ForexTime in its weekly report released on Monday said that the US proclaimed mixed economic news during the course of last week, some areas of the economy showing an onward and upward move and some lagging slightly behind.
According to data released on Tuesday, September 24th, the Consumer Confidence for September fell to 79.7 from August’s figure of 81.8, revealing that US consumers are not entirely confident about the progress of the economy and still have some doubts and reservations.
The release of Durable Goods Orders followed on the 25th, ForexTime continues, with a minute yet encouraging increase of 0.1%, backed by growing vehicle orders. The particular figure came under scrutiny by economists however because it excluded transportation, which constitutes a big part of durable goods orders and which in fact declined by 0.1%.
The report continues: “On the stronger side of events, the annualized GDP came in at 2.5%, a significant increase from the previous 1.1% and much in line with expectations of a 2.6% rise. Initial jobless claims further dropped from 310K to 305K, far better than the predicted 325K and a boost to the US dollar. Pending Home Sales for August also proved positive for the dollar, with a 5.8% rise.
“This week, the market is anticipating the ISM Manufacturing PMI on Tuesday, October 1st, which is expected to rise slightly to 55.8. Thursday October 3rd holds in store Fed Reserve Bernanke’s speech, which could potentially cause major volatility in the market, and Friday the 4th will reveal the month’s most influential data, including Non-farm Payrolls which are estimated at 179K and the September Unemployment Rate which is expected to remain at 7.3%.
“The German federal election last Sunday was perhaps the highlight of the month in the eurozone, with Angela Merkel being re-elected with a dynamic 42% of the public behind her. Responsibility thus remains in Chancellor Merkel’s hands to strike coalitions with strategic allies in order to keep investor faith alight in the eurozone.
“On Friday the 25th of September, the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices for September was released, unchanged from August and in line with expectations at 1.6%. The Consumer Price Index for September disappointed, up by only 1.4% which was short of expectations of a 1.5% rise.
“The remainder of the data released in the eurozone was very mixed, with the Markit Manufacturing PMI and the Consumer Confidence disappointing at 51.1 and -14.9 respectively, but the Markit PMI Composite and the Economic Sentiment Indicator both above expectations at 52.1 and 96.9 respectively. ECB President Mario Draghi spoke to the public twice during the last week, the main point delivered in both his speeches being that the European economy is showing a slow recovery. The most important fundamental news from the Eurozone this week are the ECB interest rate decision and the ECB Monetary Policy statement and press conference on Wednesday, October 2nd.
“Data in the UK last week consisted of a better than expected Gfk Consumer Confidence, which hit a 6 year high by rising to -10; 3 points higher than the previous month and the highest figure since November 2007. The CBI Distributive Trades Survey – Realized also grew unexpectedly in September despite forecasts of a downward move, rising to 34 from 27.
“On the downside, the annual GDP growth disappointed expectations of 1.5%, with a revised outcome of 1.3% for Q2, sowing the seed of doubt about whether the UK economy will continue at the pace of recovery it has enjoyed so far. This week the UK is expecting the PMI Construction on October 2nd, with a small increase to 60.1 anticipated.
“The biggest news to come out of Japan for the week that passed were the news on the Overall Consumer Price Index, which rose 0.9% in comparison to the 0.7% recorded in July, and the Core Consumer Price Index, which rose to 0.8% from the previous year. Both these figures were a positive indicator for the JPY because a higher CPI signifies higher inflation, which in this case is positive for a heavily reliant on exports Japan”.
The end of this week will see the Bank of Japan interest rate decided, with no expectations for any drastic change seeing as the 0.1% rate is beneficial for the Japanese monetary policy which aims to keep the JPY weak to boost exports.
Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster
Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.
The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.
“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.
“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.
“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.
“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.
“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.
“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”
Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of an Infrastructure Company (Infraco) to be driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
This is coming on the heels of the foreign reserves’ slump to $36 billion following a cocktail of monetary policy interventions by the apex bank to cushion the scathing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made these disclosures in Abuja at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with the theme: Facilitating a Sustainable Future: The role of Banking and Finance.
According to him, Infraco would enable the use of private and public capital to support infrastructure investment that will have a multiplier effect on growth across critical sectors.
“This entity would also be able to raise funds from the capital markets and mobilise long term finance to address some of our infrastructure needs, while providing reasonable returns to investors. “We believe this well-structured fund can act as a catalyst for growth in the medium and the long run. The support of the banking community will be important in achieving this objective.
“A well-built infrastructure system, comprising hard infrastructure such as roads and ports, and soft infrastructure such as broadband penetration, can have a multiplier effect on growth by enabling the expansion of business activities in the country”, he explained.
On foreign reserves, Emefiele attributed its crash to the decline in foreign exchange earnings and subsequent adjustments in the value of the naira to the dollar.
Amana Bank signs Comprehensive Software Deal with Path Solutions
Amana Bank, a leading Islamic bank in Somalia has announced that it has selected iMAL, the AAOIFI-certified core banking platform from Path Solutions to replace its legacy IT system and deploy a single, cloud-based digital banking platform to underpin its banking operations.
This is Path Solutions’ third win in Somalia after Premier Bank and MyBank Ltd. The company went through a lengthy competitive bidding to which all international suppliers were invited, before being selected as Amana Bank’s preferred technology partner.
According to a statement following the signing, Path Solutions will supply and install its flagship Islamic core banking platform iMAL in addition to its comprehensive digital suite at Amana Bank Somalia. The new digital software will provide instant 24/7 service availability with fast, inexpensive, easy and convenient online banking, frictionless payments and transfers, personalization, engagement and retention.
Abdirizak Hussein Malin, Chairman of Amana Bank Somalia commented, “As part of our strategy, Amana Bank has instituted a digital transformation plan that will help us meet the emerging needs of our customers and the increasing demands of innovation.
“Consequently, we required a partner with open and agile technology that will drive powerful change. We have chosen Path Solutions for its ability to deliver vital digital financial solutions at this critical time with its depth of experience supporting Islamic banks in Africa.
“The company has differentiated itself from other vendors in its unique ability to combine core Islamic values with modern digital banking solutions, and to fully comply with Sharia and banking regulations.
“We are confident that the new technology, proven to significantly improve levels of customer fulfilment, will transform our operations by driving incredible efficiency gains while also reducing risk, lowering overall IT costs via higher automation and lower maintenance spending”.
The new iMAL platform leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to help financial institutions get predictive insights for better data-driven decision making. It will also help strengthen customer loyalty through enhanced security transactions.
“We are delighted to partner with a leading Islamic bank in Somalia on a project that will set a new standard in digital banking for the country. Today, every financial institution has an incredible opportunity to apply advances in cloud computing to redefine every aspect of its business”, said Mohammed Kateeb, Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO.
“Somalia’s Amana Bank is a good example of this transformation to drive innovation forward and ensure much more secure banking experience, enabling customers to enjoy the nuances of non-stop banking with cloud-based services.
The bank will also benefit from the full Islamic coverage which bridges the gap between modern customer requirements and intrinsic Islamic values. Our multi-award winning Islamic core banking platform will support the delivery of innovative digital products that are both Sharia-compliant and specialized for Amana Bank’s retail and corporate customers”.
The new agreement was signed by Amana Bank’s Chairman Abdirizak Hussein Malin and Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO Mohammed Kateeb on Sunday 6 September at Path Solutions’ Dubai office. The implementation will be delivered 100% in the cloud and 100% remotely amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.
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