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MONDAY 23/8/2021 – NEW PETROLEUM LAW WILL CUT WASTAGES IN OIL SECTOR, SAYS EX-FG’S ADVISER WANTS COMPETENT HANDS IN PROPOSED COMMISSION, AUTHORITY A former Senior Technical Adviser, Upstream and Gas, at the Ministry of Petroleum, Gbite Adeniji, has said that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last week, would cut wastages in the oil and gas industry. Speaking on Arise Television, THISDAY’s broadcast arm, Adeniji, who was an adviser when Dr. Ibe Kachikwu was petroleum minister, said that the new law is not only a petroleum sector reform document, but an economic bill that could remarkably impact the country. He explained that the Act will open the petroleum sector up to a new wave of opportunities, stressing that the country now has a basis for deregulating the downstream. “ We can cut away all the subsidies that we have completely mismanaged in the last 20 or more years, and redirect some of that towards more useful social and economic needs in the country. “It also creates the opportunity for leveraging on Nigeria’s main abundant natural resource, which is natural gas, because if you look at the law, it’s got provisions galore on natural gas. “And this is the first time ever, we actually have provisions dealing with that endowment. So when you think of the energy transition, if you have clarity around the legislative framework for gas, I think that basically positions Nigeria for that future,” he said. Adeniji emphasised that there was the need to move quickly into a gas-based industrialisation era, stressing that the new law also addresses issues around environmental regulation in the industry, both in the upstream, midstream and downstream. He explained that as Nigeria liberalises its oil and gas industry, it also needs laws that curtail the potential for abuses and monopoly, which the new legislation substantially address, saying that aside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the industry has a number of monopoly operators currently. According to him, the fact that the executive has presented a bill that is effectively doing away with subsidies demonstrates its political will, saying it’s now a matter of law that the sector must liberalise. “So, if it’s law, then there’s a statutory duty to move away from subsidies. We then have to now see how they set up the regulatory agencies, and how they actually go about implementing the mandate, which is to see that the wholesale transactions as well as seeing petroleum products being sold on a willing buyer, willing seller basis, as opposed to the way we are doing things currently.   TUESDAY 24/8/2021 – STOCK MARKET EXTENDS DECLINE, INVESTORS LOSE N25BN Equities on the Nigerian Exchange Limited posted a loss of  N25.21bn in market capitalisation at the end of trading on Monday. The NGX All-Share Index depreciated by 0.12 per cent as it closed at N39,434.69 basis points from 39,483.08bps while the market cap fell to N20.55tn from N20.57tn. Market activity dropped as trading volume decreased by 24.68 per cent to 211.33 million shares valued at N2.03bn in 3,939 deals on Monday from 280.57 million shares worth N3.18bn in 4,012 deals on Friday. Analysing by sectors, major indices decreased except for NGX Insurance, which saw a 0.37 per cent appreciation to 188.77bps from 188.07bps. NGX Banking, Oil & Gas, Consumer Goods, and Industrial indices dropped by 0.07 per cent, 0.14 per cent, 0.12 per cent, and 0.32 per cent respectively on Monday. The Premium and Main Board indices also decreased by 0.16 per cent and 0.09 per cent to close at 3,844.22bps and 1,608.51bps respectively. Twenty-one firms recorded a rise in their share prices, compared with 11 losers at the end of trading on the floor of the NGX on Monday. FTN Cocoa Processors Plc grew by 10.00 per cent to N0.44 per share. It was followed by Pharma-Deko Plc with 9.88 per cent gain, closing at N1.89 per share. The other top gainers were Transcorp Hotels Plc (+9.69 per cent), Courtville Business Solutions Plc (+9.68 per cent), and Learn Africa Plc (+9.30 per cent).   WEDNESDAY 25/8/2021 – FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RAISES N1.923TRN THROUGH SAVINGS, FGN BONDS IN EIGHT MONTHS In a development that shows sustained investors’ confidence in the Nigerian debt market, the federal government through the Debt Management Office (DMO) in raised a whooping N1.923 trillion from bond auctions from January till date. The government raised the funds through the FGN bonds, mostly for high net worth institutional investors and saving bonds, primarily for retail investors, through the Debt Management Office. Data collated from the Debt Management Office website showed that investors staked their highest bet in June with a total subscription of N417.48 billion on the 10, 20 and 30 year FGN bonds. However, the Debt Management Office allotted