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The NSE closes the week in negative territory

The Nigerian Stock Exchange ended Friday’s trading session in negative territory. The All Share Index closed at 28,566.79 basis points, down 0.51%

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Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE

The Nigerian Stock Exchange ended Friday’s trading session in negative territory. The All Share Index closed at 28,566.79 basis points, down 0.51%. Year to date, the index is down 9.11%.

Top Gainers and Losers: Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc was the best performing stock today. The stock gained 10% to close at N0.33. Cement Company Northern Nigeria Plc gained 4.69% to close at N14.50. Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc gained 4.55% to close at N0.23. Courteville Business Solutions Plc gained 4.35% to close at N0.24. UAC of Nigeria Plc rounds up the top five gainers for today. The stock gained 3.45% to close at N6.

[READ ALSO: Financial Expert explains why you should really consider mutual funds now]

On the flip side, Ikeja Hotel Plc was the worst performing stock, declining by 8.67% to close at N1.37. UAC-Properties Plc fell by 8.57% to close at N1.28. Vitafoam Nigeria Plc fell by 5.35% to close at N3.54. Nigerian Breweries Plc fell by 4.92% to close at N58. Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc rounded off the top five losers for the day. The stock shed 4.35% to close at N0.22.

Top Trades by Volume: Zenith Bank Plc was the most actively traded stock today. 17.3 million shares valued at N329 million were traded in 346 deals. Stanbic IBTC Plc was next with 10.7 million shares valued at N431 million traded in 19 deals FBN Holdings Plc was next with 8.4 million shares valued at N50 million traded in 179 deals. United Bank of Africa Plc was next with 8.4 million shares valued at N49 million traded in 174 deals. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc rounds up the top five most actively traded stocks today with 7 million shares valued at N2.3 million traded in 3 deals.

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Corporate Action

Lasaco Assurance Plc has released its financial results for the year ended December 2018. Gross Premium Written increased from N6.6 billion in 2017 to N9 billion in 2018. Profit before Tax increased from N854 million in 2017 to N958 million in 2018. Profit after Tax also increased from N661 million in 2017 to N736 million in 2018.

Red Star Express Plc has declared a dividend of N0.43kobo per (50)kobo share for 2019 financial year ended March 2019. The qualification date is July 16, 2019. The Register of Shareholders will be closed from July 17, 2019 to July 19, 2019.

The Company’s Annual Meeting will be held at Shell Hall, Muson Centre, 8/9 Marina road, Onikan, Lagos State on August 8, 2019 at 11.00am.

READ THIS: 11 Plc appoints new Company Secretary

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Tech News

Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for best carbon capture technology

Elon Musk has announced a donation of $100 million prize money for the best technology that can capture carbon dioxide.

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Elon Musk needs $20 billion wealth gain to clinch world's richest man title

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk on Thursday took to Twitter to promise a $100 million prize for the development of the “best” carbon capture technology.

Elon Musk wrote in a tweet, “Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” details next week.

Carbon capture technology is designed to prevent the release of CO2 generated through conventional power generation and industrial production processes by injecting the CO2 into suitable underground storage reservoirs.

According to Reuters, “Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.”

Since the tweet was shared, it has garnered thousands of responses from people because of the jaw-dropping cash prize. A lot of people have started sharing their carbon capture ideas.

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The International Energy Agency said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.

Newly-sworn-in U.S. President, Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his sweeping plan to tackle climate change. On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Besides Tesla, Elon also heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.

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Business News

WHO warns Africa in danger of being left behind in Covid-19 vaccination

The WHO has warned that Africa is in danger of being left behind in Covid-19 vaccination.

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AstraZeneca suspends COVID-19 vaccine final stage trial over safety concerns, COVID-19: J&J starts vaccine trials on humans after success on monkeys

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Africa is in danger of being left behind in Covid-19 vaccination as countries from other regions strike bilateral deals, thereby driving up prices.

This follows the development and approval of safe and effective vaccine less than a year after the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, regarded as a stunning achievement.

This disclosure was made by the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti while speaking during a virtual press conference which was facilitated by APO Group.

