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THEFT DRAGS OIL PRODUCTION TO 0.94MBP IN SEPTEMBER Crude oil production in Nigeria slumped to about 0.94 million barrels per day in September 2022, the Federal Government said on Monday. Figures released by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, an agency of the Federal Government, showed that oil production in the country maintained a downward plunge last month. The upstream regulator stated that oil production decreased again in September to 937,766 barrel per day. It was 972,394 bpd in the preceding month of August. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had set an oil production quota of 1.8 million barrels per day for Nigeria, but the country has never met this target. In September, The PUNCH exclusively reported that Nigeria’s crude oil production slumped below one million barrels per day in August 2022, which at that time was the lowest in at least 30 months. The reported indicated that the country’s oil production had dropped from 1,083,899 bpd in July to 972,394 bpd in August. CBN RISKING FINANCIAL INSTABILITY WITH RATE HIKES — IMF The International Monetary Fund has warned that Nigeria and other emerging economies risk financial stability by continuously raising benchmark interest rates. In a new report entitled, “Interest Rate Increases Volatile Markets Signal Rising Financial Stability Risks,” the global lender noted that to avoid inflationary pressures from becoming entrenched, central banks confronting stubbornly high inflation had had to accelerate monetary policy tightening. According to the report, financial conditions had tightened as central banks continued to hike interest rates. Amid the highly uncertain global environment, risks to financial stability had increased substantially. It said major issues facing financial systems included inflation at multi-decade highs, continuing deterioration of the economic outlooks in many regions, and persistent geopolitical risks. The report partly read, “Financial vulnerabilities are elevated for governments, many with mounting debt, as well as nonbank financial institutions such as insurers, pension funds, hedge funds and mutual funds. Rising rates have added to stresses for entities with stretched balance sheets. STOCK MARKET DOWN 0.02% ON PROFIT-TAKING IN GEREGU, 9 OTHERS Trading activities on the stock market of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) yesterday slipped by 0.02 per cent to close at 47,524.38 basis points over investors’ profit-taking in Geregu Plc, nine other stocks. Consequently, the market capitalisation lost N5.18billion to close at N25.88trillion as the stock market witnessed negative sentiment trading by investors. As a result, the NGX All-Share Index in its Month-to-Date loss increased to -3.1 per cent, while Year-to-Date (YTD) return fell to 11.26per cent. Analyzing sectoral performance, the Banking Index appreciated by 0.9per cent and the Insurance index gained 0.2per cent, while the Consumer Goods index was down by 0.7per cent and Oil & Gas depreciated by 0.7per cent as the Industrial Goods index closed flat. The stock market performance was negative as the losses recorded in UAC Nigeria, followed by Geregu Power led to top losers. UACN depreciated by 9.76per cent to close at N9.25 per share, while Geregu Power was down by 9.02 per cent to close at N110 per share. CBN RESTRICTS FOREIGN BANKS FROM ‘BANKING BUSINESSES’ The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has barred foreign banks operating representative offices in Nigeria from The apex bank disclosed this yesterday in its Guidelines for the regulation of representatives offices of foreign banks in Nigeria. The guideline, according to the CBN, complements its regulation on the scope of banking activities and ancillary matters. providing services designated as ‘banking businesses’ among other aspects of services. Listing the non-permissible activities for foreign banks operating in the country, the guideline stated: “Approved Representative Offices shall not engage in the following services/activities; Provision of services designated in Nigeria as banking business; Provision of any commercial or trading activity that may lead to the issuance of invoices for services rendered; and Acceptance of orders on behalf of the foreign parent; and engage directly in any financial transaction. CBN BEGINS SENSITISATION OF MSMES ON NEW BORROWING SCHEMES The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday commenced a sensitization programme for micro, small and medium sized entrepreneurs (MSMEs) on its new borrowing scheme which allows beneficiaries use movable items as collaterals for accessing loans from financial institutions. During the sensitisation programme in Benin City, the Registrar, National Collateral Registry (NCR), Bullus Zgabawa Musa, said the scheme was to enable MSMEs have access to finances and reduce the challenges of collateral as a requirement for loans. Represented by the Assistant Director in the CBN, Dr. Xavier-Itam Okon, Musa said financial institutions were being carried along in the scheme, saying the programme was organised by the CBN in conjunction with SEDIN of Deutsche Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German agency.  He said “The country needs MSMEs more than ever before and the NCR was created in 2015 through the CBN and development partners. “When you are in a position to go and borrow from banks and financial institutions, they require you to provide collateral and most times collaterals that are not movable but the NCR was created to deal with collaterals that you can easily move from place to place.