India agreed a deal with Russia to buy S-400 surface to air missile systems on Friday.
 
The Kremlin said, as New Delhi disregarded U.S. warnings that such a purchase could trigger sanctions under U.S. law.
 
Although there was no public signing, the deal was sealed during President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing visit to New Delhi for an annual summit.
 
“The deal was signed on the fringes of the summit,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters.
 
The contract is estimated to be worth more than 5 billion dollars and gives the Indian military the ability to shoot down aircraft and missiles at unprecedented ranges.
 
But the United States has said countries trading with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors would face automatic sanctions under a sweeping legislation called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
 
A State Department spokesperson said this week that the implementation of the sanctions act would be focused at countries acquiring weapons such as the S-400 missile batteries.
 
In September, the United States imposed sanctions on China’s military for its purchase of combat fighters as well as the S-400 missile system it bought from Russia this year.
 
India is hoping that President Donald Trump’s administration will give it a waiver on the weapons systems which New Delhi sees as a deterrent against China’s bigger and superior military.
 
After summit talks between Putin and Modi, the two countries signed eight agreements covering space, nuclear energy and railways at a televised news conference.
 
 
Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA
After 18 years, Australia's Monash University will be pulling out of South Africa, selling out to JSE-listed education group Advtech in a R340 million deal.
 
Monash South Africa was registered in 2000, and markets itself as a local provider of degrees with international brand recognition. Its Johannesburg campus has a capacity of 6,500 students and features a number of student residences, popular among students from other African countries.
 
But the Monash name will disappear from that campus, its soon-to-be new owners say.
 
Advtech on Tuesday said it would pay R343 million for Monash South Africa, plus whatever cash on hand and working capital adjustments on the effective date of the acquisition.
 
That is very close to the R330 million net asset value Monash SA reported at the end of 2017.
 
Monash had been looking for a partner to take over the South African institution for some time, Coughlan says, and Advtech's track record gave Monash comfort that existing students would be well catered for.
 
Monash is Australia's biggest university. It also has a campus in Malaysia, and centres in India, China, and Italy.
 
Advtech is keen to roll out some of the registered Monash qualifications at its other tertiary institutions, which include Vega, Rosebank College, and Varsity College. Monash this year launched the first Bachelor of Engineering programme at a private institution reviewed by the Engineering Council of South Africa, and its MBA and public health qualifications are a good fit for the company, says Coughlan.
 
Advtech recently bought Oxbridge Academy and The Private Hotel School. Its fellow listed tertiary education group Stadio plans to create a "multiversity" for some 100,000 students in South Africa, and is looking to set up medical and engineering schools in the next three years.
 
India agreed a deal with Russia to buy S-400 surface to air missile systems on Friday.
 
The Kremlin said, as New Delhi disregarded U.S. warnings that such a purchase could trigger sanctions under U.S. law.
 
Although there was no public signing, the deal was sealed during President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing visit to New Delhi for an annual summit.
 
“The deal was signed on the fringes of the summit,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters.
 
The contract is estimated to be worth more than 5 billion dollars and gives the Indian military the ability to shoot down aircraft and missiles at unprecedented ranges.
 
But the United States has said countries trading with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors would face automatic sanctions under a sweeping legislation called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
 
A State Department spokesperson said this week that the implementation of the sanctions act would be focused at countries acquiring weapons such as the S-400 missile batteries.
 
In September, the United States imposed sanctions on China’s military for its purchase of combat fighters as well as the S-400 missile system it bought from Russia this year.
 
India is hoping that President Donald Trump’s administration will give it a waiver on the weapons systems which New Delhi sees as a deterrent against China’s bigger and superior military.
 
After summit talks between Putin and Modi, the two countries signed eight agreements covering space, nuclear energy and railways at a televised news conference.
 
 
Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA
Agricultural, manufacturing and the sectors considered as growth and employment stimulating, can now borrow long term as much as N10 billion at consolidated nine per cent interest rate under new guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
 
The new credit policy called Guidelines for Accessing Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) through CRR and Corporate Bonds was released by the CBN today.
 
And it marks a big departure from the excruciating interest rate regime of 25-30 per cent that has been blamed for stifling enterprises in the country.
 
