• Breaking: Importers weep, investors run away from Nigeria, as Naira crashes again [See new rate to USD]

    29/Aug/2016 // 3660 Viewers

     

    The naira fell to a new low of 414 against the United States dollar on Sunday amid the continued scarcity of foreign exchange in the country, with economic experts predicting further pressure in the forex market this week.

    The development came five days after the Central Bank of Nigeria had banned nine commercial banks from the forex market for failing to remit the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s $2.334bn into the Treasury Single Account in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive last September.

    The naira was sold for 414/dollar across some black market segments in Lagos and Abuja on Sunday. It hit an all-time low of 412 against the greenback at the parallel market on Friday, after closing at 409/dollar on Thursday.

    On Wednesday, a day after the CBN banned the nine banks from the forex market, the local currency depreciated to 402/dollar, down from the 397 it closed against the greenback on Tuesday.

    Forex dealers said the demand pressure on the dollar, mounted by summer travellers and parents paying schools fees of their children studying overseas, was exacerbated by the CBN’s forex ban on the nine lenders.

    The currency dealers said the naira started falling after the CBN banned the lenders from forex transactions.

    It first touched 400/dollar at the black market this month since the CBN floated the currency on the official interbank market in June.

    At the interbank market, the naira closed at 314.95 on Friday, with traders saying interbank rates would ease this week when part of July’s budget allocation must have entered the banking system.

    But experts said the naira would plunge further against the US dollar this week at the parallel market as forex supply remained a major challenge.

    Forex traders said even though the CBN had continued to sell dollars daily on the interbank market, its efforts were considered weak and inadequate, Reuters reported.

    The Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said, “There is nothing in the policy environment that will arrest the decline unless the central bank has increased capacity to supply the market, which unfortunately it doesn’t have. So, we should expect the naira to remain under pressure in the coming week.”

    He said for the naira to stabilise, there must be a funding that the Federal Government or the CBN could access, such as a credit support from either the World Bank or a trading partner like China.

    Chukwu said, “The decline of the naira against the dollar is beyond the recent suspension of some banks from the forex market. We have witnessed suspension of banks in the past, and it did not lead to any spike in exchange rate. The major challenge we have now is supply shortage. If that improves, naira will stabilise.”

    He said the naira might hit a low of 420 to the dollar this week.

    A currency analyst at Ecobank, Mr. Kunle Ezun, said the supply issue, ban on 41 items from the official forex market and activities of speculators would continue to push the value of the dollar up against the naira.

    He said, “Sincerely, there is no major thing that one can expect in the parallel market. The only thing that could bring calm to the market is the supply of the US dollar. What we have in the market is basically demand and supply interplay.”

    According to him, the volatility in the parallel market will continue as the importers of the banned 41 items have resorted to the market.

    “A lot of people in the official market will want to actually maximise the gains on their dollar holding by channelling it through the parallel market,” Ezun said.


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  • Revealed! How hackers operate, empty your bank account, read how Malaysian experts say you can prevent it

    29/Aug/2016 // 518 Viewers

     

    With stories of people being mugged at ATMs, people who rely on online banking may be patting themselves on their back for doing the "smart thing".

    Unfortunately, criminals are smarter these days, as Facebook user Eric Chua found out to his dismay.

    In a rather long post yesterday, he related how his Maybank2u account was hacked two days after he got his salary, with some RM11,000 emptied from both his current and savings accounts.

    How did the hackers do it?

    He figures that hackers broke into his secondary email and used it to change the password and accessed his primary email.

    Then, someone posed as him and went to a Digi dealer at 9pm (just before it closed) to request for a Sim-card replacement for his phone number.

    The hackers had access to his Maybank2u account and by 10pm, bought four Samsung handphones and some accessories from Mobile 88 (an online shopping site). Payment was made using Maybank2u and TAC is sent to the new sim-card which they had just obtained.

    Chua only figured something was wrong the next morning. He said while he was driving to work, his phone had "No Service" and tried to access his email in the office but failed because the password had been changed.

    It was only when he checked his online banking that he realised it had been emptied.

    So, Chua called Maybank to freeze his online banking and credit cards and also asked them to reverse the transactions if possible.

    When he called Digi and realised his sim-card was cloned the night before, he asked Digi to suspend the new sim-card.

    Finally, he lodged a police report and gave a copy of it to Maybank and Digi for them to open investigations into the incident.