Dr Moeti was joined at the press briefing by the Managing Director, Country Programmes, Gavi, Thabani Maphosa and UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mohamed Fall.

What the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa is saying

Dr Moeti stated that as of early this week, 40 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in 50 mostly high-income countries with Guinea being the only low-income country on the continent to have provided doses to only 25 people so far.

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According to her, Seychelles is the only high-income country on the continent where a national Covid-19 vaccination campaign has started.

She said, “We first, not me first, is the only way to end the pandemic. Vaccine hoarding will only prolong the ordeal and delay Africa’s recovery. It is deeply unjust that the most vulnerable Africans are forced to wait for vaccines while lower-risk groups in rich countries are made safe.

“Health workers and vulnerable people in Africa need urgent access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.’’

What the Managing Director, Country Programmes, GAVI, is saying

Mr Thabani Maphosa, the Managing Director, Country Programmes at GAVI, a partner in the alliance, was quoted as saying delivery would begin soon.

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He said, “COVAX is on track to start delivering vaccine doses and begin ensuring global access to vaccines. This massive international undertaking has been made possible thanks to donations work towards dose-sharing deals and deals with manufacturers that have brought us to almost 2 billion doses secured. We look forward to rollout in the coming weeks.”

What you should know

  • COVAX facility is an international alliance which is backed by the WHO, Gavi, the vaccine alliance and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), to ensure equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines among all countries regardless of income level.
  • The alliance has secured 2 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for Africa from 5 producers, with options of over 1 billion more doses.
  • COVAX has committed to vaccinating no fewer than 20% of the population in Africa by the end of 2021.
  • Priority will be given to health workers and other vulnerable groups, such as older persons and those with pre-existing health conditions.
  • An initial 30 million vaccine doses are expected to begin arriving in countries by March.
  • The United Nations in its report said that a maximum of 600 million doses will be disbursed, based on 2 doses per person.

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Spotlight Stories

Google threatens to remove its search engine from Australia due to media code

Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia due to the media code introduced by the government.

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Google made a whooping $4.7b from news content in 2018, Google Threatens To Remove Its Search Engine From Australia Due To Media Code

Google said that it will disable its search engine in Australia if the government proceeds with a media code that would force it and Facebook Inc to pay local media companies for sharing their content.

The code requires Google and Facebook to enter mandatory arbitration with media companies if they cannot reach an agreement over the value of their content within three months.

It also requires the platforms to give the news businesses 14 days’ notice of algorithm changes, and non-discrimination provisions have been put in place to stop the tech giants from taking retaliatory action such as removing content or punishing organisations that participate in the code.

READ: Satoshi Nakamoto’s unspent BTCs worth $10.9 billion

Mel Silva, Google Australia and New Zealand VP told Australia’s Senate Economics Legislation Committee today that Google would shut off the search in Australia if the government’s proposed media bargaining code becomes law. According to her, “The code’s arbitration model with bias criteria presents an unmanageable financial and operational risk for Google”

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Australia announced the legislation last month after an investigation found Alphabet Inc-owned Google and social media giant Facebook held too much market power in the media industry, a situation it said posed a potential threat to a well-functioning democracy.

READ: Facebook Oversight Board to review decision to suspend Trump’s account

Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison said Australia would not respond to the threats as news media companies fired back at suggestions their content did not add value to the platforms. “Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our Parliament. It’s done by our government, and that’s how things work here in Australia,” he said. “People who want to work with that, in Australia, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats.”

READ: Betting on Bitcoin is better than investing in PayPal, Google, Facebook, Amazon

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What you should know

  • Google’s threats follow similar remarks made by Facebook Australia’s managing director, Will Easton in September, who announced plans to remove news articles from the social media’s main app if the media code is passed by Parliament.
  • To avoid the operation of the code, Google and Facebook have no option but to cease linking to news altogether. If Google can’t reliably separate news results from other search results, then logically it may have to pull its entire search service from Australia.
  • Google’s threat to limit its services in Australia came just hours after the internet giant reached a content-payment deal with some French news publishers.
  • This new media code will affect millions of Australians who use Google Search and Facebook every month.

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