Expectations from the Markets this Week – 281122
Chinese Banks Maintain Lending Rates as PBOC Signals Caution 3rd straight month
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) kept its loan prime rates unchanged for a third straight month on Monday. Analysts believe that the central bank’s decision is meant to help it strike a balance between shoring up economic growth in the face of a covid 19 crisis and curbing further depreciation in the yuan. The PBoC kept its one-year loan prime rate (LPR), which governs rates on short-term loans, unchanged at 3.65%, while the five-year LPR, which determines mortgage rates, was maintained at 4.30%. China’s covid 19 cases surged in the gone by week, as the national health commission reported 31,444 new locally transmitted Covid cases on Wednesday.
Fed expected to make a Dovish Pivot in December Meeting
Federal Reserve officials earlier this month agreed that smaller interest rate increases should happen soon as they evaluate the impact policy is having on the economy, meeting minutes released Wednesday indicated.
Analysts now expect the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee to step down to a 0.5 percentage point increase in December, following four straight 75bp rate hikes. Though hinting that less severe moves were ahead, officials said they still see sign of inflation abating. Analysts have expressed concern about risks to the financial system should the Fed continue to press forward at the same aggressive pace.
Analysts React to Real GDP growth of 2.25% in Q3 2022
On Thursday, the National Bureau of Statistics released the GDP figures for Q3 2022. The data suggest that the Nigerian economy grew by 2.25%, with the growth largely supported by the services, which grew by 7.01%, while Agriculture managed a 1.34% growth. The industries sector, however, declined by -8%. A further breakdown of the sectors into activity areas shows that the best-performing areas were those in the Services, namely Transportation (41.59%), Financial and Insurance (12.7%), ICT (10.53%), and Arts and Entertainment Sectors (7.79%). The Mining sector was the worst-performing sector as it contracted by -21.3%, reflecting the underproduction in the oil and gas sector. Apart from the Mining sector, Electricity (-3.56%) and Manufacturing (-1.91%) also recorded large contractions in the quarter, reflecting the higher cost and unavailability of petroleum products, the cost of inputs, higher taxes and government levies, as well as higher cost of borrowing associated with the aggressive rate hikes by the Monetary Policy Committee in the period. Analysts say that the elevated inflation and higher cost of funds would depress private sector growth and household spending in the fourth quarter, bringing the expected real GDP growth for the year to around 3%.
FG Shares N736.782bn FAAC Revenue for October 2022
In October, the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocated N736.78bn to the FG and other federating units. The allocation is +5.21%, up from the N700.24bn for September 2022. Further, comparing the FAAC allocations for October with that of September, Analysts observed that distributable statutory revenue declined by -16% hitting N417.724 bn. However, distributable value-added tax (VAT) revenue appreciated +12.2% to N213.283bn, while other non-oil-revenue also declined-29.02 % to hit N5.88bn.
Analysts Consider the Implications of MPC’s Fourth Consecutive Rate Hike
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unanimously voted to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 100bp from 15.5% to 16.5% while leaving holding all other policy parameters. The Monetary Policy Rate, the reference rate that guides, has been raised by 500bp since May. The MPC considered the persistence of elevated inflation, the expected pre-election spending, and spending associated with the festive season.
Analysts, however, believe the decision would reduce the growth forecast for Q4 2022, with higher lending costs threatening private-sector productivity, especially in interest rate-sensitive sectors. Along with the planned ad-valorem tax on sweetened beverage products, the elevated interest rate regime could force many businesses in that sector to downsize.
Analysts say this could affect unemployment and poverty levels in the country. On the flip side, Analysts say commercial banks benefit from the higher interest rate decision as they are expected to adjust lending rates to reflect the new interest rate while also grossing up for CRR debits. The banks being institutional investors would also increase their margins by taking advantage of the high-yield environment. Retail investors are expected to undertake further portfolio adjustments, which could spur another round of selloffs in the equity market. The Monetary Policy Committee’s decision suggests that incoming inflation numbers would be the primary determinant of the size of future rate hikes.
FGN’s Proposed 20% Ad Valorem Tax Prompts Call for Social Impact Assessment
Analysts noted that the new Ad Valorem or percentage tax of 20% on fizzy drink products could put some revenue gains on government coffers. Howbeit, its adverse impact on the economy would outweigh the gains. The immediate pain points would include the high unit cost of products, fall in demand, decline in corporate revenues, lower foreign direct investment (FDI), and rising job losses. Analysts believed the tax advocates had no social impact assessment before proposing the excise tax on carbonated drinks. The one-sided narrative that considered economic justification of taxes without social impact assessment has unintended consequences. For growth and market stability, analysts expect government and its development partners to advance tax increases with an understanding of the operational effects on the corporations and their social impact on the economy.
