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Asset Management Company Comes On Stream … As Stocks Begin To Rally

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set up a technical team to value bad bank loans that will be purchased by the new Asset Management Company (AMC) which comes on stream this month. The CBN and finance ministry have finalised plans for the take-off of the asset management firm which will buy up non-performing loans in exchange for government bonds in order to free up banks’ balance sheets.

In fact, analysts have posited that the impact on liquidity might spur the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) into embarking on excess liquidity mop up or a likely hike in Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) in its July Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

According to Bismarck Rewane, chief executive of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, in its May report presented at the Monthly Lagos Business School Meeting, short recovery is expected in the next couple of weeks as market bounces back from current low as a result of expected liquidity inflow.

Razia Khan, regional head of research, Africa Standard Bank, said the recovery of oil prices and output, creation of the AMC, and government’s spending plans ahead of elections in 2011 will all add to money supply. She, however, said recovery will be short-lived due to expected increase in interest rates, and further pressure on exchange rate as the holiday season approaches.

“Expect to see a lull in market activity in the summer months, while intervention by regulatory agencies on the broker-dealer community may reduce activities on the stock exchange and introduce further downwards pressure”, she said.

According to Khan, so far the stock market has been showing strong correlation with interest rate environment. For instance, high interest rate volatility has contributed to the volatility in the stock market, with the stock market benefiting from depressed rate environment as investors sought higher yields. In fact, the analysts are sure the apex bank may tinker with the idea of raising rates in its July meeting due to growing money supply.

Khan is, however, optimistic that the fixed income market (a market for trading bonds and other preferred stocks) will benefit as corporate bonds will be issued at higher yields.

For instance, N80 billion FGN bond was sold in the month of May. Similarly, a N25 billion was sold at the 3-year bond end of the market at a yield of 5.5 per cent, while another N25 billion was sold at the 5-year end of the market at 4.0 percent. The N30 billion was sold at the 20-year at 8.5 per cent. Successful bids for the three, five and 10-year offers were allotted at the marginal rate of 8.25 percent, 9.00 per cent and 10.00 per cent.

On how the CBN had fared in one year of Lamido Sanusi’s stewardship as governor, Khan said the apex bank is likely to be encouraged to continue its unbundling of universal banking.

 She expects further regulation of banking entities and consolidated supervision to intensify in the coming years. However, she identified some policy challenges such as fiscal dominance and indiscipline at the sub-national government level, and temptation to bleed the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as areas to watch out for.

Others include ensuring an orderly succession at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), weeding out the insolvent and insidious broker/dealers and sanitising the capital market. The House of Representatives signed a harmonised bill on Thursday, while the Senate is expected to vote on the legislation when it resumes work on June 22. “The central bank and the finance ministry have already set up technical teams that are doing implementation,” Central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi told CNBC Africa television.

“We are looking at the toxic assets, we are looking at the value of the collateral, we are working on valuation models.” With bad loans off banks’ books, CBN hopes financial institutions will resume lending which had ceased since last year’s $4 billion bail-out of nine weak lenders.

“We will have a return to credit growth. It will be gradual but this time it is hopefully going to be sustainable,” Sanusi said. The central bank wants new investors to recapitalise the rescued lenders but they are unlikely to do so until after the AMC purchases the bad loans.

“By the time we have done the M & A (mergers and acquisitions), taken off the toxic assets and gone through a recapitalisation process, the supply side of credit will improve,” he said.

Sanusi also raised concerns over the state of the troubled airline industry and its potential impact on the banking system. “Every airline in the country seems to have non-performing loans,” he said. “One airline, for instance, owes a bank over N100 billion. Now that is enough to wipe out the entire capital of the bank.”

CBN is already extending a N500 billion fund meant to stimulate credit to the power and manufacturing sectors to airlines.

Meanwhile, after a round of profit taking precipitated a recent downturn in stock values, Nigeria’s stock market will begin a sustained rebound with the commencement of AMC as stock prices are expected to start an ascent in value, analysts have predicted.

The coming on stream of the AMC coincides with the expected rise in government spending, occasioned by federal government’s lining up of a supplementary budget to take care of certain overheads by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). This will increase the spending capacity of civil servants and, in turn, boost activities at the stock market.

