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Archive for the tag “Monday”

UK ambassador’s convoy attacked in Libya


“British embassy vehicles reportedly hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, which left two officers injured in Benghazi

Two security guards were injured in Monday’s attack on the convoy, which was carrying the UK ambassador [AFP]

Britain’s ambassador to Libya was in a convoy of cars attacked in the eastern city of Benghazi, a British embassy spokeswoman has said.

The convoy was hit about 300m from the British consulate office in the city’s al-Rabha neighbourhood on Monday.

“A convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya was involved in a serious incident in Benghazi this afternoon,” the spokeswoman said.

“Two close protection officers were injured in the attack but all other staff are safe and uninjured.”

She said the injured officers were receiving medical treatment.

The diplomatic convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, local security officials said earlier on Monday.

The embassy spokeswoman earlier said that all staff were accounted for following the attack. “We are liaising closely with the Libyan authorities,” she said.

Leaflets found

Unis Sharif, Libya’s deputy interior minister, said the vehicle was carrying security personnel in a convoy for the head of the British diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

Al Jazeera‘s Omar al-Saleh, reporting from Tripoli, said that security sources in Benghazi had confirmed the attack, saying it had occurred shortly after the convoy left a restaurant not far from the British consulate.

“Police at the scene said they have found leaflets from a group that calls itself the Brigades of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman,” he said.

Abdel-Rahman is an Egyptian national who is currently serving a life sentence in the US.

A Reuters news agency reporter at the scene in Benghazi said police had cordoned off the area. A damaged but still intact car windscreen could be seen lying on the ground.

Security experts blamed an armed group for allegedly attacking the convoy with a rocket-propelled grenade.

According to the experts, the area around Benghazi is home to a number of groups who oppose any Western presence in Muslim countries.

Five days ago, an explosive device was dropped from a passing car outside the offices of the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The blast that followed slightly damaged the gate in front of the building.

On May 22, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the city, blasting a small hole in the building but causing no casualties.

Benghazi was the cradle of the uprising last year, which ended Muammar Gaddafi‘s 42-year rule. Since then, it has become a hot-spot for violence. Arms remain readily available and state security forces are struggling to assert their authority.

The violence comes as Libya prepares to elect a general national congress, with the vote set for July 7.”

Source: Aljazeera News

Where are Facebook’s friends? Shares hit again

Facebook‘s shares fell sharply again overnight, as two top US financial regulators called for a review of the circumstances surrounding its troubled initial public offering last week.

The separate calls for review, by Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and FINRA Chairman Rick Ketchum, added pressure on the company, its underwriters and the Nasdaq, all of which have taken blame for the stock’s harried opening and subsequent sharp decline.

After Friday’s nearly flat close and Monday’s 11 per cent plunge, Facebook shares plunged another 8.9 per cent to close at $US31. At that price the company has shed more than $US18 billion in market capitalisation from its $US38-per-share offering price last week.

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Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg (centre) speaks from the company's headquarters as he remotely rings the bell to open the trading in Facebook shares.On the slide … Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg rings the bell to open the trading in Facebook shares on Friday.

With Facebook shares all but impossible to sell short, investors have sought out almost any related vehicle to bet against the social network. Over the past three trading days, prices plunged on two closed-end funds that owned pre-IPO shares.

Firsthand Technology Value Fund and GSV Capital Corp both dropped more than 25 per cent even though their Facebook holdings make up only a small fraction of assets.

“Until investors can actually short Facebook, they have to keep shorting other things that can give them some sort of proxy for Facebook,” said Thomas Vandeventer, manager of the Tocqueville Opportunity Fund, which owns shares of both the battered closed-end funds.

“There was a quick rush to exit yesterday, and when it broke the deal price it became self-fulfilling that there was going to (be) additional pressure,” said Michael James, a senior trader at regional investment bank Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.

Investors were still shaking their heads over the botched opening trading of Facebook when Reuters reported late Monday that the consumer internet analyst at lead underwriter Morgan Stanley cut his revenue forecasts for Facebook in the days before the offering.

JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, which were also underwriters on the deal, each revised its estimates during the road show as well, according to sources familiar with the situation.

“The allegations, if true, are a matter of regulatory concern” to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and to the SEC, FINRA’s Ketchum told Reuters.

One mutual fund source said they had never, in a decade of experience, seen an underwriter cut a company’s outlook during the road show prior to an offering.

The SEC’s Schapiro said investors should be confident in investing, but she conceded there were questions to answer.

“I think there is a lot of reason to have confidence in our markets and in the integrity of how they operate, but there are issues that we need to look at specifically with respect to Facebook,” she told reporters as she exited a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Still overvalued?

Brokers who over-ordered shares in the expectation that supply would be limited continued to complain they received too much stock to handle and were left in the dark about forecast changes.

One Morgan Stanley Smith Barney adviser said that the fact that institutional investors received information that retail investors did not is “a huge issue for the entire industry.

“Night and day the institutional clients get things that we don’t get. It’s a big issue,” the adviser said, adding there was surprise within the brokerage that Morgan Stanley, as lead underwriter, had not done more to support the share price.

As bad as the declines have been, though, a view persists that the stock remains overvalued.

Monday’s closing price of $US34.03 implied a 24 per cent annual growth rate for Facebook earnings over the next 10 years – a rate that would rank above 90 per cent of the companies in that industry.

Thomson Reuters Starmine, meanwhile, more conservatively estimates a 10.8 per cent annual growth rate — almost exactly the mean for the technology sector – which would value the stock at $US9.59 a share, a 72 per cent discount to its IPO price.

More than one villain

Investors said the challenge for the young company is to prove it can grow at a rate that justifies its lofty valuation and demonstrates its maturity.

Wall Street is a severe taskmaster and they’re going to want to see quarterly results, then guidance, then subsequently they’re going to want to see that guidance beaten, and then the guidance raised,” David Rolfe, chief investment officer of Wedgewood Partners, said on Monday evening.

Besides the pressure on Facebook, there is also an intense focus on Nasdaq, which has shouldered much of the blame for the trading failures. The exchange has set aside money to compensate customers, but some on Wall Street are warning its ability to snag future big IPOs is at risk.

But Nasdaq shareholders gave the company a pass Tuesday – the exchange operator’s annual meeting only lasted a few minutes and top executives did not get any questions at all on what went wrong with Facebook or what they were doing to correct it.

Barry Ritholtz, a widely followed financial blogger and the chief market strategist at Fusion IQ in New York, took all sides – Facebook, Morgan Stanley and Nasdaq – to task in the sharpest terms on his blog Tuesday.

“Thus, what we see are a series of bad decisions made by Facebook’s executives going back many years. The insiders got greedy, too clever by half, in how they used secondary markets. They picked a bad banker and an awful exchange,” Ritholtz said.”


Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Four injured in Bauchi explosion

by Jude Owuamanam, Jos

Four people were injured on Monday night when a bomb exploded at Peoples Hotel in Bayan Gari area of Bauchi metropolis.

The hotel located behind the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, is always busy due to the activities of sex workers.

It was learnt that a man threw a bomb.

The explosion created panic as people scampered to safety.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Ladan, who confirmed the incident, said the bomb exploded at about 9pm and that one woman and three men were injured.

He said the injured persons were taken to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital for treatment. Three of them were discharged on Tuesday morning.

Ladan said, “We are suspecting that the remaining person who is currently on admission is the one that carried out the act because of the degree of injury on his body, but we are still investigating the matter. Part of the building was partially blown off.

Source: The Punch Newspaper

#Nigeria Naira Stable on Forex Inflow

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Naira notes


By Obinna Chima

The naira was stable on both the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN)-regulated Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) and interbank market Wednesday due to inflow of the greenback into the system.

Similarly, the behaviour exhibited by the local currency yesterday was also attributed to an increase in the supply of the dollar by the CBN at the bi-weekly auction.

In fact, at the first WDAS session for May held yesterday, the naira closed at N155.69 to a dollar, the same amount it was at the end of Monday’s auction.

