Expectations from the Markets this Week – 311022
US Trade Data support the Economy to 2.6% GDP growth
The US economy registered a 2.6% real GDP growths in Q3 2022 beating even the most optimistic forecasts. The world’s largest economy entered a technical recession in June, when it recorded a second negative quarterly GDP growth (-0.6%) in Q2 after a -1.6% print in Q1 2022. Analysts believe that the Q3 2022 recovery was supported by a stronger exports and steady consumer spending, which itself was aided by a healthy job market. Tamped down by rising mortgage cost, Housing investment plunged by 26%. Analysts say that the recent data shows that the H1 2022 contraction did not reflect the underlying health of the economy. Analysts say the Q3 2022 data allays fears of a global recession. Meanwhile, leading indicators such as the global PMI data would be anticipated next week.
ECB raises rate by 75bp
The European Central Bank raised interest rates by 75bp on Thursday, bringing the rates to 1.5% the highest since 2009. With euro zone inflation hitting 9.9%, Analysts had anticipated the decision, but Analysts’ opinions had split about the Central Bank’s decision on its balance sheet. The ECB took the first step toward shrinking its 8.8 trillion-euro balance sheet, by removing an ultra-cheap three-year loan called Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations, or TLTROs. Analysts say the move is likely to further raise borrowing costs further and may act as a sort of disguised rate hike
Raft of Q3 GDP data fails to ease recession fears
Official data shows that France’s economy grew 0.2% while Europe’s largest economy -Germany managed a 0.3% real GDP growth both beating expectations. The Data released on Friday suggest that despite. Slower growth in China and higher energy costs had made analysts forecast negative. But while it also recorded a quarterly economic growth Spain’s GDP growth figure eased to 0.2%, down sharply from 1.5% in Q3 2022. Analysts say that the better-than-expected figures do not change the World Economic Outlook (WEO) projection of a contraction in Germany FY 2022.
Federal Government gives a 5-year Tax Break to Agric Investors
Speaking at the 29th edition of the LAPO Annual Development Forum, the Minister of Agriculture disclosed on Thursday that the Government had approved new incentives for agricultural investors to improve high-level private sector participation in the country’s food production and processing industry. According to the Minister, the incentives include tax and duty-free holidays for five years for agricultural production and processing in Nigeria; tax-free agrarian loans with a moratorium period of over 18 months and a repayment period of not more than seven years; and zero-tariff rates on the importation of agrochemicals.
Analysts note that the agriculture sector which accounts for about 35% of the country’s employed workforce has only grown at an average rate of about 2-3% since 2016. This is despite the significant CBN interventions through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). Although the current policy seeks to address one of the major challenges facing the sector, namely: funding, other problems attending the sector which also need to be addressed include the lack of mechanization, fractional land ownership system, and the lack of modern storage and processing facilities.
CBN’s Decision to redesign Banknotes May Create Unintended Consequences – The Cobra Effect
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that new designs of N100, N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes would be produced and circulated. The new currency would be in circulation from December 15, 2022, while the existing currency would remain a legal tender till it is phased out on January 31, 2023. According to the CBN, the endgame is to rid the system of counterfeited currencies and to mop up a large amount of money currently held outside the banking system. CBN data suggest that N2.73tn of the N3.23tn currency in circulation (about 80% of money in circulation) lies outside commercial banks’ vaults. Analysts believe that the move would make monetary policy action more effective in the long term. On the flip side, however, analysts argue that the policy would create multiple cobra effects. Those who hold large amounts of existing currency and still choose to hold the same in anonymity may consider the dollar and other properties as alternatives to lodging their monies in the bank, thus sending the Naira crashing against the dollar and real estate prices higher in the short term.
