Access Bank shares down over 25% since merger announcement
Tier one lender, Access Bank Plc’s shares are down 28.8% since the bank confirmed its intentions to merge with Diamond Bank.
On the 17th of December, 2018 when the bank issued a statement confirming the merger plans, the stock closed at N8.15, up 9.4%. It closed at N5.80 on Friday’s trading, down 5.69%.
Reasons for decline
While the general market has been in the negative (down 17.81% in 2018, and 2.6% so far in 2019) the decline in the stock’s share price may be largely due to the impending dilution of existing shareholders.
As part of the terms and conditions for the proposed merger, Access Bank will be issuing 6.62 billion new shares to Diamond bank shareholders. Access bank currently has 28.8 billion shares issued.
The outstanding shares would go up further following the conclusion of a planned rights issue. The bank intends to raise N75 billion through a rights issue. At the current price, this would mean that roughly 12 billion new shares would be issued.
Access Bank could also decide to lower its dividend payment for the 2018 financial year, in a bid to conserve capital. A total of N0.65 was paid as a dividend in 2017, comprising N0.25 as interim, and a final dividend of N0.40. The bank paid an interim dividend of N0.25 on September 21, 2018.
An increased number of shares in issue, meaning that the bank’s earnings per share and dividend payment could drop.
Implications of a further drop
If the stock continues to decline, the bank may be forced to review the terms it has offered Diamond Bank shareholders. It would either have to issue a larger number of additional shares, or a bigger cash payment.
As at the 13th of December 2018, when the deal appears to have been struck, Access Bank was trading at N7.45. The stock is thus down 28.4% from the deal date.
Nairametrics last week placed a SELL recommendation on the stock.
How fund managers can help in period of low yield
With inflation holding steady, the low yields end up translating to negative returns.
It is often said that he who must find gold, must dig deeper because such is not found on the surface. With the current trends in interest rate, yield has become like gold, and those that must find it, should dig deeper than they have done before. It is no longer news that yield in traditional asset classes is approaching historically low levels. Indeed, yields are so low that yielder hunters are literally stuck. In one of my last pieces, I noted that the low yield had driven pension funds to the point of abandoning treasury bills as an asset class. The picture gets scarier and disheartening when viewed in real terms. With inflation holding steady, the low yields end up translating to negative returns when discounted for inflation.
Now that Treasury bills seem to be out of the question due to sub-zero yields, what can investors turn to? Here are a few things that investors could think of doing;
Invest in Money Market Funds: Money market funds have been the darling asset class for most Nigerians, due to their conservative nature and the fact that money market funds seem to be much easier to understand. The present low yield in the World market is also affecting money market funds but they still remain much higher than what is obtainable from Treasury Bills. Unfortunately, a great majority of fund managers do not have the yield of their money market funds on display when I visited their websites, below is a list of the prevailing money market yields in Nigeria for those that could be gleaned from the various website:
It may pay to shop around for yield as different funds present with different yields, as can be seen from the table above.
Fund Managers to the Rescue: One of the implications, if not the major implication of the ultra-low interest rate is that investors in yield driven asset classes, like money market funds, will either make minimal returns or no returns at all, especially when inflation is factored in. Unfortunately, most of these money market funds pay fees to the fund managers. To help the situation, it is time for fund managers to reduce or waive some of the fixed fees they charge investors like management fees. Investors should, therefore, ask fund managers for a renegotiation of the fee structure in such a way that the burden of low-interest rate is shared between the fund managers and the investors. Fund managers in places like the US are already doing this.
Loss Carryforward Provisions: Another way that investors can manage this situation is for them to ask fund managers to insert loss carry-forward provisions into the mutual fund agreement or prospectus. A loss carryforward provision is one which states that the fund manager does not get paid any incentive fee unless and until the fund attains its last known highest asset value. By having loss carryforward provisions, investors are afforded the time to recoup on losses before being charged further incentive fees.
Look for High Dividend Yield Stocks: Though stock investment remains riskier than money market funds and fixed income fund investments, in a low yield environment, it may pay to look for and invest in high dividend stocks that have a history of regular and consistent dividend payments.
Warning: Nothing in this article should be taken as investment advice and the author should not be held liable for using it as such.
Naira weakens as forex turnover falls by 88%
The opening indicative rate was N387.32 to a dollar on Wednesday.
