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NGX emerges as second best-performing market in Africa

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The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has emerged as one of the best-performing exchanges in Africa during a 3-month duration.

Investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s stock market has remained strong despite concerns about soaring inflation, interest rate hikes, and weak macroeconomic indices.

In a statement made available by the NGX, according to African markets, a website tracking the performance of exchanges in Africa, the Ghana Stock Exchange (+22.84%) emerged first while NGX (+19.33%) emerged second on the list, followed by Malawi stock exchange (+15.79%).

15-year high
This development has pushed the market to its 15-year high on the back of strong positive sentiments, as the market capitalization listed value of equities, which opened the trading month of August at N35.011 trillion, closed the month at N36.422 trillion, hence gaining N1.41 trillion.

On the other hand, the All-Share Index (ASI), which is the broad index that measures the performance of Nigerian stocks, opened the trading month at 64,337.52 index points at the beginning of trading on August 3, 2023, and closed at 66,548.99 points at the end the month on August 31, gaining 2,211.47 basis points or 3.44%.

The bullish trend can be attributed to investors’ jostling for low, medium, and high-capitalized stocks across some major sectors amid favourable policies introduced by President Bola Tinubu’s new administration such as the removal of fuel subsidies, unification of exchange rate, investors’ strategic positioning themselves and taking advantage of the recent record earnings posted by quoted firms and the recent formation of the country’s economic cabinet and executives.

Interestingly, the market traded in mixed sentiments during the month under review.

Analysts at the United Capital in their H1 2023 review and H2 2023 outlook report said that keeping in view that two key factors which have kept the development of the real sector suppressed (elevated interest rate and foreign exchange losses), they expect the new policies of the new administration particularly the “Unification of the exchange rate”, and “Advocacy for a Lower Interest rate Environment” to stand as a significant upside for the earnings performance of listed Nigerian corporates, which will bolster investors’ confidence toward listed corporates, particularly in earning seasons (H1-2023, and Q3-2023 earnings season).

“Overall, we anticipate a broadly favourable market for the Equities Market in H2-2023, supported by the above expectations.
For the fixed-income market, we believe the new administration’s objective to dampen the interest rates environment will continue to provide enough incentive for the CBN to leave the financial system mostly liquid, in a bid to stimulate activities in the real sector. 
The MPR and improved foreign participation are two strong factors to determine the trend of yields from the mid-long end of the curve.
That said, we forecast that the equities market will be the most favourable market segment for both foreign and local investors.
A strong incentive will be the cheaper Naira, removal of multiple taxations, and easy repatriation of FX by foreign investors,” they said.
Reacting to the performance of the market, market analysts maintained that most investors, particularly domestic investors are optimistic that the economy will take shape soon, hence the reason the stock market is defying current macroeconomic uncertainties.

Cordros Research in their Market review and outlook for financial markets titled; Veering from the watershed point, stated that the equities market resilience reflects heightened investor optimism for domestic growth with the new administration’s promulgation of long-needed policies.

According to the report, the implementation of policy reforms, accommodative monetary policy, and resilient corporate earnings have so far supported buying activities in August.

The report further said that:

“Even though foreign investors are expected to stay on the sidelines as long as FX illiquidity issues persist, its baseline expectation is that the market will deliver a positive return of 25.8% in the full year of 2023”.

Business

Nigeria to stop petrol importation in June, says Dangote

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Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, says Nigeria will stop importation of petrol into the country by June.

Dangote spoke at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali on Friday.

He said the country should end petrol imports by June when Dangote refinery commences production of the product.

“Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of litre,” he said.

Consequently, Dangote said the shortfall in the supply of petrol will be addressed not only in Nigeria but other West African countries.

“We have enough gasoline to give to at least the entire West Africa. We have enough diesel to give to West Africa and Central Africa,” he said.

Dangote said there is enough aviation fuel to meet the continent’s demands, as well as export to Brazil and Mexico.

Speaking on the commencement of petrol production by the refiner, Dangote said “next month, we will be producing diesel and gasoline”.

He said the refinery would take most African crude grades.

DANGOTE SAYS REFINER WILL NOT FOCUS ONLY ON PETROLEUM PRODUCTS

Dangote said the refiner would not only focus on producing petroleum products.

“Today, our polypropylene and our polyethene will meet the entire demand of Africa and we are doing base oil, which is to do like engine oil,” he said.

“We are doing linear benzyl, which is raw material to produce LLB, which is raw material to produce detergent. We have 1.4 billion population and nobody is producing that in Africa.”

He said all the raw materials detergents are being imported into Africa, adding that the refinery is producing these raw materials to make Africa self-sufficient.

“As I said, give us three and a maximum of four years and Africa will not, I repeat, not import any more fertilizer from anywhere. We will make Africa self-sufficient in potash, phosphate (even if we don’t have enough, there is a lot in Morocco. But we are also looking at the opportunities,” he said

“For our urea, we are at three million tonnes and in the next twenty months, we will be at six million tonnes of urea which is the entire capacity of Egypt.”

The business mogul said the refiner has 650,000 barrels per day, one million tonnes of polypropylene, 590,000 carbon black — the raw materials ink, dyes and others.

Dangote said the second phase of the refinery will start early next year.

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Business

Customs FX rate for import duties rises to N1,530/$

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has adjusted the foreign exchange (FX) rate for import duties to N1,530 per dollar.

This represents a 6.13 percent increase compared to the N1,441.58 adopted on May 6.

The rate adopted by customs was observed on Friday on the federal government’s single window trade portal.

Customs typically adopt FX rates recommended by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for import duties based on trading activities in the official FX market.

It was observed that the NCS rate is marginally lower than the official FX rate of N1,533/$ recorded at the close of trade on May 16.

On May 15, the Nigerian currency depreciated to N1,550 against the dollar at the parallel section of the FX market.

The parallel FX rate declined by 1.95 percent compared to the N1,520/$ reported on May 13.

On May 16, Muda Yusuf, director-general, Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), advised NCS to set a quarterly exchange rate between N800/$ and N1000/$ for import duties assessment.

Yusuf said the continuous fluctuation affects inflation.

He said setting a fixed rate was necessary to reduce the pass-through effect of heightening trade costs on inflation.

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Naira appreciates at parallel market, official window

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The naira appreciated in the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Friday.

At the Lagos street market, currency traders, also known as bureau de change (BDC) operators, quoted the naira at N1,510 to the greenback.

The traders put the buying price of the dollar at N1,480 and the selling price at N1,510 — leaving a profit margin of N30.

The figure represents an appreciation of N40 or 2.65 percent from the N1,550/$ traded on May 15.

At the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees official foreign exchange (FX) trading in Nigeria, the local currency appreciated by 2.45 percent or N36.66 to N1,497.33/$ on Friday — from N1,533.99/$ on May 16.

During trading hours, an exchange rate of N1,555 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded and the lowest rate was N1,415/$.

At the official window, a daily turnover of $83.50 million was recorded.

On May 16, the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to peg the exchange rate benchmark for computation of import duty between N800 and N1,000 per dollar — to be reviewed quarterly.

Muda Yusuf, CPPE’s director-general, said this is important to lessen the pass-through effect of heightening trade costs on inflation.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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