Banking and Finance

Macroeconomic Note: Weaker External Position Points to Further FX Adjustment

Nigeria’s current account (CA) position sustained its deficit run for the sixth consecutive quarter in Q4-19 (+157% q/q). We highlight that the absolute CA deficit of USD6.97 billion translates to 5.3% of GDP – representing the highest point in history. Analysing the breakdown, we note that the negative outturn was largely occasioned by trade deficit (USD1.5 billion) – the first trade deficit since Q3-16 –, following a 17.0% q/q expansion in imports, which ran ahead of exports (-11.0% q/q).

S&P Global Downgrades Nigeria’s Long-term Issuers Rating to ‘B-‘

In recent times, we have highlighted the deterioration of Nigeria’s external balance. The recent release of the full year external statistics gives us a full picture of the performance in 2019. The Q4:2019 balance of payments statistics showed a deeper contraction in the current account balance to -$7.0bn or -5.4% of GDP, the largest quarterly current account deficit on record. There was a decline across all the components, save current transfers which remained resilient, up 10.7% Y-o-Y to $7.0bn, driven by higher remittances from abroad.

NAICOM rolls our regulatory forbearance for business sustainability

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has rolled out some regulatory forbearance as part of business continuity measures to ensure availability of insurance services and protections of insurance policyholders during the COVID-19 Movement Restriction.

The commission in a circular to insurance operators and institutions, signed by the Director Policy and Regulation, Pius Agboola, on behalf of the Ag. Commissioner for Insurance, Thomas Sunday released the regulatory forbearance as follows:

FCMB Group Records ₦188b Revenue, Grows Profit to ₦20.1b

FCMB Group Plc has announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019. The audited results showed that the Group’s gross revenue increased to N188 billion compared to N177.2billion in 2018. The strong performance also manifested in profit before tax, which rose by 9% to N20.1 billion.

Following this, the financial institution has declared a dividend of 14 kobo per share to shareholders.

₦100b health sector intervention scheme operational till 2030 –CBN

CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said that the N100 billion credit support to the health sector created as part of measures to address the impact of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic on the Nigerian economy, will operate till 2030.

The apex bank disclosed this in the guidelines for the scheme released last week, stating that: “The exit date of this intervention is December 31, 2030.”

External reserves to fall below $30b

The travel restrictions and other measures being implemented around the world in order to curb the Coronavirus pandemic has led to the shutdown of the global economy.

The Sub-Saharan region in Africa is not immune from the economic shock caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The oil exporters from the sub-region have been seriously hit hard by the crash in crude oil prices which is compounded by drop in demand due to a series of lockdowns and restrictions being carried out globally.

COVID-19: CBN implements necessary measures for steady operations

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has triggered business continuity plans to ensure the bank’s operations remain uninterrupted despite COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

The CBN Director of Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, said this in a statement in Abuja.

Okorafor disclosed that the apex bank had directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions to do the same.

BOI raises €1b from international capital market

As part of efforts to revitalise Nigeria’s industrial sector, the Bank of Industry (BOI) says it has raised €1 billion (approximately $1.11billion) from the international capital market.

The Managing Director of BOI, Mr Kayode Pitan, in a statement on Friday in Lagos, said that the fund was in line with the focus of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Pitan said that the fund would leverage Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to achieve its target.

Nigeria central bank devalues official FX rate by 15% after trade with local bank –traders

The Nigerian central bank devalued the official currency rate by 15% on Friday, in a move to converge a multiple exchange rate regime which it has used to manage pressure on the naira, traders said according to Reuters.

The currency in Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest economy and relies on crude sales for 90% of foreign exchange earnings, has come under pressure after oil prices plunged following a disagreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia over a deeper production cut. The coronavirus outbreak has also hit global demand for oil.

Nigeria to delay non-critical spending, defer Eurobond sale -finmin

Nigeria will postpone all non-critical government spending and wait for better market conditions for a planned $3.3 billion eurobond offering due to the turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the finance minister said on Monday.

Minister Zainab Ahmed told journalists in Abuja that Africa’s largest economy will prioritize “major capital expenditures,” Reuters reports.

“Any expenditures that are not critical we must defer to do it at a later time when things become more normal,” she said.