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IMF, World Bank Chiefs Warn Of Global Impacts From Ukraine War

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The leaders of the World Bank and IMF signaled Thursday they were ready to help Ukraine while warning that Russia’s invasion will have repercussions for the global economic recovery.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said she was “deeply concerned” about the fighting’s impact on the people of Ukraine, and cautioned in a tweet that the conflict “adds significant economic risk for the region & the world.”

The International Monetary Fund continues to assess the economic impact, but will “stand ready to support our members as needed,” she said.

The Washington-based crisis lender is in the process of deploying $2.2 billion in assistance to Ukraine under a loan program set to end in June.

Georgieva has said the fund could provide aid to other countries impacted by any spillover effects of the conflict if needed.

On Twitter, World Bank President David Malpass said he was “deeply saddened and horrified by the devastating developments in Ukraine, which will have far-reaching economic and social impacts.”

He added that the Washington-based development lender “is preparing options for large support to the people of Ukraine and the region, including immediate budget support.”

The snowballing conflict already has sent oil prices soaring to their highest level since 2014, adding to worrying global inflation pressures.

In January, the IMF cut its world GDP forecast for 2022 to 4.4 percent, half a point lower than its previous estimate in October, due to “impediments” caused by the latest coronavirus outbreak.

US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced severe new sanctions on Moscow, including freezing assets of major banks and cutting off high-tech exports to the country, in coordination with Europe.

However, analysts note that Moscow has prepared for years to withstand such sanctions, building up a war chest of cash and gold, and has very low debt.

“It’s not a coincidence. I think it’s a very much part of what we call fortress Russia strategy,” said Elina Ribakova of the Institute of International Finance, a global banking association.

“It was a very deliberate shift in macroeconomic policy to accommodate geopolitical ambitions,” she told AFP. “They have a piggy bank that can protect them.”

The conflict could also change the Federal Reserve’s calculus when it comes to fighting inflation in the United States, a central bank official said Thursday.

The Fed next month is expected to hike rates for the first time since Covid-19 broke out, but it might have to move more aggressively if the Ukraine crisis disrupts commodities and raises prices.

Loretta Mester, president of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank, said the US central bank will monitor the conflict’s impact on the world’s largest economy.

“The implications of the unfolding situation in Ukraine for the medium-run economic outlook in the US will also be a consideration in determining the appropriate pace at which to remove accommodation,” she said in a speech.

AFP

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CBN Raises Interest Rate To 15.5% To Fight Inflation, Attract Foreign Investors

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On Tuesday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised its benchmark interest rate, known as Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), to 15.5 percent, the third straight hike this year.

After the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, the CBN also raised the cash reserve ratio (CRR) to 32.5 percent from 27.5 percent. The CRR is the share of a bank’s total customer deposit that must be kept with the central bank in the form of liquid cash.

This was in consideration of the persistent rise in inflation rate and fragile growth. Nigeria’s headline inflation accelerated to the highest level in 17 years at 20.52 percent in August 2022, from 19.64 percent in the previous month.

The CBN had in the last few months increased the MPR by a combined 250 basis points to rein in inflation. In its meeting in May 2022, the CBN raised its benchmark interest rate by 150 basis points to 13 percent, the first time in six years. It raised it further in July by 100 basis points to 14 percent.

After the meeting, MPC members unanimously voted to retain other parameters. Consequently, the CBN retained the Asymmetric Corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR: and the Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent.

Godin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, who announced the decision after the meeting said: “The MPC noted with concern the continued aggressive movement in inflation, even after the rate hike at its meeting in May and July 2022, and expressed its unrelenting resolve to restore price stability while providing the necessary support to strengthen the fragile recovery.”

It is expected that the hike in interest rate for three consecutive times will also lure foreign inflows into the country and ease the pressure on the naira.

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Access Bank Gets CBN’s Approval To Launch Payments Unit, Hydrogen

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Access Holding Plc has received the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria to run a switching and payment service subsidiary.

The bank disclosed on Wednesday that the CBN has approved its payment subsidiary, Hydrogen Payment Services Company Limited.

Hydrogen will compete with the likes of Flutterwave which is Africa’s leading Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP).