World Bank President Recommends the Removal of Subsidy and Tax Exemptions
The World Bank President has said that for Nigeria to increase Foreign Direct Investment and rein in Inflation, it would have to address its fiscal challenges. According to him, the Federal Government’s decision to finance regressive subsidies for petrol, electricity, and foreign exchange has meant that private investment is crowded out while also reducing spending on critical sectors such as education and health. Analysts note that foreign direct and portfolio investors tend to consider a country’s sovereign credit risk level before deciding to invest. This is governed by the size and sustainability of the country’s fiscal deficit. However, analysts have maintained that while the decision to remove the large and often extra-budgetary subsidy would help attract foreign capital, such a decision would have a temporary inflationary impact, for which reason there is a need for structured social security programs.
Oil and Gas
New Oil Discovery in Northern Nigeria Raises Optimism and Concern
Following the announced discovery of oil in commercial quantities by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in October 2019 at the Kolmani River in Bauchi and Gombe States, official drilling of crude oil is about to kick off. President Muhammadu Buhari, in the company of the Minister of State for Petroleum and the Group CEO of NNPCL, supervised the drilling from Kolmani Oil Prospecting Lease (OPLs) 809 and 810 on Tuesday (22/11/2022). While there are reasons to be optimistic, there are also pain points that raise concerns for analysts.
Analysts are confident the discovery and drilling would increase commitment for more search, supported by the Frontier Exploration Fund of the PIA 2021 and would increase the country’s crude oil reserve and revenue. Some analysts argued the discovery might be more political than economical, and the large scale of insecurity in the north may undermine the country’s capacity to ramp up crude oil reserve and production from the fields. A consensus among analysts is the need to derive the optimal returns from the 30% commitment of the NNPCL profits to the frontier basins exploration.
Crude Oil Drilling in the North Attracts a Second Look
With limited information on the category of oil reserves in the Kolmani field, Analysts believe the oil field has probable reserves given its licence category. A probable oil reserve has over 50% likelihood of commercial recovery of oil, while a proven reserve has over 90% likelihood of commercial recovery. Though the project’s cost is expected to be undertaken by Sterling Global Oil, NNPC Ltd, and New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) Ltd, analysts raised concerns about the precedence of the NNDC. The NNDP, owned by the 19 northern states, has had a history of not following processes in licence renewal. Such a case could undermine regulatory actions and deter other investors. Analysts expect the States involved to get the 13% derivation once the reserve is proven and full-scale production in commercial quantity commences from the field.
Fuel Queues Resurface on Market Distortions
Fuel queues resurfaced in major cities in Nigeria as motorists scramble for petrol across filling stations while commuters are stranded at vehicle parks. Analysts observed that the situation resulted from many distortions in the downstream oil sector. Marketers have clearly expressed this under different unions. The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) believe the rampant extortion, intimidation, and violent attacks by hoodlums on its members are halting the distribution process.
Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) attributed the fuel scarcity to marketers’ displeasure at the 0.5% tax on the gross turnover of marketing companies and logistics challenges, including bad roads and high transport costs. The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) blamed the scarcity on distribution glitches at the depots occasioned by high and dollar-related charges. Although analysts expect significant reductions in charges on oil marketing companies to ease the persistent fuel scarcity, they fault the low margins claim by marketers, noting that the 2022 Q2 and Q3 earnings of most downstream oil companies saw significant improvement year-on-year.
Economists Review the Multidimensional Effects, Triggers, and Fixes for Petrol Scarcity
With the scarcity of petrol, bus fares have risen on average by 50% while food prices have also increased significantly. The meeting between the leadership of NNPC Ltd and oil marketers anchored it on logistic and distribution issues, requesting members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) to work overtime to bridge the supply gap. Analysts argued that the challenge is multidimensional, including the soaring cost of shipping voyages, dollar scarcity, logistical issues, multiple taxes, and human distortion. Analysts believe the scarcity cycles will continue to surface at intervals, except some drastic quick fixes are adopted. These include phase deregulation of petrol, operation of some refineries, or switching to naira-denominated charges on fuel imports.
Energy Prices Will Remain High into the 2022 Festive Season
Analysts expect Nigeria’s energy prices to rise further into the festive season as international crude oil prices remain high and petrol scarcity lingers. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Petroleum Products Price Watch for October 2022 shows that prices increase across the monitored petroleum products year-on-year and month-on-month. Petrol prices climbed by 17.93% year-on-year (Y-o-Y). In comparison, diesel prices rose by 215.30% Y-o-Y between October 2021 and October 2022, pressuring more Nigerians into energy poverty and worsening the cost-of-living crisis.
