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Dangote Refinery is game changer for downstream sector



Dangote Refineries, which is expected to be completed in 2022, will bolster the profit margins of independent fuel marketer who are reeling from huge operating costs and foreign exchange volatility.

The refinery, which is owned by Africa’s richest man and businessman Aliko Dangote, has a capacity of 655,000 barrels a day, more than the 455,000 barrel a day capacity of the four largest moribund state-owned refineries.

Interestingly, the major impediment to petroleum marketers is the reliance on import sources for petroleum products, and foreign exchange scarcity which made the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) the sole importer of the products.
That has undermined the industry, making the business a less lucrative venture.

However, the coming on stream of Dangote Refinery is a game changer for the downstream sector because there will be availability of product locally that means operators in the industry will no longer be susceptible to currency devaluation and foreign exchange scarcity.

That means they will soon be making profit from core operations and deliver higher returns to shareholders in the form of bumper dividends and share appreciation.

The oil marketers are also grappling with Inadequate pipeline infrastructure and inefficient storage facilities that continue to clobber profit. For instance, 40 percent of petroleum products are trucked, which is expensive.

The average earnings before interest and taxation (EBITDA) margin for the downstream oil and gas sector stood at 5.90 percent, according to data from Cordros Securities Limited.

That compares with consumer goods, (5.90 percent); upstream oil and gas (20.10 percent), Industrial goods, (37.30 percent), and Telecoms, (39.70 percent). It means other sectors are turning each Naira of sales into higher profit.

According to Cordros Securities’ estimates, at a capacity utilisation of 60.0 percent, Dangote Refinery should produce c. 62.01 million litres of petroleum products per day, which is enough to meet estimated demand of 56.40 million litres per day, and leaving enough for exports.

The refinery will salvage the government from huge money it is expending on subsidy and under-recovery and shrink the country’s balance of payment deficit.

Analysts at Cordros Capital said it is a game changer as local production of petroleum will save Nigeria an estimated $3 billion annually in foreign exchange.

Anthony Chiejina, Group Head Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, said the government was pursuing the same policy to encourage Nigerian oil refining that it had with cement. The backward integration policy that led to the ban of cement for two decades helped boost local product and the country is now a net importer of the product.

“It’s an economic policy that has been tried and tested and has worked,’’ said Cheijina.
The landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) imported into Nigeria jumped to N216.31 per litre on the back of the recent increase in global oil prices and the depreciation of the naira against the dollar.

Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari said the federal government was subsidising petrol with about N100 billion to N120 billion monthly (N3.3 billion-N4 billion daily) as it was being sold for N162 per litre.

Nigeria’s current account (CA) position stayed in a deficit position for the tenth consecutive quarter, with the balance in the fourth quarter of 2020 was ($5.26 billion or -4.5 percent of GDP) representing the largest CA deficit since the fourth quarter of 2019.
The deficit in Q4-20 was primarily due to the goods imports ($14.69 billion) outstripping goods exports ($8.44 billion).

The passage of the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly is also expected to accelerate the liberalization of the downstream downstream industry, attract the desired foreign direct investment, and unlock potentials in the economy.

The outlook for supply is bleak however, as the existing foreign exchange illiquidity issues mean that oil and gas marketers would have to continue to rely on the NNPC for the majority of their products, at least until 2022 when the DIL refinery begins operations, according to analysts at Cordros Securities.

“Considering that NNPC operates a “cash and carry” model in its sale of products to the marketers, there is an added layer of pressure on the downstream companies, as they may have to incur debt (or more debt) to facilitate their transactions with the NNPC,” said the analysts.

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Bitcoin Rallies Towards $52K, Ethereum Consolidates, Altcoins In Uptrend



Bitcoin price gained bullish momentum above USD 50,000. Ethereum is consolidating below USD 4,000, XRP surged above the USD 1.30 resistance. QNT and FTM are up over 28%.

Bitcoin price remained well bid and it started a fresh increase above the USD 50,000 resistance. BTC gained nearly 4% and it even broke USD 51,500. It is currently (11:35 WAT) consolidating gains below the USD 52,000 resistance zone.

Besides, most major altcoins are also rising. ETH is holding gains, but it is facing resistance near the USD 4,000 zone. XRP is up over 6% and it broke the USD 1.30 resistance. ADA is still struggling to clear the USD 3.00 resistance zone.

Bitcoin price

After a successful close above USD 50,000, bitcoin price gained bullish momentum. BTC broke many hurdles near USD 51,000 and USD 51,200. It even traded close to USD 52,000 before the bears appeared. It is now consolidating gains below the USD 52,000 resistance. If there is an upside break above USD 52,000, the price could rise towards the USD 53,000 level.

On the downside, the price could find support near the USD 51,200 level. The main support is now forming near the USD 50,500 level.

Ethereum price

Ethereum price made another attempt to clear the USD 4,000 resistance, but it failed. As a result, ETH corrected lower below USD 3,950.

However, the bulls were active near the USD 3,850 level. The price is now consolidating above USD 3,900, with many hurdles near USD 3,980 and USD 4,000.

If there is another downside correction, the price could find support near USD 3,850. The next major support is near the USD 3,800 level.

ADA, LTC, DOGE, and XRP price

Cardano (ADA) failed to stay above USD 3.00 and corrected lower. However, downsides were limited below USD 2.85. The price is now stuck in a range below the USD 3.00 resistance. A close above USD 3.00 could start a stronger increase.