The CBN acting Director, Corporate Communications in a statement on Thursday in Abuja said the new directive aimed to increase the flow of credit to the real sector; agriculture and manufacturing.
 
He said that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) would henceforth be incentivised to direct affordable, long-term bank credit to the manufacturing, agriculture, as well as other sectors considered by the Bank as employment and growth stimulating.
 
He said also that Corporate, Triple-A rated companies would be encouraged to issue long-term Corporate Bonds (CBs).
 
He said that a CBs Funding Programme had already been put in place to enable the CBN and the general public invest in the CBs.
 
Furthermore, Okorafor said the Bank had put in place another programme under the Differentiated Cash Reserves Requirement (DCRR) Regime.
 
He said under the programme, banks interested in providing Credit Financing to new and expansion projects in the real sector could request for the release of funds from their Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to finance the projects.
 
Making further clarifications, Okorafor said that the tenor for the Differentiated CRR would be a minimum of seven years with a two-year moratorium.
 
For the Corporate Bonds programme, he said the tenor and the moratorium would be specified in the prospectus by the issuing corporate.
 
He said also that the maximum facility would be N10 billion per project and facilities were to be administered at an Interest rate of 9 per cent per annum.
 
Okorafor therefore advocated for a total compliance with the guidelines by stakeholders.
 
He also reiterated CBN’s determination towards the encouragement of projects that would further enhance Nigeria’s import substitution strategies.
 
The guidelines followed the recommendation of the CBN Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). At its 119th meeting held between 23 and 24 July, the MPC emphasised the need to increase the flow of credit to the real sector of the economy, to consolidate economic recovery.
 
 
Source: NAN
The dollar dipped Tuesday in Asia after Donald Trump hit out at the Federal Reserve’s interest rate rises and accused it of not backing his economic plan, while most equity markets edged up ahead of highly anticipated China-US trade talks.
The greenback has been on the ascent in recent months as US borrowing costs have gone up and the economy improves, but it stumbled after Trump’s latest criticism of the central bank.
 
In an interview with Reuters, the president said he was “not thrilled” with the rate rises under new Fed boss Jerome Powell, repeating comments made last month about the bank’s tightening measures.
 
 
When asked if he believed in the Fed’s independence, he refused to say yes, telling the reporter: “I believe in the Fed doing what’s good for the country.”
 
Trump also accused the European Union and China of manipulating their currencies, adding that Beijing was weakening the yuan to offset the effects of US tariffs.
 
While analysts said it was unlikely Trump’s remarks would make much difference to the Fed’s decision-making — Powell has said in the past “we don’t take political considerations into account” — the greenback was weaker against most other currencies.
 
The Fed is expected to raise rates twice more this year.
 
The pound and euro enjoyed some much-needed buying, while the yen was also up.
 
Higher-yielding and emerging market currencies — from South Korea’s won and the Indonesian rupiah to the Australian dollar and Mexican peso — were also higher, having come under pressure last week from the Turkey financial crisis.
 
Stocks rally
After the previous day’s broad gains, equity markets fluctuated as traders turn their attention to the China-US talks, which are due Wednesday and Thursday.
 
By the close Tokyo was up 0.1 percent, Hong Kong added 0.6 percent and Shanghai rallied 1.3 percent.
 
Seoul jumped one percent and Singapore and Wellington each gained 0.1 percent, while Taipei and Jakarta also rose.
 
Sydney shed one percent.
 
In early European trade London and Paris each dipped 0.2 percent, while Frankfurt shed 0.1 percent.
 
The trade meeting will be the first since the world’s top two economies started imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods, with the Wall Street Journal saying they are aimed at smoothing the way ahead of a November summit.
 
They also come despite Washington continuing to push through fresh measures slated for Thursday.
 
However, JP Morgan Asset Management global market strategist Tai Hui said: “Given the little progress made on the US-China negotiations in the past six months, investors’ expectations are still low.
 
“Ongoing negotiation is good news, and that’s what the market is riding on at this stage, but a sustainable agreement to end this tension still seems unlikely at this point.”
 
He added: “If China’s earlier offer to buy US products and open up its market did not convince the US to de-escalate, it would take more creativity from Beijing to reach a compromise.”
 
