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N129b TBs, CBN Curtails Surging Liquidity
“We are anticipating a situation where the central bank would intensify its effort to mop-up idle funds from the system this week (last week) and this should see rates inching up,” one dealer told Reuters.
The naira traded flat against the dollar on the interbank as expectations of dollar inflows from energy companies and offshore investors buying local debt provided forex liquidity. The naira closed at N155.74 to the dollar early last Friday.
Analysts at Afrinvest West Africa projected marginal gains for the naira across markets last week. They said that compared with a year ago, the naira is stronger and more resilient, owing to a more robust external sector and higher reserves. “We believe the strong naira will help to subdue imported inflation, and thereby mute the effect of the floods on food prices and distribution costs,” they said in an emailed report.
Other traders said the naira is seen trading within the present band for the rest of the week because of anticipated dollar inflows from offshore investors buying local debt and from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The foreign exchange reserves climbed 30 per cent year-on-year to hit a more than 32 month high of $42.56 billion by October 29, data from the CBN website showed. The reserves stood at $32.72 billion last year and rose 3.4 per cent from September 28 to October 29 and have not been this high since February 11, 2010 when they stood at $42.74 billion.
Banks’ total assets and liabilities for the first time this year hit N20 trillion, data from the CBN Economic Report for August released recently showed. The data is an increase of 0.8 per cent when compared with the level at July ending 2012. It said the funds were sourced mainly from mobilisation of time, savings and foreign currency deposits and disposal of Federal Government securities.
The report said that N12.5 trillion banks’ credit to the domestic economy fell by two per cent, when compared with the level in the preceding month. On a month-on-month basis, banks’ credit to the private sector rose by 0.4, while credit to the government fell by 14.5 per cent relative to the level in the preceding month.
Third party cheques
The apex bank said last week that implementation of its N150, 000 restrictions on third party cheques now in Lagos State would be extended to other states of the federation from January 2013,
Deputy Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, Mr. Emmanuel Obaigbhona explained at the end of a retreat of Committee of E-Banking Industry Heads (CeBIH) that under the cashless policy, third party cheques with values above N150, 000 cannot be cashed across the counter but through bank accounts. This restriction, he said, was however, implemented only in Lagos State as part of the Cashless Lagos Initiative. “The N150,000 maximum limit imposed on third party cheques for across the counter withdrawals will be implemented nationwide from January next year”, he said.
Concession rate for pilgrims
Pilgrims travelling for this year’s pilgrimage will obtain a concessionary rate of N145 to a dollar exchange rate, the CBN said.
In a statement to all designated banks and stakeholders, CBN Director, Trade and Exchange, Musa Batari said the Federal Government approved the commencement of the 2012 Christian Pilgrimage operations from October 25 and has approved a concessionary exchange rate of N145 to the dollar for purchase of pilgrims travelling allowance (PTA) of $750 and $1,000.
The pilgrims that will benefit from the first batch of the exercise are Cross River, Ekiti, Kebbi, Kogi, Lagos, and Nasarawa states. Others are Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Taraba and Kwara states.
The Group Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Interswitch Ltd, Osioke Ojior, said the process and technologies used to uniquely identify a person and what their affiliations are, remain critical for the implementation of the electronic banking policy of the CBN.
In a statement titled: ‘Challenges of Identity Management on E-Payment Systems in Nigeria’, he said such technology, should have capacity to maintain the attributes for each person and provide a unique identifier to each person that can be used for authentication and authorisation.
Mr Ojior said that in doing this, regulation to establish an Identity Management System and Implementation should be separated, adding that successful Identity Management System should be accessible to users who need the information.
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) said that the proposed amendment of the CBN Act would jeopardise the membership composition of the Board.
CIBN President, Segun Aina said the proposed bill will reduce the impact of the CBN’s management on the board’s decisions, as it will create situations where only one member of its management, the Governor, sits on the CBN’s seven man board.
He said that currently, five members of the management of CBN, that is, the Governor and Deputy Governors, sit on a 12 -man board. This, he said, does not augur well for good governance and management succession.
The board composition proposed by the Bill increases the number of direct government officials on the CBN Board from two to five despite the almost 50 per cent reduction in the board’s size. “Consequently, the new composition would create the perception of a government majority on the Board. This is capable of undermining the “independence”of the Central Bank of Nigeria and may lead to unintended consequences,” he said.
