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Naira steady Oil set to post longest winning streak since 2016

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By Lukman Otunuga, FXTM Research Analyst,

Even as WTI futures have fallen below $64/bbl at the time of writing, Oil prices remain on course for their longest run of weekly gains since 2016.

The conflict in Libya and US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran are constraining Oil supplies, even as OPEC+ producers press on with output cuts through June. Rising Oil prices will remain a welcome development for Nigeria, given how a handsome chunk of export revenues are sourced from Oil sales. Appreciating Oil prices are likely to provide foreign exchange stability, ability to implement 2019 budgets and economic growth. However, it still leaves the country vulnerable to external shocks.

With uncertainties revolving around slowing global growth potentially derailing attempts by OPEC+ to rebalance, Nigeria still needs to break away from Oil, and to derive growth from other sustainable sources.

Markets mixed ahead of US earnings

European shares traded flat on Friday as investors evaluated China’s latest trade figures.

Although China’s exports rebounded in March, rising over 14.0% year-on-year, imports disappointed by shrinking 7.6% – marking a fourth consecutive month of decline.

With the trade figures illustrating a mixed picture of the second largest economy in the world, investors are likely to adopt a guarded approach ahead of first quarter earnings releases from two of the biggest banks in the United States. Investors may get a glimpse on how the fading impacts of tax cuts and the Federal Reserve’s cautious shift on interest rates have impacted JP Morgan and Wells Fargo. Should earnings from both banks disappoint, risk sentiment for global equities may take a hit.

Dollar Searches for new catalyst

The Dollar Index has surrendered much of its gains and is now trading below the 97 mark, even as the latest US Producers Price Index exceeded market expectations, while jobless claims surprisingly fell to their lowest levels since 1969.

Coupled with the March US inflation data released earlier this week, the data underscores the central bank’s “patience” on US interest rates, and this may remain unchanged for the rest of 2019.

Markets have now dialled back expectations of a US rate cut by December to just below 50 percent, from above 57 percent earlier this week. With such odds being priced into the Greenback, any data or event that tilts the balance of risks to either side could influence the Dollar’s direction, although which is the way forward remains uncertain for the time being.

Gold steadies after biggest drop in two weeks

Meanwhile, markets are pushing the boundaries on risk sentiment as Gold fell by over 1 percent on Thursday before bouncing off the $1,290 mark. Although the IMF’s cut to its 2019 global growth forecast was a downer, investors are hoping that a not-too-distant US-China trade deal and a stabilizing Chinese economy may weaken headwinds currently felt by the global economy. However, should the outlook take a turn for the worse, that could jolt risk-off sentiment and rally support for the safe haven assets, including Bullion.

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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Hi-life Fest Quarterfinalists Get Mentored By Phyno, Kcee, Selebobo, & Sunny Nneji.

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Some of Nigeria’s biggest music stars such as Selebobo, Phyno, KCEE and Sunny Nneji met with the quarter-finalists of Hi-life Fest 2019 to offer them some tips and advice on the music industry. This was part of a week-long mentorship program, which saw the eight Hi-life Fest hopefuls have one on one interactions with the movers and shakers of the industry.

Renowned music producer, Selebobo, was the first to meet with the contestants and he was quick to praise the talented acts, while also reminding them that this is just the beginning of the journey. Selebobo who is most notably known for producing Yemi Alade’s 2013 smash hit “Johnny” has been in the music scene for over 10 years. He is also a frequent collaborator with artistes such as Iyanya, Tekno and a host of other A-list performers.

Veteran highlife singer, Sunny Nneji was next to visit the quarter-finalists. He received a warm welcome from the contestants who were thrilled to have the singer in their midst. The “Tolo Tolo” crooner shared some tips about how he has remained relevant in the industry and reminded them to always be humble and open to learning.

 

 

Kcee also made a surprise appearance at the mentorship session, and the singer/songwriter reminisced on his time on Star Quest, while advising the Hi-Life Fest contestants to take full advantage of the opportunity they’ve been presented with.

The cream of the crop, however, was the arrival of Life Lager brand ambassador, Phyno. The indigenous rapper who hails from Enugu was greeted by a standing ovation and his time with the contestants was filled with words of motivation. He took his time to share the story of his meteoric progress in the music industry, while also admonishing Life Lager for giving young talented musicians a platform such as this.

Hi-Life Fest 2019 has lived up to its billing as the number one indigenous music show celebrating the culture and progress of the people. The contestants are set to be back in action on the 21st of July when the quarterfinals of HiLife Fest is hosted in the garden city of Port Harcourt.

To find out the latest updates on the competition, follow Life Lager’s official social media page on Instagram and Twitter @LifeLager_ng, or the hashtags #HILifeFEST2019 and #RhythmOfProgress. You can also catch episodes of HiLife Fest every Sunday at 8 p.m on Soundcity TV.