Lagos State Government Presents N1.69trn Budget for 2023
On Thursday, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu presented the State’s 2023 appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly. The N1.69trn budget provides N759bn for recurrent expenditure while N932bn would be provided for capital expenditure. The 2023 budget is -3.4% lower than the 1.75trn budget approved for the 2022 fiscal year. Analysts note that the budget per capita at N110 is low, providing very little for the average Lagos resident. Analysts also note that actual revenue has fallen short of the budget projections
Pensioners Wait on PENCOM to Avert Asset Value Losses on RSA
Following the significant depreciation of the Naira and the spate of high domestic inflation, stakeholders have called on the Nigerian Pension Commission (PENCOM) to initiate the process that would allow pension fund managers to invest in foreign currency-denominated assets. As of August 2022, N9.2trn of the total N14.4trn pension fund assets was held in government securities, while another 9.7% and 14.5% of the fund were held in corporate debt and money market securities. With inflation rising to a seventeen-year high of 20.77%, the yield on domestic securities cannot guarantee a positive real return leaving Pensioners at a significant disadvantage.
According to the Pension Reforms Act 2014: “Subject to the subsisting Central Bank of Nigeria foreign Exchange Rules, the Commission (PENCOM) may recommend to the President for approval, the portfolio limits for the investment of pension fund or assets outside the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. Analysts say that with only 0.27% and 0.72% of the assets held in foreign money market instruments and foreign equities, pensioners would lose value if the government does not accede to a request by the PENCOM to invest in foreign assets which would hedge present currency devaluation risk.
Domestic Airlines Frown at Ethiopian Airlines Stake in National Carrier
Nigerian Airlines, under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), have expressed concern over the influence of Ethiopian Airlines over the Flagship national carrier, Nigeria Air. According to the body, Ethiopian Airlines’ acquisition of 49% of the new national carrier’s shares would adversely affect competition in the industry and annihilate Nigerian airlines, which are already struggling. Analysts note that domestic airlines face an adverse business environment due to a sharp rise in operating costs, lack of access to Forex, and the rising cost of Jet-A1 fuel. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), domestic airlines increased fares by 96.87% within the year.
Oil and Gas
Fuel Scarcity Reemerges as NNPCL Faces Supply Glitches
Fuel scarcity resurfaced across some parts of the nation this week, with long queues by motorists and other users. In response to the scarcity, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has said there is sufficient commercial fuel stock. However, the shortages lingered, with filling stations selling at about N200 per litre and black marketers selling above N300 per litre. Marketers attributed the distribution glitch to unsteady supply by depot operators in the last few days, while the NNPCL remained mum about the situation.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) confirmed sufficient stock in the country but alluded to a slow distribution at the depots. Analysts believe the undue advantage given to the NNPCL on fuel importation has been distorting the efficient operation of the downstream oil market. More so, the challenge in the upstream sector may have constrained the capacity of the NNPCL to meet its swap obligations, thereby slowing the importation of refined fuel. The situation confirms the position of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that transparency is required in running and reporting the operations of the NNPCL.
Higher Prices Irk Nigerians as Energy Costs Escalate
The latest Petroleum Products Price Watch for September 2022 released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the average retail price of Household Kerosene (HHK) increased by 17.02% M-o-M to N947.30 per litre in September from N809.52 per litre in August 2022. On a year-on-year basis, the average retail price rose by 118.08% from N434.39 per litre in September 2021. Also, the average retail price for refilling a 5kg Cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) increased by 0.40% M-O-M from N4,456.56 in August 2022 to N4,474.48 in September 2022. On a year-on-year basis, this rose by 86.62% from N2,397.60 in September 2021. These products, among others, are necessities, not luxuries. With already high food inflation and high cost of transport, analysts consider the rising prices of these petroleum products a significant factor that would worsen the country’s malnutrition and energy poverty.
Investigating Excessive Petrol Consumption
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources is set to investigate the 68m litres daily consumption figure. Controversies have been trailing the daily consumption figure reported by the petroleum ministry and agencies, which has undermined the credibility of the actual figure. The move to investigate the consumption volume with relevant stakeholders follows the current fiscal constraint on the government. Analysts believe the probe would be more effective if a neutral private entity handled it.
