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Naira under pressure as forex demand increases

The strong demand for the dollar persisted in the I & E window during yesterday’s trading session.

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Treasury Bills

The strong demand for the dollar persisted in the I & E window during yesterday’s trading
session. 98% of the trades settled between N360-N362 per dollar, up from 96% in the previous session. This is reflective of the intensity of the demand for the dollar. As a result, the naira depreciated by 12 kobo at the I & E window to settle at N360.80 per dollar, despite closing flat at the official market (N306.95/$).

Interbank market – The turnover in the I & E window was higher on the day by 75% at US$203 million from US$116 million in the previous trading session. The interbank market opened with a liquidity of N82 billion, up from N64 billion the day before. System liquidity was bolstered by N54 billion worth of bill maturities and refunds from the retail FX auction that was conducted last week. In consequence, the money market rates- Open Buy Back (OBB) and Overnight (O/N) rates- moderated by c.500bps to close at 10.07% and
10.71% respectively

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Bonds– It was a moderately bullish session in the bonds market yesterday as yields on the
benchmarks compressed by c.12bps on the day. However, yields were still around 14%
levels. Investors were more bullish on the short-intermediate maturities (2-6 TTM) as yields on that end fell by an average of 31bps. The yield on the 2021 bond (2.3 TTM) declined by 61bps inter-day while the yields on the 2022 and 2023 bonds dropped by 31bps and 36bps apiece. In contrast to the short-mid tenors, investors were slightly bearish on the long end of the curve with the yield on the 2036 bond rising by 11bps on the day. In yesterday’s session, investors traded N4.4 billion worth of the 2025 bond, pushing its yield lower by 27bps to close at 13.99%. Also, the 2023 and 2034 bonds each recorded trades in excess of N3 biillion.

Treasury Bills – Activity in the t-bills market was relatively muted as yields inched slightly higher by c.3bps. Investors were pretty quiet at market open in anticipation of an OMO sale by the CBN. In the event that the CBN did not float an OMO auction the t-bills market picked up momemtum, particularly on the intermediate-long tenored instruments.

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Although they are not benchmark bills, trades on the 27th

-February bill (336 DTM) were valued at about N47 billion while the 5th
-September bill (161 DTM) recorded trades worth N28 billion. Yields on the 3rd
-October and 2nd
-January bills rose by 15bps and 25bps respectively while the yield on the 6th
-February bill compressed by 13bps in yesterday’s session.

Forecast – Today, we expect trading in the bond market to be relatively muted with thin volumes traded. We also expect the FAAC disbursement to hit the system today, prior to the start of the new month. On the back of this, we anticipate a slightly bullish session in the t-bills market.

In addition, we expect money market rates to inch higher today due to outflows
from the settlement of bond auction allotments, a tentative OMO issue and banks’ funding
provision for the retail FX auction. In the currencies market, we expect the naira exchange
rate to be relatively stable against major currencies.


CSL STOCKBROKERS LIMITED CSL Stockbrokers,

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Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange,

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First City Plaza, 44 Marina,

PO Box 9117,

Lagos State,

NIGERIA.

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Economy & Politics

Fourth Mainland Bridge to begin before December

The bridge is also designed to be a two-level bridge – the upper level will function as a means for vehicular traffic, while the lower level will stimulate and accommodate pedestrian, social, commercial and cultural interactions.

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Fourth Mainland Bridge to begin before the end of 2020

The Lagos state government has announced that in line with its vision for a smart city, work on the Fourth Mainland Bridge, will commence before the end of year 2020.

In addition to this, construction of the Lekki Regional road will also commence within the next seven months.

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Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye disclosed this during the Ministerial Press briefing organised by the State Government  

The architectural design done by NLE works proposed a design speed of 140km on the bridge, with 8 interchanges to facilitate effective interconnectivity between different parts of the State, and a Four-lane dual carriageway with each comprising 3 lanes and 2metres hard shoulder on each side.

(READ MORE: British High Commission releases flight schedule for final evacuation)

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The bridge is also designed to be a two-level bridge – the upper level will function as a means for vehicular traffic, while the lower level will stimulate and accommodate pedestrian, social, commercial and cultural interactions.

The proposed 38 km long fourth mainland bridge is expected to run through Lekki, Langbasa and Baiyeiku towns along the shoreline of the Lagos Lagoon estuaries, further running through Igbogbo River Basin and crossing the Lagos Lagoon estuaries to Itamaga Area in Ikorodu. It will then cross the Itoikin road and the Ikorodu – Sagamu Road to connect Isawo inward Lagos Ibadan Expressway at Ojodu Berger axis.

All of these routes are known to be traffic prone areas, and the construction of the bridge will ease traffic on these routes, thus reducing commute time for residents.

Recall that in April, the state government had shortlisted about 10 firms out of the 32 that expressed interest in the construction of the fourth mainland bridge. The bridge was estimated to be worth about N844 billion.

According to Engr. Adeyoye, the 10km long Lekki regional road will span “Victoria Garden City Scheme 1, connect VGC, Ikate Elegushi, Ikota, Chevron Drive, Ajiran, Pinnock Beach Estate, Gracefield Island and Orange Island, up to Freedom Road to Freedom Way at Lekki”

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Upon completion, this road will greatly ease traffic along the axis, serving as an alternative to the Lekki-Epe Expressway, which is already congested and is currently the only road serving the Lekki sub-region which connects directly to the Osborne/Third Mainland bridge corridor, Adeyoye assured.