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Nigeria, 12 Others To Drive Global Trade By 2030 – Report

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A trade research report has indicated that Nigeria and 12 other countries will be responsible for the driving of the global trade to the tune of $30 trillion by the year 2030.
The research, which was commissioned by Standard Chartered and prepared by PwC Singapore posited that Nigeria and 12 other countries would be responsible for driving global trade to $30tn by 2030.
According to the report sponsored by the Singaporean organisation, the global exports would be more than double from $17.4tn to $29.7tn over the next decade, while much of the growth would be driven by 13 markets.
It said Nigeria would be growing at an annual rate of 9.7 per cent, with about $112bn in exports by 2030, through key corridors such as India, Indonesia and Mainland China.
It also stated that Kenya, the second African nation on the list, would be growing by 7.6 per cent annually, with $10bn in exports by 2030 through key corridors namely, Pakistan, Uganda and the United States of America.
The list consists mostly of Asian countries with Mainland China contributing the most at $5.02tn by 2030 and growing at 7.1 per cent annually.
Other countries are Hong Kong ($939bn, 5.7 per cent), South Korea ($972bn, 7.1 per cent), and India ($564bn, 7.6 per cent).
Bangladesh, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia also featured in the report.
The report is based on an analysis of historical trade data and projections until 2030, as well as insights from a survey of more than 500 C-suite and senior leaders in global companies.
According to the report, global trade will be reshaped by five key trends: the wider adoption of sustainable and fair-trade practices, a push for more inclusive participation, greater risk diversification, more digitisation and a rebalancing towards high-growth emerging markets.
It said almost 90 per cent of the corporate leaders surveyed agreed that these trends would be shaping the future of trade and would be forming part of their five to 10-year cross-border expansion strategies.
The research also found a significant trend towards the adoption of sustainable trade practices in response to climate concerns and a rising wave of conscious consumerism.
It said while almost 90 per cent of corporate leaders acknowledged the need to implement these practices across their supply chains, only 34 per cent ranked it as a ‘top three’ priority for execution over the next five to 10 years.

By: Corlins Walter

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Currency In Circulation Rose By N129bn In Oct – CBN

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The currency in circulation in the country rose by N129bn to N2.97tn in October from N2.84tn in September, according to the figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The currency in circulation had fallen to N2.78tn in August from N2.81tn in July.
It stood at N2.74tn in June, N2.79tn in May, N2.79tn in April, N2.8tn in March, N2.78tn in February and N2.83tn in January.
The CBN said, “The currency in circulation increased by N465.47bn or 19.06 per cent to N2.91tn in 2020, compared with N2.44tn in 2019.
“In 2020, there were higher withdrawals by DMBs than deposits, due to the panic need to hold cash to deal with the emergencies and reduced banking hours due to restrictions to curb spread of the pandemic”.
The apex bank said to maintain public confidence and ensure integrity of circulated notes in the economy, it developed and unveiled a clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines in 2018.
The guidelines outlined details of quarterly and yearly activities towards the achievement of this objective.
According to the CBN, the clean note policy encapsulates diverse currency management activities to preserve the integrity and maintain the quality of banknotes in circulation.
The policy provides that every newly printed and existing banknotes should conform to predefined standards before circulation and re-circulation in the economy.
Currency in circulation is defined as currency outside the vaults of the central bank – that is, all legal tender currency in the hands of the general public and in the vaults of the deposit money banks.
The CBN said it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in the country.
It said this approach involved tracking the movements in currency in circulation on a transaction-by-transaction basis.
According to the CBN, for every withdrawal made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, an increase in CIC is recorded; and for every deposit made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, a decrease in CIC is recorded.
The transactions are all recorded in the CBN’s CIC account, and the balance on the account at any point in time represented the country’s currency in circulation.

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CBN’s eNaira Records 600,000 Downloads Within One Month

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Barely four weeks after its launch in October, the eNaira app of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has witnessed about 600,000 downloads.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this in a statement at the weekend, said, “In less than four weeks since its launch, almost 600,000 downloads of the e-Naira application have taken place.
“Efforts are ongoing to encourage faster adoption of the e-Naira by Nigerians who do not have smart phones.
“The support of the financial industry will be critical in the ongoing deployment of the e-Naira and efforts are ongoing to encourage continued partnership between the CBN and stakeholders in the financial industry”.
The CBN governor also said that building a robust payment system that would provide cheap, efficient, and faster means of conducting payments for most Nigerians have always been the focus of the apex bank.
According to him, the growing pace of digitization globally makes it essential that they leverage on digital channels in fulfilling this objective.
Emefiele disclosed that total transaction volumes using digital channels were more than doubled between 2018 and 2020, as volumes rose from 1.3 billion to over 3.3 billion financial transactions in 2020.
He added that digital payment channels also helped to support continued conduct of business activities during the lockdown.
The CBN boss noted that the robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria. This, according to him, reflects the confidence people have in the payment system.
He said that between 2015 and September 2021, about US$900 million has been invested in firms being run by Nigerian founders.
“Notwithstanding these gains, close to 36 per cent of adult Nigerians do not have access to financial services.
“Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to households and businesses,’’ Emefiele added.

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