Five things to know to start your Wednesday

Investors garner N13bn as stock market moves further north

Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals
Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals

Nigeria’s equities market moved further north on Tuesday by N13billion or 0.05percent amid increase bet on stocks like Academy Press, Champion Breweries, Meyer, Neimeth Pharmaceutical and Etranzact.

Academy Press led the league of advancers after its share price rose from day-open low of N1.10 to N1.21, up by 11kobo or 10percent, followed by Champion Breweries Plc which increased from N2.25 to N2.47, adding 22kobo or 9.78percent.

Meyer also rose from N2.56 to N2.81, adding 25kobo or 9.77percent; Neimeth advanced by 13kobo or 9.56percent, from N1.36 to N 1.49; while Etranzact moved up by 25kobo or 9.43percent, from N2.65 to N2.90.

At the close of trading session, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) All-Share Index (ASI) and Market Capitalisation increased from 48,543.36 points and N26.170trillion respectively to 48,568.57 points and N26.183trillion.

Transcorp, AIICO, Zenith Bank, FBN Holding and Fidelity Bank were most traded stocks on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

In 6,468 deals, investors exchanged 464,733,314 shares valued at N7.010billion. The market’s positive return year-to-date (YtD) increased to 13.70percent.

We have disbursed N59bn personal loans on our digital platform – FastCash

FastCash said that it has given out loans worth N59 billion to Nigerians from all walks of life through its digital platform.

The Swift loan platform, which is connected with First City Monument Bank (FCMB), announced this yesterday in a public statement, promising to continue assisting Nigerians in overcoming the challenging economic circumstances they face on a daily basis.

The company said that all the loans given, totaling N59 billion, have helped customers meet their immediate financial needs and achieve their immediate short-term goals.

“Every FastCash loan closes the access to finance gap in Nigeria and ensures the well-being of a Nigerian household,” the statement said.

Responding to FastCash’s accomplishment, Shamsideen Fashola, Divisional Head, Personal Banking at FCMB, expressed his delight at the company’s remarkable achievement. He assured customers that the company would not rest on its achievements but continue to improve its customer service and other areas that need improvement.

According to him, “The success we have achieved thus far is a testament to our commitment at FCMB to support our customers through financial technology products that are convenient and accessible.”

The company encouraged interested new-to-platform customers to access loans on the platform through the FCMB New Mobile App.

AfDB approves $180 million rural electrification loan in Rwanda

African Development Bank building

The African Development Bank (AfDB) board of directors has approved a $180 million credit facility targeted at extending electricity access to rural communities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Rwanda.

In a statement made available on the bank’s website, the bank said that this follows a May 26, 2021 approval for $84.2 million from the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the Bank Group, for the same project.

A breakdown revealed that $140 million from the African Development Bank sovereign window and $40 million from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) will be used to finance the Transmission System Reinforcement and Last Mile Connectivity projects.

Those projects are critical to achieving the rural electrification goal in Rwanda.

A statement from the bank said that “the project will entail the construction of over 1,000 km of medium-voltage and 3,300 km of low-voltage lines to boost last-mile access. It will also build 137km of high-voltage lines and six substations required to strengthen the grid. Other features of the project include the installation or upgrading of more than 1,200 distribution transformers and related infrastructure.”

For the first time, the project will provide electricity to 77,470 households. Through this project, the bank will also connect eight health care centers, 75 schools, and 65 administrative centers, while facilitating the transition of 125 MW of clean energy from hydropower plants.

This project is expected to create between 455 and 760 full-time and part-time jobs, with 30 percent of them going to women.

While speaking on this huge achievement, Aissa Tour-Sarr, the African Development Bank’s Country Manager in Rwanda, said, “The rationale for the bank’s intervention is to support the country’s pursuit of 100% access to electricity by 2024. The project will contribute to enhancing the quality of life by facilitating improved education and health provision as well as promoting private sector growth, hence contributing to Rwanda’s social and economic transformation agenda, which aims to transition Rwanda from a developing country to a middle-income country by 2035,”.


European gas prices rise on new Russia threat, UN Seeks Mariupol Relief Role

Natural gas futures prices in Europe rose as much as 17 percent and closed 11 percent higher at 103.21 euros per megawatt following Russia’s latest threat to stop the flow of natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria today.

According to Bloomberg, Russia was making good on its threat to cut off buyers if they refused President Vladimir Putin’s demand to pay in Russian rubles.

PGNiG, a Polish gas company, said that the threat from Russia was troubling but reassured consumers in the country that the company has no outstanding payments and that a cutoff of supply would be seen as a breach of its contract.

The company further informed all that the request by Putin for countries dependent on Russian gas to pay in rubles would be seen as a breach of international sanctions.

Anna Moskwa, Environment Minister of Poland, through her Twitter handle @moskwa_anna, said that “Poland’s natural gas storage is filled to 76% of capacity and has sources of supply that protect the country’s security.”

There are fears that prices may rise even further as more countries brace up for a possible cut in Russian shipments.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, hoping to revive diplomatic efforts to end the war, which is more than two months after Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

 Read also: Don’t sell your votes in 2023, Utomi, Agbakoba tell Nigerians

Mass Covid-19 testing begins in Beijing following partial lockdown


The Chinese authorities on Tuesday put up restrictions on a particular area in Beijing in an effort to prevent a major outbreak following a resurgence of the Covid-19 virus.

The government regarded this as a necessary measure to prevent another major scare like the situation that has shut down the city of Shanghai.

According to the Associated Press, people lining up for throat swabs expanded to 11 of the city’s 16 districts, cutting across the city as mass testing began.

Beijing health officials said on Tuesday that the number of new infections keeps rising, as another 22 were found within the last 24 hours.

This brings the total of new infections to 92 since the outbreak was discovered five days ago. The infection rate, according to health officials, is no comparison to rising numbers in Shanghai, where the number of cases has topped 500,000 and at least 190 people have died.

For now, officials said the districts have not recorded any deaths yet as campaigns to educate residents continue.

An initial announcement of testing in one Beijing district had sparked panic buying in the city of 21 million on Monday, but the situation appeared calm on Tuesday, even as testing was expanded. Public transport appeared to be running largely normally, and the roads were filled with commuters.

On Monday, an announcement of testing in one Beijing neighbourhood sparked panic, but the situation appeared to have calmed down as testing expanded. Public life seemed to have returned after mass testing and reassurances from the government brought back hope.

Zhang Yifan, who spoke to AP on his way to get tested in the Dongcheng district, said that he doesn’t plan to panic stockpile supplies following the recent outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.

He said, “I’m not worried that Beijing would suffer from a shortage of supplies, so I don’t plan to stock up.”

“Because if people stock up blindly, it may cause a waste of resources. If people keep too much supplies at home, it will cause a shortage. ” He concluded.

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