Business News in Brief

Dogara woos Swedish Investors

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has urged Swedish investors to invest in Nigeria to create job opportunities for its teeming population.

Mr. Dogara said this when he received the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Inger Ulvedt, who led a delegation to his office on a courtesy call, Voice of Nigeria reports.

He noted that the country is the second largest trade partner with Sweden in Africa and has an existing cordial relationship that it values and hopes to deepen more for the overall citizens in both countries.

Nigeria Raises ₦176b in Treasury Bills on Lower Yields

Nigeria has raised 176 billion naira ($576 million) worth of treasury bills at an auction on Wednesday, traders told Reuters.

The central bank offered 6 billion naira of three-month paper, 30 billion naira of six-month bills and 140 billion naira of one-year notes.

The bank issues treasury bills twice a month to help the government to finance its budget deficit, curb money supply growth and provide an avenue for lenders to manage liquidity.

Central Bank Injects $326m into Currency Market

Nigeria’s central bank said on Friday it had injected $325.64 million into the interbank foreign exchange market as part of efforts to boost liquidity and reduce dollar shortages.

Nigeria, an OPEC member which has Africa’s largest economy, fell into recession in 2016 largely due to low crude oil prices. Lower oil receipts led to dollar shortages since crude sales are the country’s main source of dollars.

Warning: World Bank Compares Cryptocurrencies to Ponzi Schemes

The World Bank warned and compared cryptocurrencies to “Ponzi schemes”.

The warning is the latest financial voice to raise questions about the legitimacy of digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

“In terms of using Bitcoin or some of the cryptocurrencies, we are also looking at it, but I’m told the vast majority of cryptocurrencies are basically Ponzi schemes,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said Wednesday at an event in Washington.

“It’s still not really clear how it’s going to work.”

NPA Generates ₦299b Revenue in 2017

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has generated N299.5 billion revenue in 2017, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Abdullahi Goje, said in a statement in Lagos.

He said that the figure exceeded the N162.2 billion generated in 2016 by 84.65 percent.

Goje added that the 2017 figure was the highest generated revenue by the Authority in the past five years.

“In 2013, the NPA generated the sum of N154.50 billion. This increased to N159.30 billion and N180.50 billion in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

AfDB Approves $10m Loan to Boost Africa’s Portfolio

The Board of African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a 10-million dollar loan for African Local Currency Bond Fund (ALCBF) to boost its portfolio in Africa.

Mrs Olivia Ndong-Obiang, the Principal Communications Officer in AfDB, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

She said that the ALCBF was also approved by the Bank to promote the development of domestic capital markets in Africa and had a tenor of seven years with a two-year grace period.

Ecobank to Focus on Existing Markets Using Phones

Africa’s Ecobank plans to prioritise expanding the customer base in its existing markets by tapping into Africa’s growing use of mobile phones, rather than pushing into new countries, its chief executive said on Thursday.

The Togo-based pan-African bank operates in 36 African countries, but a slump in commodity prices in recent years and unfavourable currency swings have prompted it to shift its focus to the booming retail market, where latent demand is being unleashed by mobile technology.

Parliament wants Regulatory Authorities to Investigate Viability of Bitcoin

The Senate on Tuesday urged Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other stakeholders to make proper investigations into Bitcoin.

They also asked for deliberate efforts to educate the public on the dangers of Bitcoin as a store of value in Nigeria.

It said that all news platforms and in various languages should be deployed in the dissemination.

The upper chamber also called on National Orientation Agency (NOA) to spread the news against all forms of wonder banks and Ponzi schemes operating in Nigeria.

World Bank: Support to Nigeria, Others Hit $14b

The World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, says that the Bank’s support to fragile states, including Nigeria has hit 14 billion dollars.

The support which came through the International Development Association (IDA) arm of the bank, double in the last one year says the Bank’s country representattive.

Benmessaoud said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a conference with the theme, “Ideas forAction Africa’ being hosted by the bank, in conjunction with the African University of Science and Technology and the University of Lagos.

CBN Injects $210m to Boost FX Market

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected 210 million dollars to boost the inter-bank foreign exchange market and to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the market.

The Bank’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, in a statement on Monday in Abuja said the fund would ensure that legitimate demands for foreign exchange were met.

He said that the CBN offered 100 million dollars to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got 55 million dollars.