Connect with us

Business

Four more UK energy suppliers go bust amid high gas prices

bust

Four more UK energy suppliers go bust amid high gas prices

Another four energy suppliers have gone bust in a single day as historic gas market highs continue to rip through the UK’s energy market amid fresh fears that Russia may curb gas supplies to Europe.

The energy regulator, Ofgem, said the collapse of four small energy suppliers on Tuesday would leave about 24,000 households in need of a new supplier, and bring the total number of bust energy companies to 17 since the start of September, affecting more than 2 million households.

The flurry of failures follows rocketing global energy market prices due to a sudden surge in demand for gas as economies began to shrug off restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Gas markets have reached record highs in recent weeks, leading to one of the sharpest increases in home energy bills and fears of a cost-of-living crisis this winter.

Out of the four UK casualties Zebra Power had the largest customer base, and supplied 14,800 households with energy. Omni Energy supplied about 6,000 domestic pre-payment customers, while AmpowerUK had about 600 UK customers and supplied a further 2,000 overseas households. MA Energy had about 300 overseas customers.

Scores more energy suppliers are expected to collapse in the months ahead as gas markets remain at near-record highs, and suppliers are forced to shoulder the higher costs without raising their tariffs above the regulator’s energy price cap.

Consumer charity Citizens Advice said struggling households would ultimately pay the price “with uncertainty, inconvenience and ultimately higher bills” as suppliers continue “to fall like dominoes”.

Gillian Cooper, the head of energy at Citizens Advice, said: “Last week, Ofgem set out how it intends to ‘raise the bar’ for supplier standards and improve their resilience in the short term. This is a positive step, but it’s clear that existing rules and their enforcement, has not been enough.”

Cooper added: “Longer-term, Ofgem will need to do more to make sure companies are financially sound and provide good customer service. This should include protecting people from the loyalty penalty, which prior to the cap allowed companies to profit from those who didn’t or couldn’t switch.”

The energy regulator set out plans for “bold action” last week to fasttrack changes to its price cap, which protects around 15 million households from unfair energy bills, following growing calls from suppliers to make the cap more flexible so that market increases can be passed on to households sooner.

The price cap overhaul has emerged amid deepening concerns that gas prices, which are more than three times higher than this time last year, may resume their upward climb as temperatures plunge across Europe and Russia squeezes gas exports to Europe.

Gas flows from Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom, which supplies about a third of Europe’s gas, dropped significantly over the weekend and on Tuesday the company declined to offer extra gas supplies to Europe from January, when demand is often at its highest for the winter.

The slowdown in gas exports has reignited fears over the winter’s energy suppliers despite a direct order from the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, for Gazprom to focus on filling its European gas storage facilities from 8 November, when Russian domestic storage should be filled.

Russia’s decision not to open its gas taps to allow extra supplies into Europe from January also defies calls from the global energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency, which said last month that Russia should help to ease market prices by boosting gas exports to Europe this winter.

Moscow has denied it is withholding gas supplies from Europe via its pipelines through Ukraine and Poland to exert pressure on German regulators to approve gas shipments through the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

But its decision to send only contracted volumes despite the strong demand for extra gas supplies is likely to raise gas market prices across Europe, helping Russia to charge more for its hydrocarbon exports.

Business

DMO Issues Two FGN Savings Bonds At N1,000/unit

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has announced its Dec. issuance of two Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Savings Bonds at N1,000 per unit.

According to a statement by the DMO, the first offer is a two-year FGN Savings Bond due on Dec. 14, 2022, at an interest rate of 12.255 percent per annum.

The second one is a three-year FGN Savings Bond due on Dec. 14, 2025, at a 13.255 percent interest rate per annum.

It said that the opening date for the issuance of the bonds is Dec.5, the closing date is Dec. 9, the settlement date, is Dec. 14 while coupon payment dates are March 14, June 14, Sept. 14, and Dec. 14.

“They are issued at N1,000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N5,000 and in multiples of N1,000 thereafter, subject to a maximum subscription of N50 million.

“Interest is payable quarterly, while bullet repayment is made on the maturity date, ” it said.

It added that FGN savings bonds qualify as securities in which trustees can invest under the Trustee Investment Act.

“They qualify as government securities within the meaning of the Company Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act for tax exemption for pension funds amongst other Investors.

“They are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and qualify as liquid assets for liquidity ratio calculation for banks,” it said.

The statement said they were backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and charged upon the general assets of the country.

Continue Reading

Business

DMO Says It has Raised N130bn From Sukuk For Key Road Projects

The Debt Management Office (DMO) says it raised N130 billion from its N100 billion sovereign al ’Ijarah sukuk opened on November 21, 2022.

DMO, in a statement on Monday disclosed that the offer of N100 billion was “upsized to N130 billion due to the over 165 percent subscription level”.

The Sukuk is a strategic initiative that supports infrastructure development, promotes financial inclusion and deepens the domestic securities market.

Since the establishment of the initiative in September 2017, Nigeria has issued four sovereign sukuk: 2017 (N100 billion), 2018 (N100 billion), 2020 (N162.557 billion), and 2021 (N250 billion).

According to the statement, this year’s total sovereign sukuk issuance moved to N742.557 billion.

“The Debt Management Office (DMO) is pleased to inform the public of the successful conclusion of the issuance of N100 billion sovereign al ’ijarah sukuk. The offer for N100 billion opened on November 21, 2022, and was supported by wide public sensitisation to encourage subscription from diverse investors, particularly the retail investors,” the statement reads.

“The initial offer size of N100 billion was upsized to N130 billion due to the over 165 percent subscription level. The Sukuk was issued at a rental rate of 15.64 percent per annum. This brings the total sovereign sukuk issuance to N742.557 billion as at date.”

Continue Reading

Business

CBN Limits Withdrawal To N100,000 Weekly

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday slashed the cash withdrawal by an individual to N100,000 per week by an individual.

The apex bank also fixed N500,000 as the amount a company can withdraw in a week.

By this new policy, account holders can only withdraw a maximum of N100,000 weekly through Automated Teller Machine (ATM), subject to a maximum of N20,000 daily withdrawal.

Under the new policy, which is to take effect from January 9, 2023, the maximum cash withdrawal via Point of Sale (POS) shall also be N20,000 daily.

This was contained in a circular issued by the CBN on Tuesday, signed by director of banking supervision, Haruna Mustafa and addressed to deposit money banks and other financial institutions.

According to the circular, deposit money banks and other financial institutions are also mandated to ensure that over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, per week.

It further indicated that all cash withdrawals in excess of the stated limits will attract processing fees of 5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The new policy also states that third party cheques in excess of N50,000 shall not be eligible for over the counter payment, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques subsist.

“Only denomination of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.

“In compelling circumstances not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits is required for legitimate purposes, such cash withdrawals shall not exceed N5,000,000 and N10,000,000 for individuals and corporate organisations respectively, and shall be subject to the references processing fees in (1) above, in addition to enhanced due diligence and further information requirements,” the circular stated.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending