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Stock/ Money

Nigeria To Sell N126bn Treasury Bills

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Nigeria plans to auction 126.33 billion naira ($800.19
million) in treasury bills ranging from 3-month to 1-year maturities at its
regular monthly debt auction on May 23, the Central Bank said on Wednesday.

The bank said it would issue 30.65 billion naira in 91-day
paper, 45 billion naira in 182-day bills and 50 billion in 364-day bills next
week Wednesday.

Nigeria, Africa’s second biggest economy after South Africa,
issues treasury bills regularly to reduce money supply, curb inflation and help
lenders manage their liquidity. ($1 = 157.87 naira)

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves rose to their
highest in 21-months to $37.02 billion by May 14, from $36.66 billion at the
end of last month, the latest figures from the central bank showed on
Wednesday.

Forex reserves in Africa’s biggest crude exporter stood at
$33.94 billion a year ago. The last time the reserves were at this level was in
August 2010.

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Stock/ Money

Role of attracting Private Finance for Africa’s economic growth

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Africa has plenty of natural resources and offers investors enormous opportunities to realize their full potential.

In Africa, the strong economic gains that have been crucial to increasing living standards over the previous two decades can be undone by the consequences of the disease, according to the International Monitoring Fund (IMF).

Growth opportunities through major public investment projects are constrained by unclear international aid prospects and high levels of state debt. The IMF emphasizes, in its statement, that Africa’s private sector should be more active in economic growth if the nations in the area are to benefit from a robust regeneration and prevent stagnation.

According to the IMF, both the social and the physical (road and energy) infrastructure should incorporate the private sector.

“By the end of this decade, on average, the infrastructure development needs for Africa amount to 20% of GDP. How do you fund this? Equally, higher tax revenues, which most nations are aiming toward, would be the major source of finance. However, given the scope of the demands, the international community and the business sector will need to mobilize new funding sources.” Noted by the IMF.

By 2020, an additional 3% of the GDP of SubSaharan Africa may be provided for physical and social infrastructure by the private sector. By 2020, GDP amounts to roughly 50 billion dollars a year, and almost one-fourth of the region’s average private investment ratio, which already stands at 13% of GDP.

What are the obstacles for Africa to attract Private Finances?

In Africa, national governments and state-owned businesses are involved in 95% of infrastructure projects, while there is little private sector involvement. The number of infrastructure projects implemented by the private sector decreased considerably after the commodity price crash throughout the last decade.

“A worldwide comparison, too, shows the limited involvement of private investors: Africa draws just 2% of the global foreign direct investment inflow and outflow. And investing in Africa is mostly for natural and extractive resources, and not for health, roads or water.” Noted by the IMF. According to experts, in order to remedy this situation, it is necessary for financial companies to become more active. One of the most in-demand financial companies across the continent is Forex brokers in Africa, which analysts say that have the potential to generate more foreign direct investments. Through that, the countries that are developing have the opportunity to attract more foreign investors and help their economy and interest rates to grow, as well. The IMF has observed that before the investment decision, three major risks occupy the thoughts of international buyers: project risk, currency risk, and exit risk.

  • Project risk: Despite the continent with its many commercial prospects, the pipeline of projects that are ‘investment ready’ remains restricted.
  • Currency risk: Currency represents the biggest issue for investors because if a project produces a 10% annual return at the same time as the currency drops 5%, then half of the investor’s profit will be gone.
  • Risk to exit: If an investor is not certain that they can quit a project and regain their profits by selling their interest in a project, they cannot invest in a country.

The IMF also emphasized that developing sectors have specific characteristics, especially in the more favorable climate, which makes involvement in the private sector more complex. It said that infrastructure projects in most instances involve significant upfront expenditures but revenues increase over extended time periods, which can be difficult for investors to evaluate.

It suggested that the effectiveness and efficacy of public incentives in Africa may be optimized while avoiding hazards. Governments may also explore giving additional incentives to attract private investment to infrastructure projects. These incentives containing various kinds of guarantees, subsidies, and tax risks might be expensive, but without them, many industry initiatives won’t happen. The IMF pointed out.

“African nations and developing partners could explore reallowing some resources for public investment to finance public incentives for private initiatives given the restricted availability of public funding. This redistribution might enhance the quantity, the variety, and the quality of services for the people of Africa if it is progressive and supported by good institutions, transparency, and governance. More inventive thinking can contribute to the continent’s transformational potential.” – according to the IMF.

Role of Private Finance

The International Development Community remains hard at work to accomplish its complete implementation by the 2030 objective, with fewer than 10 years left to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If SDGs were not made progress, nations would become more vulnerable to financial crises while diminishing their ability to manage or adapt to climate change impacts and hazards, severe poverty, and increasing inequality. The epidemic of COVID-19 highlighted the vulnerability in unpredictable shocks of the economy and communities.

While it is necessary to establish the entire economic effect of the COVID-19 epidemic for forecasts, it is evident that the pandemic might damage progress towards the SDGs. With its less diversified economy, it will be much harder to mobilize limited domestic resources towards SDGs in many developing markets and notably low-income countries (LICs).