    That was a month ago.

    Chua said todate, the response from Maybank was fair but not helpful.

    "Their cyber security team contacted me promptly to get more details from me and ascertained that there was no system error within 2 weeks. But critically, they did not attempt to stop or reverse the transaction. According to their officers, for online banking unlike credit card payments, the payment goes through once a valid TAC number is received and there is 'nothing they can do'."

    On Digi's side, he had this to say: "One month after my initial report and numerous follow-ups (including going personally to their service center), I received ZERO response from their team other than periodic SMS' stating that they are still in the process of investigating. No one from DIGI has contacted me to understand or explain.

    "I suspect I am not the only victim and they are still trying to figure out how to address the situation. However, given the severity of the case, I feel it is not okay to keep the progress of the investigation under wraps without giving updates to me as the consumer."

    On the response from the police, he said there had been no progress so far. "Relies heavily on the investigation done by Maybank and Digi. I get the feeling they do not have the right resources to handle such organised/cyber crime."

    He has some advice for online banking users.

    Reflection/Lessons for all: 

    1. This might seem obvious, but keep different login names and passwords for accounts and change them regularly.

    2. Be alert to phishing scams. This is a tough one and it happens to the best of us.

    3. Be alert and respond quickly when you see red-flags such as notification of change in password or unusual usage patterns in your email account or 'No Service' in your sim-card. Someone could be trying to hack into your account and in my case, it was the first sign that someone had replaced my simcard.

    4. Financial planners aren't going to teach this but keep some of your cash reserves in a separate bank account, preferably non-online or FD. I managed to pull through the past month because some of my savings were in another account.

    I guess I'm angry not only because of the money lost, my own carelessness that was a factor in it, but also because technology and corporate institutions I had come to rely on have seemed to fail me in the past month.

    Whatever happens after this, I will vote with my feet but my hope is that the banking and telco players, as well as regulators take note and make improvements to safeguard the system.

    Suggestions for improvements:

    1. Telco's are a weak link in online banking. Using TACs as a two-factor authentification system is flawed if a stranger can walk up to a dealer and clone a sim-card. Minimum verification should be to scan/read identification cards.

    2. I would pay money for an online banking service that uses a security token device instead of using mobile phone to receive TAC. I've seen a nifty one by Natwest (UK) and a simpler gadget by DBS (Singapore), but as far as I know, only HSBC has this in Malaysia.

    3. It would be helpful if Maybank2u makes it compulsory for passwords to be changed periodically.

    4. Online banking security is one-size-fits-all based on "general" customer requirements. I could not customise safe-guard settings such as disallowing changes in transaction limit online with a TAC.

     

    Source:asklegal.my


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  • Again, Naira sinks after CHRISTMAS, see exchange rate!

    29/Dec/2016 // 3702 Viewers

     

    PARIS, DECEMBER 29, 2016: (DGW) The Nigerian Naira fell again before the dollar and all other major currencies yesterday on the parallel market after previously appreciating to N485 to the US dollar shortly before Christmas.

    The British pound sterling exchanged for N590 and the euro N502

     At the Bureau De Change (BDC) Window, the Naira traded at N399 to a dollar, CBN controlled rate, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N602 and N510, respectively.

     The Naira traded at N305.25 to a dollar at the official interbank market.


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  • Former Central Bank Deputy Governor predicts tougher times for Nigerian economy, says economy to shrink again by 1.8%

    29/Jul/2016 // 351 Viewers

     

    A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, has predicted more tough times for the nation’s economy this year.
    He, therefore, advised the Federal Government to intensify efforts towards diversifying the economy.

    A statement issued on Thursday quoted Lemo as saying this at the 61st Annual National Convention of the Foursquare Gospel Church.

    Lemo, according to the statement, said it was saddening that despite the progress made by the country on the political front, available indices “have unveiled the painful lopsidedness of Nigeria’s economic prosperity.”

    He was quoted as saying, “Nigeria economic activities are expected to shrink by 1.8 per cent in 2016 in a bid to adjust to foreign currency shortages as a result of lower oil receipts, low power generation and weak investors’ confidence. These will affect the major sectors of the economy.

    “We need to key into ways to reform the economy and drive toward diversification.

    “The country has been badly hit by unemployment rate at 12.1 per cent with exports dropping by 34.6 per cent, while imports declined by 7.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2016,” Lemo observed.

