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Debt Securities

How to invest in treasury bills even if you don’t have N50 million

How to invest in treasury bills even if you don’t have N50 million

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Treasury, bills, calendar, Central Bank

Nairametrics| The Federal Government in March 2017 increased the minimum amount required to partake in its biweekly treasury bills auction from N10,000 to N50 million. This announcement means, retail investors can no longer participate in the primary market for treasury bills.

In place of treasury bills, the government introduced the FGN Savings bonds, which offers smaller investable sums but unfortunately does not offer the same lucrative yield as the Treasury Bills. The FGN Savings bond also has a longer tenor being that it is two years and three years, compared to treasury bills that has a maximum tenor of 364 days (one year).

FGN Savings, is also a bond and includes risk of being priced lower assuming you wish to invest in the short-term and sell before the tenor expires. Treasury bills are easier and a simpler form of investing, thus its popularity.

We explained the difference between the FGN Savings bond and treasury bills in the article.

With this new directive, most Nigerians without the financial muscle to invest in treasury bills, find themselves in a state of quagmire. But there is a way out.

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How to invest

Fortunately, you can still afford investing in treasury bills if you do not have up to N50 million. This is because Banks have designed products that pool funds from customers, which they can then use to invest in treasury bills.

[Read more: Nigerian Treasury Bills: Learn everything about Tbills]

How it works

  • Banks can pool small sums of money from their customers into a portfolio that is at least more than the minimum required N50 million.
  • Funds are pooled in line with the tenors three months, nine months and one year respectively.
  • The funds once pooled are invested under a collective fund, owned by the banks on behalf of investors in the pool.
  • They then apply to bid for treasury bills through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
  • Interest earned from the fund is shared equally to all fund contributors based on their individual contributions.
  • For example, if you invested N100,000 in a pool that invested in a 364 day treasury bill that pays 18% interest rate, the bank will pay you N18,000 as your gross interest earned. If your friend also invested in that same pool, but invested N2 million, your friend will get N260,000.
  • Banks will typically charge a fee for this service. The amount charged ranges from bank to bank, so you will have to confirm with your bank what the fee is.

[Read Also: How to choose between investing in bond funds, money market funds or savings bonds]

How do I apply

  • Approach your bank and ask to invest in treasury bills using the pool option
  • They will give you a form and you will fill the amount that you wish to invest.
  • You will also indicate whether you want to buy in the primary or secondary market. They work differently (see explanation below)
  • You will give the bank an authority to debit your account and give the bank fiduciary responsibility invest the fund on your behalf
  • Once done, you submit the form and await a debit alert
  • The next alert you will receive will be a credit alert. If your investment was successful (that is, your pool qualified for subscription via the CBN), you will get an alert of the interest payment. This usually occurs within 3 days of the conclusion of the bid.
  • If your bid was unsuccessful, you will also receive an alert, this time with the full amount invested net any fees or charges from the bank. You will not get interest because your pool’s subscription was unsuccessful.

[Calculate Treasury Bills]

Primary bid

  • Primary bids occur when the bank includes your investment in a pool that is buying treasury bills directly from the CBN.
  • In a primary bid, you buy directly from the CBN via your bank’s pool, for a 91 days, 182 days or 364 days auction.
  • If you decide not to hold to maturity, you can sell your right in the pool to another investor.
  • However, you forfeit interest not earned to your buyer.

Secondary bid

  • You can also invest in treasury bills by buying from the bank or someone in a pool who is not willing to stay through the end of the tenor of an auction.
  • In this bid, you can get between 90 days and 364 days. It can be 60 days, 75 days, 107 days etc. Just whatever is left of the tenor in the pool you bought into.
  • Banks keep records of all buyers, so they are good at working these things out.
  • You can also sell, if you do not want to wait out the investment.

