The Nigerian economy started the week ended August 26th with a prime-time broadcast from President Muhammadu Buhari, who had just returned from over 100 days away on medical trip abroad. A lot of Nigerians who expected some commentary on the economy, were left visibly disappointed as he focused mostly on National Security.
However, as we enter the last week in August, the economy will be looking to close August on a positive, going into the Salah holiday which starts on Friday September 1st. Here is a summary of what to expect this week.
Government & Policy
The Federal Executive Council meets nearly every week to deliberate on very important economic and political decisions. Last week’s meeting did not hold because the President was busy getting a debrief by his Vice President. Since this was much criticized, we expect a meeting to take place this week. There could be some statements around disbursement of cash to prosecute some projects in the 2017 budget. This could also be a fallout of the FEC meeting.
The National Bureau of Statistics is expected to release its inflation rate data for the month of July 2017. The data was delayed for about a week but looks set to be published on Monday, 28th of August. We expect inflation rate to decline further and drop below 16% for the first time since May 2016. The Bureau is also going to release its 2017 Q2 domestic and foreign debt profile as well as the Producers Index.
Treasury Bills Sale
The CBN will be selling about N193 billion in treasury bills sale on Thursday 28th of August, according to its Calendar. This will be its last sale for the third quarter of 2017, suggesting that no treasury bills will be sold in September 2017. About N26.1 billion, N62 billion and N105 billion will be sold in 91 days, 182 day and 364 days treasury bills sales.
The last week of August is typically the beginning of the end of the earning season. Most of the major companies have released their half year results, so we expect to see market sentiments wane a little bit. In terms of dividends payment, we only expect to get payment from Rak Unity and McNichols, who should pay their shareholders this week. There are no major mark downs this week also. The market will also likely close flat this week, if not lower as the market prepares for the Salah Holiday.
The naira was under a bit of pressure last week as demand for dollars from those going on Salah holiday put some pressure on the exchange rate. We could likely see further pressures against the naira and won’t be surprised if it closes at around N372 by the end of the week. The CBN will however have a lot to say in what happens, especially if it decides to pump in dollars.