The CBN last week also reviewed its policy for prepaid cards issuance and operations. The exercise was meant to address hitches being experienced in the implementation of initial guidelines issued in 2010.
CBN Director, Banking and Payments Systems, ‘Dipo Fatokun, disclosed this in a circular to all deposit money banks titled: ‘Revised Guidelines on Stored Value/Prepaid Cards Issuance and Operations’. He said there was need to recognise cards issued to meet the needs of corporate organisations as distinct from retail individuals.
Mr Fatokun said that banks must comply with the new laws to achieve improved payment system in the country. He said the guidelines have been developed to provide minimum standards and requirements for the operation of stored value/prepaid card issuance and operations.
The new law stipulates that only deposit-taking banks or financial institutions licensed by the CBN with clearing capacity would issue stored value/prepaid cards while those without clearing capacity can issue in conjunction with lenders with clearing capacity. He said that only one stored value or prepaid card would be issued per person per currency and per product by an issuer at any anytime.
The Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) has said there is urgent need enact a law that will check identity crisis in the Nigerian banking sector.
Speaking at the NeFF October briefing held in Lagos, the Chairman of the Forum, Emmanuel Obaigbena, said enacting such laws will be a first step towards checking duplication of identities that has become common occurrence among bank customers.
He said such practice has become a major hindrance to the fight against fraud in the sector, adding that where a recognised law that spells out how individuals can present their identities in public, it would become much easier to fight fraud.
“We have seen many cases where a particular bank customer will have more than 10 bank accounts with different names. These accounts will be opened and running concurrently without interference. Such practice has not favoured the renewed fight against frauds and money laundering,” he said.
Nigeria’s external debt rose to $6.04 billion in September from $5.99 billion in March 2012, a CBN report on the external development in the economy released last week has shown.
According to the apex bank, external debt sustainability index computed as the ratio of external debt to nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remained unchanged at 0.1 as in the preceding quarter and corresponding quarter of 2011.
It said the private sector external debt stood at $0.22 billion in the review period compared with $0.27 billion in the first quarter of 2012 and $0.32 billion in second quarter of 2011. It also showed that public sector debt service payments stood at $0.06 billion in the second quarter of 2012, indicating a downward trend in comparison with $0.09 billion in first quarter.
The new report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank indicates that of the 50 economies making the most improvement in business regulation for domestic firms since 2005, 17 are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In an emailed statement, the World Bank said this year’s report marks the 10th edition of the global ‘Doing Business’ report series and over the life of the report, Africa has consistently recorded a high number of reforms. It said Rwanda stands out as having consistently improved since 2005.
“A case study in this year’s report features Rwanda, which since 2005 has implemented 26 regulatory reforms as recorded by Doing Business,” it said.
Bank to bank report
First Bank of Nigeria Plc said it will pursue an “aggressive” expansion strategy into next year as it seeks to tap into the growing consumer market in Africa’s most populous country.
Managing Director of the bank, Bisi Onasanya told a conference call with analysts that the lender will focus on an organic growth plan by opening new branches to mop cheap retail deposits and drive profitability into 2013. It had a total of 721 branches in September 2012.
Sterling Bank Plc rewarded five winners in its ongoing Facebook Campaign meant to promote patriotism for the country among Nigerians. The winners were: Breezy Jumbo, Akinyere Uko, Timothy China, Ajayi Olabambo and Abana Olaniposi.
Group Head, Corporate Development, Shina Atilola, explained that the bank had through Facebook, requested from members of the public to write under the topic: ‘1,000 things I can do for my country’, and post their answers in the social network. He said that participants in the exercise sent comments on what they can do as individuals to improve the image and perception of the country both locally and internationally.
Staff of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc have provided relief materials and other items to flood displaced persons in Delta State. In a statement, the bank said it was moved by the plight of victims of the recent flood in parts of Delta State and decided to support them.
Specifically, UBA staff at Ughelli in Delta State recently mobilised funds through voluntary contributions and bought relief materials for displaced persons at the Oharisi Primary School camp caused by the recent floods in the state.
As part of activities to mark the World Customer Service Week, Unity Bank PLC restated its commitment to its customers and meeting the yearnings of its entire stakeholders through value creation. The bank, which is presently at a N45 billion capital base, is working towards raising a tier one capital from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in the next few months
N129b TBs, CBN Curtails Surging Liquidity
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