 

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NSE Declares War Against Cancer, Donates 20M To Combat Disease

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Nigerians from all walks of life, on Saturday July 06, 2019, joined the staff and management of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in a 5km race in commemoration of the 2019 NSE Corporate Challenge, an annual competitive and fun-filled 5KM race designed to raise awareness on the importance of early detection and to raise funds towards supporting cancer-related causes.

 

Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Stock Exchange, in his opening address said

 “Cancer is a resilient attacker and we must be undeterred in our quest to erase the disease.

 

“Cancer related deaths in Nigeria are set to rise if urgent actions are not taken to raise awareness about early detection of the disease and to develop practical strategies to address the increasing burden.

 

 “According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 116,000 new cases of cancer and 41,000 cancer-related deaths were recorded in Nigeria in 2018.

 

“However, there is hope that one day, using our God-given intellect, science will give us the eureka moment by finding a lasting cure for cancer.”

 

The NSE Corporate Challenge has been highly successful, attracting more than 2,400 runners from over 340 institutions, comprising c-suite level executives, top government officials and celebrities. So far, about N63 million has been raised through support from sponsors.

 

Cancer is a terminal disease that causes abnormal cells to divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue. Genetic changes that cause cancer can be transmitted from parents to children.

 

They can also arise as a result of errors that occur as cells divide, or due to damage to DNA caused by certain environmental exposures.

 

Cancer-causing environmental exposures could include chemicals in tobacco smoke and radiation, such as ultraviolet rays from the sun.

 

The World Health Organization (WHO), in a 2014 study identified the mortality rate among Nigerian males to be 31.7% for prostate cancer and among females at 34.2% for breast cancer.

 

The 5KM race which kicked off at Muri Okunola Park Victoria Island, Lagos is aimed at calling attention to the importance of good lifestyle, early detection and practical intervention programmes to help sufferers.

 

The race witnessed a large turnout of professionals from diverse financial and business institutions, as well as a number of Nigerian celebrities including race ambassadors Kate Henshaw, Waje and Omololu.

 

Other previous race ambassadors include Ali Baba, MI Abaga, Burna Boy, Seyi Shay, Dolapo Oni-Sijuwade, Gideon Okeke, Debola Williams, Tina Mba, Simisola and Yung6ix, Kemi Afolabi, Titi-the-Dynamite, Ikechukwu, Immaculate Dache, Monica Ogah, and Arole The Prophet amongst others all of whom have committed to working with the NSE to eradicate cancer.

 

 

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How OTAs Are Changing The Travel Experience of Nigerians

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By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke,

Once upon a time, around two decades ago, you had to seek the services of a local travel agent to research and book a trip on your behalf regardless of whether it is domestic or international.

With the debut of the internet, booking travel became seamless as online travel agencies started to leverage the internet to make travel seamless for millions of Nigerians. So, nowadays, travellers have many options available to them to help choose destinations, compare prices and make reservations independently and easily.

The undeniable fact is that online travel agencies have changed and disrupted the way we travel. Jumia’s travel and flight marketplace, Jumia Travel is one of the few OTAs that are playing a huge role in making travel smooth for Nigerians.

By booking hotels for Nigerians at any time of the day, Jumia Travel eliminates the stress of scouting for hotels. Today, Jumia Travel has expanded to flight, packages, airport pickups and even cruises. The aim is to become an all-in-one travel agency. So, how is an OTA like Jumia Travel changing the travel experience of Nigerians?

Democratise travel

For some Nigerians, the reason why they do not travel is that they think travel is expensive, which is not always the case. However, with an OTA like Jumia Travel, every Nigerian has a better chance of travelling. This is because unlike other OTAs, Jumia Travel has one of the best available rates you can ever find on the internet. Hence, whether you have a huge amount in your account or not, you can still travel comfortably.

Take the stress off travel bookings

Travel planning can be overwhelming, especially if it is group travel. You have to put together a bucket list of destinations to visit and even book hotels you do not know anything about. If you get this wrong, it can make or mar the travel experience. This is where online travel agencies come into play. All over Nigeria, they have hotels on their platform; you simply reach out to your preferred OTA, for example, Jumia Travel and their travel advisors will recommend fantastic hotels you and your group can stay anywhere in Nigeria. This is, of course, at the best price.

Enhanced customer service

Customer service and satisfaction have also transformed the travel experience of Nigerians. The travel advisors of Jumia Travel help customers make informed decisions. Also, the vast majority of brands have a social media presence that is being used to make customers aware of the best packages and deals. And when necessary, to provide relevant information to help unsatisfied or confused customers.

Travel research transformed

One of the most profound effects that OTAs has had on travel in Nigeria is the democratization of online reviews. Today’s travellers go online to research their future travel destinations and accommodations. When booking travel, a good number of Nigerians plan travel activities based on the content posted by their peers online. Hence, travel agencies do everything in their power to ensure they get positive reviews by offering sterling services.

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