Oil Regulatory Authority Issues New Mid and Downstream Regulations
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Engr Farouk Ahmed, revealed that the agency had developed new regulations for the midstream and downstream operators. These regulations include pricing for petroleum products, quality standard specifications, and gas development policies. Analysts noted that the prospects and fiscal clarity of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 hang in the balance, given the drag in finalising these regulations over a year after the PIA enactment. Whereas these regulations are to accelerate the full implementation of the PIA, the government’s political choices may rebuff some of the laws.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr Gbenga Komolafe, has also expressed hope that the country will soon hit the oil production target of over two million barrels per day. By unlocking about 1.2mb/d shut-in capacity, the agency hopes to beat the budget assumption and the quota by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Analysts cautioned against early restarting of shut-in wells while oil theft and pipeline vandalism continue.
Nigeria Gas Expansion Hits Roadblocks
Despite the increase in Nigeria’s gas reserve from 206.53trn cubic feet (tcf) in 2021 to 208.62tcf in 2022, gas development and utilization have remained a problem in the country. Industry operators and analysts have attributed the low domestic gas utilization to the subsidies on petrol and cheap electrical energy. The regulation on petrol made it preferable to CNG, and the relatively inexpensive energy from electricity and traditional cooking methods is also preferred to LPG. Whereas industry experts have called for the relaxation of the stringent conditions for accessing the CBN N250bn gas intervention fund, analysts argue that the legacy issues and the industry’s inefficient pricing model are deterrents to attracting gas investment into the sector.
Economists Review Oil Major Earnings and the Call for A Windfall Tax
Earning releases by oil majors have started rolling out. Based on a few already released earnings, the likes of Shell, Total-Energies, and Seplat, profits are higher than the corresponding period of last year but some lower than the previous quarter’s earnings. Analysts expect the strong earnings buoyed by the high oil and gas prices to reignite the call for a windfall tax on the excess profits of the oil majors. Howbeit, such taxes distort the risk-reward model of business. In principle, business owners should be the sole administrators of increased earnings during the boom and risk-bearers during the recession.
Refineries Rehabilitation, Analysts Call for More Disclosure
In a press release by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) and Daewoo Group of South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the rehabilitation of the Kaduna refinery. According to him, the Group is also responsible for rehabilitating the Warri refinery and constructing the NLNG train-seven project. Analysts questioned whether or not the Daewoo Group is in a joint venture with Saipem SPA. Recall that the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, had in August 2021 disclosed that the FEC had approved the sum of $1.48bn for the rehabilitation of both (Kaduna and Warri) refineries. Where he had said, about 15% of the contract sum had been disbursed to the contractors- Messers Saipem SPA and Saipem Contracting Limited – to be executed in 3 phases over 77months. Analysts call for more transparency and organisation in government press releases in the balance of public disclosure based on Section 9(2) of the FOI Act 2011.
Oil Prices Strengthen by A Few Upticks Factors
Oil prices rose for most of the week on the weak US dollar, the hope of economic activities rebound in China and the US, the EU’s hunger for more crude oil ahead of the Russian oil embargo, and the imminent supply cut by OPEC+. However, the reversals in some trading sessions were supported by high crude inventories in the US, bearish economic data, and the Chinese lacklustre trade data and doubling down on Covid-19 restrictions. Analysts expect oil prices to remain below US$100 per barrel, on average, for Q4 2022, barring any significant disruption. Prices of Petroleum products in Nigeria are expected to move in tandem with the trajectory of international crude oil prices.
Brent had a weekly growth of +2.36% (see Table 1).
Gold declined by -0.42% and Silver advanced by +0.71% W-o-W (see Table 1).
Cocoa prices advanced by +0.22% W-o-W.
Corn prices declined by -0.80% W-o-W and Sugar prices declined by -4.08% (see Table 1 below).