Compared to the national average of the NBS, a survey by market analysts revealed that the prices of petrol and diesel in most stations across southwest Nigeria are higher than the national averages. However, a kilogram of cooking gas in the area is lower than the national average. The increase in petroleum product prices primarily reflects the exchange rate pressure and logistical issues associated with importing the products into the country. Analysts remain optimistic that shifting from dollar-denominated charges at the port will ease the product cost pressure.
Investment to Fall as FG Introduces Corporate Tax on Oil Companies
Petroleum marketers, under the aegis of the Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) have raised concerns over the implementation of the 0.5% corporate tax on petroleum marketing companies as stipulated in the Finance Act 2020. The association argued that introducing such a tax would ruin investment in the industry. Analysts understand the desperation of the government to raise revenue from possible sources. However, operational and social impact assessments will reveal that the industry is already a hotspot of thin margins, high operating costs, high dollar-denominated charges, as well as distribution and logistical issues. Analysts argued for strict compliance on both sides of the social contract to moderate the rising tax effect on Nigeria’s companies.
Oil Prices Balanced Demand Concerns against Supply Threat
Oil prices traded downward for the week as concerns over fuel demand from China, the strong U.S. dollar, and receded supply worries weighed on prices. While record-high covid infection cases limited Chinese crude imports and the strong U.S. dollar made oil dearer for holders of other currencies, investors considered the proposed Russian oil price cap at US$65-70 a barrel too high for Russia to retaliate. The downtrend was, however, moderated by a larger-than-expected U.S. crude inventory drawdown and a few sessions of easing dollars. Analysts expect a further downtrend in oil prices on lower fuel demand from China and monetary authorities’ rates hikes across most economies. However, further output cuts by OPEC could increase oil prices in the near term. In the domestic petroleum market, analysts expect the petrol price to hover around N200-250 per litre in the coming week.
Brent had a weekly decline of -1.39% (see Table 1).
Gold declined by -0.10% and Silver inched up by +2.34% W-o-W (see Table 1).
Cocoa prices inched up by +2.05% W-o-W.
Corn prices declined by -0.64% W-o-W and Sugar prices declined by -3.63% (see Table 1 below).
Table 1: Commodity Prices
|Commodity||25-Nov-22||18-Nov-22||31-Dec-21||Weekly Chg||YTD Chg|
*Data for the 25th of November 2022 is as of 05: 40 pm (Nigerian Time)
Commodity Market Analysts Ask What Next for Gold and Silver?
Gold and Silver are part of rare commodities that investors have long valued. Gold is the most high-profile precious metal as it generates a lot of attention from investors, traders and analysts. Gold has a Y-t-D of -3.78%, while Silver has done much worse than Gold, having a Y-t-D of -7.3%. Gold has been affected by Fed’s rate hikes this year as investors have moved to the currency market, ‘Dollar.’ If non-farm payroll is high, investors tend to move to buy the dollar as they expect economic growth. With Fed chair Jerome Powell stating that the Fed could push rates up at least five percent, analysts predict that we could see a bearish push from Gold with investors sticking to the dollar as a safe haven.
Europe Run Into a Food Problem as Fertilizer Scarcity Bites Harder
Higher energy prices have affected European industrial activity, affecting the fertilizer industry as fertilizer makers are also shutting down their plants. Fertilizer imports have been reduced because the biggest suppliers of fertilizers for Europe were Russia and Belarus; both currently under sanctions have retaliated by cutting exports to Europe even though European leaders insist that fertilizer exports were not sanctioned.
Russia accounts for 45% of the global ammonia nitrate supply, 18% of potash-potassium-containing salts, and 14% of phosphate exports. Belarus is also a significant exporter of fertilizer, especially potash. The EU has started looking for alternatives to fertilizer supply as they are plunged into a situation with no immediate solution to the problem. With lower imports comes a higher price for fertilizer, making life more difficult for the farmer, which would mean higher production costs with lesser crops produced, resulting in higher food prices running into Q1 2023.
The Cocoa Sector in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire Undergo Turbulent Times
The top two Cocoa producers in the world, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana account for about 60% of the world’s cocoa production, but their farmers earn less than 6% of the industry’s global revenue. This pushed them to introduce the Living Income Differential (LID) premium in 2019 for companies buying cocoa from their farmers to pay US$400 per tonne, which would serve as a fee to lift the farmers out of poverty. However, the trade boards of the two countries have claimed that the companies purchasing the cocoa are circumventing these processes to ensure that the farmer does not feel the LID. They do this by depressing another premium, the origin differential, which operates in parallel and has plunged below zero in the past 12 years. This has caused a quarrel where the countries boycotted the World Cocoa Foundation’s partnership meeting in Brussels. They threatened to suspend sustainability programmes that chocolate giants use to enhance their image with fast-growing ethnic consumers and punish corporations by preventing them from visiting cocoa plantations to estimate harvests.
