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Why CBN freeze Risevest, Bamboo Accounts: Things Investors Need To Know

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Naija News 247 – Naija Today News

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered the freezing of the bank accounts of six online investment platforms for 180 days.

Affected by the court order are Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Bamboo Systems Tech. Ltd OPNS, Chaka Technologies Limited, CTL/Business Expenses and Trove Technologies Limited.

Some of the fintech firms are principally owned by individuals and organisations based in the United States of America, the court was told.

The court issued the freezing order followed a request by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which accused the firms of using the foreign exchange sourced from the Nigerian market for purchasing foreign bonds/shares in contravention of its directive issued in July 2015.

Accusing the firms of operating without licences as asset management companies, the central bank alleged that the firms violated its directive contained in its circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/012 and dated July 1, 2015.

CBN’s lawyer, a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa, filed an ex parte motion at the Federal High Court in Abuja on August 4, 2021, seeking temporary freezing of the bank accounts of the firms pending further investigations.

Mr Aondoakaa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), informed the judge, Ahmed Mohammed, on Tuesday, that the forex deals by the defendants were undercutting the strength of the naira against the United States dollars.

He said there was the need to block 15 accounts of the firms for 180 days to stop the firms from moving their funds out of Nigeria.

“We need to write the embassy, we need to go to the Foreign Affairs, the minister will serve the U.S. to seek assistance so that we can block these linkages,” the lawyer added.

  Pound to Naira official and black market exchange rate for today Friday 25 February 2022

He, therefore, sought an interim order empowering the CBN to direct the head offices of Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Access Bank and VFD Microfinance Bank, to immediately freeze “all the bank accounts of the defendants/ respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry conducted by the CBN.”

Ruling

In his ruling on the motion, Mr Mohammed granted the prayers of the applicant as prayed.

He however added that the defendants were at liberty to challenge the freezing order by approaching the court within the stipulated period.

The judge subsequently adjourned the matter till February 20, 2022, which is about the time the six months freezing order will lapse.

Case against forex firms

The CBN provided some details of its case against the six forex trading firms in an affidavit filed in support of its ex parte application.

A senior supervisor of the CBN, Christiana Gyang, who deposed to the affidavit, said the apex bank had reviewed the activities of the defendants to determine their alleged involvement in illegal foreign exchange (FX) dealings.

She stated that investigation showed that the platforms were violating Nigeria’s trading laws including dealing in cryptocurrency in contravention of the CBN policy.

Concerning Rise Vest Technologies Limited, the affidavit stated that it was incorporated in October 2019 with objects of technological and business consultancy.

“The shareholders of the company at incorporation were Eke Eleanya Urum and Rise Vest Technologies Limited (USA). The company partners with companies involved in payments and settlements as well as internal and international remittances.

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“However, information on the company’s website indicated that it is an asset management company, which provides a platform for customers to invest in foreign instruments using an app called ‘Risevest’.

“Our review revealed that the company consummated its asset management activities through its account 1017556580 with Zenith Bank Plc, which recorded a turnover of 1.97 billion between January 1, 2019 and April 27, 2021.”

It added that the inflows to the account were mainly from retail investors through two Payment Service Solution Providers – Flutterwave (588.61 million) and Monnify (N967.58 milllon).

The firm’s outflows from the account were to a PSSP – Paystack (N500 milllon) and cryptocurrency traders like BuyCoins (N110 millon) and Beitium Venture (N350 million).

“Inquiries on the transactions confirmed that the transfers to BuyCoins were for the purchase of cryptocurrency,” the affidavit stated, adding that findings showed that “Rise Vest Technologies Limited traded in cryptocurrencies in contravention of the CBN circular referenced BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/014/001, dated February 5, 2021.”

The CBN also said Bamboo Systems Technology Limited is owned by US-based Bamboo Global LLC (99.99 per cent share) and Oluwole Ralph Olugbenga (0.01 per cent).

“The company was incorporated in December 2018 to carry on the business of software design, implementation, development, maintenance and consultancy amongst others. It is related to One Global Med. Technology, BSTL Lambeth and Grag Concepts Limited.

“Further reviews showed that Bamboo Systems Technology Limited operates an online App, ‘Bamboo’, that provides a medium for investors to buy and sell stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs), Index funds and derivatives listed in major exchanges in the U.S.”

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Bamboo, Risevest react
The six fintech firms have become increasingly popular, particularly among young urban Nigerians, allowing them to invest in foreign stocks and bonds, with experts saying they have increased financial inclusion in the country.

At least two of the firms have reacted to the ruling, saying they will work with regulators to resolve the concerns.

Bamboo and Risevest responded to the court’s decision Tuesday, assuring their customers that their investments were safe.

“We’re aware of the recent reports about us. Our legal and government relations teams are looking into it but we thought it was important to let you know that your money remains safe with Bamboo and will always be readily accessible,” Bamboo told its clients.

Also, Risevest said: “About the latest news about us and our FX dealings, you can be sure that your investments and funds are safely managed, that funding and withdrawals will continue to be processed as normal, and that our U.S operations remain intact.

“We will work with regulators, as we always have to ensure that all issues raised are properly addressed. However, this does not affect our users or their investments, which are managed by regulated third-parties in all jurisdictions in which we operate.”

NaijaNews247 – connectley.com

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Business

Elon Musk Terminates $44bn Deal To Buy Twitter

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Elon Musk Naija News 247

The world the richest man and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tesla Inc, Elon Musk has terminated his $44 billion Twitter deal.

