Four Killed In Attack On Pakistan Stock Exchange

Paramilitary officers inspect the premisses of the Pakistan Stock Exchange building following an attack by gunmen in Karachi on June 29, 2020. Rizwan TABASSUM / AFP
Paramilitary officers inspect the premisses of the Pakistan Stock Exchange building following an attack by gunmen in Karachi on June 29, 2020. Rizwan TABASSUM / AFP

 

Baloch separatists opened fire and hurled a grenade at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi Monday, authorities said, killing four people including a policeman.

Three security guards were killed in the melee, while local police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon said all four assailants were shot dead.

“Police have recovered modern automatic weapons and explosive materials from the terrorists,” Karachi police said in a statement.

The city’s police force had earlier said six people died in the firefight but later revised the figure. A Karachi hospital where the bodies were taken confirmed the new death toll.

Pakistan’s military praised the swift response of the city’s security forces, while the Karachi police released a video of one member from a provincial security unit describing the firefight.

“I shot one of them dead…. The second guy saw me and…  he took out a grenade. I shot him twice in his hand and his weapon fell down. I then shot him in the head as he tried to pull out the grenade pin,” said Mohammad Rafiq, a member of an elite provincial rapid response team.

The video of the officer was shared widely online, with social media users calling Rafiq a hero.

The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility in a message sent to AFP, saying an elite unit of fighters had carried out the assault.

The separatists have launched a string of high-profile attacks across the country in recent years — including in the southern port city.

The BLA is one of several insurgent groups fighting primarily in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, which has been rocked by separatist, Islamist and sectarian violence for years.

The group has targeted infrastructure projects and Chinese workers in Pakistan multiple times in recent years, including a brazen daylight attack on Bejing’s consulate in Karachi that killed four people in 2018.

In May last year, the BLA attacked a luxury hotel near the Afghan border at Gwadar, where a port development is the flagship project of a multi-billion dollar national infrastructure project funded by China.

Last year, the US State Department designated the BLA as a global terrorist group, making it a crime for anyone in the United States to assist the militants and freezing any US assets they may have.

Following Monday’s attack Pakistani authorities vowed to strike back against any group found responsible for the onslaught, promising to dismantle their networks and destroy their bases.

Violent history

“An investigation has been launched and very soon we will reach their masterminds,” interior minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah said in a video message posted after the attack.

Business continued as usual at the Karachi stock exchange after the attack.

“Trading is smooth and continuing. PSX benchmark index one of the Best Performer in Asia today so far,” tweeted Mohammed Sohail, a broker at the exchange.

For a while after the attack the bodies of at least two gunmen could be seen in a pool of blood near the exchange’s entrance.

Karachi was once a hotspot for crime and violence, with heavily armed groups linked to politicians frequently gunning down opponents and launching attacks on residential areas.

But the situation has largely stabilised in recent years following operations by security agencies against armed political outfits and Islamist militants.

Militant groups still retain the ability to launch periodic attacks in many rural areas and occasionally in urban centres.

Monday’s attack comes more than a week after a grenade was thrown at a line of people waiting outside a government welfare office in the city, killing one and injuring eight others, according to a statement from municipal authorities.

 

AFP

Philippines Suspends Stock Market Trade Over Coronavirus Fears

Vehicles pile up at the boundary of Manila and the North Luzon Expressway Mindanao Avenue exit during rush hour in Manila on March 16, 2020, with temperature and identification checkpoints as part of measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. – The virus has upended society around the planet, with governments imposing restrictions rarely seen outside war-time, including the closing of borders, home quarantine orders and the scrapping of public events. Maria TAN / AFP.

 

The Philippines suspended trade on its local stock exchange Tuesday, becoming the first country to close its financial market over coronavirus fears.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered most of the 55 million people on the main island of Luzon, which includes the capital Manila, to stay at home for the next month after social distancing measures failed to keep people away from one another.

Philippine Stock Exchange President Ramon Monzon told traders in a memo that trading is suspended starting Tuesday “until further notice” to move in step with Duterte’s order.

Monzon said the suspension was also “to ensure the safety of employees and traders in light of the escalating cases of the coronavirus disease”.

Confirmed cases in the Philippines have jumped to 142, with 12 deaths and the government has unveiled a 27.1 billion peso($526.6 million) package to fund hospitals fighting the virus and provide reprieve amid a slowdown in economic activity.

READ ALSO: Euro 2020 Fate To Be Decided As Coronavirus Threat Looms

The benchmark PSE index plunged 7.9 percent during shortened trading on Monday as investors reeled from the virus’ economic impact.

