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Market capitalisation declines to N57 billion



Crucial market indicators of the Stock Exchange, Friday declined further by 0.43 per cent due to profit taking.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the market capitalisation, which opened at N13.364 trillion shed N57 billion or 0.43 per cent to close at N13.307 trillion.

Similarly, the All-Share Index lost 118.11 points or 0.43 per cent to close at 27,306.81 compared with 27,424.92 achieved on Thursday.

Zenith Bank recorded the highest loss to lead the losers’ table, declining by 45k to close at N16.35 per share.

Guaranty Trust Bank trailed with a loss of 40k to close at N26.50, while United Bank for Africa depreciated by 25k to close at N5.50 per share.

UACN was down by 25k to close at N5.50, while Dangote Sugar Refinery dropped by 20k to close at N9.90 per share.

Conversely, MTN Nigeria Communications led the gainers’ table, growing by N1.45 to close at N131 per share.

Lafarge Africa followed with a gain of 65k to close at N15, while Custodian and Allied Insurance gained 50k to close N6 per share.

Forte Oil garnered 20k to close at N17, while C & I Leasing appreciated by 15k to close at N6.20 per share.

Also, the volume of shares transacted closed lower by 21.04 per cent as investors bought and sold 220.80 million shares worth N4.48 million in 2,702 deals.

This was against a turnover of 279.63 million shares valued at N2.68 billion achieved in 3,498 deals.

The banking sector dominated trading activities with Guaranty Trust Bank the toast of investors with an exchange of 129.24 million shares worth N3.48 billion.

Zenith Bank Plc followed with an account of 34.99 million shares valued at N577.85 million, while Transcorp traded 10.20 million shares worth N8.86 million.

United Bank for Africa sold 8.05 million shares valued at N45.13 million, while Sterling Bank exchanged 4.46 million shares worth N9.77 million.

NAN also reports that the exchange will reopen for trading on Aug.14 due to public holidays declared by the federal government on August 12 and 13 to mark Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.


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Customs seizes N5 billion codeine, tramadol



The strike force of the Controller General of Customs on Friday raided a warehouse in Lagos where cartons of codeine, tramadol, and other illegal drugs worth N5 billion were kept.

The warehouse, located along the Mile-Oshodi expressway, was raided after a trailer load of the hard drugs was intercepted at Maryland in Lagos.

Usman Yahaya, team leader of the Customs Strike Force Zone A, said the trailer was intercepted around 2 a.m. on August 13 by his operatives.

“Immediately it was brought to our notice, we carried a preliminary investigation that led to the discovery of a warehouse along Oshodi-Mile 2 road stocked dreaded tramadol, codeine and other unregistered pharmaceutical products without NAFDAC numbers”.

He said that after evacuating the warehouse of the hard drugs with street value of N5 billion, one suspect was arrested.

“The warehouse was immediately sealed with a detachment of well armed officers to guard the place”.

“The drugs estimated to be loaded in 21 trailers with street value of over five billion Naira are being evaluated for custody and subsequent judicial process/destruction.”

Three weeks ago, the agency in collaboration with the National Administration of Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) destroyed 48 by 40feet of controlled drugs worth N146billion at a destruction site in Ogun State.

“We therefore call on well meaning Nigerians to support the Nigerian Customs Service on this patriotic resolution”.

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Inflation gets low in July – NBS



The average change in the prices of foods and services reduced in July compared to June, the statistics bureau, NBS, has said.

According to the NBS, the Headline Inflation reduced to 11.08 per cent in July from 11.22 per cent in June.

The Food Inflation reduced from 13.56 per cent in June to 13.39 per cent in July while the Core Inflation reduced from 8.84 per cent in June to 8.80 per cent in July.

Details later…

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CBN outlines new guidelines to banks



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has released guidelines for the disbursement of lower denominations of the Naira through microfinance banks (MFBs) across the country.

The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Okorafor said this development was contained in a circular issued by the Director, Currency Operations Department of the bank, Mrs Patricia Eleje, in Abuja on Thursday.

He explained that the circular indicated that all microfinance banks must have a Composite Risk Rating (CRR) of above average in the most recent Risk Based Supervision (RBS) target examination before they were considered for the scheme.

He explained that the measure was to ensure that only MFBs with good corporate governance practices took part, NAN reports.

“Meanwhile, the participating MFBs must be willing to accept a mixture of new and other banknotes, and that the MFBs shall give 20 per cent of any withdrawal in lower denomination notes subject to a maximum of N50,000.

“Where beneficiaries withdraw more than once in a day, the circular said that disbursement will only apply to one transaction per day.

“Similarly, the MFBs are allowed to exchange notes subject to a maximum of N50,000 for customers with bank accounts and N10,000 for customers without bank accounts.

“In that situation, the banks must not exchange for same beneficiaries more than once a week,” he added.

According to him, MFBs are to maintain a register of amounts received from the CBN through their correspondent commercial banks.

Okorafor said the MFB must also maintain another register of the beneficiaries of the lower denomination notes as well as ensure that withdrawal teller slips contain breakdown of the denomination of the currency to customers with accounts.

“The circular also warned MFBs against hawking, hoarding or using of funds obtained under the intervention for any other purpose.

“It also instructed the banks to put in place effective control measures that will ensure that banknotes disbursed to customers with or without accounts are not sold.

“Furthermore, the circular directed the banks to render weekly and monthly disbursement return to CBN branches where the intervention would be monitored periodically, and appropriate sanctions applied to erring MFBs,” he said.

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