Opinion

A Change in Market Sentiments ...5 Signs to Watch

The Nigerian equities market has sustained a bearish run for most of 2015 as issues ranging from a fragile polity, foreign exchange restrictions, stifling monetary policy stance, weakening domestic growth and rising inflationary pressure have weighed in to weaken investor sentiment. While the victory of President Buhari at the polls boosted investor confidence between April and May, the five months of waiting before the eventual inauguration of cabinet on 11th November, 2015 has had a debilitating impact on the overall market.

Equities Down in the Dumps.... Investors await Policy Signals

The Nigerian equities market sustained two weeks of sell pressure to reach a 36-Month low on the 2nd of December 2015 as the benchmark index closed at 27,287.89, representing a 21.3% Year to Date decline. For the most part of 2015, sentiment on the bourse has been bearish due to the low crude oil prices, weakening domestic economic fundamentals and exchange rate constraints that have weakened risk-appetite of domestic investors and stalled portfolio capital flows into the financial market.

Buhari Bounce Becomes Bust as Nigeria Policies Irk Investors

When Muhammadu Buhari clinched victory in Nigeria’s presidential elections in March, stocks soared as investors looked to the former military ruler to reverse decades of economic mismanagement and policy inertia. Now hopes have fizzled in his ability to turn around Africa’s largest economy and oil producer.

Nigeria and Climate Change Conference: Matters Arising

Preparatory to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) that will hold in Paris between Nov. 30 and Dec. 11, 2015, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reiterated the need for an urgent global response to climate change.

“Why do I care so much about this issue? First, like any grandfather, I want my grandchildren to enjoy the beauty and bounty of a healthy planet.

“And, like any human being, it grieves me to see that floods, droughts and fires are getting worse, that island nations will disappear, and uncounted species will become extinct.

Pre-MPC: High Stakes, Tough Choices

The Nigerian Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will be sitting for its 6th and last session for the year from 23rd and 24th of November, 2015. The meeting is coming against the backdrop of concerns surrounding FX rate amid calls for further devaluation of the local unit, slow GDP growth, unrelenting inflationary pressure, robust liquidity levels in the financial system as well as the increasing expectation for a FED rate hike in December 2015.

Inauguration of Fiscal Cabinet...Policy Clarity Tops Expectations

The much awaited inauguration of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) finally took place on Wednesday, 11th 2015 with the ministerial-designates allocated portfolios. As expected, the number of ministers was pruned down to 36 from 42 whilst some ministries were merged to give a total of 25 ministries from 29. This aligns with the objectives of the government to reduce administrative overheads to conserve resources in a period of declining oil prices, which resulted in a 30.7% Y-o-Y decline (to N3.5tn) in revenues accruing to the federation account in the first half of the year.

Securing the Future of Nigerian Pensioners

Unarguably, the process of entrenching a pragmatic and sustainable pension scheme in Nigeria has been challenging. Successive colonial and post-colonial administrations had come up with various schemes as part of efforts to fashion out a sustainable pension system for both public and private sectors’ workers.

The first public sector pension scheme in Nigeria was the Pension Ordinance of 1951, which retroactively took effect from Jan. 1, 1946.

The Economic Task Ahead as Buhari Inaugurates New FEC Tomorrow

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to officially inaugurate a new Federal Executive Council tomorrow –Wednesday, November 11, 2015.

Before the commencement of the inaugural session of the council, the ministers-designate will take their oaths of office in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

According to the presidency, the swearing-in ceremony will begin promptly at 10:00 Hours and the ministers-designate are expected to be seated in the Council Chambers by 09:30 Hours at the latest.

Macroeconomic Challenges Weigh on Companies Scorecards

The year 2015 has been characterized by a cocktail of macroeconomic challenges which trailed the decline in crude oil prices, and the political and policy uncertainties that shaped direction of the economy so far in 2015. This is reflected in the trend of key macroeconomic indicators such as the slowing economic growth (Real GDP growth slowed to a 10-year low of 2.4% in Q2:2015), the steadily rising inflation (31-month high at 9.4% in October 2015), weak fiscal spending, hawkish monetary policy and foreign exchange constraints.

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