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Three reasons why the naira is depreciating

The exchange rate between the naira and dollar depreciated to N364/$1 on Friday from N363.50/$1 as the price of oil continue to tank globally.

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The exchange rate between the naira and dollar depreciated to N364/$1 on Friday from N363.50/$1 as the price of oil continue to tank globally. Reports from Reuters indicate forex traders are seeing increased demand on the dollar driving the value of the naira lower.

Why the naira is depreciating: The exchange rate is currently under pressure due to a combination of oil price drops, a dearth in foreign investor inflows and profit-taking from investors.

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  • Global Oil prices dropped to $58.69 per barrel on Friday as a supply of oil flooded markets despite weakening demand. The United States is reportedly pumping in more oil competing with OPEC in a market currently dictated by buyers.
  • According to the report, US Crude is now being sold in Europe and Asia even as Nigerian Oil suffered the slowest sales this year in August.
  • Forex Inflows was also cited as another reason for the depreciation of the naira. Global economic events such as interest rate cuts, China versus US trade war and Brexit has spooked investors of late.
  • The lack of direction in the Nigerian Economy, as well as delay in appointing ministers, is also thought to have discouraged further fund flows into the country despite low asset prices and higher-yielding securities.
  • Profit-taking from the redemption of FGN bonds also means foreign investors will have to convert the naira to the dollar to repatriate their funds, putting more pressure on the exchange rate.
  • The summer holiday is also adding pressure on the exchange rate as Nigerians and foreigners living in the country travel abroad on vacation. This typically places pressure on dollar demand locally.

CBN’s reaction: The Central Bank expectedly reacted by immediately selling an unscheduled treasury bill auction during the week hoping to suck naira out of the market.

  • The apex bank relies on treasury auctions to reduce the amount of naira chasing the dollar, a strategy that often helps reduce pressure on the demand for dollars.
  • The fewer the naira available, the less pressure there is on dollar demand.
  • It is also believed that the CBN could intervene in the Investor/Exporter window where forex is traded at market-determined rates.
  • Nigeria’s external reserve is dropped below $45 billion for the first time this year an indication that the Apex bank is also intervening in trying to maintain a stable exchange rate.

What this means for your investments: Investors should continue to watch the exchange rate between the dollar and naira as further depreciation after the salah holiday may send negative signals to foreign investors.

  • The more money foreign investors pull out of the economy, the more vulnerable the value of your naira denominated investments are.
  • Be smart and diversify your portfolio by keeping some of your investments in forex to hedge against any currency risks.
  • Avoid investments that tie down your cash making it difficult for you to liquidate as quickly as you can if the exchange rate situation degenerates.

 

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Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.

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Business News

Ecobank Transnational to hold AGM by proxies on June 30th

Due to the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic, ETI said the AGM will be held by proxies.

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Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has announced the date and venue of its 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM). According to a disclosure that was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the company’s AGM and an Extraordinary Meeting are scheduled to hold on June 30th, 2020, at Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Due to the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic, ETI said the AGM will be held by proxies. The proxy AGM is expected to enable the Pan-African financial institution to abide by the directives issued by governments and agencies regarding COVID-19 and how to contain its spread.

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“As a responsible corporate citizen, ETI intends to strictly comply with this restriction in addition to other applicable health and safety measures. Accordingly, attendance at this year’s General Meetings shall be mainly by proxies in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Company and applicable law,” a statement by the company said.

To this end, shareholders have been advised to select any of the company’s top executives (including the Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazoboh, and the MD of Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan) to represent and vote on their behalf during the AGM. Proxy forms may be downloaded from the company’s website, filled, and submitted in advance.

READ ALSO: NSE commemorates FBNQuest Merchant Bank’s N5 billion Bond Listing with Digital Closing Gong Ceremony

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Meanwhile, the issues that are up for discussion during the AGM and the Extra Ordinary meeting are enumerated below.

Annual General Meeting

1. Approval of the accounts
2. Appropriation of the Profits
3. Election of Directors
4. Ratification of the co-option of directors
5. Renewal of the appointment of the joint auditors
6. Approval of the Final Board Fees for Retiring Directors

Extraordinary General Meeting

1. Withdrawal of resolution on consolidation of shares
2. Amendment of the Articles

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Note that in Q1 2020, ETI reported profited after-tax from continuing operation of N66.4 billion, marking a 19% decline when compared to N81.9 billion during the comparable period in 2019.