– Key figures around 0810 GMT –
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 22,219.73 (close)
 
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.6 percent at 27,752.79 (close)
 
Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.3 percent at 2,733.83 (close)
 
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,580.80
 
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1535 from $1.1479 at 2030 GMT
 
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2836 from $1.2791
 
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.01 yen from 110.11 yen
 
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 30 cents at $66.73 per barrel
 
Oil – Brent Crude: UP five cents at $72.26 per barrel
 
New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.4 percent at 25,758.69 (close)
 
The Guardian
 

The trade volume between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Nigeria in 2017 stood at $7.7 billion, the Malaysia High Commissioner-designate to Nigeria, Gloria Tiwet, has said.

ASEAN comprises 10 countries, with only five represented in Nigeria. They are Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Tiwet made this disclosure while leading Embassies’ Heads of Missions and ASEAN member-states’ High Commissioners on a visit to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Thursday in Abuja.

She said the envoys were in the ministry to familiarise the minister on ASEAN Day and Film Festival scheduled to hold soon in Abuja, noting that the festival was aimed at strengthening relations between Nigeria and ASEAN, particularly in the area of culture.

“In 2017, the trade volume between ASEAN and Nigeria amounted to $7.7 billion. That is very promising and portrayed good relations between our countries and Nigeria.

“Trade is one area that we looked into to strengthen our bilateral relations, and respectively, we represent our countries here as ambassadors and high commissioners to strengthen our bilateral relations as much as we can,” she said.

 

Source: The Business Insider

Israel will stop using coal between 2025 and 2030, as a result the country will stop producing coal ash at its power stations, Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection said.
 
The ministry succeeded to promote governmental decision to close four out of eight coal units for electricity generation at Israel’s power stations by the summer of 2022.
 
These four coal units at power stations, according to the ministry are responsible for one quarter of all air pollution in Israel.
 
The pollution ratio generated by coal is up to 1,000 times more than pollution from natural gas, Yuval Laster, Director of Policy and Strategy Division of the ministry said.
 
Laster said that all the remaining coal units would be closed by 2025-2030 mostly because of environmental reasons.
 
Laster said that the National Coal Ash Board (NCAB) would not exist anymore because its work to find alternative use to coal ash will not be necessary anymore.
 
Laster added that even today the cement and concrete industries demand much more coal ash than it produces, so the work of NCAB to find by force alternative uses to it is needless.
 
Coal ash is disposal remaining after the power station burns coal to produce electricity, in many countries, this is a compound used for various industrial purposes.
 
Israel has begun mass use of coal for generating electricity during the 1980s, when there were not environmental awareness among public, nor the government or the industry cared about the environment.
 
The director said that besides the massive air pollution created during the burning of the coal, its remains, the coal ash was thrown into the Mediterranean, and this polluting practice stopped just during the 1990s.
 
“Israel recognised that it was a violation of the Barcelona Convention for protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution.
 
“The primary solution has been found in the 1990s, and the coal ash has begun to be used as a compound in the concrete and cement from which the houses, apartments, and buildings were built.
 
“Basically, any use of coal ash was banned by the ministry due to pollution concerns.”
 
Sinaia Netanyahu, a former Chief Scientist of the ministry, said she forced the ministry to quit from NCAB.
 
Just last week the High Court of Israel reassured the ministry of environmental protection policy not to give import permission of coal ash, according to the verdict it is dangerous disposal and no economic reasons can justify its import.
 
“Another concern of these companies is Israel’s tendency to close its coal power stations and to transfer the electricity generation to natural gas power stations and renewable energies.
 
“This tendency of reducing coal until a complete stop is rushed in 2017 due to substantial natural gas funding under the Mediterranean waters which belongs to Israel,” the director said.
 
 
 
NAN

Sterling Bank Plc, recently declared as a Great Place To Work, has decalred work-free day for all its employees across the country.

The decision, according to the bank, was in line with its Active Citizens Programme (ACP) scheme, encouraging employees to use to register and collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards.

Beyond promoting voting rights, the bank’s ACP also motivates employees to be productive, responsible, caring and be contributing members of their respective communities in alignment with the lender’s purpose of enriching lives.   

The Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman, noted that the institution is passionate about promoting active citizenship among employees as a business of wholly Nigerian origin, which makes it important to place national interests above individual preferences.

