In Nigeria, investors suffered another heavy losses last week, as worries strengthened about the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak and as oil prices fell to 17-year low.
The Nigerian ASI Index slumped by 2.4% w/w, led by high selloffs in DANGCEM-15.2% and NESTLE -7.1%.
The fall pushed the Nigerian index well into bear market territory, with the Nigerian ASI Index falling over 25% from its recent peak to its Thursday low.
Accordingly, the month to date and year to date losses increased to -15.3% and -17.3%, respectively.
Sectors results were swinging as the Industrial products -4.9%, and Consumer products -3.2% indices fell sharply, while the insurance sector +2.8%; Banking sector +0.3% and Oil & Gas sector +0.2% indices surged up.
In Asia’s equities markets, its Stock Indexes finished red as the Japanese Nikkei 225 Index closed -5.0% and Chinese Shanghai Index: -4.9%, though they made a partial comeback from the global rout on Friday but still nursed massive losses for the week
Emerging markets (MSCI EM: -14.0%) and Frontier markets (MSCI FM: -8.0%) were not immune to the global rout, with significant losses in South Korea (-11.6%).
In America, stock markets closed lower Friday to record the worst trading week since the global financial crisis (2008)
In addition, the Fed announced that the rate is expected to remain at this level for an extended period until activities start to turn the corner and move towards its economic fundamentals targets.
The damage of the rising cases of coronavirus on economic activities in the US, the Fed announced another rate cut to a range of 0.00% and 0.25% former at 1.00% to 1.25%.
Federal Reserve further announced the start of a quantitative easing program of $700 billion to protect the economy from the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Federal Reserve bank action in itself will not save the US economy from recession, but it will help to mitigate the risks from financial tensions that could make the growth and jobs outlook significantly worse.
In addition, the American equities indexes had a very poor weekly return recording, the Dow Jones 30 Index closed at -17.30%; S&P 500 Index -14.98% and the Nasdaq 100 index closed -12.64%.
The Bank of England announced an additional rate cut to 0.10% from 0.25% previously.
As with the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England plans to continue to curtail the negative pass-through effects of the coronavirus outbreak on economy.
Furthermore, the bank raised its bond-buying program by 200 million pounds to 645 million pounds.
However, unlike the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England said a high portion of the additional assets purchase program would consist of government bonds. The move will do little to prevent the economy from suffering significantly in the second quarter, but it will help limit the increase in unemployment, and foster a swifter and smoother recovery when the coronavirus shutdowns have passed.
European STOXX 50 Index closed weekly returns red at -1.45%, French CAC 40 Index closed -1.69% British FTSE 100 Index closed at -3.27%.
After a panic-driven bloodbath on the markets on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, oil prices staged a relief rally on Thursday, which extended into Friday before plunging again and closing at $27.38 per barrel.
Neimeth Pharmaceuticals to raise N5 billion in additional equity
The Board of Neimeth is set to raise N5 billion additional equity upon the approval by shareholders of the company at the AGM.
The disclosure is part of the resolutions reached at the Board of Directors meeting of 15th January 2021. At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that the company would raise additional equity to the tune of N5 billion.
In line with this development, a board resolution proposing to raise equity will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Company scheduled to hold on 9th March 2021.
What you should know
- The Board of the Company is yet to disclose if the additional equity would be a rights issue or a private placement, as the details of the additional N5 billion equity set to be raised are yet to be finalized.
- The fund will help the company’s management to execute key strategies that will reposition the company as a leader in the healthcare industry, with the hope to deliver better returns on investment to shareholders.
- The additional equity financing will also increase Neimeth’s outstanding shares, which will dilute earnings and impact the Company’s stock value for existing shareholders.
- The move has the potential to trigger a sell-off of the company shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Buhari appoints Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo as Acting DG of National Directorate of Employment
President Buhari has appointed Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo as the Acting DG of the National Directorate of Employment.
President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the appointment of Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo as the Acting Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment.
This was disclosed by media aide to the Presidency, Garba Shehu, in a social media statement on Monday.
- President Muhammadu Buhari has formally conveyed to the Hon. Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, his approval of the nomination of Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, as the Acting Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, pending the appointment of a substantive Director-General for the Agency.
- Last month, the President relieved the former DG of his appointment, and directed the Minister to nominate an Acting DG to superintend over the Agency, pending the appointment of a substantive DG.
What you should know
- The Federal Government through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) formally kick-started the Special Public Works (SPW) programme, which was designed to create 774,000 jobs across the nation, with the inauguration of the State Selection Committees in 2020.
- Nairametrics reported last month that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sack of Dr Nasiru Mohammed Ladan Argungu as the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) with effect from December 7, 2020.
- The Presidency did not give any specific reason for the sack.
Covid-19: WHO warns the world faces catastrophic moral failure due to vaccine nationalism
The WHO has said that the prospects of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines were at serious risk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure due to the fear of Covid-19 vaccine nationalism by the wealthy countries, while the poor countries are left behind.
This is as the UN health agency revealed that the prospects of equitable distribution of the vaccines were at serious risk just as its COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme plans to start distributing inoculations in February.
According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyrsus, at the opening of the body’s Annual Executive Board virtual meeting.
He pointed out that 44 bilateral deals were signed last year and at least 12 have already been signed this year.
What the WHO Director-General is saying
Tedros warned against vaccine nationalism to avoid making the same mistake during the HIN1 and HIV pandemic.
The WHO boss in his statement said,
- “This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response and continued social and economic disruption. Such a ‘me-first approach’ left the world’s poorest and most vulnerable at risk.
- “Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, countries should avoid making the same mistakes made during the H1N1 and HIV pandemics.’’
He expressed his reservations over the ‘me-first’ attitude of the rich countries and the vaccine manufacturers who prioritize going for regulatory approval in wealthy countries rather than submitting their data to WHO for approval of the vaccines for use globally.
The global scramble for shots has intensified, as more infectious virus variants circulate.
Tedros said more than 39 million vaccine doses had been administered in 49 higher-income countries, whereas just 25 doses had been given in one poor country.
Observers say this board meeting, which lasts until next Tuesday, is one of the most important in the U.N. health agency’s more than 70-year history, and could shape its role in global health long after the pandemic ends.
What you should know
- The WHO and health experts had severally warned against nationalism as a serious threat to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
- They had called for an equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine amongst all countries globally, as the wealthy nations will still be at risk of the pandemic if the poor countries are still battling with the disease.