Table 1: Commodity Prices
|Commodity||28-Oct-22||21-Oct-22||31-Dec-21||Weekly Chg||YTD Chg|
*Data for the 28th of October 2022 is as of 06: 12 pm (Nigerian Time)
Counting Flooding Cost on Agriculture, Nigerians Groan
Nigerian farmers and processors have begun counting losses after flooding ravaged different parts of the country. The Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) disclosed that some mills had been hit severely by the flood as they lost many paddy bags and expensive equipment. At the same time, some workers are feared dead or displaced because of the flood. It has been claimed that the flooding experienced this year has destroyed over 70,000 hectares of farmland across the country while damaging over 40,000 houses and affecting over 1.4m Nigerians. The situation has caused the price of paddy to increase due to the flood from N200,000 to N300,000 per tonne in three weeks which has piled more pressure on millers who have been struggling with rising diesel prices.
Traders have claimed that food prices would continue to rise and could reach above the N50,000 price. Last month, rice per 50kg bag sold between N32,000 and N35,000 but has since moved up to N42,000 naira as distributors cite the higher cost of transporting the commodity and the effect of the flooding as the major drivers of the price increase.
Analysts noted that during the holiday season, food prices generally increase, and with the country struggling with high energy costs and the effects of flooding, food prices could skyrocket by December. With an election coming up in 4 months, the government may have to contend with higher food prices running up to the end of Q1 2023.
Nigeria Fails to Access US$244m Emergency Funds from AfDB.
Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed that Nigeria could be free of food insecurity in 10 years if the government took decisive steps. The war between Russia and Ukraine hampered the push for food security as Nigeria found it challenging to access farm inputs like fertilizer from Russia. Many African nations faced this dilemma spurning the African development bank (AfDB) to launch a US$1.5bn African Emergency Food Production Facility aimed at supporting about 20 million farmers in Africa to access climate-resilient agricultural technologies to increase agricultural production. The facility provided US$134m to Nigeria, taking the total figure for emergency food production to US$244m.
However, AfDB President expressed worry that Nigeria has not signed for implementation since fund approval in July 2022. Despite the positive efforts made in the sector, food remains expensive; Nigeria ranks 103rd among the 121 countries facing hunger crisis in the world, despite the country having roughly 34m hectares of arable land, water, labour and weather to support agriculture.
Egypt Partners with Congo to Plant Wheat and Rice, Lessons for Nigeria
Egypt has been facing acute water shortage as long periods of drought and an increasingly hot and arid climate has shrunk the Nile River, its primary water source. A 2021 Unicef report showed that Egypt faces an annual deficit of around seven billion cubic metres and that the country could run out of water by 2025, estimating that about 1.8 million people worldwide would live in absolute water scarcity. To this end, under a friendship agreement with Egypt, Congo has allocated 20,000 hectares of arable land for planting wheat and rice, where Egypt gets 60% of the produced crops, with the remaining going to Congo. Agricultural experts have noted an imminent failure of this partnership as wheat does not do well in tropical climates. However, some analysts believe planting wheat along water belts could be successful.
Congo naturally experiences two seasons: the rainy season runs from March to November, and the dry season from December to January. The country also has many water bodies, and with several waterfalls and rapids, the government could serve as a region for planting wheat if adequately planned.
Nigeria could use this as a template for inter-state relations where states could invest in agriculture in other states and share the products, which could help foster combined growth in the partnering states.
Agronomists Fear Threat to Grain Output as Extreme Weather Worsens
According to analysts, rain in South America threatens grain production for the 2022 and 2023 crop seasons. Brazil and Argentina, two of the highest exporters of corn, have been hit severely by high rainfall this year and have experienced poor-quality grain yield. Overall, Brazil will likely produce more wheat than last year. Still, excessive rain in Parana, the country’s second-biggest wheat-producing state, would make more of the quality stand as feed quality, especially on claims that the wheat still out in the field is probably worse. Brazil usually depends on wheat exports from Argentina to cover the deficit in production, but Argentina has also had its problems.
The EU, a large part of the US, and China experienced a prolonged period of heat which caused drought, although some were more severe than others. This drought also destroyed crops and made some countries revise crop production expectations.
