• The Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee has decided to leave the Monetary Policy Rate unchanged at 14 per cent, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced after Thursday’s meeting, the last for the year. The committee also retained the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 percent; the Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent; and the Asymmetric Window was retained at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR. All 11 members present at the meeting voted to hold the rates. Most analysts had predicted that rates would remain unchanged although rising inflation which had been the key driver being a push for an increase in the MPR dropped slightly in figures released by the NBS on Wednesday which showed that inflation increased by 11.26 percent (year-on-year) in October, down from September’s 11.28 percent.
  • Gains recorded by some blue-chip equities on Thursday lifted the Nigerian Stock Exchange by 0.05 percent. The market turnover rose significantly by 334.36 percent to ₦15.2 billion from ₦3.5 billion on Wednesday amid increased investor interest in Zenith Bank shares, which contributed 96 percent of value traded Thursday. Additionally, the volume of shares traded by investors increased by 182.89 percent to 672.6 million from 237.8 million. At the close business, Flour Mills emerged the highest price gainer, adding ₦1.85 to its share value to close at ₦20.45 per share. PZ Cussons grew by 70 kobo to settle at ₦9.70 per share, while Forte Oil went up by 20 kobo to finish at ₦19.20 per share. The All-Share Index increased by 14.81 basis points to finish at 31,984.60 basis points, while the market capitalisation appreciated by ₦6 billion to settle at ₦11.677 trillion.
  • The NNPC is seeking new funding options that will enable operators in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry to increase exploration to 40 billion barrels reserves and 3 million barrels a day production by 2020. Speaking at the 36th Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists meeting in Lagos, NNPC’s GMD, Maikanti Baru said the operators have been grappling with funding challenges which have cut down investment in oil exploration. Baru said currently, as a physical incentive, all exploration cost within the industry is expensed. The implication is that funding needs to be incurred prior to taking benefits.
  • CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, says that the regulator is on the verge of an agreement over a $8.1 billion dispute with South African telecoms firm MTN. Emefiele declined to provide further details. Emefiele said the company had submitted documents making the impending agreement possible, and that no other firm or person is being investigated for similar issues. Nigeria accounts for a third of MTN’s annual core profit, making it MTN’s biggest market. MTN’s lenders – Standard Chartered, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Citibank and Diamond Bank – were also fined in connection to the money transfer.