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Invest and earn 300%: How scammers came after me

For as long as people keep falling into their nets, these fraudsters will remain in business.

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Like the ever-changing chameleon, they come under different guises – Flipcash Investment, Binomo Investment, Helping Hands Investments, and so on. But their catchline is always the same:  

“Invest now and get three times your money in 45 minutes.”  

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Findings revealed to Nairametrics the activities of these scammers. How do they operate? How to identify them? And how you can keep your money safe?

It is an insightful report with first-hand experiences of different individuals.

The lure 

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received a message request on my Instagram handle. After accepting it, the stranger identified herself as Mrs Adebayo Jennifer (appears to be a false name). She claimed that she hailed from Ibadan and worked with United Capital Plc. I introduced myself as well, omitting my surname and place of work.  

Then the toasting began 

“Have you benefited from United Capital Plc’s ongoing program?” she asked.

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“What program? I responded.

She told me about some online trading business platform, where my money could be tripled in the next 45 minutes.  

When I asked what the money would be invested in, “Hard currency” was the response I got.  

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At this point, I knew something was off. I had seen several ads about United Capital Plcand every single one carried the disclaimer, “United Capital Plc does not double your money in 45 minutes.”  

She claimed that the company made a 400% return on investments, and gave three parts to the investor, while keeping the last part. It was almost 11:00 pm at the time so I told her that I would like to start the following morning, but she suggested I not waste any more time.  

I sent her details for the registration (all false, except for the phone number). After she supposedly finished registering me, I opted for a 15k investment, even though it was not among the options. She agreed and sent account details for me to make the payments 

The next message I received was, “Are you making the payment now so I can start posting your chat on my page for people to see your testimony?” 

READ ALSO: Hedge funds, institutional investors rush to own stakes in Bitcoin

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Now, here’s the scam! 

did a quick skim through her Instagram posts, and noticed that she always reposted all of the images on the actual United Capital Plc handle. With this, the page could easily pass off as belonging to a staff of the company, at least to unsuspecting followers.  

Four things I noticed from there

First, the testimonials, which made up over 180 posts, were from just three chats. Same names, same conversations, same alerts! Repeated multiple times, to seem like multiple clients.  

Second, the name of the client testifying was the same as the name of a supposed “secretary” whose account details she sent to another person. The name was ‘Lawal Mutiu.’ Whether it belonged to a partner, or an unsuspecting mule, there was no way to confirm.  

Third, some of the previous testimonials used different business names belonging to actual registered businesses, all of which were not involved in any kind of money doubling or tripling venture.  

Lastly, care had been taken to cover the name of the supposed depositor, using other texts. The overlapping text was just thick enough to prevent one from reading it clearly, but also light enough to let one see that the supposed business had paid a beneficiary 

Smart, huh? 

pretended to make the payment but later told her that my bank had reversed my money into my accountso I insisted I was going to make a bank deposit instead.  She continued to trouble me for the next 24 hours, and she even suggested I use Paga to make the payment.  

Eventually, I told her I was not going to make payment into an individual’s account or any payment platform. If United Capital Plc was going to pay me at the end of the day, then I wanted to make payment directly into their account. She asked me to hold on so she could get the account number, then the chat went cold on the evening of Thursday, June 11, 2020 

It took her 4 days to get her “company’s” account number, but she eventually got back to me on Sunday with an account number which she claimed belonged to United Capital Plc.  

 

Instagram chat with fraudster posing as a company staff

As expected, it was not a genuine account number, so my Quickteller app could not verify the beneficiary details. It all came back to her asking me to just go ahead and make payment into her account number since the payment into the company’s account could not go through.  

I refused, and at that point, we both realized it was a dead case or ‘bad market’ as they would call it.  


Approaching victims through a trusted friend 

Mrs. Jennifer Obinabo woke up on Monday, June 15, and could not log in to her Facebook account. the error report showed that her login details were wrong.  

“I tried registering for training on Facebook the previous day. I dropped my number after which I got a call from someone telling me that they wanted to add me to the WhatsApp group.

“He asked me to send the confirmation code which I received to him so that he could confirm I was the right person, and I did.

“That happened sometime in the evening, and on Monday morning, I could not log in anymore,” she recounted.  

Before the end of the day, she had received several calls from friends asking of the investment she had told them about on Facebook. As soon as they confirmed that the account had been hacked, one of them made a post about it, and this might just have been what saved others from falling victims.  

She used the Facebook help page to try retrieving the account, but the phone number had been changed so she resorted to using her email address to receive the reset code.  

This is an easy trap, but one you must be mindful of.