The suspension order came as stock markets and oil prices went into freefall after central banks’ fresh stimulus measures failed to dampen fears of the global pandemic.

Shares in Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index dropped by as much as 3.66 percent at Tuesday’s open before recovering about 70 minutes after the opening bell.

Overnight, Wall Street indices fell in their worst day since 1987, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropping about 12 percent and the Dow sinking nearly 13 percent.

AFP

MTN Lists Shares On Nigerian Stock Exchange

Photo: [email protected]

 

Telecommunications giant MTN Nigeria has listed 20 billion ordinary shares at N90 per unit on the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The official listing of the Johannesburg-based company took place on Thursday at the Stock Exchange House in Lagos.

Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr Paschal Dozie, led the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Ferdi Moolman, and other top members of staff of the company to the event.

READ ALSOSenate Passes Bill Recognising June 12 As Democracy Day

The price values the telecoms company at N1.84 trillion.

MTN Nigeria decided to list its local company in the country on the NSE in 2016 after agreeing to pay a $1.7 billion fine to settle a sim card dispute with the Federal Government.

Nigeria accounts for a third of MTN’s annual core profit while indigenous investors own 19.4 per cent of the company.

See photos from the event below:

Photo: [email protected]

Oando Shares Move Up On Stock Exchange

Oando Shares Move Up On Stock Exchange
File photo

 

The shares of troubled energy trader, Oando Nigeria Plc, moved up the maximum 10 per cent to N6.99, within the first one hour of trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday.

Stock trader and Chief Executive of Cowry Asset Management, Mr Johnson Chukwu, told Channels Television that investors demand for the shares of Oando topped nearly 77 million in early trade.

News filtered in early today that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late Tuesday ordered the Stock Exchange to lift its six-month share price freeze on Oando Nigeria.

The energy company is currently under independent forensic investigation ordered by the Securities Commission with an interim report due in a few weeks’ time.

Bitcoin Makes Muted Stock Exchange Debut At $15,000

(FILES) This file photo taken in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2014 shows bitcoin medals. PHOTO: KAREN BLEIER / AFP

Cryptocurrency Bitcoin made its debut on a major bourse Sunday, opening at $15,000 per unit at the Chicago board options exchange. 

Around 23:20 GMT, the price of the currency had risen to $15,940 dollars on a futures contract scheduled for settlement on January 17 according to data provided by the Chicago board options exchange (Cboe).

A futures contract is a financial product that allows investors to bet on whether the currency’s price will rise or fall.

It is the first opportunity for professional investors to invest in bitcoin.

Many are way of embracing bitcoin because it has no central bank backing it and no legal exchange rate.

The first twenty minutes of trading saw volatility, with the price rising to $16,600 per unit before going down.

Bob Fitzsimmons, a futures manager at Wedbush Securities, told AFP approximately 150 trades were made in the first few minutes.

“It’s quiet,” he said.

Its price was $15,250 in pre-opening trades that took place 45 minutes before the official start, Fitzsimmons added.

This was still far short of its highs of $17,000 on other non-regulated online platforms last week.

The Cboe website was down at the time of the debut on Sunday.

AFP

Channels Television Closes Nigerian Stock Exchange Trading

john-momoh-at-nigeria-stock-exchange-21-anniversay
Channels Media Group – Closing Gong Ceremony

Nigeria’s leading broadcaster, Channels Television, on Wednesday, closed trading at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

This was part of a week-long line up of events to celebrate the station’s 21st anniversary.

Channels Television began the daily reportage of the domestic stock market and the entire financial markets in April 1996, just about a year after it started operations.

Over the past two decades, the broadcaster has been an integral part of Nigeria’s market evolution, and development, covering the automation of the stock market, the banking sector, and the ongoing transformation of the entire financial system.

The closing gong was sounded by the Chairman of the Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh, at 2:30 pm.

Mr John Momoh in his address of  welcome, said, “today is a great day for us. It is a very significant day in the sense that it is serving as a pivot for the celebration of our 21st anniversary”.

john-momoh-at-nigerian-stock-exchange
Chairman CEO of Channels Television , Mr John Momoh (M), the Vice Chairman, Mrs Sola Momoh and officials of the Nigerian Stock Exchange

According to him, “it is the first time on this stage, not the first time on the floor, I have been here 20 years ago, in 1996.

“It is more like déjà vu for me.”

He went on to assure the Nigerian Stock Exchange of continued partnership in order to realise the kind of economy that the nation envisions.

CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, also congratulated the management and staff of Channels Television for its efforts over the years and for emerging as the best Television Station for the year, for over 10 years.

Nigeria’s Economy Is A Reverse Of What Is Obtainable Globally- Economist

A lecturer from the Pan Atlantic University, Dr Austin Nweze today (Thursday) described Nigeria’s economy as the “reverse” of what is obtainable in other parts of the world.

Commenting on the increase of price on products and services during the Christmas period, Dr Nweze recounted his time as a student in Canada where “Christmas time is the best time to get things cheap; really really cheap”.

He said that there were usually so many discount, as “so many items are discounted just for the period” insisting that the end of the year should be “the best time to shop”.

He noted that in such climes, the Christmas period is regarded as “spending time” after saving from January to November period, which is regarded as “saving time”. He added that “even the stock exchanges feel the impact of the expenditures that go on during Christmas”.

He went on berating the discount tactic employed by retail and wholesale marketers in Nigeria.

“They will pretend to give discounts, but what they usually do is to increase the price first of all, and then (maybe) return it to a normal level or higher than the normal” maintaining that ‘’it is not supposed to be”.

Noting that a service economy is imperative, he berated the low impact manufacturing has made to the Nigerian economy which he pegged at 2.4 to 3 per cent compared to the United States of America’s 80 per cent.

Dr Nweze, quoting statistics from the International Trade Centre, said that by 2050, 80 per cent of the minimum global work force would be in services, which means “that you have to move from production to service” adding that “even when you are producing, you are also providing service; they work hand in hand”.

He further noted that Nigerians do not produce, he said “we consume too much” because “nobody is thinking of producing anything here,” a situation which he said also “extends to policy making”.

He advised policy makers to stop indulging in the habit of making policies that would not benefit the people because of the mode of operation used in implementing the policy. He said: “they make policies to encourage businesses, but they use the other hand to collect it back through interest rates”.

He said that if given the opportunity to run the economy, he would not “worry about inflation” but he would “make sure that the productive capacity of the nation; businesses are producing at the optimal level”.

He further said that he would look at other areas in the country and put in place a “factor-endowed based development strategy” to see what could be done to encourage production and manufacturing.

Jonathan,Obama Discuss War Against Terrorism

President Goodluck Jonathan has met with his United States counterpart, Barack Obama.

The meeting which took place in New York, ahead of the opening of the 68th session of the United Nations was centred on the need to tackle international terrorism.

President Jonathan who expressed appreciation over the U.S. support asked the international community to unite and deploy all resources to fight terrorism, with a recent attack on Kenya by the Somalian group Al-Shabaab.

“You experienced such recently and we still experience it in Nigeria, so I feel the pains of President Kenyatta, to get that level of attack, and that is why we maintain that “terror anywhere is terror on all of us”

“So we call on the global leaders to come together and fight terror”

President Barack Obama while welcoming President Jonathan described Nigeria as a critical partner of the United States in Africa.

“I’ve had the opportunity to speak with President Kenyatta directly, about the terrible tragedy that has happened in Nairobi

“We are providing all the cooperating we can, as we deal with the situation that has captivated the world, I want to express personally my condolences to Kenyans and President Kenyatta who lost two family members to the attack.

“But to the Kenyan people, we stand with them against this terrible outrage that occurred, we will provide them with whatever large enforcement support that is necessary and we are confident that Kenya, which has been a pillar of stability in Eastern Africa, will rebuild”.

After his meeting with President Obama, President Jonathan flanked by the Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala, Petroleum Minister Diezani Allission Madueke and Nigeria’s Stock Exchange Commission D.G, Arunma Oteh, proceeded to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) where he rang the closing bell for trading.

Sanusi, Oteh demand listing of multinationals

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),  Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arunma Oteh, have both made a case for government to compel foreign companies in Nigeria to list the nation’s stock exchange.

Capital market operations came up for discussion during one of the interactive sessions at the final day of the 18th NationalEconomic Summit in Abuja and the issue of listing for multinational companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange was of particular interest to participants.

The CBN Governor had in his remark noted that there would be no First Bank PLC or any of the big banks like United Bank of Nigeria (UBA) if the Federal Government did not introduce the indigenization policy in 1979.

He further cited examples of Asian tiger nations such as Malaysia, which has stringent rules for any international company to operate in the country without an overwhelming local ownership.

Ms Otteh, in her argument, claimed that there’s a lot of economic sense if the foreign based companies come to the stock market.