[Read Also: Official: Nigerian Treasury bills calendar for September – November 2019]

Ugo Obi-chukwu "Ugodre" is a chartered accountant with over 16 years experience in financial management, corporate finance and financial analysis. He is also a retail investor and a personal finance advocate with over a decade experience investing in the Nigerian stock market.Ugo is the founder/Publisher of Nairametrics and blogs regularly on the website.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. teingo

    May 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I would like to know how interest rates are computed. Assuming one buys for 3 or 6 months tenor, how does the one year interest rate apply? Will it be the same amount for 3, 6, 9 & 12 months temors or the interest for one year has to be pro rated to the number of months?

  2. teingo

    May 11, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Assuming Treasury bill is bought via secondary mkt will interest be the same?

  3. Anonymous

    May 14, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Most commercial banks keep customers fund for too long before investing it in T.Bills. The story is that they bid but did not scale through. They earn float income on the funds.

  4. TUNDE OKE

    June 20, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Honestly I appreciate you works and comments both online and on radio.
    Cheers

  5. Oladele Ebenezer

    June 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    what happens to my T-Bills investment if the commercial bank that helped purchased from secondary market collapsed

  6. Anonymous

    July 26, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    can I apply with 100k

    • Alfred Akuki

      July 26, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      Some banks do accept N100,000 as the minimum for their pooling system for Treasury Bills, so, that is a YES!

  7. Bolaji

    October 15, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    If Iinstructed an Investment Manager which is not a commercial bank to invest my money in treasury bill, how can I be sure that the firm truly invest my money in Treasury bill and not something else with high risk?

  8. Okodugha Odion

    December 29, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Can a #100,000 be used for my investment on T-bill?

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Companies

Flour Mills moves to diversify funding sources with N29.8 billion bond listing

Flour Mills Nigeria Plc lists N29.8 billion bonds to diversify funding sources from the Nigerian capital market.

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Flour Mills makes one of the largest contributions to COVID-19 relief fund

Flour Mills Nigeria Plc’s fresh N29.8 bond listing will help the nation’s leading food business company to explore diversified funding sources from the Nigerian capital market, with the hope of enhancing growth and the development of the company.

This statement was made by the Group Managing Director of FMN, Mr. Omoboyede Olusanya, at the listing of the Tranche A and Tranche B bonds valued at N29.8 billion on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The food and the agro-allied company which has remained Nigeria’s largest and oldest integrated agro-allied business with a broad profile and robust Pan-Africa distribution issued these bonds under its N70 billion Bond Issuance Programme.

Olusanya said that the company would continue to explore funding opportunities inherent in the capital market to ensure business growth and continuity.

While speaking about the Credit Rating of the Programme, he disclosed that FMN’s credit rating, as well as the operational financing of the Group, have improved considerably.

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According to him, the bonds floated by Flour Mill will help to strengthen the company’s capital base and provide the needed working capital required by the Company. He added that Flour Mills Group will continue to deleverage and replace short term financing with longer-tenured and lower price funding to optimize capital structure and reduce financing cost.

He noted that Flour Mills will continue to explore opportunities to raise fundings via the capital market as this enables the company to diversify its funding sources and continue to play a role in the capital market as a significant player in it.

What they are saying

The Group Managing Director of FMN, Mr. Omoboyede Olusanya, at the virtual event, said;

Deal book 300 x 250
  • “We are delighted with the response from the market, we are happy to be listed.
  • “We are introducing an N29.9 billion listing under an N70 billion bond issuance cover; we will continue to raise funding to diversify our funding sources.
  • “The company remains passionate about feeding the nation to improve the quality of living for Nigerians through increased production and investments in backward integration.”

What you should know

  • With the successful issuance of the new N29.8bn Tranche A and Bonds, FMN has utilized its bond issuance program registered in 2018.
  • It is important to note that the Senior Unsecured bond listing includes an N4.89bn under Series 4 Tranche A of the bond issuance programme, at a 5.5% rate for 5 years, due by 2025, and a 25bn under Series 4 Tranche B of the same program at a 6.25% rate for a tenure of 7 years, due by 2027.
  • The bond proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt obligations. It will also help the company take collaborative actions to diversify the company’s financing options beyond expensive short term debt.