The problem with the cocoa value chain in Africa is that the countries focus on the lower end of value addition and manufacturing while not taking advantage of marketing, R&D, Branding and Sales. Until these countries can take up the higher end of value addition, the grumblings would continue as a more extended period of this disagreement would hurt these countries, especially Cote d’Ivoire, which depends heavily on cocoa income
Nigerian Farmers Recount Challenges as Dry Season Commences
Taraba state farmers have recounted the losses experienced this year as a result of the flooding experienced in the nation this year. However, they are determined to solve the problem by beginning dry season farming early with a view to harvesting twice before the next rainy season commences. The farmers added beans to the dry season farming basket, which initially comprised Rice, Maize, and Wheat.
Elsewhere, tomato farmers in Kano state have expressed fears over the recent approval given by the federal government to some companies to import tomato paste and concentrates. The Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN) claimed that the tomato importation approval to nine companies with a 10% duty and 20% levy would be detrimental to many farmers and that many might not plant tomatoes in the dry season.
Meanwhile, Bauchi farmers have faced the dilemma of having to deal with the late arrival of inputs and the hike in fuel price to run the water pump, along with the invasion of herders’ animals, especially cattle and goats that graze into the greener posture of the wheat farms because of the dry season. Last season, many farmers abandoned wheat farming due to late inputs. Many farmers claim that this reoccurring problem would cause reduced production as it did last year.
Fixed Income Market
Naira recorded mild gains at the parallel this week, appreciating to N775 per dollar on Friday.
At both the Investor and Exporter FX and NAFEX window, the naira depreciated week-on-week. Naira settled at N446.33 on the I&EFX on Friday and N444.38 at the NAFEX fixing on Thursday, indicating a weekly loss of -0.15% and -0.03% respectively (see table 2 below).
Table 2: Naira/Dollar at the I&E FX Window and NAFEX Market
|Average Benchmark Yields|
The tightness in liquidity made the interbank rates elevated for three trading sessions this week. However, the FAAC inflow on Thursday improved liquidity and pulled the rates down to a single digit. The Open Repo Rate (OPR) rate and Overnight rate (O/N) settled at 12.25% and 16.63% on Friday, indicating a weekly decline of -24.62% and -23.45% respectively (see table 3 below).
Table 3: Money Market
|Money Market Rate|
System liquidity should remain robust next week sustaining the interbank rates at current levels
Treasury Bills Market
This week, the Nigerian Treasury market stayed quiet for most trading sessions as the mid-week NTB primary auction distracted investors. On Friday, the NTB traded bullish with the average benchmark yield down by -5.91% (W-o-W) to 10.34
Also, the average benchmark yield for OMO bills declined by -0.18 to 10.80, week-on-week (See table 4 below).
Table 4: Treasury Bills Market
|Average Benchmark Yields|
|T. Bills (%)||10.99||10.34||-5.91%|
|OMO Bills (%)||10.82||10.80||-0.18%|
Improved liquidity should spur some buying interest in the coming week
Nigerian Treasury Bill Primary Auction
Despite the MPR hike preceding the primary auction, the DMO sold exactly N213.43bn worth of notes offered, indicating a substantial investor’s risk appetite. The 364-day tenor had an oversubscription of 147%, while the 91-day and 182-day were undersubscribed by -63% and -93%, respectively. The rates on the 91-day and 182-day stayed unchanged at 6.50% and 8.05%, while the 364-day rose by 85bps to 14.84% (see table 5 below).
Table 5: Nigerian Treasury Bills Auction Result
|Nigerian Treasury Bills Auction|
|Tenor||Amount offered (N’bn)||Total subscription (N’bn)||Amount sold
|Previous rate (%)
Source: Commercio paper
FGN Bond Market
In response to the MPR hike, the bond market recorded huge selloffs, especially at the long end of the curve. On Thursday, the selloff sentiment waned as investors showed interest in some specific bonds, thereby pulling down the average benchmark yield. On a weekly basis, the average benchmark declined by 20bps to 14.65 (See table 6 below).
