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Late budget cycles, food price hike fuel MPR retention – Experts 

Some economists and financial experts have attributed the retention of the MPR at 13.5% by the CBN to late budget cycles.

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Late budget cycles, food price hike fuel MPR retention - Experts , policy rates, CBN postpones first 2020 MPC meeting 

Some economists and financial experts have attributed the retention of the Monetary Policy Ratio (MPR) at 13.5% by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to late budget cycles and upward pressure imposed on food prices across the country.  

The experts, on Friday, explained that it would have been a step in the wrong direction if the apex bank had decided otherwise. 

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The Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, had announced that its Monetary Policy Committee decided to retain the benchmark interest rate at 13.5%, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5% and the liquidity ratio at 30%.

[READ MORE: CBN Cashless Policy: Emiefele regrets decision, insists on the policy]

Also, the Asymmetric window was left at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR. 

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Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives, Bismark Rewane, explained that holding the MPR at 13.5% was prudent and in the right direction, considering the global and domestic risks, debt profile of the nation. 

Rewane said, CBN’s move was not unexpected as it ignored the recent increase in the price of crude oil due to the recent happenings in Saudi Arabia. I believe it is a prudent move needed at this challenging period.”  

Another economist, Dr. Sola Owoeye, explained that early passage of the budget and improved key fundamentals of the economy would aid a rate cut. 

He said that the economy was yearning for a rate cut to stimulate its productive sector and allow for the expansion of Small and Medium Enterprises. 

The President, Association of Bureaux Des Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, said that rate retention was a momentary response to the security challenges in the nation.  

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[READ ALSO: CBN to restrict foreign exchange on more food imports]

Patricia

Gwadabe said that the apex bank was very cautious in its decision, considering the uncertainties in the nations’ fiscal policy arising from the late passage of the budget and recent hike in food prices. 

“A rate cut would bring the needed stimulus in the economy in order to revive the fortunes of the manufacturing sector. CBN should tackle the challenges of prevailing exchange rates in the market in order to sustain the gains recorded at the foreign exchange market.” 

 

 

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - abiola.odutola@nairametrics.com.

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Companies

Just In: CBN debits banks another N459.7 billion for failure to meet CRR target

Sadly, this move, in addition to similar policies by the CBN, has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures.

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CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debited twenty-six banks, including merchant banks, to the tune of N459.7 billion for failure to meet their CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) obligations. The fresh debit, which Nairametrics reliably gathered occurred yesterday, has left many stakeholders in the banking sector very upset.

The details: Among the banks that were most affected are United Bank for Africa Plc (N82.3 billion), First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (N59.3), Zenith Bank Plc (N50 billion), First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited (N45 billion), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N40 billion). The rest of the affected banks can be seen in the table below.

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Note that the latest CRR debits are coming barely one month after a lot of banks were collectively debited to the tune of N1.4 trillion for the same reason in April. Between then and now, a lot of other minor CRR debits have occurred. Nairametrics understands that the apex bank now debits banks on a weekly basis.

Some backstory: During the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that was held last month, committee members voted to retain CRR rate at 27.5%. The rate was increased in January this year from 5% to its current level after the apex bank cited inflationary pressure concerns. What this means, therefore, is that Nigerian banks are required to keep 27.5% of their deposits as CRR with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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But banks are silently upset: Sadly, this move, in addition to similar policies by the CBN, has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures. While reacting to the latest development, a banker who refused to be identified, said:

“What we’ve seen in recent times is that the CBN just indiscriminately debits banks, usually towards the stale-end of every week. They will look at your bank account and if your liquidity is plenty, they will debit you.

“You know the central bank also does what we call retail FX intervention, that is when they sell FX to corporates. Now, because they don’t want banks coming with huge demands, what they do is that a day before the FX sales, they debit the banks so that the naira you have available is small and you cannot put them under pressure because of your FX demands. That has really been the driver.

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“We understand that the central bank had set up a special CRR team that is supposed to monitor banks’ CRR once a month. But now, the team monitors banks’ CRR on a weekly basis. This is why the central bank is effectively debiting banks on a weekly basis. Some weeks ago, they debited some banks about N1.4 trillion. That was one of many. Between that time and now, there have been more debits that have happened. But the debits that are huge/significant are what is troubling the banks. There was a N300 billion that happened about two weeks ago. and then yesterday that was this N459.7 billion that was also debited.

