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Naira Extends Losses in Parallel Market

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By Lukman Otunuga

 

A depreciating Dollar has done little to stem the Naira’s decline on the parallel markets with the local currency sinking towards 369N.

Political uncertainty ahead of the Presidential elections coupled with shaky Oil prices have offered nothing but bad news to the Naira. With concerns over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ability to defend the Naira compounding downside pressures, the local currency is seen witnessing further losses on the parallel markets. Investors will be keeping a very close eye on the GDP figures scheduled for release next week which should provide fresh insight into the health of the largest economy in Africa. Sentiment towards the Nigerian economy could still end the year on a positive note if GDP figures for Q3 dish out an upside surprise.

 

A rough month ahead for the Pound

Traders should fasten their seat belts and prepare for a rough and rocky ride on the British Pound ahead of Parliament’s vote on Brexit this month.

A strong sense of pessimism over any deal Theresa May brings forward being rejected in Parliament will continue to erode attraction towards the British Pound. Although the Pound remains extremely sensitive to Brexit headlines, the technical picture goes in line with the bearish fundamentals. Technical traders will be keeping a very close eye on how the GBPUSD behaves above the 1.2700 support level. A breakdown below this important point will most likely pave a clean path towards 1.2630 and 1.2600 in the near term. With prices trading below the daily 20 SMA and the MACD pointing to further downside, bears remain in firm control.

 

Commodity spotlight – Gold

The market-friendly outcome to US-China trade discussions has clearly resulted in Gold prices jumping to levels not seen in over three weeks.

However, the driver behind Gold’s incredible appreciation is Dollar weakness. For as long as the Dollar continues to weaken, Gold is seen trading higher. In regards to the technical picture, the breakout above $1,230 could inspire a move higher towards $1,240 and beyond.

 

Oil jumps as US-China trade tensions ease, but for how long?

Oil bulls were injected with a renewed sense of inspiration after the United States and China put a pause on trade tensions.

This positive development has revived risk sentiment and soothed fears over ongoing trade disputes affecting global growth. With encouraging comments from President Vladimir Putin on Russia Saudi cooperation on production cuts fuelling the upside, WTI Oil and Brent Crude are likely to extend gains in the short term. However, the fundamental drivers behind Oil’s sharp depreciation remain present. Concerns over oversupply in the markets will present headwinds down the road while any signs of renewed trade tensions could rekindle demand fears.

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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ACSIS Urges President Buhari to Sign Digital Rights Bill

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The African Civil Society for the Information Society (ACSIS), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give presidential assent to the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill.

Mr Peter Akinyemi, ACSIS West Africa Regional Coordinator, made the appeal in an interview in Abuja on Friday.

The bill was transmitted to the president on Feb. 5, by the National Assembly.

Akinyemi said timely assent to the bill would protect rights of every Nigerian on the internet and strengthen the security within the nation’s cyber space.

According to him, this digital rights and freedom bill will effectively protect the rights of Nigerians on the internet and in the digital environment.

“It will also attract investments when the investors see that the environment is safe.

“The bill will provide a comprehensive framework for the advancement, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet.

“This is very necessary in consistence with Nigeria’s regional and international obligations under various international human rights instruments,’’ he said.

Akinyemi also called on the Federal Government “to priotise ICT, come up with workable and inclusive framework and policies and strive for more PPP engagements.”

According to the regional coordinator, this will create enabling environment for the technology sector and ensure that government services are driven in a digital economy.

He said ACSIS, which was established in 2003 as a Pan-African civil society organisation, has membership of over 500 around the world.

It would be recalled that the bill, which has been in the National Assembly since 2016, was passed by both Senate and House of Representatives in 2018.

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Heineken Makes Dream Come True For Football Fans

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World’s most international beer brand, Heineken®, has revealed that it will be delighting football fans across Nigeria with unique, premium viewing experiences for the rest of the UEFA Champions League Campaign, while also giving consumers an opportunity to watch the semi-finals and finals matches live in Europe.

The announcement of these exciting new plans by Heineken was made on Tuesday, the 5th of March 2019 during one of the premium viewing experiences hosted at Farm City Lounge, Lekki, Lagos.

The UEFA Champions League is one of the most followed sports competition in the world with with an audience of about 1.1Billion.

With the 2018/2019 season approaching the final stage in the next few months, Heineken is set to back up its 25-year sponsorship of the prestigious tournament by providing fans with exciting and entertaining ways to enjoy the football matches.

As part of this commitment to providing fans and consumers with the most remarkable and unmissable moments from this year’s Champions League, Heineken has partnered with hundreds of outlets across Nigeria to deliver premium viewing experiences to consumers nationwide.

The premium viewing experiences have kicked off as the UEFA Champions League resumes the second leg matches of the second round fixtures. These viewing experiences will see fans in across Nigeria experience the UEFA Champions League in a new and exciting way as Heineken seeks to give fans a truly premium and unmissable experience.

Speaking on the announcement of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Oriakhi had this to say; “The UEFA Champions League is the most coveted trophy in club football competition, and one of the most followed sporting spectacles in the world.

“Heineken’s rich history with UEFA has brought us some of the most iconic and unmissable moments in the history of football.

“From the unforgettable volley by Zidane to seal the 2001 Champions League final to the miracle of Athens where Liverpool overturned a 3-goal deficit.

“These are the moments that make football such a passionate sport and we want to share these moments and experiences with fans across Nigeria.

“This campaign will see Heineken provide hundreds of experience centers where fans can view the Champions League matches in a premium ambiance that only Heineken can deliver.

We also plan to reward lucky fans with opportunities to watch the UEFA Champions League Semi-finals and finals. We’ve had a tremendous relationship with our consumers and we want to share in the passion for the game.”

Heineken has been proud sponsors of the UEFA Champions League since 1994. This illustrious relationship with UEFA has seen Heineken become one of the most recognizable brands in sports, particularly in European football.

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Dangote Cement Expects London Listing in 2020

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Nigeria’s biggest listed firm Dangote Cement said over the weekend it has been in talks with several banks over a stock market flotation in London which it expects to be in 2020.

The cement company, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, said the plans were under consideration but that banks had not been selected yet, it said.

 

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