N325.8 billion through the 16.2884 per cent 10-year bond, 12.50 per cent 20 year paper and 12.98 per cent 30 year paper. It had also raised N4.5 billion through non-competitive allotment. Conversely, subscription dropped in July to N286.11 billion as investors bid at higher rates, while N138.07 billion had been allocated. Another N103.9 billion was also raised through the non-competitive allotment in July. In outgoing month of August, subscriptions rose to N414.07 billion out of which only N260.09 billion was allocated for the 13.98 per cent 10-year paper, 12.4 per cent 20-year paper and 12.98 per cent 30-year paper. At the beginning of the year in January, the Debt Management Office had raised N170.34 billion from FGN bond auctions the lowest it raised at the monthly bond auctions while it raised another N202.55 billion in February. In March, 2021, the Debt Management Office raised another N262.1 billion and N274.45 billion in April while N175.24 billion was raised through the FGN bond auctions in May. On the retail end, the highest savings bond was raised in February when investors staked N1.76 billion on the 2- and 3-year retail bond. It was followed by N961.99 million that was raised in July.   THURSDAY 26/8/2021 – NAIRA FALLS TO 524/DOLLAR AS FOREX RESERVES WOBBLE The naira weakened further against the dollar at the parallel market on Friday, as the country’s foreign exchange reserves fluctuated in recent weeks. The local currency fell to 524 against the greenback on Friday from 522/$1 on Thursday. It closed at 520/$1 last week. At the Investors and Exporters’ window, the naira weakened to 412/$1 from 410.88/$1 on Thursday, according to FMDQ Group. The country’s forex reserves, which fell to $33.39bn on August 24 from $33.59bn on August 10, rose to $33.57bn on Thursday, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria. The reserves, which fell to a record low of $33.09bn on July 12, had gained $500m in almost a month to close at $33.59bn on August 10. The naira had strengthened to 506/$ on August 4 after plunging to 525/$ at the parallel market on July 28, a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria stopped foreign exchange sales to Bureaux de Change. The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had on July 27, at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting, announced the stoppage of forex sale to the BDCs, saying they had turned themselves into ‘agents that facilitate graft and corrupt activities of people who seek illicit fund flow and money laundering in Nigeria’.   FRIDAY 27/8/2021 – STOCK MARKET APPRECIATES BY 0.07% AMID EXPANSION IN GDP The Nigerian equities market yesterday closed trading activities positive, as the market bounced back from the previous day trading session loss with a gain of 0.07 per cent. Yesterday’s positive out turn was due to investors increased buying interest in recently depreciated stock prices across the major market sectors and the news that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 5.01 per cent in second quarter of 2021. In summary, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) All-Share Index (ASI) grew by 27.36 basis points, representing an increase of 0.07 per cent, to close at 39,477.18 basis points. Similarly, the overall market capitalisation value gained N14 billion to close at N20.568 trillion. Accordingly, the Month-to-Date gain increased to +2.4 per cent, while the Year-to-Date loss moderated to –two per cent. Analysing by sectors, the Insurance (+2.3 per cent), Oil & Gas (+0.2 per cent) and Banking (+0.1 per cent) indices recorded gains while the Consumer Goods and Industrial Goods indices closed flat. The market positive performance was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks which are; Eterna, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, Presco, Honeywell Flour Mills and UACN Property Development Company (UPDC). Furthermore, the market breadth closed positive with 27 gainers as against 12 losers. Eterna recorded the highest price gain of 9.97 per cent to close at N7.50, per share. UPDC followed with a gain 9.74 per cent to close at N1.69, while AIICO went up by 8.42 per cent to close at N1.03, per share. Glaxosmith rose by 7.94 per cent to close at N6.80, while Honeywell Flour Mills gained 7.45 per cent to close at N3.46, per share. On the other hand, Ikeja Hotel led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent to close at N1.26, per share. SCOA Nigeria followed with a decline of 9.43 per cent to close at N1.44, while Associated Bus Company down by 8.33 per cent to close at 33 kobo, per share. Champion Breweries lost 4.55 per cent to close at N2.10, while Japaul Gold and Ventures shed 3.85 per cent to close at 50 kobo, per share. However, the total volume of trades declined by 5.6 per cent to 186.327 million units, valued at N1.794 billion, and exchanged in 3,595 deals.