It will also compete with Interswitch and Paystack Payments Ltd in the PSSP space.

Recently, HabariPay owned by a lender, Guaranty Trust Company (GTCO) received final approval to operate as a payment unit.

“Access Holdings Plc trading as Access Corporation announces today that it has received the Central Bank of Nigeria’s final approval for its wholly owned payment subsidiary, Hydrogen Payment Services Company Limited.

“Hydrogen with a vision to be Africa’s most powerful business network will provide switching and payment processing services to financial service providers and other stakeholders,” the bank said.

Early September 2022, Flutterwave said it received CBN’s Switching and Processing License.

But Access said its new subsidiary will challenge competitors in the African continent.

Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Corporation said, “The establishment of Hydrogen is a natural step in our aspiration to create a globally connected community and ecosystem; inspired by Africa for the world and aligns with our mission to build and sustain one global platform, open for anyone to join where people can be connected to exceptional opportunities.

“Hydrogen will deploy cutting edge technology infrastructure, strong risk management and governance standards to provide secure, cost efficient and convenient payment services to individuals and businesses across the African continent thereby supporting the attainment of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial inclusion strategy.”

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Access Bank gifts customers cash prizes in AccessMore Mega Reward

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Access Bank gifts customers cash prizes in AccessMore Mega RewardPublished on September 20, 2022By Daily Post Staff

As part of strategy to drive easy, effective and rewarding banking through its AccessMore mobile app, Access Bank Plc has rewarded some customers with millions of Naira, smartphones and other prizes in the AccessMore mega reward scheme.

Cash prizes between N10-12million will be doled out from now until December 2022, the bank disclosed to newsmen during its first phase of the AccessMore Mega prize presentation in Lagos.

Emerging as the grand prize winner of N1 million of the first phase, Precious Nwuba, who could not hide his excitement, urged Nigerians to participate in the initiative.

“I learnt about the scheme and decided to participate reluctantly. I forgot all about it and when I was told that I had won N1 million, I could not believe it, I felt it was a lie. But the bank urged me to visit my branch in Ondo state and it was there I confirmed that I indeed won N1 million.



“I am grateful to God and the bank for coming up with this initiative amid the harsh times in the economy. I would spread the word about this, it is still a miracle to me”, Nwuba said.

Speaking at the presentation, Head, Marketing and Communications, Access Bank, Chioma Afe, said the app was launched in 2020 as a way to encourage customers to use the app to make transactions due to the lockdown.

Afe noted that the bank saw increased patronage of the app and decided to reward its customers by introducing the reward initiative in 2022

‘We kept it simple. We kept it in the app and we said, if you make N100 Naira on the rewards, you can just quickly redeem it or we keep reminding you because it is available for you for a period of time. You can use it to offset bills such as light bills, Cable bills and so we saw customers do it consistently from 2020.

“So in 2022, we decided to do something to reward our customers so that more people can tap into the rewards and see the benefits for them, especially to refer other customers and to give them something more.

“We pegged some money down and I think in total we will be giving out about N10-12 million including the trip between now and December. Hence, we have cash prizes, gadgets, Iphones and other amazing prizes for our customers”, She said.

Senior Banking Adviser, Retail Banking at Access Bank, Rob Giles, said that the first phase involved the bank rewarding about five customers with N100,000 and N1 million while adding that the second phase of the reward scheme will be between now and December.



Giles said, “The steps to take to enjoy rewards on the app are quite easy. Simply download the AccessMore app, register (signup) and opt into Access Rewards & Referrals on the app to get 100points. Each complete referral you make earns you additional 100 points.

“Once you onboard 20 – 30 new people onto the AccessMore app, you get 2000 – 3000 points, respectively and this qualifies you for a chance to win cash prizes of up to N1million. Customers can also stand a chance to win iPhone 13 phones, and other cash prizes of N100,000 and N50,000 and other amazing rewards. The great thing is, the more you transact, the more points you earn.

The Access Bank AccessMore app is a unique payment application built on cutting- edge technology, offering tailored and personalized services, and excellent customer experience. The app is easy to use and is available for download on Android PlayStore and iOS Store.

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