An actual scam 

Onyinyechi got admitted to Nnamdi Azikiwe University in 2019, and her parents handed her the sum of N75,000 to cover her registration fees and some other costs. For some reason, she delayed going to school due to a warning strike action at the time. During this wait, she was added to a WhatsApp group by a strange number.  

She recounts her experience thus:  

“I was added to a WhatsApp group and after checking the contacts there, I saw that I did not know anyone on the group.

I remained on the group trying to observe what was going on, and they presented an investment opportunity called Helping hands investment.

You pay in money and you get matched with someone else who pays you double of what you had paid. I saw it as another kind of MMM, so I felt I could get out a little if I started with N5000.” 

This was only the beginning of her problems. They claimed there was no plan for N5000, as the least investment she could make would be N20000 so she went ahead to make the payment. While waiting to receive her returns within the next hour, she was told that the person she was paired with had opted for a higher investment option of N80,000. To qualify to receive his payment, she had to up her investment to N40,000 

This trend continued until Onyinyechi exhausted the N70,000 in her account, hoping to get N140,000. Again, she was told to up the investment to N100,000, but at this point, there was nowhere else to get money from, and the supposed manager said that there was nothing he could do for her unless she added another N30,000.  

“I kept calling till he stopped picking my call. When I called with my mum’s line, he would pick the call but as soon as he realized I was the one, he would end the call. My brother tried to involve the police, but we didn’t see any hope in it, so we gave up, she said. 

...and a failed scam

Mr. Anthony Agabue also shared his experience with Nairametrics. According to him, everything about the so-called investment was wrong, and he only played along to see where it was leading to. He claimed to be a fisherman, and so he received a baptism of promises–promises to make him rich 

Fraudulent chat with internet scammers

One of the near victims shared screenshots of the chat with Nairametrics

There are several names used in these scams, mostly investment companies like United Capital Plc, or some other existing company which can be found during an online search. This research further showed that they even use the pictures of top executives and upcoming events in the company as their display pictures (DP). 

Whatever the name, they only use it to lure victim into their nets. As soon as the actual discussions begin, they avoid mentioning the name again. This way, the victim may not even question it when he is given a personal account to make payments into.

READ MORE: Federal Government to introduce new laws for online businesses   


Don’t be a mule 

Often, the account details could belong to some unsuspecting online friend or lover who will later be convinced to send a bulk of the money to the scammers, in the claims that the sum had been transferred in error.  

Picture this, an online friend claims that he is feeling generous and asks you to send your account details so he can pay in N10,000. Eventually, you receive an alert of N100,000 which he claims was sent in error and pleads with you to send back N90,000.  

Do you get the picture? 

Of the companies whose names were mentioned, we could only get to United Capital Plc via its verified social media handles. Interestingly, the company has repeatedly had its name used by fraudsters who try to ride on its integrity and public image to defraud victims.

READ ALSO: The New Normal – Digital Transfers and Remittance in Nigeria

Caveat emptor

We discovered that the company had taken steps to curtail such activities in the past, and has several posts where it warns people not to fall prey.  

A source in United Capital, who preferred anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said:

“It is surprising that people still fall for these tricks despite all the campaigns to enlighten them. Most times, they only come to report to the company after they have invested and cannot get their money back.

“For those who follow the company’s social handles, they can also see the warning on every post that United Capital Plc does not double money.”

Nairametrics can confirm that the company has run several campaigns including publications in 2 national dailies, enlightening the public that it is not a money-doubling venture.   

Download the Nairametrics News App

 

As long as people keep falling into their nets, these fraudsters will remain in business. Don’t be the next. 

It is important to note that any individual or company that offers to triple your investment is not regulated by any agency, and is not even legal. After all, if money could be doubled in minutes, even beggars will have mansions by now. 

Patricia

Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. col.j

    June 22, 2020 at 11:36 am

    we came across them and manage to freeze one of their bank account by reporting it to the bank.
    but after reporting to sars and the police they refuse to take action to save our fellow Nigerians.

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Columnists

Top Nigerian FinTech Apps that are leading the competition

It is estimated that there are about 210-250 fintech operators/companies operating in the Nigerian space.

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Top Nigerian FinTech Apps that are leading the competition

Financial technology is one of the new waves of disruptions in the financial sector, that is fuelled by the internet of things and the increasing digitalisation of the world. In the last decade, the industry has grown by more than 100 times from $1.8billion in 2010 to $19billion in 2015. Recently, the size of the global FinTech industry has been valued at $127.66 billion and is expected to grow at an annual average of 24% to amount to $309.98 billion by 2022. 