As top producing and exporting countries suffer effects from extreme weather, countries with high dependency on importing these crops could spend more to purchase grains, as reduced production would be expected globally. Nigeria is the second-highest country with negative net wheat exports in 2021. The risk that the government could reach a 3 billion US dollar mark is high given the present conditions faced by the exporters.
The naira continued its depreciation this week, dropping to N444.75 at the I & E FX fixing on Friday and N441.75 at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Fixing (NAFEX) on Thursday (see table 2 below).
Table 2: Naira/Dollar at the I&E FX Window and NAFEX Market
|Average Benchmark Yields|
Interbank rates remained elevated this week despite the FGN bond coupon inflow of N69.48 billion on Wednesday. The Open Repo Rate (OPR) rate fell by 98bps to 16.27%, while the Overnight (OVN) rate remained unchanged at 16.50% week-on-week (see table 3 below).
Table 3: Money Market
|Money Market Rate|
Interbank rates should trim down next week with the inflow of FAAC allocation
Treasury Bills Market
The Nigerian Treasury bill market was largely bearish this week. On Friday, the average benchmark yield for NTB and OMO bills rose to 10.99% and 10.89%, indicating a week-on-week rise of +43.3% and +6.56% respectively (See table 4 below).
Table 4: Treasury Bills Market
|Average Benchmark Yields|
|T. Bills (%)||10.46||10.99||+5.07%|
|OMO Bills (%)||10.22||10.89||+6.56%|
The raised yield at the NTB PMA should spur some buying interest next week
FGN Bond Market
Maintaining the bearish sentiment all week, the bond market ended the week with the average benchmark yield rising to 14.66% by 216bps on a week-on-week basis (See table 5 below).
Table 5: FGN Bonds Market
|Average Benchmark Yields|
The selloffs should persist in the coming week.
Relatively Low Yields on Treasuries Faze Investors as NTB Subscription Stalls
Investor’s subscription at the NTB primary auction declined by -54.6% yesterday, with N109.19bn notes sold against the N240.26bn offered. The treasury bill market has been experiencing an under-subscription in the past few weeks as the pressure for higher yields increases. The rates on the 91-day, 182-day, and 364-day notes increased by 3bps, 15bps, and 150bps to 6.50%, 8.05%, and 14.50%, respectively. The bid-to-cover ratio across the three papers was 0.70x, 0.18x, and 0.83x, respectively. With the raised yields, analysts anticipate some buying interest in the secondary market next week.
Valency Agro Nigeria Limited to Raise N5bn through Commercial Paper Issuance
Valency Agro Nigeria Limited has issued its series 12 & 13 N5bn commercial paper under its N20bn commercial paper programme. The tenors for the issuance are 178-day and 270-day at a discount rate of 15.698% and 16.280% and the yield at 17.00% and 18.50%, respectively. The issuance proceeds will meet the company’s short-term working capital requirements. The offer is ongoing and will close on October 31, 2022, with a minimum of N5m for investment. Analysts observed the company has A2 short-term rating from Datapro, indicating an acceptable credit quality and adequate capacity for timely payment of financial commitment. The rating and 2021 financial results suggest a stable outlook.
