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Saturday, 16 November 2019

Apple is now valued more than the entire US energy sector, according to analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The tech giant closed Thursday with a $1.17 trillion market cap, maintaining its position as the world’s most valuable public company.

In contrast the S&P 500 Energy index closed with a $1.13 trillion market cap, dragged lower by ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips.

The iPhone-maker’s stock surged after impressing investors with its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Apple topped Wall Street’s estimates for both revenue and profits as its wearable products and online services offset slowing iPhone sales.

The company is up about 8% since the October 30 report and posted a record-high close Wednesday.

Despite Apple’s strong momentum through 2019, BAML analysts said it still has room to grow.

The tech giant is “on course for 82.6% gain” through the end of the year, the team led by chief investment strategist Michael Hartnett wrote.

The company traded at $263.87 at 9:05 a.m. ET Friday, up roughly 0.47% from Thursday’s close.

Apple has 27 “buy” ratings, 14 “hold” ratings, and seven “sell” ratings from analysts, with a consensus price target of $255.83, according to Bloomberg data.

Published in Telecoms

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closes Wednesday’s trading session on a bearish note. The All Share Index closed at 26,339.11 basis points, down by 0.44%. Year to date, the market is down by 16.20%.

Top 5 losers

On the flipside, Total Nigeria led the losers’ bandwagon with a 9.98% loss to close at N110.90. PZ Cussons lost 9.91% to close at N5.

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance had a 7.14% loss to close at N0.39. Unilever Nigeria closed at N18.5, losing 5.61%. Oando rounds up the top 5 losers with a 3.90% loss to close at N3.20.

Top 5 gainers

Ikeja Hotel led the top 5 advancers the first time in a while with a 9.09% gain to close at N0.96. A.G. Leventis gained 7.14% to close at N0.30.

Jaiz Bank closed at N0.60, gaining 7.14%. Fidelity Bank gained 3.83% to close at N1.90. Access Bank rounds up the top 5 gainers with a 3.14% gain to close at N9.85.

Top 5 trades

Wednesday’s trading session witnessed 610.6 million shares worth N11.1 billion exchanged hands in 5,031 deals.

Zenith Bank topped the top 5 trades by volume with 336.6 million shares valued at N5.8 billion traded in 632 deals. Access Bank traded 73.8 million shares valued at N714 million in 430 deals.

63.8 million Nigerian Breweries shares valued at N3 billion were traded in 72 deals. GTBank traded 24.3 million shares worth N695.6 million in 247 deals.

UBA rounds up today’s top 5 trades by volume with 16.4 million shares valued at N110.8 million traded in 289 deals.

Published in Business
Saturday, 16 November 2019 10:43

Samsung Galaxy Fold sells out in Nigeria

Samsung Nigeria said the highly anticipated foldable device is a hit with Nigerians as the first batch released has already sold out with pre-order sales on Friday in Lagos.

The company said that it was currently working on increasing stock levels to keep up with demand, adding that even after a delayed-release, there was an appetite for this pioneering device. It added that the next batch of the world’s first AMOLED Infinity Flex Display would be available in the Nigerian market from Nov. 29.

Galaxy Fold features the world’s first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display, which folds into a compact device with a cover display.

It said that the device offered a powerful new way to multitask, watch videos, play games, and more – bringing to life new experiences and possibilities years in the making.

“Samsung is proud to introduce a premium foldable device, that goes beyond the limitations of a traditional smartphone,’’ said David Suh, Managing Director at Samsung Electronics West Africa in a statement.

“The pre-order sales are indicative of the public’s affinity for technology that transcends the norm.’’

He added that Galaxy Fold is in a category of its own that delivers a new kind of mobile experience allowing users to do things they couldn’t do with an ordinary smartphone.

“Users now have the best of both worlds; a compact device that unfolds to reveal Samsung’s largest-ever smartphone display, says Adetunji Taiwo, Head, Information Technology and Mobile (IM) at Samsung Electronics West Africa.

He noted that Galaxy Fold brought together material, engineering and display innovations, developed over eight years following the debut of Samsung’s first flexible display prototype in 2011.

Published in Business

In the past 27 years, Ghana has witnessed three democratic changes of government. National electoral contests have been decided between two main parties, on either side of the political spectrum.

There are also a number of minor parties, some of which trace their ideological and philosophical foundations to the independence leader, Kwame Nkrumah. In the most recent election, the smaller, Nkrumahist parties got only 1% of the vote and are barely staying afloat.

So why haven’t they fallen away entirely?