The CBN offered a total of $150 million to the 15 banks that participated in the auction. This represented an increase by 25 per cent, over the $120 million it had offered to 19 banks on Monday.

On the other hand, the local currency maintained its position at the interbank as it closed at N157.40 to a dollar, the same value it was on Monday.

The market did not open on Tuesday, due to the public holiday that was declared to commemorate the workers’ day.

Dealers said the liquidity position of the market was influenced by the sale of about $194 million to banks by two multinational oil companies. The companies were identified as Mobil and Agip.

Meanwhile, the CBN yesterday disclosed plans to auction treasury bills worth N145.05 billion next week Thursday. The bills would range between 3-month to 1-year maturities at its bi-monthly auction. Specifically, the apex bank said it would issue N32.05 billion in 91-day bills, N53 billion in 182-day bills and N60 billion in 364-day bills.

The CBN issues treasury bills regularly to tame inflationary pressure, to ensure that it reduces the volume of money supply in the economy, amongst others.

The CBN had auctioned treasury bills worth about N141 billion at the previous auction. It had sold 91-day paper, 182-day bills and 364-day bills. Yields at the previous auction fell across various tenors. This was then, driven by strong demand from offshore and local institutional investors.
“We expect the CBN to maintain tight monetary conditions and mop up excess liquidity. This means the CBN will not reduce treasury bills or Open Market Operation (OMO) rates as long as there is no turnaround in the fiscal path,” a source said.

Robbers set banks ablaze, kill five in Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State

01/05/2012 19:40:00 NAN

Robbers incapacitate the police in Ondo and raid three banks

Armed robbers besieged the sleepy town of Ikare-Akoko in Ondo State on Monday night and used dynamites to blow open the security gates of three banks.

According to the Police Public Relations officer in the state, Adeniran Aremu, who confirmed the incident, the affected banks are the Ecobank Plc, Wema Bank Plc and the First Bank Plc.

Fear gripped the residents who scampered out to establish what had gone amiss as the robbers followed each dynamite explosion with sporadic gun fires.

In the melee, five persons were killed by stray bullets but the Police authorities in the state confirmed the death of only two persons.
Those who died were a pastor, two commercial motorcyclists, a security guard and a teenager simply identified as Oniwu.
Investigations showed that the robbers on their arrival in the town went straight to the police station and dislodged the security personnel by shooting sporadically at them.

The station was immediately deserted as the policemen on duty took to their heels following their inability to confront the superior fire power of the rampaging robbers.

NAN further learnt that the officers fled to request for reinforcement at both Owo, also in Ondo State and at Akure, a distance of about 50 kilometers and 100 kilometers from Ikare, respectively.

The robbers had moved to the premises of the affected banks before the arrival of more security personnel and they blew-off the security gates.

It was gathered that they carried out the operations simultaneously at the three banks while the Armoured Personnel Carrier stationed at Ikare to control robbery attacks was badly damaged and de-mobilised.

The driver of the APC, and a policeman, who were hit by bullets were said to be on danger list at a hospital along with several others who sustained injuries as a result of the sporadic shootings.

NAN further learnt that a group of armed robbers had earlier on Monday evening laid siege on Akure/Owo highway and dispossessed travelers of their valuables.

They were said to have been dislodged by policemen who engaged them in a gun battle during which two of the robbers were killed.

The PPRO explained that those who died came out of their homes when they heard the sounds of the guns and were killed by the stray bullets of the robbers who shot sporadically into the air.

The police spokesman said that more policemen had been deployed to the town while the police had started efforts to track down the fleeing robbers.

“The DPO of Ikare, Aliyu Lukman, made a distress call to the headquarters and reinforcement was sent to Ikare immediately.

“The timely intervention of the police did not allow the robbers to gain access into the banks’ vaults.

“Our men also on Monday evening, killed one armed robber and arrested another four who blocked the Owo-Akure Road to raid travelers and dispossess them of their valuables,” Mr. Aremu said.

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