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Dangote refinery begins operations, inflation report… 7 business stories to track this week

Report: Dangote refinery exports first jet fuel cargo to Europe Report: Dangote refinery exports first jet fuel cargo to Europe

Here are the seven top business stories you need to track this week — January 15 to January 19.

DANGOTE REFINERY BEGINS OPERATIONS

On Friday, January 12, 2024, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery announced that it commenced production of diesel and aviation fuel.

The development comes days after the largest single-train refinery in the world received its sixth one million barrels of crude cargo required for the commencement of operations.

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Five shipments of crude had earlier been delivered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to the refinery.

According to the company, the products would hit the market within the month after all regulatory approvals are received.

The 650,000 bpd capacity refinery was inaugurated by former President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2023.

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NBS TO REVEAL DECEMBER 2023 INFLATION

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) will on Monday, January 15, 2024, release a report on consumer price index (CPI) and inflation for December 2023.

Nigeria’s inflation rate had hit 28.2 in November 2023 — up from 27.33 percent in the previous month.

In the same week, the bureau intends to publish a report on national household kerosene and premium motor spirit (petrol) price for December 2023.

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NBS will also release the report on automative gas oil (diesel) and liquefied petroleum gas (cooking gas) price for the same month.

‘NIGERIA’S INFLATION TO EASE IN 2024’

The World Bank says Nigeria’s inflation should ease in 2024 as the effects of last year’s foreign exchange (FX) market and petrol subsidy reforms continue to wane.

The Bretton Woods institution made the projection in its ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report for January 2024.

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Speaking on its outlook for the country’s economy, the World Bank, said the structural reforms will boost fiscal revenue over the period in Nigeria.

The bank also said the country’s per capita income will return to its pre-pandemic level by 2025.

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BAYO OGUNLESI JOINS BILLIONAIRES’ LIST AFTER $2.3BN BLACKROCK DEAL

Bayo Ogunlesi, founder of the Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), has been ranked among African billionaires after BlackRock agreed to acquire his company for about $12.5 billion.

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Ogunlesi’s net worth was revalued in a report by Bloomberg on Sunday, two days after BlackRock agreed to buy Ogunlesi’s GIP for billions of dollars – in cash and stock.

Described as BlackRock’s largest deal in more than 10 years, the deal entails payment of $3 billion cash and about 12 million shares, worth $9.5 billion.

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Both companies are expected to close the deal in the third quarter of 2024.

Ogunlesi became the latest Nigerian to join the list of billionaires on Bloomberg’s index, with Aliko Dangote leading with $15.3 billion — which makes him the richest person in Africa.

Meanwhile, the number of Nigerian billionaires on the Forbes list has increased to four after the wealth tracker included Femi Otedola, the chairman of Geregu Power.

TCN TO DISCONNECT AJAOKUTA STEEL COMPANY FROM NATIONAL GRID OVER N33BN DEBT

Shuaibu Audu, minister of steel development, says he will meet with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and other stakeholders on the planned disconnection of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) from the national grid.

On January 10, 2024, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) issued a 14-day suspension notice to ASCL for non-compliance with provisions of its market rules.

TCN said ASCL accrued a debt totalling N33.71 billion as at November 2023.

AFREXIMBANK CONFIRMS DISBURSEMENT OF $2.25BN TO NIGERIA

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it has successfully arranged a syndicated $3.3 billion crude oil prepayment facility sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

The bank, in a statement on Sunday, confirmed an initial disbursement of $2.25 billion under the crude oil prepayment facility and a second tranche of $1.1 billion to be disbursed subsequently.

In August 2023, NNPC said it secured a $3 billion emergency crude repayment loan from Afreximbank to support the naira and stabilise the foreign exchange market.

Nigeria will pay an interest of 11.85 percent per annum on the $3.3 billion “pre-export finance facility” (PxF) arranged by Afreximbank.

NIGERIA’S STOCK HITS WORLD’S SECOND BEST-PERFORMING SPOT IN 2024

The Nigerian Exchange all-share index (ASI) has appreciated by 11 percent or 8,269 basis points year‐to-date, placing it second in the world behind Argentina.

The development comes as Nigerian equities surpassed their European, Middle Eastern, and African counterparts in 2024 — driven by pension funds and institutional investors anticipating record profits from lenders booking revaluation gains.

According to Bloomberg‘s report, compared with a less than 2 percent advance for the MSCI Emerging Markets (EMEA) Index over the same period, the NGX rose almost 60 percent in the past year.

Banking stocks have driven gains, with the banking index up 16 percent this year and 138.09 percent over the past 12 months.

In the past week, banks such as Access Holdings, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and First Bank Nigeria (FBN), had their market capitalisation rise to N1 trillion.

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