Author: Gbenga Agunbiade

(NIGERIA) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called upon countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, including Nigeria, to reduce their fiscal deficits by three percent to prevent potential debt crises. This appeal was made in a report titled “How to Avoid a Debt Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.” The report, authored by a team of IMF staff led by Fabio Comelli, a senior economist in the IMF’s African Department, outlines five policy actions that African governments, including Nigeria, can take to maintain the sustainability of public finances while pursuing their development objectives. Nigeria’s fiscal deficit to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)…

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(NIGERIA) – Mr. Olukayode Pitan, the Chief Executive of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BoI), has been honored with the Special African Banking Leadership Commendation Award. This prestigious accolade was presented to him during the 9th International Forum on African-Caribbean Leadership (IFAL), held alongside the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the New York Hilton Midtown, USA, on September 21, 2023. The event’s theme was “African-Caribbean Cooperation and Today‚Äôs Geopolitics.” BOI CEO recognized globally The award recognizes Mr. Pitan’s outstanding contributions to leadership and the advancement of Nigeria’s industrial sector. With over 30 years of experience in various financial services…

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(NIGERIA) – NOVA Merchant Bank, as part of its 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) program under its UPLIFT initiative project, has supported a Pediatric Surgical Intervention. In collaboration with the Association of Paediatric Surgeons of Nigeria (APSON), this initiative has had a positive impact on 50 indigent child patients at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). NOVA merchant bank partners with APSON APSON is the umbrella organization representing all Paediatric Surgeons in Nigeria involved in treating surgical issues in children, educating and training specialists in Pediatric surgery, and maintaining high standards and quality of surgical care for children.…

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(NIGERIA) – Currency Outside Banks (CoB) saw a month-on-month increase of N90 billion, representing a 4.09 percent rise from N2.2 trillion in July 2023 to N2.29 trillion. This upward trend in CoB has been ongoing since March and can be attributed to the Supreme Court order that allows old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to remain in circulation until December 31, 2023. CBN’s August money and credit data The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Money and Credit data for August reported that Currency-In-Circulation (CIC) stood at N2.66 trillion, marking a 2.7 percent increase from the N2.59 trillion recorded in July…

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(NIGERIA) – Newly Appointed CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso Pledges to Address Forex Obligations and Inflation During his recent confirmation hearing with the Senate, Olayemi Cardoso, the newly appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), outlined his immediate priorities to stabilize the nation’s financial landscape. Foremost among his goals is addressing the backlog of unsettled foreign exchange obligations held by the CBN. Cardoso stressed the importance of resolving this issue promptly, recognizing its significance in restoring stability to the forex market. CBN governor unveils ambitious plan In addition to clearing these financial obligations, Cardoso aims to introduce greater transparency,…

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(US) – US stock markets experienced a fluctuating session as they headed towards the closing bell, ultimately ending with modest losses. Federal Reserve officials confirmed that the possibility of raising interest rates remains on the table. Here’s the market recap: Wall Street’s Dow dropped by 0.3% S&P 500 declined by 0.2% Nasdaq Composite slipped by 0.1% In New York, notable stock movements included: BHP gaining 1.9% Rio advancing by 0.5% Atlassian rising by 2.9% Tesla facing a 4.2% dip Apple increasing by 0.5% Amazon edging down by 0.2% Meta climbing 1.1% The United Auto Workers (UAW) union made an announcement…

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(AUSTRALIA) – ASX – The Australian sharemarket managed to break a four-day losing streak on Friday, thanks to a resurgence in energy and mining stocks that offset early declines. Among the 11 sectors tracked by the S&P/ASX 200 Index, five experienced setbacks, with the technology and property sectors leading the losses amid concerns that elevated interest rates could persist for an extended period. Despite the early challenges, the benchmark gauge managed to gain 3.6 points, closing at 7,068.8. However, it marked a weekly loss of 2.9%, the most significant downturn since August of the previous year. ASX ends week with…

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(US) – The global financial markets experienced a further sell-off in both bonds and equities on Friday, following a week marked by warnings from central banks. Both the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England cautioned that interest rates could rise again this year due to escalating wage and energy prices. Key developments in the financial markets included: US 10-year Treasury yields reached a level of 4.51%, coming within 2 basis points of their highest point since 2007. Bond investors sought higher compensation for the present value of money. The US S&P 500 suffered a 1.6% drop on Thursday,…

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(US) – The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is intensifying its standoff with major U.S. automakers by initiating strikes at numerous parts distribution centers across the country. UAW leader Shawn Fain confirmed that the latest walkouts would impact 38 facilities owned by General Motors and Stellantis, as the labor dispute concerning wages and benefits persists. Ford, on the other hand, has made more progress in negotiations and is not included in the expanded strike action. UAW strike against big three automakers The UAW had previously declared a strike against all three carmakers, collectively known as the Big Three, last week.…

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(US) – Apple’s iPhone 15 series made its highly-anticipated debut on Friday, drawing crowds of eager customers at stores across China, Europe, and the United States. Analysts, including those at Wedbush Securities, reported that iPhone 15 pre-orders exceeded initial expectations, with significant interest in the premium iPhone 15 Pro models, especially the Pro Max variant. Shipping and delivery times for various Pro models have been pushed to late October through mid-November due to strong demand. This launch comes as Apple faced its third consecutive quarterly decline in sales, with iPhone revenue registering a roughly 2% year-over-year drop at $39.7 billion.…

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(AUSTRALIA) – ASX – The stock market took a 1.5 percent nosedive in early trading, mirroring Wall Street’s recent downturn as concerns about prolonged higher interest rates persisted. All sectors within the ASX 200 experienced declines, with technology stocks, particularly sensitive to interest rates, leading the pack with a 2.2 percent drop, following the Nasdaq’s 2 percent slide overnight. ASX sees mining and banking declines Mining giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto both saw declines exceeding 2 percent, as iron ore prices slipped overnight. The major banking institutions also pulled back, with Commonwealth Bank seeing a 1.3 percent dip. Energy…

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(US) – In the week ending September 21, US mortgage rates remained unchanged, firmly perched above the 7% mark for the sixth consecutive week as inflationary pressures continued to weigh on the economy. According to data released by Freddie Mac on Thursday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.19%, a slight uptick from the previous week’s 7.18%. A year ago, the same mortgage rate stood at 6.29%. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, noted, “Mortgage rates continue to linger above 7% as the Federal Reserve paused their interest rate hikes. Given these high rates, housing demand is cooling off, and…

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(US) – In an effort to empower content creators and expand their reach, YouTube has introduced a range of new artificial intelligence-driven tools. These tools are designed to simplify the video creation process and make it more accessible to a wider audience on the platform. Neal Mohan, YouTube’s CEO, shared these developments during the company’s annual “Made On YouTube” product event. YouTube unveils ‘Dream Screen’ Mohan emphasized the role of generative AI technology in fostering creative expression and noted that YouTube aims to democratize access to these potent AI tools. The platform, part of the Alphabet-Google conglomerate, introduced an experimental…

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