Oil Prices Surges By Over $1 Per Barrel On OPEC+ Production Cut

Oil prices surged more than $1 a barrel on Thursday, closing out the month on a higher note. This increase was as a result of the implementation of production cuts by OPEC+ to manage global oil supply, several attacks on Russia’s energy infrastructure and a decline in the number of active drilling rigs(a key indicator of future oil production).Brent crude futures for May settled at $87.48 a barrel, its highest level since Oct. 27, after rising by $1.39. The more actively traded June contract settled at $87 a barrel, rising by $1.58, with the May contract expiring on Thursday.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for May delivery settled at $83.17 a barrel, rising $1.82, or 2.2%.
On the week, Brent rose 2.4% and WTI gained about 3.2%. Both benchmarks finished higher for a third consecutive month.
India’s Forex Reserves Hits Record High
India, the second largest economy in Asia has its foreign exchange reserves  rose for a fifth straight week to hit a record high of $642.63 billion. However, The reserves jumped by $139 million last week. Foreign exchange reserves include India’s Reserve Tranche position in the International Monetary Fund. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) intervenes in the foreign exchange market to curb excess volatility in the rupee.
Kenya’s inflation fell in March compared with a month earlier, driven by falling prices of some food items and transport costs. Inflation dropped to 5.7% year-on-year in March from 6.3% in February. On a month-on-month basis, inflation was at 0.2% compared with 0.1% in February. The government targeted range for inflation for medium term is  between 2.5% and 7.5%. The central bank is due to announce its latest lending rate decision on April 3. However, In February, the bank raised its benchmark rate to 13.0% from 12.5% previously.
CBN Sets Minimum Capital For Banks
The Apex bank announced on Thursday the new minimum capital requirements for banks in a bid to enhance banks’ resilience and strengthen the country’s financial system. The Central Bank pegged the minimum capital base for commercial banks with international authorization at 500 billion naira ($353.32 million).The central bank said it is also setting a new minimum capital base for commercial banks with national authorization at 200 billion naira, while the new requirement for those with regional authorization will be 50 billion naira.In order to meet new capital requirements, banks can consider several options like resh equity capital injections, mergers and acquisitions, and upgrading or downgrading of license authorization. The banks have 24months to meet up with this capital requirements starting from April 1 and ending March 31,2026.
Access Holding Mulls $1.5bn Share, Bond Sale
Access Holding Plc is seeking a shareholders vote next month for approval to launch a capital raising program of $1.5 billion via a share sale or bond offering, to support its growth.The holding company, which owns Access Bank, Nigeria’s biggest lender, is also seeking existing shareholders for permission to raise 365 billion naira ($287 million) through a rights issue at a meeting set for April 19. Shares of Nigerian-based Access Group, which operates across 15 countries, mostly in Africa but including Britain and France, rose 2.08% to 24.50 naira on the Nigerian bourse. They hit a high of 30.70 naira in January.