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BUSINESS ROUNDUP: CBN retains interest rate at 11.5%; Crypto miners hack Google Cloud accounts; Other stories



Nigeria retains position, scores lower in global competitiveness index

Hello, and welcome to Business Roundup this week. Here, we bring you highlights of events that happened during the week -from the capital market to the mainstream business activities, while not forgetting the tech/economy build up.

Here are the Headlines:
• CBN retains benchmark interest rate at 11.5%
• Cryptocurrency miners hack Google Cloud accounts
• Bitcoin crashes 20% below peak amidst declining trade volume in Nigeria
• US to release 50m barrels of oil from reserves to lower prices


Google on Wednesday warned its cloud accounts holders on the activities of cryptocurrency miners hacking users’ details to mine digital assets.

In a report titled: Threat Horizons,” Google said its cyber security team had uncovered the breach of at least 50 Cloud accounts in the system.

The team, according to the search engine giants, discovered that the hackers downloaded cryptocurrency software with the accounts within 22 seconds of the breach.

The decentralised digital market is on a decline path as major cryptocurrency assets including Bitcoin and Ethereum lost ground amid falling trades in Nigeria.

Bitcoin, according to Coindesk, has crashed by 8 percent to $54,177 during the week. But it currently sells for $54,322.84 per coin with its market capitalisation settling at $1.03 trillion.

The most popular crypto has plunged 20 percent below its all-time-high of $68,990.90 with just four days to the end of the month.

President Joe Biden has said the United States will release 50 million barrels of crude oil from the nation’s Petroleum Reserve, in an attempt to reduce rising gasoline prices.

The United States is set to work with several other countries to coordinate releases from their reserves, including China, India, Japan and the United Kingdom.

In a statement on Tuesday, the White House said the agreement was the culmination of weeks of talks with other nations as part of Mr. Biden’s efforts to address the lack of oil supply stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retained the benchmark interest rate at 11.5 per cent.

Read also: BUSINESS ROUNDUP: IMF urges Nigeria to remove fuel subsidy; Bitcoin adoption in Nigeria falls 53.3% amid declining inflation; Other stories

The MPC voted unanimously to retain the Monetary policy rate at 11.5 percent during its meeting on Tuesday.

MPC also held same sentiment for the Asymmetric corridor which remained +100/-700 basis points, and The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) left at 27.5 percent.

On NSE ROUNDUP: NGX: Investors pocket N104bn as Honeywell, FCMB lead active trades

Following the rise in the equity capitalization by 0.46 percent investors went home with N104.11 billion at the close of trading on Friday.

Consequently, the equity capitalisation increased from N22.49 trillion posted on Thursday to N22.59 trillion today.

The All-Share Index was up by 199.52 basis points to close at 43,308.29 against 43,108.77 recorded the previous day.

Investors traded 305.32 million shares worth N3.57 billion in 4,450 deals on Friday. This surpassed 266.11 million shares worth N4.21 billion that exchanged hands in 3,905 deals on Thursday.

Meanwhile, on the tech space, Treepz, Omnibiz, Busha, Sabi, OnePipe, and Bolt were some of the names that made the headlines this week.

Lagos-based fintech startup, OnePipe, raised a US$3.5 million seed funding round while Nigerian B2B marketplace Sabi secures $6m bridge round.

Also, Omnibiz, a Nigerian B2B e-commerce platform, launched a new buy-now, pay-later product.

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