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Foreign investors drop Nigerian stocks worth N275 billion in 2019

The value of Nigerian stocks bought by foreign investors dropped from N1.22 trillion in 2018 to N942.55 billion as at the end of 2019, as hope for reforms that could boost the Africa’s biggest economy fizzled.

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Nigerian Stock Exchange, sound, C & I Leasing Plc, NSE launches factbook, Top 10 stockbroking firms

The value of Nigerian stocks bought by foreign investors dropped from N1.22 trillion in 2018 to N942.55 billion as at the end of 2019, as hope for reforms that could boost the Africa’s biggest economy fizzled.

Report from the Nigerian Stock Exchange confirmed that more than half of the N942.55 billion transactions were recorded for sale of stocks.

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What it means: Investors increased the pace of outflows last year after President Muhammadu Buhari took office for the second term but failed to appoint a cabinet until months later.

Funds sold out of the banking, consumer and oil sectors as capital flight worsened, piling pressure on the naira.

[READ ALSO: Africa-focused venture capital firm hosts summit to boost female representation in tech]

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Nigeria’s economy would growth at 2.5% this year and next.

Similar to stocks, investors also cut their participation in Nigerian government bond auctions last year. Instead, they piled into treasury bills supported by central bank’s policies.

A stockbroker, Funso Oluwole, explained that the President has pursued protectionist policies since he took over office in 2015, a development he said does not help the economy and scare some foreign investors.

He said, “Introducing  policies that curb imports to boost local production is a good one but backing a currency intervention that has seen the central bank pump billions of dollars into the foreign exchange market will not last long.

“With the modest increase in the National Minimum Wage still yet to take effect, the CBN simply cannot continue to defend the Naira at current levels. I expect the government to be forced into the hard choice of devaluing the currency sometime within the first half of 2020.“

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[READ ALSO: Nigerian stocks close 2019 with massive losses for the second year running]

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The stock index has risen 10.2% so far this year, to rank as one of the world’s best performing, thanks to higher oil prices and as domestic funds pile into stocks after last year’s ban from central bank’s high-yielding bills market. The index shed 14.6% in 2019.

Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar Onyema, told Nairametrics that he expects a new law, which grants tax incentives to capital market investment and the implementation of the country’s 2020 spending plan, to boost corporate earnings and consumer spending.

The year 2020 has started on a good note, with the NSE ASI recording a 9.41% improvement year-to-date as at January 10. We intend to work closely with our stakeholders to sustain this growth trajectory.

“As African Champions, we will maintain momentum in executing the NSE’s 2018 – 2021 Corporate Strategy in our efforts to elevate the prominence of Africa’s global financial markets.

“In its aspiration to become a more agile and demutualized exchange, and pursuant to the SEC’s ‘No Objection’ rule, The Exchange will proceed to the next steps which include seeking formal approval from its members on demutualization Scheme,” he said.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - abiola.odutola@nairametrics.com.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    January 27, 2020 at 4:28 am

    Nigeria should look for experts that can manage the economy not devaluation. The economic team should employ the service of the best brains

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Tech News

Tiktok’s In-App revenue surges amid lockdown

ByteDance Ltd’s brainchild, TikTok, together with Douyin ranking tops globally on mobile apps with the highest revenue generated for the month of April.

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TikTok announces $250 million pledge to aid combat coronavirus, Does YouTube stand a chance against TikTok?

The meme-making business has proven to be worth all the fuss, with TikTok, as well as its Chinese twin app, Douyin, ranking tops globally on mobile apps with the highest revenue generated for the month of April.

Sensor Tower, notes that just in the first quarter of this year, ByteDance Ltd’s brainchild, TikTok, together with Douyin which caters to the Chinese market, generated 315 million downloads globally, from the 187 million it had just a year earlier.

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The ranking, which was based on their in-app purchases, reveal a tenfold increase, as the companies garnered a whopping $78 million in revenue. The Chinese market is said to have contributed 86.6% of Douyin’s revenue, followed by the U.S market which contributed 8.2%.

This places them ahead of older names like Netflix & YouTube. As opposed to using subscriptions like these established brands, TikTok and Douyin allow users to purchase virtual currency to spend on their favorite content creators.

(READ MORE: Does YouTube stand a chance against TikTok?)

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While ByteDance is exploring the world of online commerce, it continues to rely on advertising as its primary income source. However, Emarketer projects that more than 75 million US social network users will make at least one purchase from a social channel in the year 2020.

 

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Business News

Sanwo-Olu to virtually inaugurate projects as he presents scorecard of first year in office

Some of the projects to be commissioned will be done virtually, while a few will be done on-site.