Against the backdrop of massive job losses and low corporate income, deteriorating family and business budgets might jeopardize the recovery pace and robustness while restricting external finance possibilities for many nations. This rise in sector debt might lead firms and people, with maturities in recovery, to deleverage – selling debt reduction assets. This might put growth considerably below potential, limiting future progress in the direction of SDGs.

A large number of LICs are still far away targets, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania. This unpleasant fact reflects in the main the difficulties of providing infrastructure for sustainable industrialization to develop resilient infrastructure. The success of SDG’s funding shortfall of 5–7 trillion dollars per year will be addressed over the next decade and LICs will make up more than 2,5 trillion dollars per year. In the fields of energy infrastructure ($ 790 billion), climate change mitigation ($700 billion), and transport infrastructure ($ 650 billion), SDG investments in EM and LICs are especially important.

The IMF forecasts that the EM requires an extra 4 percent of GDP yearly expenditure to attain SDGs by 2030. The issue facing LICs is much worse with an average increase in expenditure of over 15% of GDP annually. The difficulty of addressing high demands for SDG finance would add worry over increasing public debt, remaining the major source of funding for social and economic infrastructure in LICs. During the last decade, government debt has grown quickly from around 30 percent of GDP in 2011 to roughly 47 percent in 2019, given chronic budget deficits for many LICs.

COVID-19 will continue to develop LIC’s government debt, which will rise this year by more than seven percent to over 55% of GDP. Many of these fragile nations have been grappling with the increased costs of borrowing and debt sustainability. Eight LICs had already been in debt trouble by June 2020 according to the IMF — in other words, they had difficulty servicing their debts. There is a strong chance that another 27 nations may fall into debt trouble as foreign debt loads increase.

In addition to a broad range of debt instruments, this environment offers significant potential to the private sector throughout the spectrum of investment vehicles – including FDI, listed, unlisted equities, and private equities. Given the huge increase in the debt of EM in the past two decades, it could be a more sustainable way to shorten the funding gap of SDGs toward more non-debt financing.

One part of the problem is public investment inefficiencies: over 40 percent of public investment in LICs would not become real “public stock capital.” In addition, LICs are now significantly more dependent than EM members on debt-generating capital flows (FDI debt (portfolio liabilities, bank loans, and trade credit). One possible solution is to improve domestic fiscal regimes and encourage alternative financing and partnerships to boost non-debt capital flows like equity finance. In consequence, this would alleviate fiscal pressures. However, it is crucial for important tax hazards and private-sector funding that an efficient structure is created for monitoring public/private partnerships and related contingent liabilities.

Another difficulty for many LICs is the lack of transparency with respect to their financial obligations to their full extent and character – in certain cases linked to ‘sheltered debt’ or unclear contingent liabilities, as well as inadequate governance. As a result, the risk of financial distress might grow, access to markets can be reduced, or borrowing rates can increase.

It would also assist to diversify the foreign creditor base. At present, the primary source of external finance for most LICs constituting 80% of public external debt is official bilateral and multilateral creditors. Striving to mobilize private creditors may assist by establishing LIC debt and SDG-aligned bindings partially secured by multilateral developing banks. In addition, the growth of local bond markets might help channel domestic financing towards the SDGs and add to the inventor base’s welcome diversification.

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Banking/ Finance

Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms

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Investing in cryptocurrency is threatening at the start because of frequent scam news. There are no doubt scams occur, and they will continue, but you need to choose cryptocurrency trading platforms wisely. Keeping security and long-term reliability as a concern, the following platforms are best for you.

Binance Exchange

Binance exchange is an altcoin trading platform founded in 2017. It offers more than 100 trading pairs between different cryptocurrencies. It also offers some fiat pairs only between cryptocurrencies. Binance deducts lower fees than other platforms up to 0.1% for both maker and taker. The fee reduces trade volume over the platform up to 0.02%. Besides these, if you want to trade through Binance, you need to learn more about it to make good of it.

Gemini

Gemini is the most popular cryptocurrency trading platform because of its security and transparency. As scams and hacking activities are very common these days, Gemini aims to provide its users will secure, reliable, scalable platforms to save their assets. Moreover, Gemini’s new user can win the reward of 10$ on depositing 100$ in his account.

BlockFi

BlockFi is a crypto trading platform that comes with the most interesting feature of lending to earn interest in your holdings. Alongside coin trading, you can borrow depending upon your assets. If you hold your tokens, you can win interest for holding them. BlockFi also rewards its users with different offers from time to time.

Kraken

Kraken is one of the most prominent global cryptocurrency platforms with a wider range of selected tokens and coins. It also facilitates you with margins, but you need to learn before starting your career here. Unfortunately, Kraken offers limited coins or tokens to US users, unlike internationals.

Robinhood 

Robinhood is an emerging crypto trading platform in the world. It has just bitcoins and ethers but aims to expand quickly. No doubt, it has some limitations, but it is free of cost trading costs. It can be the best option for you if you are new to the crypto world.