“We believe that when more citizens are active and perform their duties to the nation, the country becomes a better place for all.

“These duties include abiding by the law, tax remittance and more importantly participating in the electoral process to strengthen our democracy.”

Source: The Guardian

Shareholders of Cadbury Nigeria Plc on Friday approved N301.51 million as total dividend for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2017.

The shareholders gave the approval at the company’s 53rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dividend, which will be paid on July 9, translated to 16k per share.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Emmanuel Popoola , a shareholder, commended the company for the dividend declared and return to profitability in spite of the challenging operating environment. Popoola urged the company to work harder to ensure enhanced dividends in the years ahead.

Mr Taiwo Oderinde, another shareholder, urged the company introduce new products to increase its market share and bottom line.

Oderinde said the company should target products that would address the health issues in the country such as diabetes.

He also called on the company to look for cheaper means of financing its activities to reduce costs of operation.

Oderinde advised the company to work toward floating rights issue in the future to raise fresh capital instead of obtaining bank loans.

Responding, Mr Atedo Peterside, the company’s Chairman, said the company was working on some new products, which would be launched at the appropriate time.

Peterside said the company built its business on four key pillars, such as price competitiveness, aggressive route to market initiatives and sustained consumer-driven activations.

He said the company’s top priorities in the current year were to sustain focus on quality, drive improvements in productivity and reinforce operational efficiency to maximise its competitive advantage.

The chairman added that the company would drive growth ahead of competition to increase market share within its product categories.

The company, during the period under review, recorded a revenue of N33.08 billion compared with N29.98 billion in 2016.

It also benefited from cost savings initiatives, which saw selling and distribution costs as well as administrative costs decline by seven per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

Its profit before tax stood at N350.32 million from a loss before tax of N562. 87 million recorded in the previous year.

Profit for the year stood at N299. 99 million against a loss of N296. 40 million in 2016.

The company said revenue contribution for the 2017 financial year came from 55 per cent refreshment beverages which includes Bournvita and Cadbury 3-in-1 hot chocolate.

It stated that 31 per cent was from confectioneries such as Tom-Tom peppermint and its variants, while 14 per cent of the revenue came from Intermediate Cocoa products comprising cocoa powder, cocoa cake and cocoa butter.

Source: NAN

Temile Development Company Limited, an indigenous shipping company operating in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, has signed a ship building contract with South Korean shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Limited. Under the terms, Hyundai will build one firm and one optional Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) carriers. Both vessels are valued at over $120million with the first carrier expected to be delivered by the first quarter of 2020.
 
The contract, which was signed in London recently between Temile and HHI officials was witnessed by the CEO, Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), Tony Attah; Executive Secretary Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabot; and Deputy Managing Director, Fidelity Bank, Mohammed Balarabe.
 
Fidelity Bank is the main banker to Temile Development Company.Temile Devt. is a 100 percent wholly-owned Nigerian company, which began its marine and offshore operations five years ago, with a vision to revolutionise the shipping business in Nigeria. The company’s fleet comprises of 16 offshore vessels, acquired within the last five years. The new carriers would be the first of their kind in the West African oil and gas market, and would enable the company service an on-going time charter LPG contract with NLNG.
 
“We have extensive experience in various sectors of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, with particular interest in the offshore shipping and logistics. Our entrance into LPG market is exciting and we are in very safe hands to have ordered a LPG carrier from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard. This will no doubt increase the participation of Nigerian investors in the LPG space,” said the Chief Executive Officer, Alfred Temile.
 
Also speaking at the ceremony, Attah said the transaction was indeed ground breaking, explaining that it supports the quest to develop the domestic LPG market and aid the growth of indigenous companies in the process. “NLNG’s domestic LPG intervention scheme aligns with our business focus of bringing energy to the world and helping to build a better Nigeria” Attah stated.
 
Whilst commending Temile Development Company for the trailblazing move, Balarabe emphasized the need to increase local participation of indigenous companies in the oil and gas industry and reiterated the bank’s support for indigenous players to grow capacity. “The attendant effect on job creation and economic development is huge and unimaginable if Nigerian companies can participate more in the entire oil and gas value chain” he said.
 
Source: The Guardian
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