Litecoin (LTC) broke many hurdles near USD 200 and USD 212. LTC even cleared USD 220 and it is now consolidating gains. An immediate resistance is near the USD 230 level. A clear break above USD 230 and USD 232 could open the doors for a move towards the USD 250 level.

Dogecoin (DOGE) is up over 4% and it broke the USD 0.312 resistance. The next major resistance is near the USD 0.320 level. Any more gains might lead the price towards the USD 0.335 level. If not, there might be a downside correction towards the USD 0.300 level.

XRP price gained pace above the USD 1.30 resistance. It is up over 6% and it even cleared the USD 1.32 resistance. There was a spike towards the USD 1.34 level, where the bulls faced resistance. XRP is now consolidating around USD 1.32, with support near USD 0.305 and USD 0.300.

Other altcoins market today

Many altcoins are up over 5%, including QNT, FTM, FIL, OMG, LINK, LUNA, QTUM, AMP, HT, ICP, ALGO, ATOM, CRO, EOS, and COMP. Out of these, QNT rallied over 41% and it surpassed the USD 335 level.

Overall, bitcoin price settled well above the USD 50,000 resistance zone. If BTC continues to rise and clears USD 52,000, there could be a move towards USD 53,000 or USD 53,500.

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Bitcoin Above USD 50K, Ethereum Eyes USD 4K, SOL Extends Rally



Bitcoin price recovered losses and it climbed above USD 49,200. BTC is currently (11:46 UTC) trading above USD 50,000. A close above this level could push the price higher in the near term.

Besides, most major altcoins are trading in a positive zone. ETH regained strength and it broke the USD 3,900 level. XRP is consolidating near the USD 1.265 support. ADA could regain momentum if it settles above the USD 3.00 resistance.

Total market capitalization


Bitcoin price

After a short-term downside correction, bitcoin price started a fresh increase above USD 49,000. BTC surpassed USD 49,500 and USD 50,000. A successful close above USD 50,000 could start a fresh rally. The next major resistance is near USD 52,000. An intermediate resistance might be USD 51,200.
If there is a downside correction, the price might find support near USD 49,200. The next major support is now forming near the USD 48,500 level.

Ethereum price

Ethereum price started a fresh rally above the USD 3,800 resistance. ETH is up almost 6% and it traded close to the USD 4,000 level. If there is a break above USD 4,000, the price might rise towards the USD 4,200 level.
If there is a downside correction, the price might find bids near the USD 3,900 level. The next major support is near the USD 3,850 level.

ADA, LTC, DOGE, and XRP price

Cardano (ADA) corrected lower below the USD 3.00 level. It even tested the USD 2.90 level and is consolidating in a range. If there is a fresh increase, the price could accelerate higher towards the USD 3.10 and USD 3.12 levels. The next major resistance is near the USD 3.20 level.

Litecoin (LTC) is gaining pace and it cleared the USD 188 resistance zone. The main hurdle is now near the USD 200 level. A close above USD 200 could start another increase. If there is a downside correction, the price might find support near USD 185. The next major support is now forming near the USD 180 level.

Dogecoin (DOGE) is struggling to clear the USD 0.300 resistance. If the bulls succeed, the price could rise towards the USD 0.312 level. The next major resistance is near the USD 0.320 level. On the downside, the price may possibly remain stable above the USD 0.280 level.

XRP price failed to clear USD 1.295 and USD 1.300. It corrected lower and it traded below USD 1.280. The price is now stuck near USD 1.265. The next major support is near USD 1.25, below which there is a risk of a major decline. Conversely, the price could visit the USD 1.30 resistance zone.

Other altcoins market today

Many altcoins gained over 5%, including SOL, REV, NEAR, CEL, AUDIO, MIOTA, AVAX, BTT, HOT, ALGO, ZIL, LINK, and ICX. Out of these, SOL rallied over 20% and it trades near USD 140.

To sum up, bitcoin price is now attempting an upside break above USD 50,000. If BTC succeeds, it could rise further towards the USD 52,000 level.

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Apple plans to loosen App Store payment policy



Apple announced on Wednesday it will loosen some of its App Store policies, allowing media apps to steer customers directly to their websites without paying commission.

The change, to be implemented early next year, is being introduced to end an investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

The modification will spare so-called reader apps that provide digital content such as newspapers, books, music or video from having to use the App Store payment system and thus avoid paying a 30 percent commission.

“We have great respect for the Japan Fair Trade Commission and appreciate the work we’ve done together, which will help developers of reader apps make it easier for users to set up and manage their apps and services while protecting their privacy and maintaining their trust,” Apple Fellow Phil Schiller said in a blog post.

Developers of the digital content apps will be able to link to their websites where users can create or manage accounts, according to Apple.

While the change resulted from an agreement with the JFTC, it will apply globally to all reader apps at the App Store, the Silicon Valley tech giant said.

Apple has come under fire for its tight control of the App Store, where developers are required to use its payment system.

Apple charges a commission of as much as 30 percent on sales of digital content or subscriptions at the App Store, with the payment system making certain the company gets its piece of the action.

“Because developers of reader apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, Apple agreed with the JFTC to let developers of these apps share a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account,” Apple said in a post.

Apple last week agreed to loosen payment restrictions on its App Store, a major change announced in a settlement with small developers as the US technology giant faces growing scrutiny and legal challenges over its tightly controlled online marketplace.

The change will allow small developers to inform their customers of alternative payment options beyond the official App Store.

In a class-action lawsuit, the developers had accused Apple of monopolistic distribution practices by operating the sole gateway to get apps or other content onto iPhones and other devices powered by iOS software.

The proposed settlement is pending court approval.

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