This was confirmed by Reuters on Friday, quoting the elite as saying that the social media company had failed to provide information about fake accounts on the platform.

In a filing, Musk’s lawyers said Twitter had refused to respond positively to a series of requests for information on fake or spam accounts on the microblogging platform, which is fundamental to the company’s business performance.

  Pound to Naira official and black market exchange rate for today Friday 25 February 2022

Twitter in April 2022 confirmed it had accepted the $44 billion bid by the billionaire entrepreneur.

Shares of Twitter were down 7% in extended trading. Musk was said to have earlier offered $54.20 per share in April.

On the micro-blogging platform, Twitter’s chairman, Bret Taylor, said that the board planned to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement.

“The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr Musk,” Taylor wrote.

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However, Musk’s lawyers mentioned in a filing that “Twitter is in material breach of multiple provisions of that Agreement, appears to have made false and misleading representations upon which Mr Musk relied when entering into the Merger Agreement.”

Due to the emerging development on Friday, Musk would be required to pay a $1 billion breakup fee if he does not complete the transaction.

Naija News 247 understands that Musk’s latest decision will likely result in a long protracted legal tussle with the 16-year-old San Francisco-based company.

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Business

Forex trading sessions in Nigeria time explained

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Forex trading sessions in Nigeria time

Naija News

Forex trading sessions in Nigeria time

For five days a week, the currency market is open 24 hours a day. This indicates that every currency pair can be traded throughout the weekdays, except on weekends, unless otherwise specified.

However, certain hours of the day may be better for traders than others.

When forex trading, there is always a market, however, there are periods when the market is choppy and others when it’s calm.

In addition, different currency pairs show varied levels of activity at different times of the day because of the overall demography of the market players who are online at the time.

The forex market experiences varied levels of volatility at different times of the day for different currency pairs. This is also true for trading times in Nigeria, and in this article we consider the best Forex trading sessions in Nigeria time.

  Pound to Naira official and black market exchange rate for today Friday 25 February 2022

Understanding Forex trading sessions

Many institutional and individual forex traders benefit from a 24-hour forex market since it provides liquidity and the ability to trade at any time. When it comes to currency trading, each individual trader has a limited amount of time to check their positions.

The Asian, European, and North American sessions, which are also known as the Tokyo, London, and New York sessions, are traditionally divided into three peak activity periods.

These three cities’ names are sometimes used interchangeably since they symbolize the most important financial hubs in each of their respective areas.

Most banks and corporations in the respective regions do their day-to-day transactions during this time, and there is also a higher concentration of online speculators.

The Asia session

The Asian markets are the first to react when liquidity returns to the forex (or FX) market at the beginning of the week. The Tokyo capital markets, which are unofficially representative of activity in this region, are open from midnight to 6 a.m. every day GMT.

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The European session

At this point, Asian trading hours come to an end and the European session takes over. This FX time zone has a lot of big financial markets in it, making it quite busy. The European session’s parameters have been set in London until now.

The North American session

By the time the North American session begins, the Asian markets will have been closed for several hours, but for European traders, the day is only halfway through. There is a lot of action in the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, and South America, during this session. 

The best time to trade in Nigeria

For Nigerian traders, the best time to trade most currency pairs in summers is from 13:00 to 17:00 WAT, while in winters it is considered to be from 14:00 to 18:00 WAT. 

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During this time, most African countries, including Nigeria, are open for business. The London and New York trade sessions are both active at this moment. For all currency pairs including European, American, and African currencies, spreads are at their lowest at these times. 

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Business

Bread producers threaten strike over hike in production cost

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Bread price hike

Naija News

The producers of bread claimed that the rise in the cost of bakery supplies had made their operation unprofitable.

Bread producers and caterers have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over the unprecedented increase in prices of bakery materials.

They also accused the Federal Government of turning a blind eye to the development.

This was contained in a communiqué issued by the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria on Friday, June 24, 2022.

The body noted that the high cost of flour, sugar and other materials used in the bakery business has pushed many bakers to the brink.

The communiqué, which was issued after the National Executive Council meeting of the association in Abuja, stated that the bakers would withdraw services from July 13, 2022.

  Pound to Naira official and black market exchange rate for today Friday 25 February 2022

The bakers also revealed that attempts to get the government’s intervention in the matter had proven abortive, as there had been no favourable response from the concerned ministries, departments and agencies of government.

The communiqué, signed by the association’s executives, and led by its National President, Mansur Umar, stated that the council reviewed the “neglect of the Federal Government in addressing the challenges facing our sector as captured in our letters acknowledged by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria and unproductive intervention of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“Increase in prices of bakery materials especially flour and sugar having reached unprecedented levels, for example, flour is now between N25,000 and N27,500, so also other ingredients.

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“The National Wheat Cultivation Committee already constituted is yet to be inaugurated after over one year. NAFDAC, SON, and NESREA have turned the bakers into money-making machines by charging our members’ outrageous levies even at this very challenging moment.

“Consequently, the NEC in session resolved that all zones, state, Local Governments and units of our association should commence full mobilisation of our members nationwide to embark on withdrawal of services starting from Wednesday, July 13, 2022, for an initial period of two weeks.”

They, however, informed their members to wait for further directives on the matter.

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The, however, noted that its “members should await further directives.”

The hike in bakery materials had led to the recent increase in the cost of bread and other items derived from flour.

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