• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Five things to start your day

Five things to know to start your day
Nigeria records 3rd Coronavirus case
Nigeria has confirmed the third case of Coronavirus in Lagos, a Nigerian lady who recently returned from the United Kingdom on March 13.
Lagos State commissioner for health, Akin Abayomi,  said the patient is now in isolation and receiving care and others that have contacted her are being traced.
The two previous cases recorded in Nigeria were males- the Italian businessman who imported the virus into the country and one of his close contacts.
This comes a day after the CBN pledged a “health fund” as one of five other measures to combat the Coronavirus which has spread to other countries on the continent including Ghana and Benin.
Inflation hits 12.2% in February after VAT hike
Nigeria’s Consumer Price Index, (CPI) which measures inflation rose for the sixth straight month to 12.20 percent (year-on-year) in February 2020, 0.07 percent points more than it stood in January, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.
The increase came after the new VAT rate of 7.5 percent came into effect in the month.
NBS data showed sustained food pressure as the Food index rose to 14.9 percent on an annual basis in February from 14.85 percent in January.
Big Bank pegs international withdrawal on naira cards amid dollar crunch
 Zenith Bank has reviewed the international spending limit on the bank’s naira card to $1,000 per month.
In a notice to customers seen by BusinessDay, the bank said daily limits for withdrawals outside Nigeria have been set at $300, a move reminiscence of the strategy adopted by several banks in 2015 in the wake crude oil crash leading to an economic recession.
It is expected that other banks might follow Zenith’s as the effect of plunging oil prices bite harder across global markets.
No hiding place
Gold’s role as a haven or a hedge amid uncertainties was further tested Monday as the price of the bullion continued its descent after its worst week in four decades.
On the spot market gold fell by 2.02 percent to $1,499 as at 6:22 pm GMT+1 paring year’s gain to 1.13 percent.
Investors are selling down gold to generate liquidity and to offset losses in other markets, an analyst at Germany-based Heraeus told Bloomberg.
“In some cases, investors also sell their gold holdings in order to keep the value of the precious metal constant in their overall portfolio. Due to the lower value of the equity share, gold would otherwise take up a larger share in terms of value,” the analyst said.
The bullion has fallen from as high as $1680 per ounce since Monday, when the oil price crashed by the most since 1991, to as low as $1453 in intra-day trade Monday.
Gold is usually seen as a safe store of value during periods of uncertainty.
The precious metal gained 18.9 percent in 2019, which was characterized by geopolitical uncertainties and the US-China trade war, to record its performance in nine years.
FG says no Eurobond issuance for now
The FG will hold off plans to tap into the international debt market for capital to plug 2020 budget gap, finance capital projects and pay off dollar-denominated debt, Finance Minsiter Zaniab Ahmed said in Abuja.
Nigeria had planned to raise $3.3bn this year to cover it’s budget deficit of N2.175trn, and refinance a $500m debt that matures early next year as well as some infrastructure projects.
The Minister blamed the decision to shelve the bond issuance on unfavourable market conditions, as oil price continues to tumble and the Coronavirus topple markets around the world