Table 6: FGN Bonds Market
|Average Benchmark Yields|
The cherry-picking should persist next week
Ghana’s Bondholders to Lose 30% Principal and Interest Payment with Debt Restructuring
Ghana plans to ask its international bondholders to accept a 30% loss on principal and forgo some interest payments as a restructuring plan to qualify for the IMF bailout it has been negotiating since September. Ghana is negotiating a US$3bn program with IMF after being shut out of the international debt market amid the persistent selloff that elevated yields to a distress level. As of Thursday, the country’s US$1.2bn 2032 Eurobonds had a 30.49% yield, higher than most emerging market yields. Domestic bond investors would be asked to exchange their existing securities for new securities that will offer a zero coupon in the first year, 5% in the second, and 10% in the third year. Previously, the Fitch rating lowered the country’s long-term issuer default to CC from CCC negative outlook in August. The restructuring plan might trigger another downgrade and pressure more selloffs. However, the proposal will be set for negotiations with both local and foreign bondholders.
Lebanon Plans to Re-peg Currency to Dollar
Lebanon’s Central bank plans to re-peg its currency to 15,000 Lebanese pounds per dollar by February 1, 2023, to unify the country’s multiple exchange-rate systems. The official rate has been set at 1,507 pounds per U.S. dollar for 25 years, but the currency lost more than 95% of its value in 2019 when the country faced a financial crisis, with the parallel market rate falling significantly. As of Monday, the Lebanese pound hovered around 39,000 pounds per dollar at the parallel market, showing a significant fall in the currency’s value.
Due to the economic situation, the Lebanese authorities created several exchange rates, including unfavourable rates for withdrawing Lebanese pounds from hard currency deposits in the frozen banking system. The re-peg would streamline the exchange rates to two (official and parallel). However, the country’s crisis needs to be tackled to help the falling currency. Analysts believe the country can leverage its resources; arable land, limestone, huge human capital, and newly found hydrocarbon (a potential 25trn cubic feet of natural gas reserves) to generate revenue.
Bearish Fixed Income Market to Persist in 2023, Say Analysts
The global monetary tightening to curb rising inflation has raised yields to record high in the fixed-income market this year; US and UK yields rose significantly above 4%. In the domestic market, the average benchmark yields for FGN bond hovers around 14 and 15%, compared to the single digit in the previous year. The yields at the Nigerian Treasury bills have experienced similar adjustment, rising to a double-digit for the 180-day and 364-day tenors. For the Eurobond market, the yields have more than doubled to 13% from 6.5% recorded in the previous year. The upward adjustment in yields generates a higher borrowing cost. It might discourage borrowing from countries like Nigeria, which plans not to visit the Eurobond market this year. The fall in bond prices should extend to 2023 as countries signal a continuous hawkish monetary policy next year and investors continue to rally to the safe-haven (dollar).
NGX – Listed Equities
- The Nigerian bourse ended the week on a positive note as market sentiment turned positive. The NGXASI closed the week with a gain of 8% as against a 1.19% gain recorded last week. The Nigerian Exchange recorded N1.67trn gain in naira terms.
- Year-to-date, the NGXASI maintained its positive position to close the week with a gain of +4.16% as market capitalization settled at N25.901trn.
- Sectoral performance across sectors was broadly positive WoW. At the close of trading on Friday, fourteen (14) sectors closed positive WoW while one (1) sector closed negative WoW and two (2) sectors closed flat WoW. NGX INDUSTRIAL topped the gainer’s chart with a gain of +9.45% WoWwhile the NGX OIL and GAS Index topped the loser’s chart with a loss of -1.29% WoW (see chart 1 below).
Chart: Movement of NGXASI Index Points 1ST NOV. 2022 – 25TH NOV. 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 711.66 points and 935.12 with an increase of -0.01% respectively (see table 7 below).
Table 7 : NASD W-o-W Change
|MKT Capitalization (Bn)||935.07||935.12||0.01%|
|Value Traded (000)||15,500.00||5,530,630.00||35581.48%|
Dangote And Elumelu Index
Dangote Index closed the week positive at 136.86 index points from 124.85 index points recorded the previous week, representing an increase of 9.62% W-o-W. DANGSUGAR, DANGCEM and NASCON closed the week positive with 2.52%, 9.98% and 5.26% respectively (see table 8 below).
Table 8: Dangote Index W-o-W Change
Furthermore, the Elumelu Index closed negative at 110.35 index points from 107.51 index points recorded the previous week, representing an increase of 2.64% W-o-W. TRANSCORP, UBA and UBCAP closed the week positive with 7.21%, 2.10% and 3.73% respectively while TRANSCOHOT and AFRIPRUD closed the week flat W-o-W (see table 9 below).
Table 9: Elumelu Index W-o-W Change