.
  • iv. As far as I am aware, these malicious statements and report are not reflective of my opinion, thoughts or the true state of things based on the facts available.
  • v. Further, to the best of my knowledge, neither Cavendish Petroleum or anyone associated with the company has authorized or caused the publication of the said false statements.

I therefore wish to inform the public and other stakeholders that the purported statement is malicious against the persons mentioned, false, misleading and did not originate from me in any capacity. I fully dissociate myself from the purported, false and malicious report and urge the unsuspecting public and all stakeholders to disregard the statement in its entirety as I will not hesitate to pursue all legal means to prevent and protect my name and reputation from any further misuse and/or misrepresentation – in any capacity.

 

SIGNED:

_____________________________

Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Deribe

Former Managing Director, Cavendish Petroleum

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