Financial Markets Close For Holiday

Nigerian Stock Exchange, NS, Financial Market, Stock Market, Independence HolidayFinancial markets across Nigeria are closed for the country’s 56th independence holiday.

Markets had closed on Friday to reopen tomorrow, Tuesday October 4.

Before the holiday, the financial markets had closed largely bearish but marginal gains were recorded in the equity market.

The last trading in September ended marginally positive as the all share index and market capitalisation rose further by more than a quarter of a percent, on the back of price advance by some mid-cap stocks.

However, market breadth was negative with 16 gainers against 22 losers on the price table.

The top three gainers for the day were Pharmadeko, NAHCO and Honeywell Flour Mills while Caverton, Nothern Nigeria Flour Mills and Conoil were the three most significant decliners.

Nigerian Stock Exchange, NS, Financial Market, Stock Market, Independence Holiday

Friday’s transaction was lower than the previous session, as it recorded a total turnover of 217.8 million shares worth 2.38 billion naira in 2,804 deals.

The most traded stocks were banking giants, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, FCMB and Zenith Bank.

Research analysts believe that markets direction will be shaped by the third quarter numbers this week as yields in the local bonds market tend to inch higher.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank plans to auction 135.7-billion-naira worth of treasury bills on Wednesday with a view to curb speculations against the naira at the foreign exchange market as well as inflation.

DPR Nabs Trucks In Ilorin For Alleged Fuel Diversion

DPR - IlorinThe Department of Petroleum Resources has arrested two trucks, including one belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, for alleged diversion of over 56,000 litres of petrol in Ilorin.

The Controller of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr Phillip Salvation, informed reporters about the arrest In Kwara State.

Mr Salvation added that the second truck detained was for one of the major marketers, Conoil, in the state.

It was gathered that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) truck was for by a transporter known as prolific.

He said that the owner of the fuel service station, Fabb Oil, where the NNPC truck was found, failed to provide document to exonerate himself from allegation of diversion.

Mr Salvation told reporters that the fuel service stations involved would be sealed.

The DPR boss said that the NNPC truck allegedly loaded 20,800 litres of petrol while that of the major marketer loaded 46,000 litres.

He asked motorists to stop patronising any petrol service station selling above the official pump price of 86.50 Naira, adding that any one arrested over cases of diversion, smuggling or over pricing would be dealt with accordingly.

Mr Salvation also advised motorists to shun panic buying, saying that the agency would ensure that allocation meant for every community got to the right places.

New Petrol Pump Price Enjoys High Compliance Nationwide

petrolThere seems be high compliance level for the new pump price of petrol across the country.

This is according to Channels TV correspondents, who visited petrol stations across the country.

While petrol is selling at between 86 naira and 86.50 in Abuja, the product is selling for N87 per litre in Kano.

Many petrol stations in the Federal Capital Territory have been nearly empty with just two to three cars at the fuel pumps at a time.

At the NNPC filling station visited, the pump price was 86 naira per litre and the station manager who spoke off camera said that the new pump price was put in place as soon as government announced the reduction.

Other filling stations visited; Conoil, Oando, Forte Oil, were selling at N86.50k per litre.

Vehicle owners buying at the new rate said that they were happy that the product was available whether or not there is a reduction in pump price.

They also said that the 50 kobo reduction would be taken as a sign of better things to come.

However, one customer asked that federal government pay attention also to the pump price and availability of kerosene which he said is used by a greater number of Nigerians, especially the poor.

For the oil majors in Lagos, they have reverted to the approved rate of N86.50k, while the same may not be said of independent marketers who are still selling above the recommended retail price.

The situation seems to be bad in Ogun State where the product is still selling for between N110 and N120 per litre except for the capital city, Abeokuta where the NNPC mega station is selling at the new pump price.

Three Dead In Zamfara Tanker Explosion

An explosion along Igala quarters in Gusau, the Zamfara state capital has left three people dead.

Eyewitnesses told Channels Television that the tanker belonging to Conoil was conveying fuel in a nearby filling station when it suddenly crashed.

The driver and two other people on board where confirmed dead as there was no time to rescue the occupants of the vehicle as it went up in flames two minutes after the incident.

However, fire fighters were seen on the scene of the incident battling to put off the fire.

Oando To Purchase ConocoPhillips’ Asset

Oando is close to securing funds to buy ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian assets, the company’s chief executive said on Wednesday, as he looked to allay fears it is struggling to raise finance for the $1.79 billion deal.

Wale Tinubu told Reuters in an interview in Lagos that the firm, having already raised the additional equity needed in February with a rights issue, now also has agreed in principle the necessary debt.

Oando has been looking for the past year to finance its transformation from a marketer of refined petroleum products into an upstream firm focused on oil and gas exploration and production.

The deal to acquire Conoco’s fields, that were producing around 43,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) last year and have proven reserves of 213 million barrels of oil equivalent, is scheduled to close by mid-2013.

But analysts have questioned whether Oando can persuade investors to deliver the funds.

“We’re confident in our ability to raise finance,” Tinubu said. “Because we have a diverse group, we’ve been able to raise equity from our shareholders and extract value from parts of our business to reinvest in the upstream.”

Tinubu also said that in reality the deal would only cost Oando around $1.5 billion, not the $1.79 billion headline figure. He declined to explain the discrepancy, but a source close to the deal said this was because of a net positive cash flow from the assets of $200-$300 million.

Tinubu said of the $1.5 billion cost around $725 million would come from debt.

“The debt is already arranged,” he said, but he declined to name banks involved and said some details remained to be worked out. Banking sources say the debt will be in the form of a syndicated loan of international and Nigerian banks.

Tinubu said once Oando had completed its acquisitions the upstream business would account for about three quarters of its assets, against 40 percent now.

The ConocoPhillips deal is the latest of several sales of Nigerian onshore assets made by foreign oil companies and Brazil’s Petrobras is now looking to sell $5 billion of assets.

“We would certainly be interested in considering it,” Tinubu said when asked if Oando was interested in buying some of the Petrobas interests. “We know we will be approached by them,” he added.

Political pressure from a government keen to have more indigenous firms operating fields plus rampant oil theft by armed gangs hacking into pipelines and potential liabilities from damaging oil spills have encouraged some foreign firms to slowly move out of onshore oil production.

But other firms like Britain’s Afren and Nigerian firms like Seplat and Conoil are moving in, creating competition for Oando.

Tinubu said local companies like Oando were in a better position to handle issues with local communities.

“Being an indigenous company, we’re better suited to handle the issue of theft and of community relations,” he said.

Conoil half year profit slumps 81 percent

Fuel marketer Conoil said on Monday its half-year pretax profit fell 81 percent year-on-year to N663.14 million compared with N3.5 billion a year earlier.

Turnover also declined to N76.2 billion during the period, from N79.9 billion last year, the fuel marketer said in a filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Conoil did not provide any reason for the fall in profit.

Its shares were trading flat at N23 at 1031 GMT.