Fintech refers to the ecosystem where technology companies as well as financial institutions use the innovations in technology to foster financial services and increase access to finance in the market. It an umbrella term that refers to the innovations in technology that are challenging and changing the traditional approaches in the financial service industry. 

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Almost every corner of the world has been touched by FinTech in as little as 20-25 years of its existence with the likes of PayPal charging at the front by helping people make seamless money transfers across the world and facilitating online payments. In almost every mention of FinTech in Africa, the name m-Pesa is mentioned under the same breathe. Founded in 2007,  M-Pesa helps Kenyans make all money transfers and payments online even allow for deposits and withdrawals with the ease of a mobile app.

READ ALSO: Chipper Cash just raised $13.8 million Series A funding

The advent of FinTechs in Nigeria and regulations

In Nigeria, the presence of FinTech is equally notable, and like its ecosystem, there is a continuous rise in the number of FinTech startups looking to offer better services than pre-existing ones. FinTechs in Nigeria are looking to expand the tentacles of the financial sector to reach its un-banked population of 60 million people (more than a quarter of its estimated 200 million population) through mobile apps that make services.

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Also, they are looking to make an array of financial services more available to the banked population by providing seamless services like promising interests on savings and investment more than traditional banking. It is estimated that there are about 210-250 FinTech operators/companies operating in the Nigerian space, and these players brought about the valuation of the industry to $153.1 million in 2017 and are projected to rise up to $543.3 million by 2022.

Regulation of FinTech in Nigeria is overseen by the Central bank. As a measure of risk management, the CBN places a financial barrier of a minimum of $275,000 on entry into the FinTech market to help secure funds and credibility of operators.

Categories of FinTech

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As earlier noted, the term FinTech is an umbrella term. It is an ecosystem with many species of habitats. These species are the different sectors in the finance industry from insurance to banking to investment to money transfers and other emerging areas like cryptocurrencies and Agritech.

This paper focuses on five categories for the Nigerian market: Agritech, Savings, and Investments (financial instruments), Crowdfunding, Mobile Payments, and Cryptocurrencies. In ranking the top players in each category, this paper will base its ranking on google play store’s data.

READ ALSO: Just In: Opay shuts down other business arms to focus mainly on fintech

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Agritech: Farm Crowdy

In FinTech, agrotech is the use of internet technology to close the funding gap and infrastructural deficits plaguing the agricultural sector. They look to help farmers feed the world, cutting off middlemen and making farming more profitable. Most notably, it is a crowdfunding platform that allows investors to make short-term harvest cycle investments in agriculture and reap high interests.

As the first digital agriculture platform in Nigeria, Farm Crowdy has succeeded in keeping its first position in the industry by providing a platform that connects small-scale farmers with prospective investors who do not necessarily need to know about agriculture to invest. In allocated funds to small-scale farmers that helps them increase their output by adopting capital intensive/mechanised farming, providing them seedlings, training on crop yields, access to more farmlands, and providing insurance for agric products.

Since its launch in 2016, Farm Crowdy has helped 25,837 farmers, provided over 16,000 acres for farming, gained nearly 70,000 farm sponsorships from investors, reared more than 2.5 million chickens, and pays investors 13-25% returns on their investment. On google play store, Farm Crowdy is ranked 3.5 stars with 265 reviews and has over 50,000 downloads. Cumulatively, it has nearly a hundred thousand active users.

Other Agritech platforms that offer similar services include Thrive Agric, Growsel, Pork Money (which is crowdfunding for a pig farm), Requid, Agropack, Releaf, FarmNGA, Probity Farms, among many others.


Savings and Investment:

Piggyvest

Fintechs in Nigeria offers investment platforms that tend to bridge the knowledge gap in investments in financial instruments, eliminating information asymmetry,  and reducing the hassles associated with financial instruments. In the Nigerian space, the savings and investment subsector is one of the most populated by fintech firms, among which the most dominant factor in this section is the Piggyvest app.

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Piggyvest offers users the financial freedom to not only save responsibly but put their savings into use by investing them. It launched in 2016 as a savings platform – Piggybank – and later rebranded to include investments – Piggyvest. It prides itself as the first online savings and investment platform in West Africa and boasts of 350,000 active users.

Piggyvest promises users 10-13% interest rates on their savings and up to 25% on investment in financial securities. At just two years into the business, Piggybank announced that it had raised $1.1 million in seed fund, and saw a growth in savings rate by up to 3000% between 2016 and 2017. On Google play store, it records more than 500,000 downloads which are about five times more than its two closer competing savings and investment platforms like Cowerywise and i-invest (100k+ each). It also ranked 4.7 stars with 20,000 reviews. 