Coinbase

Coinbase is a prominent cryptocurrency platform in the US founded in 2012, just a few years after the Bitcoin release. It is a licensed exchange covering over 40 states of America. It is a very easy-to-use platform with higher liquidity and a wider choice of altcoins. It charges a higher fee than other platforms up to 2.99$ concerning Dollar values.

eToro

eToro started from Europe but now expanding to the united states as well. It offers a wider range of digital assets to trade. Most importantly, it provides a practice account that helps its user to understand the platform before investing.

Bitcoin IRA

Bitcoin IRA is a different crypto trading platform from others. In many exchanges and digital wallets, you exchange currencies and earn a profit, but you have to pay platform tax. Bitcoin IA is the best crypto wallet where your profit is in your account, and there is no tax deduction.

Final Note

There are many cryptocurrency trading platforms in existence, but you need to explore them before investing. Choose a secure, stable, and reliable platform to protect your digital assets.

 

 

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Economy

Why the UK’s Exit from the EU could Represent a Golden Opportunity for Nigeria

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Following Boris Johnson’s dominant election victory in December, it appears the UK is edging ever closer to Brexit. One of Johnson’s key campaign promises was to deliver on the results of the referendum in 2016 and allow the nation to “move on” from the chaos that has dominated British politics for more than three years.

Following his election victory, Johnson promised: “We can start a new chapter in the history of our country, in which we come together and move forward united, unleashing the enormous potential of the British people.”

He added that he wanted to make the 2020s a decade of prosperity and opportunity, but where does that leave the UK’s relationship with its other trade partners, and is there an opportunity for Britain to strengthen its ties with Nigeria?

The two nations have a long trade history and the latest data places Nigeria among the largest markets for UK exports. Although, at this moment, there is no existing trade deal between the UK and Nigeria, aside from World Trade Organisation ties and the UK’s status as a ‘most favoured nation’.

Their most favoured nation status means the UK enjoys the lowest tariffs, the fewest trade barriers and the highest import quotas, but could the ties to Nigeria become stronger in the fall-out of Brexit, and against the backdrop of the US-China trade war?

This economic conflict between the world’s biggest markets poses a threat to Nigeria, as Africa’s top oil producer, due to the tariffs being levelled by the two countries on the other’s imports.

Speaking in 2019, Muda Yusuf of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce explained: “The US and China are the two biggest economies in the world, so if they are having issues with respect to trade, it will affect the global economy, it will slow down growth and when we have a slowdown in growth, it will invariably affect commodity prices.

“So, we are likely to see a drop in crude oil price and it will affect Nigeria because we are heavily dependent on oil.”

The recent easing of the trade war between the nations could offer some respite, but could the UK’s severing of trade ties with EU member states offers an opportunity for stronger trading connections with Nigeria?

In May of last year, the UK’s then-Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, confirmed that Britain would aim to deepen its insurance sector ties to Nigeria through the introduction of Naira-dominated instruments in London’s financial markets.

This is great news for the global strength of the Naira, which has dropped in value against the British Pound by around half since the turn of the century. And the explosion in popularity of forex trading online means that these markets are now being evaluated and discussed more than ever.

The list of forex brokers operating online is growing globally, and Nigeria is no exception to that trend. As a result, more and more citizens are paying attention to the nation’s trade links – and paying closer attention to the Brexit picture unfolding thousands of miles away.

Source: Pexels

 

Source: Pexels

The two countries’ commercial relationship is already underpinned by more than £6.1bn worth of annual trade. UK brands remain in very high demand throughout Nigeria, especially luxury items, while Nigeria’s low-income tax rates make the nation an exciting prospect for British investors.

And as the nation edges ever closer to finally leaving the EU, we could see those ambitions of greater investment finally realized, but the UK isn’t the only country paying closer attention to Nigeria and recognizing its trade potential.

If their trade war with China continues to cool, the USA could further develop its presence in Nigeria beyond its present investment, which was placed at $5.6bn in 2018, and increase its activities to support SMEs in the country.

President Donald Trump emphasised America’s friendship with Nigeria on the occasion of the 59th independence anniversary last year, describing the nation as “our strongest partners in Africa”.

 

Source: Pexels

He also affirmed that Vice President Mike Pence and Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were working together to build on the two countries’ “long-standing history of co-operation”. Indeed, the pair came together last June to discuss trade reforms, among other topics.

But the slowdown caused by the tensions with China is bad news for countries that are trade partners of the two economic superpowers, and Nigeria’s hopes of capitalizing on additional investment from America, and potentially reducing its debt profile of N26trn, could be dashed.

This perhaps makes the UK a much safer bet for future growth, and Prime Minister Johnson will undoubtedly be eager to promote trade discussions with new partners following his nation’s exit from the EU.

But it falls on Nigeria to make the most of this opportunity, as there will be many other nations seeking to make inroads, and capitalize on the UK’s desire to strengthen its international trade links outside of Europe.

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