Business News in Brief

Oil Prices Dip after Rally

Oil prices have dipped after sharp gains in the previous session, weighed down by a surprise increase in U.S. crude oil inventories and expectations that OPEC and other producers could decide to increase output at a meeting in June.

The overnight increase came despite the possibility of rising supplies from OPEC and Russia, and some analysts see market fundamentals as supportive.

Google Earmarks $2m for Project in Nigeria

Google on Wednesday launched the Google Impact Challenge (GIC) Nigeria 2018 aimed at empowering the citizens to drive community impact.

The Google Country Marketing Manager, Affiong Osuchukwu, said at the unveiling in Lagos that Google would commit two million dollars into the project in form of grants to non-profits using technology to reach their goals.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a non-profit is dedicated to furthering a social cause or advocating a viewpoint.

Nigeria’s GDP Rises 1.95%

The oil sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains below 10 per cent in Q1 figures of the nation’s GDP released by the National Bureau of Statistics in Abuja today..

According to the NBS, the nation’s GDP grew by 1.95 per cent year-on-year- in real terms in the first quarter of 2018.

Although the nation recorded some growth in the oil sector during the period, the contribution formed only 9.61 per cent of the total, with the non- oil sector accounting for the rest.

PayPal Snaps Up iZettle for $2.2b

PayPal has bought iZettle, a Swedish mobile payments company that sells a card-reader aimed at small businesses, for $2.2bn (£1.6bn).

The move boosts PayPal's in-store presence at a time when competition in the online payments sector is increasing, BBC reports.

The takeover comes less than three weeks after iZettle said it would list shares in Stockholm.

At the time the firm said the listing would help it raise money and expand.

SEC Reiterates Commitment to Improve Investors’ Confidence

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reiterated its commitment to improve investors’ confidence in the market.

The Acting Director-General, Ms Mary Uduk, who stated this when she was honoured by the West African Students Union Parliament (WASUP) for Exemplary Leadership in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital explained that the Commission would continue with the implementation of policies that would deepen the market and boost the Nigerian economy.

AfDB Approves $100m Loan for Nigeria's Indorama Eleme

The African Development Bank has approved a $100 million loan for Nigeria’s Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals aimed at helping it boost fertilizer production, the bank said in a statement on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The company, a unit of Singapore-based petrochemical producer Indorama, is seeking to double annual output of urea fertiliser from 1.4 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes, the statement said.

CBN Injects $210m into Forex Market

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has pumped $210 into the market to boost the inter-bank Foreign Exchange.

The Bank, yesterday, offered the sum of $100 million to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market.

The Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) segment received the sum of $55 million while the sum of $55 million was apportioned to invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA).

Forte Oil to Sell Some Nigerian Assets, Pull Out of Ghana

Nigerian energy firm Forte Oil said it plans to sell its upstream services and power businesses in Nigeria and divest from Ghana to focus on its core fuel distribution operation at home.

The move comes as a surprise about-turn for a company whose Chief Executive Akin Akinfemiwa told investors in Lagos in August that he wanted to aggressively pursue M&A opportunities along the energy value chain and acquire marginal oilfields to boost its upstream business, Reuters reports.

Immigration Service Generates ₦35.72b in 2017 –Statistics Bureau

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) generated about N35.72 billion from passports applications in 2017.

The NBS said this in a statistics on Immigration for 2017 posted on its website.

According to the report, the figure is less than the N36.17 billion generated from passports application as local revenue in 2016.

The report, however, reflected that a total of 720,958 passports applications were received in 2017 as against 3,684,288 received in 2016.

Initial Public Offering: MTN Yet to Formally File Application

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday confirmed that MTN Group had finally commenced discussions with the commission on its proposed 500 million dollars Initial Public Offering (IPO), but yet to formally file its application for the IPO.

A senior management staff of SEC who pleaded anonymity told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that MTN had commenced discussion with the commission on the IPO. The source said that although talks were ongoing, the company was yet to formally file its application for the IPO.