“These are huge amounts that are leaving the banking sector. It’s a squeeze on the banks. A bank like First Bank, for instance, has about N1.4 trillion in CRR with the Central Bank. And there is Zenith Bank with equally as much as N1.5 trillion. These are monies that banks can potentially put in loans at 52% at 30%, or even put in money market instruments at maybe 10%. So, for a shareholder of these banks, this CRR debits are impairing the banks’ ability to increase their earnings because now are not able to use the funds that are legitimately theirs to create money for their shareholders. And the question is that under what framework is the Central Bank choosing to take people’s money?”

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Patricia
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Business News

Christiano Ronaldo emerges first billionaire footballer ahead of Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo ranks Number 4 on the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100 and making him the first soccer player in history to earn $1 billion. 

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Christiano Ronaldo emerges first billionaire footballer ahead of Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo has been crowned the first soccer billionaire ahead of his top rival in sport, Lionel Messi after earning a massive $105 million before tax and fees in 2019. This was announced by Forbes through its official website.

CR7 as he is popularly called, ranks Number 4 on the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100, a spot above Lionel Messi, and making him the first soccer player in history to earn $1 billion.

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The 35-year old Juventus attacker is the third athlete to hit the $1 billion mark while still playing following Tiger Woods, who did it in 2009 on the back of his long term endorsement deal with Nike and Floyd Mayweather in 2017, who’s made most of his income from a cut of pay-per-view sales for his boxing matches.

The Portuguese star joined Juventus in 2018 in a deal worth $117.34 million after spending nine years with Real Madrid and within 24 hours of release, Juventus sold 520,000 Ronaldo jerseys worth over $60 million.

READ MORE: Meet Alan Sinfield, New CEO of 9Mobile

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He has amassed an ever-growing following of fans over the years. In January he became the first person with 200 million followers on Instagram alongside massive presence on Twitter and Facebook making him the most popular athlete on the planet.

Recall that in 2016, Nike signed Ronaldo to a lifetime deal and pays him upwards of $20 million annually couple with other sources of income including Real Estate, Social media influencing, etc. His 2020 earnings include a salary of $60 million, a slight decline compared to his earnings in 2018 due to a 30% pay cut he agreed to take in April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Business News

Insurance: NAICOM revises recapitalisation guidelines

In our view, we think the decision to extend the deadline is reasonable under current circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged global economic and financial systems thus making it more difficult for an already unattractive insurance sector to raise much-needed capital.

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NAICOM

In a circular communicated to insurance providers in Nigeria, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has announced an extension to the deadline for insurance providers to meet up with the regulator’s new minimum capital requirement. In addition, NAICOM has broken the recapitalisation exercise into two phases. The first phase must be complied with by 31 December 2020.

To comply, insurance providers must meet 50% of the new minimum capital requirements while reinsurance providers are required to meet up to 60% of the new minimum capital requirement. The second phase which will end on the final deadline of 30 September 2021 would require 100% compliance with the minimum capital requirement from all insurance and reinsurance providers.

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The revised guidelines requires Life insurance providers to have minimum capital of N4bn (existing minimum – N2bn) by 31 December 2020 and paid up capital of N8bn by 30 September 2021. General insurers are required to meet a minimum paid-up capital of N5bn (existing minimum – N3bn) and N10bn by 31 December 2020 and 30 September 2021 respectively. Composite insurers are expected to have a minimum of N9bn in paid up capital (existing minimum – N5bn) by 31 December 2020 and N18bn by 30 September 2021 while reinsurers should have N12bn (existing minimum – N10bn) in minimum paid up capital by 31 December 2020 and N20bn by 30 September 2021.

In our view, we think the decision to extend the deadline is reasonable under current circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged global economic and financial systems thus making it more difficult for an already unattractive insurance sector to raise much-needed capital. We note that several players have initiated the process of raising the needed funds from their existing shareholder base via the right issues. However, we highlight that some of the players currently have a negative book value of equity and are trading below their par values. Hence, raising equity capital does not appear feasible. That said, we expect to see a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in the industry once conditions become more favorable.

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CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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