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Debt Securities

January 2021 FGN Bond records oversubscription of N88.3 billion

FGN bond offer has received a total bid of N238.28 billion across all tenors.

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Debt management office, DMO,Nigeria's Debt to revenue ratio, DMO suspends April 2020 FGN savings bond offer

The January 2021 FGN bond offer has received a total bid of N238.28 billion across all tenors, indicating it was oversubscribed by approximately N88.3 billion.

This fact was implicitly revealed through a disclosure by the Debt Management Office (DMO), seen by Nairametrics.

Nairametrics had earlier reported the offering of N150 billion worth of FGN bonds by the Debt Management Office for January 2021. In line with the notice, the auction occurred on the 20th of January, 2021 (yesterday).

Key highlights

The following are the key highlights of the 2021 FGN bond auction;

  • A total of N91.84 billion was submitted for the 10-Year tenor worth N50 billion, implying that it was oversubscribed by N41.84 billion.
  • The 15-Year tenor recorded a total subscription of N106.37 billion, implying an oversubscription of N56.37
  • On the other hand, the 25-Year tenor was undersubscribed by N9.93 billion, after it recorded a total subscription of N40.07 billion.

What you should know

  • Recall that the December 2020 FGN bond offer was oversubscribed by more than N70 billion, as reported by Nairametrics.
  • Nairametrics learnt that the oversubscription is sequel to higher rates across all tenors for January 2021, at 7.98%, 8.74% and 8.95% for the 10-Year, 15-Year and 25-Year period respectively, compared to the rates of 6.945% and 7.00% for the 10-Year and 15-Year tenors at the last auction in December 2020.

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Debt Securities

Collapse in domestic bills and bonds yields forcing local funds into stocks

A collapse in yields on domestic bills (3 months at 0.35%) and bonds (five-year at 3.5%) is forcing local funds into stocks.

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Nigerian Treasury Bills falls to 3.05% per annum, Implications of the new CBN stance on treasury bill sale to individuals

EFG Hermes has stated that a collapse in domestic bills yield (3 months at 0.35%) and bonds yield (five-year at 3.5%) is forcing local funds into stocks.

This is according to a recent report by the company tagged: 2021 The Year Ahead — Is the Recovery in the Price?

The report notes that current fixed income yields, of which bills and bonds are a part, seem unsustainable – citing that real 12 month yields are -13.8%. Hence, the report suggests that the country is likely to remain a cautious market for foreign investors in 2021.

READ: CAC says defaulting lawyers to face 2 years imprisonment for filing false documents

Despite the awareness, the company is of the opinion that fixed income yields in Nigeria could stay higher than 2020 lows for the next few months, which may lead to heavy bond issues in early 2021, as precedent suggests.  

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  • The company believes that the macro context is weak and policy-making is unpredictable in the country – pointing that although the country is facing a slow-burning BoP and fiscal crisis, it appears the authorities are making little efforts towards the difficult decisions necessary to put the economy and market on a sustainable footing.
  • This may, according to the company, impact earnings growth negatively in 2021 and 2022.

Accordingly, the report contends that this is one of the reasons why foreign investors avoid investing in the country’s instruments – noting that foreign investors seem to be happy selling to the local institutional bidders so that current data on holdings and flows depicts there is not much foreign money left in the market – as illustrated by foreign and domestic portfolio investment.

READ: Nigeria’s GDP growth to rebound between 1.7% and 2.0% in 2021 – United Capital report

What EFG Hermes is saying

  • “While foreign portfolio investors are seeing some relief on the backlog, until we see serious policy changes, we do not think foreign investors will become net buyers of Nigerian stocks. There is no indication that such changes are in the pipeline.
  • “We, therefore, expect a rising share of future net contributions to go to stocks, as well as cash coming from bond and bill maturities. However, we note that PFAs remain reluctant buyers, and the list of stocks in which they are happy investors is short.”

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