READ MORE: 11 money saving apps you need to download now

Wealth.ng

While the aforementioned fintech companies have gained ground in the demand for fintech services, Wealth.ng is introducing high-scale innovation into the market. Recently it entered into a partnership deed with Paga, one of the dominant names in the money transfer sector of the industry, to improve the quality and efficiency of service delivery. Among the industry, there are hardly any existing partnerships, instead, each company competes for customer acquisition and better service.

Wealth.ng sees business differently. A decade ago, many people would dismiss the thought of investing in financial securities for lack of adequate knowledge of how it works or understanding of the trends. Wealth.ng has completely bridged this gap by including consumer education as part of its services. With this, they walk potential investors through every step and provide an array of investment options for each person.

Other players in the savings and investment subsector include Afrinvest, Wealthdotng, Kudi, Investment one, Payday investor, and many others.


Mobile Payments: Interswitch

This is no doubt the busiest in the FinTech industry in Nigeria, and one of the top FinTech areas globally. According to the Central Bank, between January to December 2019, the volume of transactions via mobile monies stood at 377,265,208 which reflects a transaction value of N5 trillion. The FinTech company at the forefront of this charge is Interswitch. In 2019, it sold a 20% share of the company to Visa for $200 million which brought the company’s valuation to $1 billion (N360 billion) – a unicorn status. At this valuation, it surpasses giant financial houses like Access bank (N327 billion), and UBA (N227 billion).

Unlike savings and investment platforms that people use for savings from time to time – hence mobile apps, mobile payment apps are used for the likes of utility bills, cash transfers, deposits, and withdrawals. Businesses use mobile payment platforms for transaction purposes. However, on play store, Interswitch still boasts of more than 100,000 downloads in its quickteller app and over 50,000 downloads in its quickteller agent app, which top other of its complementary payment apps for Nigeria and other African countries.

READ MORE: Digitization of the U.S Dollar faces U.S Senate hearing

Other major players in the payment platform in Nigeria include Flutterwave, Paystack, Remita, e-transact, Vogue Pay, among others.


Cryptocurrencies: Quidax

To many people, cryptocurrencies are still a mirage. As such, investing in any form of cryptocurrency would be considered a wasteful investment. In the Nigerian fintech ecosystem for cryptocurrencies, Quidax is helping cryptocurrency spreading the knowledge and raising awareness for cryptocurrencies, and helping enthusiasts and investors make crypto investments.

Launched in 2018, Quidax has made its platform seamless for trading different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies using the naira. Its market approach of trading directly with naira and boycotting exchange rate variations is a major development in the crypto market. One year after it started, CEO Buchi Okoro said they saw a transaction volume of more than $110 million from users in 70 countries from 6 continents. On play store, it has over 10,000 downloads and rated a 4.1 star.


Crowdfunding: NaijaFund

As an alternative to raising funds for personal and business projects like hospital bills, school fees, and the likes, crowdfunding platforms help users source funds from a sea of ‘strangers’ willing to spare some funds to help out. On the global scale, GoFundMe leads other crowdfunding platforms by ensuring a transparent system where people seeking for financial assistance could present their ordeals and receive solidarity.

Although GoFundMe shares a strong presence in almost every country, it doesn’t deter other industry players from participating. In Nigeria, NaijaFund presents itself as one of the foremost indigenous crowdfunding platforms. Although mainly present as a web app, it has since its 2016 launch helped Nigerians bridge the funding gap for personal and business projects, in which it claims 10% of the total funds raised. 

 

Patricia
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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 3rd of July 2020, 454 new confirmed cases and 12 deaths were recorded in Nigeria bringing the total confirmed cases recorded in the country to 27,564.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria touched a new milestone as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 27,564 confirmed cases.

On the 3rd of July 2020, 454 new confirmed cases and 12 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,308 samples across the country.

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To date, 27,564 cases have been confirmed, 11,069 cases have been discharged and 628 deaths have been recorded in 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 144,833 tests have been carried out as of July 3rd, 2020 compared to 141,525 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 3rd July 2020

  • Total Number of Cases – 27,564
  • Total Number Discharged – 11,069
  • Total Deaths – 628
  • Total Tests Carried out – 144,833

According to the NCDC, the 454 new cases were reported from 19 states- Lagos (87), Edo (63), Abuja (60), Ondo (41), Benue (32), Abia (31), Ogun (29), Oyo (19), Kaduna (17), Delta (16), Enugu (15), Borno (14), Plateau (9), Nasarawa (8), Kano (5), Bauchi (2), Gombe (2), Katsina and Kogi 1 case each.