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COVID-19: Lagos State to begin curfew on Sunday to disinfect metropolis, Lagos state government discharges 7 more coronavirus patients, Lagos state will reverse to full lockdown, Sanwo-Olu to virtually inaugurate projects as he presents scorecard of first year in office

Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will virtually inaugurate housing, education, and road projects on May 29, as part of activities to mark his first year in office.

According to a report by NAN, the projects are part of the government’s efforts to renew infrastructure in critical sectors and to make the commercial centre a smart city.

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Some of the projects to be commissioned will be done virtually, while a few will be done on-site.

The projects

Lagos state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, listed some of the projects in an official statement. He said:

”In the education sector, Sanwo-Olu will conduct virtual inauguration of completed classroom blocks in Maya Secondary School, Ikorodu; Eva Adelaja Junior School, Bariga; and Saviour Primary School, Ifako-Ijaiye, among others. 

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“Virtual inauguration of completed works such as the Concrete Jetty in Baiyeku, Ikorodu, Aradagun-Ajido- Epeme Road in Badagry, and the Maryland Signalisation project also form part of the itinerary to commemorate the anniversary.”

(READ MORE: Lagos increases health workers’ allowances, commissions local production of face masks)

Omotoso also stated that the Governor would inaugurate the 360-unit Lagos Homes in Ikorodu, and then visit Igbogbo Baiyeku IIB Estate, Lekki, and the Courtland Villas on Femi Okunnu Estate during the week.

Plans for celebrating Children’s Day

 In a related development, Governor Sanwo-Olu will deliver an address on Wednesday May 27 to mark the children’s day celebration, and the 53rd anniversary of Lagos state.

Omotoso, however, noted that all celebrations would be kept on the low in reflection of the current challenges and realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Presenting one-year scorecards

The activities for the week are expected to begin with press briefings at J.J.T Park in Alausa on May 27, where members of the State Executive Council will present their scorecards in line with the six pillars of the state’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.

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(READ MORE: Lagos Medical workers call off strike, as IG sends strong warning to security agencies)

According to the information commissioner, there will be two sessions of press briefings daily from May 27 to June 3, as the Governor considers it expedient to render a stewardship account of the last one year.

“Three special publications highlighting the achievements of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration and testimonies of beneficiaries of various initiatives of the government are slated for presentation to the public by the governor and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat,” he added.

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Around the World

Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar

In general, digital currencies could weaken the power of U.S. sanctions and the ability of the U.S. Treasury to watch illicit financial flows.

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Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar.

A new report by America’s biggest bank, JP Morgan Chase, said the U.S dollar is being faced with a major threat as many  central banks’ digital currencies continue to gain traction.

Analysts, including Josh Younger, the head of U.S. interest-rate derivatives strategy and Michael Feroli, the chief U.S. economist, wrote in a report saying this:

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“There is no country with more to lose from the disruptive potential of digital currency than the United States.

This revolves primarily around U.S. dollar hegemony. Issuing the global reserve currency and the medium of exchange for international trade in commodities, goods, and services convey immense advantages.” 

Aditi Kumar and Eric Rosenbach also recently penned an opinion piece for Foreign Affairs in which they noted that “Just recently, America’s arch-rival China became the first major economy to carry a real test of a national digital currency.”

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(READ MORE: Why the strong dollar is giving Nigeria headache)

In general, electronic currencies could weaken the power of U.S. sanctions and the ability of the U.S. Treasury to watch illicit financial flows. A digital Chinese currency (yuan) combined with China’s developed electronic payment systems may give China more future influence than it ever bargained for.  

What Nigerians should know about Digital currencies

A digital currency is a cash balance recorded electronically on a store value card or other physical devices, which could someday replace the physical notes of the naira, for instance.

Digital currencies can be decentralized, that is where the control over the cash supply can come from diverse sources. Digital  currencies can also be centralized, where there is a midway point of control over cash supply, just like the way central banks work.

Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar.

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Although JP Morgan does not see the U.S dollar being overthrown as the world’s reserve currency anytime soon, experts warned that the U.S dollar dominance could weaken. This is because its processing trade settlement and the SWIFT system could make it more vulnerable.

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The American bank continued by saying:

“Offering a cross-border payment solution built on top of a digital dollar would, particularly if designed to be minimally disruptive to the structure of the domestic financial system, be a very modest investment to protect a key means to project power in the global economy,

“For high-income countries and the U.S. in particular, digital currency is an exercise in geopolitical risk management.” 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said months ago that the Federal Reserve was taking a critical view on the issues regarding a digital currency.

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