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Wall St. Dips At Open; Fed Minutes Awaited

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Wall St. Dips At Open; Fed Minutes Awaited

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Wednesday, a day after Wall Street’s strongest rally in seven months, as investors were disappointed with IBM’s results and remained cautious ahead of the minutes of Federal Reserve’s latest meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 92.55 points, or 0.36 percent, at the open to 25,705.87. The S&P 500 opened higher by 1.75 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,811.67. The Nasdaq Composite gained 23.77 points, or 0.31 percent, to 7,669.26 at the opening bell.

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Business News

IATA Forecasts Airlines Will Generate $3b More In 2019

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IATA Forecasts Airlines Will Generate $3b More In 2019

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents most global carriers, has forecast airlines will generate $3 billion more in total profits in 2019. The industry realized $32 billion this year. IATA says although airlines face increased taxes, they will carry more passengers next year that would boost industry profits.

Iata says airlines in North America are performing the best, but Africa remains the weakest region for aviation.

Net profits for airlines across Africa are expected to fall, for the fourth consecutive year next year by three-tenths of a percent.

Losses for carriers across Africa have widened as fuel costs have increased.

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Business News

CBN And MTN Plan To Settle $8b Rift Out Of Court

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CBN And MTN Plan To Settle $8b Rift Out Of Court

It seems as though the Central Bank of Nigeria and telco giant, MTN, are trying to find ways of resolving the $8 billion rift between them. One of MTN’s lawyers is quoted as saying they are making moves toward an out-of-court settlement.

Meanwhile, counsels for both parties have secured another adjournment until late January.

Another $2 billion case involving MTN and the Nigerian attorney general’s office was adjourned as well last week until early January.  This case is related to alleged back taxes owed by MTN.  The telco giant has denied it owed the taxes.

The $8 billion case was a result of a charge against MTN for allegedly violating Nigeria’s extant laws.  In August, Central Bank of Nigeria sanctioned MTN Nigeria for allegedly using irregular certificates of capital importation to transfer $8.1 billion to South Africa on behalf of its offshore investors.

MTN is being asked to return the $8.1 billion to Nigeria.

Mtn group’s Nigerian operations account for one-third of its entire African market share.

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African News

Moody’s Tags Namibia Risky For Investment

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Moody's Tags Namibia Risky For Investment

Instead of Namibia regaining a positive investment grading, Moody’s rating agency has declared the country as speculative.  The rating agency says, although there are improving prospects for economic growth, it is still risky to lend to the country.

So, Moody’s has affirmed the ba1 rating of the country, maintaining a negative outlook.

The ba1 rating reflects Namibia’s gradually improving medium-term growth prospects and moderate wealth levels that support the economy’s capacity to absorb shock.

In an announcement on its website, moody’s also projected a three and a half percent growth in gross domestic product and a GDP growth of one percent next year.  It says these growth projections are supported by developments in the diamond industry, the tourism sector, and logistics.

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