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 10,910, followed by Abuja (2,080), Oyo (1,451), Edo (1,266), Kano (1,262), Delta (1,165) Rivers (1,114), Ogun (927),  Kaduna (835), Katsina (579), Bauchi (516), Borno (515), Gombe (513), Ebonyi (438), Plateau (402), Ondo (394), Abia (382), Enugu (357), Imo (352), Jigawa (318).

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Kwara state has recorded 269 cases, Bayelsa (234), Nasarawa (221), Sokoto (152), Osun (148), Niger (116), Akwa Ibom (104), Benue (97), Adamawa (89), Kebbi (81), Zamfara (76), Anambra (73), Yobe (61), Ekiti (43), Taraba (19), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases.

 

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
July 3, 2020275644546281211069158677
July 2, 2020271106266161310801156937
July 1, 2020264847906031310152157297
June 30, 202025694561590179746153587
June 29, 20202513356657389402151587
June 28, 20202486749056579007149957
June 27, 20202407777955848625148947
June 26, 20202329868455458253144917
June 25, 20202261459454977822142437
June 24, 20202202064954297613138657
June 23, 20202137145253387338135007
June 22, 20202091967552577109132857
June 21, 202020242436518126879128477
June 20, 202019808661506196718125847
June 19, 202019147667487126581120797
June 18, 20201848074547566307116987
June 17, 202017735587469145967112997
June 16, 202017148490455315623110707
June 15, 20201665857342445349108857
June 14, 202016085403420135220104457
June 13, 20201568250140785101101747
June 12, 20201518162739912489198917
June 11, 2020145546813875449496737
June 10, 20201387340938217435191407
June 9, 2020134646633654420688937
June 8, 2020128013153617404084007
June 7, 20201248626035412395981737
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

Patricia
Continue Reading

Currencies

CBN adjust naira from N360 to N380 at SMIS

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IMF, COVID-19, CBN OMO ban could give stocks a much-needed boost , CBN’s N132.56 billion T-bills auction records oversubscription by 327% , Nigeria pays $1.09 billion to service external debt in 9 months , Implications of the new CBN stance on treasury bill sale to individuals, Digital technology and blockchain altering conventional banking models - Emefiele  , Increasing food prices might erase chances of CBN cutting interest rate   , Customer complaint against excess/unauthorized charges hits 1, 612 - CBN , CBN moves to reduce cassava derivatives import worth $600 million  , Invest in infrastructural development - CBN Governor admonishes investors , Credit to government declines, as Credit to private sector hits N25.8 trillion, CBN sets N10 billion minimum capital for Mortgage firms, CBN sets N10 billion minimum capital for Mortgage firms , Why you should be worried about the latest drop in external reserves, CBN, Alert: CBN issues N847.4 billion treasury bills for Q1 2020 , PMI: Nigeria’s manufacturing sector gains momentum in November, CBN warns high foreign credits could collapse Nigeria’s economy, predicts high poverty, MPC Member, BVN, Fitch, Foreign excchange (Forex), Overnight rates crash after CBN’s N1.4 trillion deduction, Nigeria’s foreign reserves hit $36.57 billion; Emefiele keeps his word on defending the naira

Reports reaching Nairametrics indicates the CBN has instructed bidders at its Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) to increase their bidding price to N380/$1 floor. The SMIS is the market where importers bid for forex using Letters of Credit and Form M.

According to our sources, the central bank informed banks that they will only accept bids from N380/$1 and above and no longer N360/$1 meaning those who bid lower will not get any forex allocation. Transaction success in this market is based on bids with those who bid higher than the floor as they are often in an advantageous position to secure forex.

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This is essentially a huge attempt at unifying the naira and another adjustment of the exchange rate by the CBN. Recall the CBN Governor had informed investors that the bank will be unifying the exchange rate towards what is being traded at the NAFEX market where investors and exporters trade forex.

Nairametrics understands a circular has been sent to banks but we are yet to see it.

The SMIS window was created by CBN for importers to ease the pressure faced by businesses in the foreign exchange market through sales of foreign currency to authorized dealers (wholesale) or to end users through Authorized dealers. Businesses usually conduct their bid for forex at the SMIS window every two fortnight.

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Currently, rates are set at a floor of N360/$1 and a ceiling of N385/$1. Thus bidders are expected to bid within that range. The higher the bid the better your chances at getting forex. It is unclear if there were any buyers that bid above N360 as we gather most of the importers were not informed of the changes in prices until today.

In February, the CBN has injected $218.41 million into the inter-bank retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS). The dollar sold at the time meant for only agricultural and raw materials sectors, is in continuation of its intervention in the inter-bank foreign exchange market. In May, the central bank surprised the market by injecting estimated $90-$100million to the system.

 

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Patricia
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