Nigeria’s Eurobond Investors Make a U-turn Despite Moody’s Downgrade
Moody’s Investor Service, a global credit rating agency, downgraded Nigeria’s local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings and senior unsecured debt ratings to B3 from B2 and placed them on review for downgrade. The rating downgrade results from a significant deterioration in the Nigerian government’s finances and higher borrowing in the face of rising international crude oil prices. The fragile fiscal position has led to the initiation of a downgrade. Similarly, the rating agency lowered the country’s local currency (LC) and foreign currency (FC) ceilings to B1 and B3, from Ba3 and B2, respectively. The LC country ceiling at B1 remains two notches above the sovereign issuer rating, incorporating some degree of unpredictability of government actions, political risk, and reliance on a single revenue source. Analysts consider the downgrade a higher risk rating for both external and domestic bonds, thus pressuring investors to sell off and bid for a higher interest rate on new bond issuances. The selloff will eventually push yields up and lead to a higher sovereign borrowing cost
As expected, Nigeria’s Eurobond market reacted to Moody’s downgrade on Friday with huge selloffs. The $750 priced bond due in 2049 slipped by $5.5 and the 2038 bond dipped by $5.375. The Eurobond average benchmark yield rose to 15.34 against 14.70% recorded on Thursday. The expectation was that the selloff sentiment would extend into this week. However, the market rebounded on Monday, with buying interests seen across specific bonds maturing in 2029, 2033, and 2038 trading as high as $1.3725, $1.125, and $1.125, respectively. Some analysts attributed the contrasting development in the market to a terminology known as the Risk-on day and Risk-off day. A risk-on day indicates that investors are determined to take on risks and invest in assets in the market regardless of the negative news in circulation, similar to what occurred on Monday. In contrast, a Risk-off day is the exact opposite of the situation. The buying interest persisted till the end of the week, pulling up the Eurobond prices while the average benchmark yield fell to 14.02 as of Thursday 27, 2022.
Egypt’s Pond slides as IMF deal triggers a new exchange rate regime
The Egyptian pound depreciated to a 14.5% record low against the dollar on Thursday after the authorities announced its intention to move to a durably flexible exchange rate regime, a condition attached by IMF for a $3 bn, 46-month extended Fund facility. The flexible exchange regime implies that the currency will be determined by the forces of supply and demand and the IMF said a flexible exchange rate regime should be a cornerstone policy for rebuilding and safeguarding Egypt’s external resilience. The market reacted to the news as the pound fell to 23 to the dollar from 19.67 in the previous session. At the beginning of the year, the currency was devalued by 14% against the dollar in March and has been slipping gradually since May. Analysts worry that adopting a flexible exchange rate during a global economic crisis will subject the Egyptian pound to more depreciation.
- The Nigerian bourse ended the week on a negative note as market sentiment turned negative. The NGXASI closed the week with a loss of -1.09% as against a -6.67% loss recorded last week. The Nigerian Exchange recorded N263.67 loss in naira terms.
- Year-to-date, the NGXASI maintained its positive position to close the week with a gain of +2.80% as market capitalization settled at N23.918trn.
- Sectoral performance across sectors was broadly negative WoW. At the close of trading on Friday, four (4) sectors closed positive WoW while eleven (11) sectors closed negative WoW and two (2) sectors closed flat WoW. NGX MERIVAL topped the gainer’s chart with a gain of +1.21% WoWrespectively while the NGX PRENIUM Index topped the loser’s chart with a loss of -3.51% WoW (see chart 1 below).
Chart 1: Movement of NGXASI Index Points 04 OCTOBER 2022 – 28 OCTOBER. 2022
NASD OTC Exchange – Unlisted Equities
The NASD OTC Security Index (NSI) and Market Capitalization closed the trading week on a negative note. The NSI and Market capitalization closed the week at 729.22 points and 960.66 with a decrease of -1.06% respectively (see table 7 below).
Table 7 : NASD W-o-W Change
|MKT Capitalization (Bn)||960.88||950.66||-1.06%|
|Value Traded (000)||7,216,005.00||317,428.00||-95.60%|
Dangote And Elumelu Index
Dangote Index closed the week negative at 116.06 index points from 128.24 index points recorded the previous week, representing an decrease of -9.50% W-o-W. DANGCEM closed the week negative with -10.00% W-o-W while DANGSUGAR and NASCON remained flat respectively WoW (see table 8 below).
Table 8: Dangote Index W-o-W Change
Furthermore, the Elumelu Index closed positive at 106.22index points from 106.63index points recorded the previous week, representing an decrease of -0.38% W-o-W. UBA closed the week positive with +1.43% respectively while AFRIPRUD, TRANSCORP and UBCAP, closed the week negative with -0.96%, -3.67 and -4.40% respectively TRANSCOHOT closed the week flat W-o-W (see table 9 below).
Table 9: Elumelu Index W-o-W Change