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Path Solutions Wins Prestigious IFFSA 2017 Award

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Path Solutions, a leading software provider for the Islamic financial services industry, announced that it has once again been recognized as the gold category recipient of the ‘Islamic Finance Technology Provider of the Year’ award.

The trophy was received by Mohammed Kateeb, the Group Chairman & CEO of Path Solutions at the IFFSA Awards 2017 in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Tuesday 24th October.

Path Solutions was conferred with the ‘Islamic Finance Technology Provider of the Year’ award in recognition of its commitment to the improvement of human welfare, economic empowerment and financial inclusion through building world-class Sharia-compliant software solutions to meet the needs of modern Islamic finance.

The 2nd IFFSA (Islamic Finance Forum of South Asia) & Awards, organized by UTO EduConsult together with KPMG Sri Lanka and Adl Capital, aims to create greater awareness on the potentials and opportunities brought about by Islamic finance to the region, and explore the issues related to its further development, progress and challenges.

Mohammed Kateeb was selected to give the main address at the forum in an inspiring and insightful presentation, speaking about ‘Technology Impact on Future Financial Services’ to the delegates present representing several countries in the SA region and beyond. Kateeb took part as well in a panel discussion on ‘Fintech and its impact on the IBF industry’, where he shared his extensive knowledge and valuable insights, joining a list of distinguished speakers and panelists from across the world.

“We are honoured to be acknowledged for the second time by IFFSA Committee. It is great to see that Path Solutions continues to stand out from all competitors. We have achieved and continue to maintain this position by being fully engaged in industry associations, organizations and conferences, staying connected with our clients, and investing heavily in R&D.

“We are always striving to enrich our suite of software solutions, while maintaining what makes us unique – innovation and service excellence. This award acclaims recognition to the company that has made the most significant impact in the area of information technology, specific to the Islamic finance industry. We are proud of being the technology partner for this segment, and part of the league that has contributed to its burgeoning growth”, said Kateeb.

“Path Solutions is a great IT company widely acknowledged as being the best in the Islamic financial services marketplace. The company is passionately committed to bringing innovative and cost-effective software solutions to support the growth and advancement of the Islamic finance industry beyond its traditional geographical borders. There are great unmet needs in this region and it is our responsibility to shed light on Path’s outstanding journey”, commented Aakif Wahab, Group Executive Director of UTO Group.

E-Financial

AfDB Expects Nigeria’s Economy to Grow at 2.1% in 2018

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has predicted a positive outlook for Nigeria’s economic in 2018.

The bank in its 2018 African Economic Outlook projected that Nigeria’s economy would grow at 2.1 per cent in 2018 and 2.5 per cent in 2019.

According to AfDB, this outlook is anchored on higher oil prices and production, as well as stronger agricultural performance.

Notwithstanding this positive outlook for the country, the AfDB said Nigeria still faces significant challenges, including foreign exchange shortages, disruptions in fuel supply, power shortages, and insecurity in some parts of the country.

“In addition, revenue mobilization efforts are insufficient; at 5 per cent, value added tax rates are among the lowest in the world, and revenue administration is inefficient. Poverty is unacceptably high; nearly 80 per cent of Nigeria’s 190 million people live on less than $2 a day,” the bank said in its report.

Looking into the future, the AfDB economic prediction on Nigeria noted that “oil prices rebounded to an average of $52 per barrel (Brent crude) in 2017 and are projected to reach $54 in 2018, up from $43 per barrel in 2016.”

“Oil production also increased from 1.45 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2017 to 2.03 million in the third quarter of 2017 following de-escalation of hostilities in the Niger Delta region and is expected to remain at the same level in 2018 and 2019, in tandem with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production restrictions,” AfDB added.

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Bitcoin Deeps Less Than $10,000 For The First Time Since December

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Bitcoin, the dominant digital currency, witnessed a slump on Wednesday following a recent surge to trade below $10,000 for the first time since the start of December.

 

Market analysis suggests that the price could shift in either direction and recent regulatory developments – out of South Korea and China in particular – could roil markets further, according to some observers.

 

Craig Erlam, senior market analyst Oanda trading group, said of bitcoin’s drop below $10,000 “There was clearly a significant speculative component to the rally late last year and the drop will be very discouraging to those that previously thought there was easy money to be made”.

 

Bitcoin is down from record highs approaching $20,000 in the week before Christmas, having rocketed 25-fold last year, before being hit by concerns about a bubble and worries about crackdowns on trading it.

 

David Cheetham, chief market analyst XTB noted that, “The panic-selling seen across all the major cryptocurrencies could be attributed to a possible regulatory clampdown in South Korea with authorities threatening to place an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading,”

 

“Having said that, this narrative has been around for many weeks now and isn’t really new but it has once more raised the spectre of tighter regulation on this market.”

 

 

 

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NSE Awaits Signing of Bill to be Publicly Listed

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Oscar Onyema, chief executive officer, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) expects a bill that will allow the exchange to be publicly listed signed into law this year.

The second-biggest exchange in sub-Saharan Africa after Johannesburg and a main entry point for investors in Africa, the Nigerian bourse last year got a green light from its members, mostly stockbrokers and some institutional investors, to become a publicly listed company.

Oscar Onyema, NSE, CEO, said yesterday, he expects the public listing, a process known as demutualisation, to generate profits that will boost its business and product development capacity.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the continent’s most developed stock market, has been a listed company since 2006.

“In 2017, we amplified our efforts to establish West Africa’s first derivatives market,” Onyema told analysts discussing the outlook for 2018.

“We also worked to create and enhance legal and regulatory frameworks which support derivative instruments, and have made significant progress towards securing approvals to operationalize these frameworks.”

The equities market in Nigeria was the third best-performing market in the world in 2017 after the central bank liberalised the naira for foreign investors, a move which lured back funds that been pulled out at the peak of a currency crisis.

Onyema attributed last year’s performance partly to central bank policies that helped increased currency market liquidity.

He added that he expected corporate earnings to lift equities this year, despite currency and political risks, after stocks crossed 44,000 points to hit a nine-year high on Tuesday.

Stocks gained 42 percent last year and have continued to rally this year, rising 13 percent in the first 11 days of trading.

Onyema said the market for initial public offerings remained inactive, noting that there are plans to revive new issues.

Nigeria’s bourse has around 200 listed companies and plans to launch exchange-traded derivatives securities this year.

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