Forex turnover fell by 88% on Wednesday at the I&E window weakening the exchange rate to N386.76/$1. The exchange rate at the black market however remained flat at N461/$1 for the third consecutive day this week.
NAFEX: The naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window on Wednesday, closing at N386.75 to a dollar, compared to the N386.50 that was reported on Tuesday, July 7, representing a 25 kobo drop. This is as traders continue to mull over CBN’s adjustment of the exchange rate at the SMIS window. The opening indicative rate was N387.32 to a dollar on Wednesday. This represents a 14 kobo drop when compared to the N387.18 to a dollar that was recorded on Tuesday.
Parallel Market: At the black market where forex is traded unofficially, the naira remained stable as it closed at N461 to a dollar on Wednesday which was the same rate that it exchanged on Tuesday.
Nigeria maintains multiple exchange rates comprising the CBN official rate, the BDC rates, SMIS and the NAFEX (I&E window). Nairametrics reported last week that the government has set plans in motion to unify the multiple exchange rates in line with requirements from the World Bank. Nigeria is seeking a world bank loan of up to $3 billion.
Meanwhile, forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window recorded a decline on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, as it dropped by 88.4% day on day, a huge decline from the figure that it achieved on Tuesday at the foreign exchange market. This is according to data from the FMDQOTC, an exchange where forex is traded by foreign investors and exporters.
According to the data tracked by Nairametrics, forex turnover decreased from $103.37 million on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, to $11.96 million on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, representing an 88.4% drop on a day-to-day basis. This is a reversal from the decent turnover that was recorded the previous day and is a far cry from the $200 million mark that was achieved in January and last week.
Nairametrics reported on Wednesday that the CBN official rate has been adjusted from N360 to a dollar to N381 to a dollar as reflected on the website of the FMDQ. However, the official rate quoted on the website of the CBN remains at N360/$1.
According to Reuters, “the naira eased 5.5% on the official market on Tuesday, after the central bank sold dollars to lenders at a lower rate, bowing to pressure from international lenders to unify its multiple exchange rates.” Reuters also reported “the naira eased to 380.50 in off-market trades, from 360.50 close on Monday” quoting sources from traders.
Nairametrics cannot confirm if the latest adjustment is reflective of the SMIS rates or if the central bank has now taken a bold step towards unification and adjusted its official rate. Reuters claims it’s a move to “unify the exchange rate”.
What this means: Unifying the Naira around the NAFEX rate is effectively another round of devaluation. If this is carried out and forex liquidity improves, then it could lead to an exchange rate strengthen in the parallel market just like it occurred in 2017.
The parallel market rate is currently N461/$1 and could converge to the NAFEX rate meaning those who bought above the NAFEX rate could lose money if they sell.
There are now 13,173 BTC millionaires around the world
As the transaction number in BTC market records high, the number of dollars invested increases
As of now, there are 13,173 BTC millionaires, or addresses containing greater than $1 million value of Bitcoin.
Recall that the wealth of many BTC investors have grown exponentially at the BTC market, as holders of more than 1000 BTCs or more referred to as whales have been increasing at a steady pace after BTC recent halving,
In addition, as transaction numbers in BTCs market keep hitting record highs, the number of dollars that buyers invested in $BTC just made a new all-time high. This suggests that something big is about to happen in the flagship cryptocurrency market.
The momentum in BTCs market has been gaining a steady pace since a report released by America’s most valuable bank, JP Morgan Chase, showed Bitcoin as a store of value asset.
READ MORE: There Are Now 1800 BTC Whales
“Though the [bitcoin] bubble collapsed as dramatically as it inflated, BTC has rarely traded below the cost of production, including the very disorderly conditions that prevailed in March,” said JPMorgan experts in a report led by the head of U.S. interest rate derivatives strategy, Joshua Younger and cross-asset research analyst, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou.
Meanwhile, the flagship currency had remained above the $9,000 support level in several weeks, data from Coinmarketcap shows that BTC has a market capitalization of about $173.2 billion dollar with a daily trading volume standing at $18.78 billion.
Quick fact; BTC is a completely decentralized digital crypto-asset, unlike fiat currencies that you can hold in your physically there is no central authority or centralized payment system controlling BTC. Bitcoin operates in a peer-to-peer network that allows any individual in the world to send and receive Bitcoin without any middleman (like a bank, central bank or payment processor).