My analysis suggests that the answer lies in patronage. I argue that party patronage plays a major role in the electoral strategies of the Nkrumahist minor parties. The parties tend to exploit or use ‘blackmail’ or ‘coalition’ potentials for leverage. Elections in Ghana have experienced keen competitiveness, and the winning margin between winners and losers fluctuates between 1% and about 4%.

Consequently, the votes of third parties are sought after by the two dominant parties.

Ghana’s de facto two-party system

Like the previous republics, Ghana’s Fourth Republican dispensation which started in 1993, nurtured and consolidated a de facto two-party system.

Since the return to civilian politics in the early 1990s, the electoral landscape has been controlled by two political parties – the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party. With the exception of the first parliament, subsequent parliaments and the presidency have been dominated by the two major parties. These parties have alternated power at the presidential level.

Yet, several other parties have been registered by the electoral commission. Among them are the People’s National Convention, Convention People’s Party and the Progressive People’s Party, which are Nkrumahist.

These parties, at various election cycles, have run for the presidency and parliament.

In the maiden 1992 elections, the combined votes of all parties representing the Nkrumahist platform in presidential elections was about 11%. The parties’ electoral strength in the most recent 2016 elections was about 1%. In parliament, the parties held 4% of seats in 1992 and by the 2016 election, the parties had no seat.

The declining fortunes of the Nkrumahist parties in national elections were evident by the time Ghana returned to the polls for the sixth time, yet they fielded candidates in the seventh national elections in 2016.

Nkrumahist tradition

Kwame Nkrumah, the party that he founded and those parties that his vision, ideology or philosophy inspired dominated electoral politics in Ghana until the Fourth Republic. On the political spectrum, the main party to the left was the Convention People’s Party, a splinter group from the United Gold Coast Convention. From 1949, until it was toppled in a military coup in 1966, it was the only party with a large nationwide following.

The second tradition was to the right of the political spectrum. Its leaders included the lawyer and statesman J.B. Danquah, who led the United Gold Coast Convention in the 1951 election. Chief S.D. Dombo was the leader of the largest opposition party, the Northern Peoples’ Party, and K.A. Busia led the united opposition group, the United Party.

Since the inauguration of the Fourth Republic in 1993 however, the Nkrumahist parties have failed to capture the presidency or the parliament. Nonetheless, the parties have survived by using party patronage as an organisational resource.

The power to appoint citizens to serve in the public sector is vested in the president of the governing party. Power patronage has been used in all political administrations in Ghana. In 1992, then military ruler Jerry Rawlings and his newly formed National Democratic Congress party formed an alliance with the Nkrumahist National Convention Party.

This saw the nomination of the party’s leader, Kow Arkaah, as vice-president. His appointment was a strategic manoeuvre to consolidate minority party votes in order to defeat the New Patriotic Party. Several other leading members were roped into the government after the election was won.

Similarly, in 1996, the opposition New Patriotic Party formed an alliance with the People’s Convention Party. They lost the election however.

In the year 2000, the New Patriotic Party won their first national election. Then president John Kufuor appointed a leading member from the Convention People’s Party, Papa Kwesi Nduom, as a minister of state. The only member of parliament from the party, Freddie Blay, was named a deputy speaker of parliament and voted regularly with parliamentarians from the governing party. He later resigned from the Convention People’s Party and is currently the chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party.

Leading members of other Nkrumahist minor parties have also benefited from patronage that keeps their parties afloat. A former presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention, Edward Mahama, now serves as an ambassador at large for the current government. Another leading member, Abu Ramadan, was also openly courted and appointed as a deputy director-general of Ghana’s national disaster organisation.

Competitive elections and party patronage

Ghana’s democratic achievements are unique within the African context. Party patronage could be negative or positive to the political system. In the Ghanaian case, the non-material patronage system suggests that it has the potential to contribute to the stability of the political system.

The two main parties have at different times included the members of the minor parties in the governing of the state. The expertise that members of the Nkrumahist minor parties bring on board has contributed to the policy goals of the governing parties. On the other side, the individual members of the minor parties have benefited through their appointment to public sector offices.

Underlying the successes of pluralist politics are two major parties. Essentially, electoral contest is decided between the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party. Yet, the existence of minor parties cannot be discounted. The continuance of the Nkrumahist minor parties in Ghana can only be understood within the wider context of competitive elections and party patronage.

The Conversation

George M. Bob-Milliar, Senior Lecturer, History and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Published in Opinion & Analysis
  1. Opinions and Analysis


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