ETI’s share price on the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed Friday’s trading session at N5.55. The company has a market capitalisation of about N137.3 billion according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

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NNPC explains measures to cut cost of crude oil production

Ewubare stated that NNPC was looking very closely at such variables as logistics, security, and transportation with a view to reducing the cost of production to $10 per barrel or below. 

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that it is taking some measures to bring down the cost of crude oil production to $10 per barrel or below. 

According to a press statement that was signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, this was disclosed by the Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ventures and Business Development, Mr. Roland Ewubare, on a Channels TV breakfast programme on Friday, June 5, 2020. 

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Ewubare pointed out that the peculiarity of the terrain was an important factor in determining cost, with such issues as pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, and some others being critical factors that are peculiar to the Nigerian terrain and would definitely drive up crude oil production cost in the country. 

READ ALSO: NNPC unveils COVID-19 contacts tracing app, marketers to buy petroleum products online

He, however, stated that NNPC was looking very closely at such variables as logistics, security, and transportation with a view to reducing cost of production to $10 per barrel or below. 

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He disclosed that much had been done over the years in the area of reducing contracting cycle which used to be a major factor responsible for high cost of production, stressing that the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) achieved a six-month contracting cycle under him as Group General Manager. 

Mr. Ewubare denied reports that Nigeria is part of OPEC+ member countries that did not comply with the output cut that was agreed by the alliance 

Mr. Ewubare explained that though Nigeria’s total production capacity was 2.3million barrels per day, it was currently producing only about 1.4million barrels per day in compliance with the OPEC+ production quota, stressing that what makes up the little extra over the 1.4mbpd figure being bandied around for Nigeria was condensate which is usually not computed as part of production in OPEC quota.  

READ MORE: NNPC seeks Russian firms’ partnership to revamp oil refineries  

While making some clarification, Ewubare said, There’s some confusion in the market around the parameters for the production cuts. Nigeria has a full production capacity of about 2.3mbpd. We are currently producing between 1.6 and 1.7mbpd. Our OPEC quota as a result of the cuts is about 1.4mbpd. You and I know that condensate is not included in the computation of the cut numbers. So what we have is 1.4mbpd of crude oil. The little you see above 1.4mbpd is made up of condensate which does not count as part of the basis for assessing our OPEC quota”. 

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NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, in a recent interview, advanced a similar position where he stressed that NNPC was working assiduously to bring down the cost of crude oil production to not more than $10 per barrel by 2021.  

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NNPC raises alarm over low grade, contaminated diesel in the market

This warning was contained in a report by the Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited Managing Director, Dr. Billy Okoye, who also admonished motorists to be careful of the off-spec products. 

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised alarm over the circulation of low grade and contaminated AGO, popularly known as diesel, which is offered at discounted prices in some parts of the country. 

This was disclosed in a press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Friday June 5, 2020. 

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This warning was contained in a report by the Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited Managing Director, Dr. Billy Okoye, who also admonished motorists to be careful of the off-spec products. 

READ MORE: FG projects $2 billion annual revenue from Escravos Gas project

The state oil giant, in the press statement, said, “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised an alarm over prevalent low grade and contaminated AGO, otherwise called diesel, offered at discounted prices in parts of the country.” 

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Dr. Okoye, stated that the warning became necessary because the low grade contaminated diesel is harmful to machines and the environment. He explained that NNPC Retail Ltd is a market leader and therefore considered it incumbent upon it to alert the general public on the circulation of these low grade products. 

While urging consumers of the product to patronize the oil firm’s service stations where the quality of their products was assured, Dr. Okoye gave assurances that NNPC Retail Limited dealt only in premium high-quality products in the interest of Nigerian motorists and users. 

READ MORE: Fitch revises national ratings of GTBank, Zenith bank

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Unlike the premium motor spirit otherwise known as petrol, which was operating a fixed price regime and had NNPC as the sole importer, the diesel products were deregulated and had other independent marketers apart from NNPC importing the products as well. 

The intense competition and unhealthy drive for profit, in addition to poor regulation, could have given rise to this.  

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