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Oil Prices Slip as Global Economic Outlook Darken

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By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst, FXTM

The taps on oil prices are set to leak in the week ahead due to growing evidence of a global slowdown and rising fears of falling demand for Crude oil.

Disappointing economic data from the US coupled with gloomy outlooks from major institutions like the World Trade Organisation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and International Monetary Fund are fanning fears over a coordinated global slowdown.

Although the commodity is attempting to rebound on Monday morning, this has nothing to do with a change of sentiment towards the commodity but Dollar weakness. Given how the dynamics influencing Oil markets have certainly swung back to demand-side factors, the path of least resistance for Oil points south. A flare up in US-China trade tensions is likely to re-ignite concerns over the global economy – ultimately strengthening the demand-side drivers. While geopolitical tensions may spark negative supply side shocks, this most likely will be countered by global growth fears and trade uncertainty.

What do weaker Oil prices mean for Nigeria?

Weakening oil prices will not only reduce Nigeria’s government revenues but also the ability for the nations to move forward with its 2020 budget which pegged Oil prices at $57 per barrel. If the Central Bank of Nigeria is unable to defend the Naira amid falling external reserves, hopes of an interest rate cut will fall as inflationary pressures return, especially after Nigeria’s central bank governor stated that inflation needs to slow to 9% or less before easing monetary policy.

Some light at the end of the tunnel for emerging markets?

There is still some light at the end of the tunnel for emerging markets, but this will depend on the outcome of the high-level US-China trade talks this week. Given the unfavourable global macroeconomic conditions, there is a lot at stake. While a breakthrough US-China trade deal is unlikely, an interim agreement to delay further tariff increases will be warmly welcomed by financial markets.

Another week packed with major data releases

This will be another week packed with data releases from major economies with US PPI in sharp focus on Tuesday. Investors will comb through the FOMC meeting minutes on Wednesday for further clues on rate cut timings in 2019. Markets are predicting an 80% probability of a rate cut in October. In the United Kingdom, there will be more Brexit drama served with UK GDP and manufacturing production figures. Across the Atlantic, the US CPI and Michigan consumer sentiment could influence rate cut speculations beyond October.

 

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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E-Financial

Zenith Bank Partners Facebook on SME Empowerment

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Zenith Bank Plc in collaboration with Facebook is organising a free one-day workshop for operators of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

Zenith Bank Partners Facebook on SME Empowerment

The capacity building programme is focused on how Facebook, Instagram, WhatApp and other digital channels could be used to engage potential prospects, market offerings and grow business volumes.

The workshop is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, January 29th and Thursday, January 30th, 2020 by 08:30 a.m. at Zenith Bank branches at 23, Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos; 201, Ikorodu Road, Obanikoro, Ilupeju, Lagos; and 2, Aromire Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

“The workshop is open to customers and non-customers of the bank. To register attendance, please send an e-mail titled: Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop to smepartners@zenithbank.com. The e-mail should contain the following information: Name of participant, preferred venue of attendance and date,” the bank stated.

Zenith Bank last month supported and sponsored various technology start-ups and innovative ideas at its Tech fair.

Speaking at the event, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, MD/CEO, Zenith Bank, pledged the bank’s continuous support for small businesses.

 

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Female Banker Accused of Stealing N42m

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Aghata Igwe, a former banker,  who allegedly obtained N42 million from a businessman under false pretences, on Monday appeared at an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

Female Banker Accused of Stealing N42m

Igwe, 42, whose residential address was not given, is standing trial on a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing.

She however pleaded not guilty to all the counts preferred against her by the police.

Earlier, , SP George Nwosu, prosecutor, told the court that the defendant and others at large committed the alleged offences from March to May 2017, at Ilupeju area of Lagos.

Nwosu said that the defendant fraudulently obtained the sum of N42 million from Maydom Pharmaceutical Ltd., under the pretext of assisting the company to facilitate a grant of one million US dollar import finance loan from Fidelity Bank Plc.

“The defendant convinced the complainant that she will use the said N42 million to lobby the bank to grant the company a loan of one million USD for importation purposes.

“The defendant did not facilitate any one million USD loan and did not refund the money she obtained from the complainant,” Nwosu alleged.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 287, 314 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Mrs O. O. Oshin, magistrate, granted the defendant N500, 000 bail with two sureties in like sum.

She ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must have at least N1 million in their bank accounts.

She also said that the sureties must also show evidence of tax payments to the Lagos State Government.

She adjourned the case until Feb. 24, for mention.

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First Bank Wins Best Mobile Banking App, Fastest Growing Retail Bank Awards

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has been named 2019 “Best Mobile Banking App” and “Fastest Growing Retail Bank” winner by Global Business Outlook.

First Bank Wins Best Mobile Banking App, Fastest Growing Retail Bank Awards

The Global Business Outlook Award recognises and rewards excellence in business in companies across the world, both in the public and private sectors.

The award rewards innovation, creativity and the drive to create value.

FirstBank earned the Fastest Growing Retail Bank recognition because of its leading role in promoting financial inclusion in the country, a drive which has resulted in its 44,000 Agent Banking network designed to complement the provision of bespoke financial services at its over 750 branches nationwide.

It also won the Best Mobile Banking App award thanks to its Firstmobile banking app’s capability at performing a wide range of financial transactions in a safe, adaptable, futuristic and efficient manner.

The user-friendly app is widely renowned for its ease of navigation and state-of-the-art security features to mitigate risk against fraud.

In the course of 2019, FirstBank bagged numerous awards across various areas of its business operations.

The awards comprise Women Empowerment Category – Sustainable Banking Awards by CBN Bankers Committee, Best Private Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Global Finance Magazine and World Finance Magazine respectively; Best Process Automation Initiative, Application or Programme by Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services; Best Banking Brand Nigeria 2019 by Global Brands Magazine; Best Retail Bank in Nigeria by Global Banking and Finance Review and Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards respectively; Cashless Driver: Highest Volume in Bill Payments and Highest Transaction Volume in Real-Time Payments by CBN Electronic Payments Incentive Scheme – Efficiency Awards; Long Service Corporate Award by Nigerian Economic Summit Group; Best Financial Inclusion Program – Nigeria 2019 and Bank of The Year – Nigeria 2019 by International Investor, amongst many others.

Speaking on the awards, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Bank’s group head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, said, “We appreciate the recognition of these awards by the respective awarding bodies. The awards are dedicated to all our customers across the globe as their continued patronage of our services is appreciated. We remain steadfast and would not rest on our laurels at rendering bespoke financial services tailored to meet the financial needs of our valued customers, irrespective of where they may be.”

 

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