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(READ MORE: LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual tax returns by one month)

More projects to come

Adeyoye noted that there are other ongoing projects such Agege-Pen Cinema, Agric-Ishawo Road and the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, as well as the infrastructural upgrade of Oniru network of roads, namely Muri-Okunola Extension, Ligali Ayorinde and Akin Olugbade, along with seven major junctions in Iru-Victoria Island Local Council Development Area.

Completed projects listed by Engineer Adeyoye include Iworo-Ajido and Epeme Roads phases 1 and 2, and the 6.65km two-lane single carriageway with a 300m bridge of 9m width, which was constructed by CCECC.

 

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Business News

Google signs in to Theta (blockchain) to transform the global digital economy

Theta fuel can be bought indirectly on most cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Coinbase. You will need to already own an Ethereum or Bitcoin (BTC) before you can trade with it.

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Google, Google updates user tools after probe against privacy rights, Experts laud Google’s decision to offer banking services , Google sacks workers over data violations on security policies , All Tech Companies eventually became Fintechs- Google to launch new debit card, Google signs in to Theta (blockchain) to transform the global digital economy

Google is collaborating with Theta Labs in a move to make video delivery networks more efficient through Google Cloud.

As part of the business partnership, Google is assisting Theta with its Mainnet 2.0 launch, a hard fork happening around noon Pacific time on Wednesday,” said Theta Labs’ Chief Executive Officer Mitch Liu.

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Allen Day, a developer for Google Cloud, explained that the distributed ledger technology “enables new business models that potentially transform the global digital economy, including the media and entertainment industry.” 

“We look forward to participating as an enterprise validator, and to providing Google Cloud infrastructure in support of Theta’s long-term mission and future growth,” He added.

(READ MORE:Google, Facebook extend remote working for employees)

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Google signs in to Theta (blockchain) to transform the global digital economy

Theta blockchain

Things you need to Know

Theta, which is blockchain-based, enables content-delivery with high-bandwidth content delivery using a decentralized system. It is a cryptocurrency with its own type of blockchain (Theta). It can also be described as the operational token of the Theta protocol. Individuals use Theta Fuel to complete transactions like interacting with or deploying smart contracts.

READ ALSO: Blockchain technology expected to tackle Africa’s challenges across industries

How to buy Theta Fuel?

Theta fuel can be bought indirectly on most cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Coinbase. You will need to already own an Ethereum or Bitcoin (BTC) before you can trade with it.

Google joins the likes of Gumi Cryptos, Blockchain Ventures, and Binance, as external enterprise validators that propose and confirm new blocks on the Theta blockchain. This statement defends the fact that Google Cloud is also becoming Theta Fuel preferred cloud provider with yesterday’s statement.

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“YouTube is particularly interesting because they utilize mostly internally-developed technology for video delivery and streaming, which makes experimentation a lot easier without having to rely on external platforms like Akama,” Liu said.

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Business News

AfDB’s Akinwumi Adesina hits back, denies allegations against him

“I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped-up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honor and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank.” -Adesina

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Akinwunmi Adesina, Afdb

In reaction to the new, independent probe that was ordered by the board of African Development Bank (AfDB) into his activities, AfDP’s incumbent president, Akinwunmi Adesina, said he is not guilty of any wrongdoing. He also vowed to remain in office.

Adesina’s response to the fresh investigation was disclosed in a press statement that he personally and released on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Adesina hit back at ‘unprecedented attempts by some people to tarnish his reputation’ and stated that he would continue to work with all the shareholders. In his statement, Adesina also expressed confidence that a fair and transparent probe would eventually prove his innocence. He said:

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I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped-up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honor and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank.

“I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the bank, and rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the code of ethics of this extraordinary institution.”

(READ MORE: AfDB wins industry gong for pioneering 2019 social bond issue)

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The AfDB boss also cited his heroes, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan, whose lives proved that human beings can grow through the pain.

Akinwumi Adesina, who is the first Nigerian to lead the largest multilateral financial institution in Africa and among the top 5 in the world, had previously dismissed the allegations as spurious, unfounded, and blatantly false. The allegations from the whistleblowers border on claims of giving contracts to acquaintances, appointing friends and relatives to strategic positions, amongst others.

READ ALSO: AfDB bows to pressure from U.S, orders an independent probe of Akinwumi Adesina

The U.S treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, in a letter to the AfDB board, expressed serious concerns about the questionable internal investigation and hurried dismissal of the allegations by the ethics committee of the bank. He thereby called for an independent inquiry into the matter, having feared that dismissing the allegations without appropriate investigation would tarnish the reputation of the bank.

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READ ALSO: Presidency denies canceling memos, appointments approved by Abba Kyari

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In the meantime, it appears that the AfDB President has the support of some leading African countries including Nigeria and South Africa, as he canvasses vote for a second term in office.

As a show of support, a former Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission and current Vice President of the World Bank Group, Arunma Oteh, issued a tweet describing Adesina as a man of integrity and a great leader who remains the best man to lead the AfDB.

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