    He said Nigerians needs to demand from the President Muhammadu Buhari administration an urgent diversification of the economy.

    Lemo explained, “The present administration advocated for anti-corruption and economic reform during the past election, but it has not succeeded in proving to Nigerians and the world its capacity to bring about economic reformation. Its major headache lies in how to rejig the Nigerian economy and set it back on a growth trajectory.

    “We have to insist on economic reform and diversification to revamp the economy, because it can help to deliver inclusive growth in the system.

    “The country’s economic is in recession. What we need now is massive fiscal policy to help revive the economy. Government has to pump more money into the economy and not just on capital projects,” Lemo said.


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  • Aftermath Of Economic Downturn: British Airways to quit Nigeria anytime now!

    29/May/2016 // 1237 Viewers

     

    British Airways is evaluating its routes to Nigeria, adding to aviation-industry pressure on the government as sister carrier Iberia and U.S. competitor United Airlines halt flights to the oil-based market as traffic stutters and currency controls delay access to revenue.

    The U.K. carrier is struggling to repatriate its share of the $575 million that Nigeria currently owes to airlines globally from tickets sold in the West African nation, said Kola Olayinka, country manager for British Airways’ and Iberia’s parent company, IAG SA. Madrid-based Iberia halted flights on May 12 to Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city, “due to very difficult operating circumstances and dwindling passenger numbers,” he said in an e-mailed response to questions.

    International Air Transport Association Chief Executive Officer Tony Tyler met with Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo this week, the lobby group said in a statement Wednesday that warned that Lagos could lose its role as a hub to West Africa. United Airlines informed employees on Wednesday that it would end flights from the U.S. to Nigeria on June 30 because of a lack of demand and difficulty in collecting payments.

    IAG Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh said last month that Iberia would stop serving Lagos after the low price of oil caused Nigeria’s economy to contract for the first time since 2004 in the first quarter. Limits on dollar repatriation have been imposed by the Nigerian Central Bank as reserves slip to $26.5 billion, the lowest in more than a decade, from more than $30 billion in early 2015.

    “Exiting Nigeria is a very big decision” and “not taken lightly” following London-based British Airways’ 80 years of operations in the country, Olayinka said. “I believe very strongly that we will keep evaluating the situation, but I can assure you, BA is very committed to Nigeria.”

    The government is assessing the situation while Central Bank governor Godwin Emefiele has suggested a flexible exchange rate regime that would end the naira’s peg to the U.S. dollar, Olayinka said. IAG is awaiting details of the policy “so that we can start the process of rebuilding,” he said.

     


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  • El Al orders nine 787s from Boeing

    29/Oct/2015 // 168 Viewers

    AFP/File | Israel's national carrier El Al currently operates an exclusively Boeing fleet of 22 737s, seven 747s, like the one pictured here on July 25, 2007, seven 767s and six 777s

     

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - 

    Israel's flag carrier El Al announced Thursday that it has ordered up to nine 787 aircraft from Boeing and will lease six more from private leasing firms.

    The catalogue price value of the new orders from Boeing is about $2.2 billion.

    Boeing will record three of the planes on its official orders list and the others will be added as El Al and Boeing finalize commitments, the two companies said.

    El Al said the orders are both to replace aging aircraft and further expand its fleet.

    El Al chief executive David Maimon said in a statement that the deal "is a significant step forward in the optimization of our route network, enhancing passenger service and the overall flight experience."

    The company currently operates an exclusively Boeing fleet of 22 737s, seven 747s, seven 767s and six 777s.

    The 787 Dreamliner is the US aircraft maker's most recent model in its family of long-haul jets.


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  • Nigeria's foreign reserves crash to its lowest since 2005

    30/Jan/2016 // 192 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 30, 2015: (DGW) Nigeria's foreign exchange reserve reportedly fell to its lowest since 2015, official figures show from the country's Central Bank.

    As of January 27, 2016, the country's foreign reserves stood at $28.2 billion as against $29.13 the previous month.

    Nigeria  runs a mono-product economy which  sees  her over-reliance on crude oil exports is severely hit by the present steady fall in oil prices in the international market.

    The absence of an export-led growth  informed the president's consistent refusal to devalue the Naria, the country's monetary unit. If the fall in oil prices continue, chances are that the country's foreign exchange reserves will crash further, DailyGlobeWatch understands.


