Banking and Finance

World Bank forecasts 2.2% Growth for Nigeria in 2019

World Bank has put the estimated growth rate for Nigeria’s economy in 2019 at 2.2 percent with its forecast oil price at average $67 per barrel for the current year and next year, down $2 from its projections last June.

The bank in its Global Economic Prospects report said, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to pick up to 3.4 percent in 2019, rising to an average of 3.7 percent in 2020-21.

MTN Pays $53m to settle $8.1b Nigeria dispute

South African telecoms operator MTN Group has agreed to make a $53 million payment to resolve a dispute in Nigeria, it said on Monday, ending a four-month multi-billion dollar dividend repatriation row that has hammered its share price, Reuters reports.

Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, accounting for a third of the African telecoms heavyweight’s annual core profit, but it has proven problematic for the company in recent years.

Buhari Unveils ₦8.8tr Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday unveiled a federal budget of N8.83 trillion for the 2019 fiscal year with N300 billion lower that the current budget.

The figure came in the 2019 Appropriation Bill presented by the president to a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 2018 total budget estimate was N9.1 billion.

According to Buhari, N4.04 trillion or 50.31 per cent is earmarked for recurrent expenditure and N2.03 trillion representing 22.98 per cent earmarked for capital projects.

Scheme of Merger: Access Bank to complete acquisition of Diamond Bank in 2019

The board of Diamond Bank Plc on Monday finally announced its merger with Access Bank Plc expected to be completed in first half of 2019.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that both banks recently denied media reports of any merger.

Mr Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said in Lagos the board had selected Access Bank as the preferred bidder with respect to a potential merger of both banks.

Dozie said the potential merger of the two banks would create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers.

Nigeria’s Inflation Rate falls in Q4

Nigeria’s inflation rate declined for the first time in three months in October even as food-price growth accelerated.

The consumer-price index rose 11.26 percent from a year earlier compared with 11.28 percent in September, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey was for 11.4 percent. Prices increased 0.7 percent in the month.

'Electronic Fraud in Banking to Hit ₦6.1trn'

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has projected that electronic fraud losses in the country’s banking system would reach N6.1 trillion by 2021.

CBN Director of Consumer Protection, Mr Sunday Salam-Alada, said this at a workshop for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Benin City.

The workshop was organised by Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).

Nigeria Seeks Stiffer Penalties for Perpetrators of Illicit Transactions

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, at the weekend in Paris, called for stringent actions against perpetrators of illicit financial flows, including crackdown on safe heavens.

He warned that continuous impunity will encourage more pilfering of countries’ resources to the detriment of poor and vulnerable populace.

Intra-African: Afreximbank Challenges Stakeholders

The Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking in African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Mr Amr Kamel, has charged the media and financial experts in the continent to promote intra-African Trade.

Kamel said this at Afreximbank’s Annual Seminar and Workshop on Structured Trade Finance in Casablanca, Morocco.

He urged the media to consistently inform and benlighten the people on the importance of intra-African trade to enhance its acceptability and promote growth of businesses within Africa.

Nigeria Plans London Roadshow ahead of $2.8b Eurobond Sale

Nigerian officials will go on a roadshow to London next week ahead of a planned $2.8 billion Eurobond sale this month, two banking sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The roadshow, which is being organised by Citi and Standard Chartered, will run from Nov. 12 for three days and be attended by Nigerian Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed.

Nigeria’s upper house of parliament last month approved the Eurobond issue but advised the government to limit foreign borrowing and boost revenue.