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BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Naira depreciates across forex markets; Oil prices fall as COVID-19 cases rise; See other stories that made our pick



BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Nigeria to disconnect Togo and Benin; China displaces America. See other stories that made our pick

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 directs banks to close naira accounts of money transfer operators
  • Oil prices fall as rise in COVID-19 cases threatens demand, Bonny Light gains $0.71
  • Nigerian govt revokes N20 NIN retrieval charge
  • Naira depreciates across forex markets, as external reserves shed $838m in six weeks


The Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) has ordered Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to close all the naira accounts of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) in the country.

The apex bank issued the directive on Friday in its circular to DMBs, IMTOs and payment service providers titled ‘Receipt of Diaspora Remittances: Additional Operational Guidelines 2,’ jointly signed by the director of banking supervision and director of payments system management. Read more

Oil prices dropped from nine-month highs on Friday, with escalating coronavirus infections viewed as a threat to near-term fuel demand and a stronger U.S. dollar also having a depressing effect on oil prices.

Brent crude futures dipped by 20 cents or 0.39% to $51.30 per barrel at 08:57 West Africa Time, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down by 14 cents or 0.29% to $48.22. Bonny Light, Nigeria’s premium oil grade, advanced by $0.71 or 1.41% to $51.01 on Thursday, while Qua Iboe, another key national oil grade, appreciated by $1.15 or 2.27% $51.77. Read more

Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami has ordered the National Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) to rescind the N20 charges imposed on Nigerians to check national identification number (NIN) with immediate effect.

Ahmed Basir , Personal Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu broke the news via his Twitter handle on Friday. Read more

Naira weakened marginally against the dollar on the black market on Wednesday, falling by N1 or 0.21% to N476, data from abokiFX, an exchange rate tracking website, showed.

The U.S. currency had exchanged for N475 on Tuesday. Nigeria’s external reserves had fallen by $838 million or 2.35% to $34.851 billion in the six weeks to 14th December, weakening the central bank’s ability to intervene in the foreign exchange market. Read more

Read also: BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Naira devaluation to impact foreign currency loans; Nigerian govt stops sacking of 300 Arik Air staff; See other stories that made our pick

On NSE ROUNDUP: Heavyweight stocks drive gains as market capitalisation crosses N19tn mark

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) added N295.371 billion on Friday, with market capitalisation crossing the N19 trillion as heavyweight equities like Dangote Cement, MTNN, Ardova, Guinness and Oando boosted gains.

The Insurance Index was the biggest mover of the 5 sectorial indices as it advanced by 4.02% to 175.70 index points. A positive market breadth was reported as there were 32 gainers against 7 losers at the end of trade. Read more

MEANWHILE, on the tech scene, this week, Fuel Intellisense, Homefort Energy, Gricd Mote, Kiakia Gas, and Airsynq emerged winners in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology (NOGTECH) Hackathon. Through the week, the development made headlines across national dailies as the winning startups were given the opportunity to engage with industry experts, mentors, and entrepreneurs.

Also, during the week, Nigerian fintech startup Blueloop announced closing US$77,000 in pre-seed funding, a raiser that comes after the Fintech player completed the building of a new product Flux, a mobile app for crypto-based cross-border payments. Week on week, the economy seems to be on a growth trend, as more opportunities surface for Nigerian startups. Read full review

Thanks for joining the roundup this week. See you next week for another serving of Business Roundup. Don’t forget, for the latest news and updates from around the globe, keep reading Ripples Nigeria.

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