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  • Importers lament, foreign investors desert Nigeria as Naira dips abysmally (See exchange rate)

    30/Nov/2016 // 727 Viewers

     

    Importers and foreign investors lament as the scarcity of foreign exchange gets stronger on the parallel market.  The value of the naira , according to reports,  dipped abysmally on Wednesday on the parallel market while it  reportedly remains stable on the inter-bank market.

    It sold for N480 to the dollar yesterday while at the interbank end of the foreign exchange market, the naira sold at N305.25 the same rate it was quoted on Monday according to data provided by FMDQ. At the parallel market, the value of the naira had dropped by 1.5 per cent from N473 which it sold on Monday.

    The naira had remained relatively stable around N465 and N470 at the parallel market last week before it dipped to N473 on Friday last week which it also sold on Monday. Meanwhile, the external reserves of the country continued to rise steadily despite the activities of the militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
     
    This according to traders may be due to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision not to intervene in the interbank market by selling dollars to shore up the value of the naira. The external reserves which had dipped to a low of  $23.89 billion as at October 19, 2016 has risen by 3.33 per cent.

    Latest figures given by the apex bank on its website showed that the 30 day moving average of the country’s external reserves stood at $24.695 billion as at November 28, 2016.


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  • Steep drop in Nigeria's foreign reserves

    30/Sep/2015 // 180 Viewers

    Nigeria's apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria, has revealed in Abuja, Nigeria that there has been a steep drop in the country's foreign reserves.

    Reserves, DailyGlobeWatch reliably gathered, fell by 3.14% to $30.48 billion and by September 23 from $31.47 million a month ago, official figures show.

    This shows a total decrease of 23.03%. It would be recalled that Nigeria's foreign  exchange reserves as of last month  rose by $350 million to $31.43 billion. Same rose and crossed $30 billion by a marginal increase of 5.6% from N29.03 billion in the month of June to N30.69 billion.


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  • FOREX SCARCITY: Nigerian importers frustrated, tongue-tied as disaster hits Naira again against dollars [See exchange rate]

    31/Aug/2016 // 1033 Viewers

     

    The naira plunged to 418 against the dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday as scarcity of foreign exchange continued to weigh on the official interbank and black market.

    The local currency, which closed at 414 against the greenback on Monday, traded at 415 in Lagos, 417 in Abuja and 418 in Kano, foreign exchange dealers said.

    Foreign exchange analysts believe the lingering scarcity of forex has been exacerbated by the banning of eight commercial banks from the forex market by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
     
    The CBN last week Tuesday banned nine lenders from forex transactions for failing to remit the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s $2.334bn into the Treasury Single Account.

    The United Bank for Africa Plc, one of the nine lenders, was later re-admitted after it remitted its share of the funds to the TSA.

    A day after the CBN banned the nine banks from the forex market, the local currency depreciated to 402/dollar, down from 397 it closed against the greenback on Tuesday.

    The local currency has continued to depreciate gradually. Forex dealers maintained that the demand pressure on the dollar, mounted by summer travellers and parents paying schools fees of their children studying overseas ahead of resumption in September, was exacerbated by the CBN’s forex ban on the nine lenders.

    The naira, which hit a fresh record low since the CBN floated the currency on the official interbank market in June, first touched 400/dollar at the black market this month.

    Meanwhile, the CBN sold around $1.5m at the interbank forex market on Tuesday to support the local currency and ensure the closing rate stabilised, Reuters reported, quoting currency traders.

    The naira closed at 305.50 to the dollar on the interbank market, same level it had traded since last week, having touched 325.50 a dollar intraday, but gained after the CBN’s intervention.

    Traders said the naira had consistently closed around 305.5 to the dollar since August 22, an indication that the CBN was concerned about a particular price range for the local currency.

    On Monday, the forex market registered $327m worth of trades, about six times more than its usual volume.

    This included a single $270m transaction at 345 naira per dollar, by foreign investors buying local currency bonds.

    Average trading is around $50m a day on normal days; it may reach $100m on days the CBN intervenes in the currency market.

    According to traders, dollar shortage remains a major concern in the market even with the daily intervention by the central bank and a pocket of flows from offshore investors.

    The naira traded at a fresh record low of 418 to the dollar on the black market, against 414 a dollar on Monday, traders said.


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