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South African economy falls into second recession in two years

Nigeria’s economy is now the largest in Africa after South Africa went into recession yesterday.

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The South African economy has fallen into its second recession in two years, as the country’s economy shrank by 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019. This was disclosed by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

The fourth-quarter decline had occurred following a revised 0.8% contraction in the third quarter, pushing South Africa into its second recession in two years. This places Nigeria’s economy at the top of the continent after much debate about, which economy is the largest.

Is there trouble in paradise for the South African economy, International Monetary Fund

Cyril Ramaphosa, South African President

The debate began due to differences in Nigeria’s exchange rate – with the official naira rate of N306 per dollar and weaker market exchange rate of around N360 – but with South Africa sliding into recession, either of the exchange rates makes Nigeria’s economy the largest, posting $476 billion or $402 billion, depending on the rate used, Bloomberg reports.

[READ MORE: Nigeria’s economy can’t survive without diaspora inputs, says PwC Chief Economist)

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This is because while South Africa’s economy underperformed in the fourth quarter last year, Nigeria experienced growth in its economy, surpassing forecasts due to oil output increased and the central bank took steps to boost credit growth.

But South Africa’s economy was the opposite, contracting more than projected in the fourth quarter as power cuts negatively affected output and business confidence. It was disclosed that South Africa recorded 0.2% expansion for the full year, making it the least since the global financial crisis.

The expansion was, however, reported to be less than the South African central bank and government projected estimation. Based on an average rand-dollar exchange rate of 14.43 for the year, the GDP was $352 billion.

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READ MORE: Is there trouble in paradise for the South African economy?

But while International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for Nigeria’s 2020 growth from 2.5% to 2%, last month, Nigeria’s economy is expected to continue growing, even faster, but South Africa’s GDP is projected to expand only by 0.8%.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Macro-Economic News

Consumers overall confidence index dipped by 25.0% Y-o-Y- CBN

According to the latest Consumer Expectations Survey Report for Q3, 2020, consumers’ overall confidence index dipped to -21.2 points.

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The consumers’ overall confidence index dipped to -21.2 points as at the third quarters of 2020(Q3,2020), down by 25.0%, from 3.8 points it recorded in the corresponding period last year. This is according to the latest Consumer Expectations Survey Report for Q3, 2020

What this means: The slip in outlook indicates that consumers were pessimistic in their outlook for Q3 2020. Respondents attributed this unfavourable outlook to declining economic conditions, family financial situation and declining family income.

The consumers were however optimistic in their outlook for the next quarter and next 12 months with indices of 10.1 and 30.5 points, respectively. This positive outlook could be attributed to the expected increase in net household income, an anticipated improvement in Nigeria’s economic conditions and expectations to save a bit and/or have plenty over savings in the next quarter and the next 12 months

Why this matter: The pandemic negatively impacted consumers’ income and businesses. Hence, the CBN wanted to gauge the impact of this pandemic on their confidence and outlook, both in the past and going forward, through their quarterly survey.

Other Key Highlights:

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  • The unemployment index for the next 12 months remained positive at 35.4 points in Q3 2020, indicating that consumers generally expect the unemployment rate to rise in the next one year.
  • With indices of 20.8 and 5.3 points, consumers expect the borrowing rate to rise and anticipate the naira to appreciate in the next 12 months.
  • Overall buying intention index in the next twelve months stood at 29.7 index points, indicating that most consumers do not intend to buy big-ticket items in the next 12 months. The buying intention indices for consumer durables, motor vehicles and house & lot were below 50 points, which shows that respondents have no plans to make these purchases in the next twelve months.

What you should know

The Overall consumer confidence index is computed as the average of the three indices, namely: Economic Condition, Family Financial Situation and Family Income.

a. Economic Condition refers to the perception of the respondent regarding the general economic condition of the country.
b. Family Financial Situation refers to the level of savings, investments, other assets including cash at hand and outstanding debts.
c. Family Income includes primary income and receipts from other sources received by all family members as participants in any economic activity or as recipients of transfers, pensions, grants, and the like

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Energy

Power: Nigeria records transmission peak of 5,459.50MW – TCN

TCN has announced that it hit a peak transmission of 5,459.50MW on the 28th, October 2020.

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) announced that it hit a peak transmission of 5,459.50MW on the 28th, October 2020.

This was disclosed on Thursday in a statement by Ms Ndidi Mbah, General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN.

She said Nigeria hit the milestone on October 28th and surpassed the earlier record of 5,420.30MW achieved on August 18.

What you should know

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Nairametrics reported that the Minister of Power, Engineer Sale Mamman, disclosed that Nigeria’s installed grid power generation capacity has grown from 8,000MW to 13,000MW under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The new peak surpasses the 5,420.30MW achieved on Aug. 18 by 39.20MW,” Ms Mbah said.

The Acting Managing Director, Mr Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, commended all the players in the power sector value chain for the feat.

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He attributed the gradual but steady improvement in the quantum of power delivery to collaboration by the sector players, as well as, the unbridled effort by the Federal Government – through the Ministry of Power – in setting the right environment for seamless operations.

The Acting Managing Director said the company will continue workings towards improved power transmission across the nation.

Nairametrics reported in August that the Federal Government of Nigeria revealed that the Siemens $2 billion power deal, under the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) will save the nation over $1 billion annually.

Structure of the PPI funding:

  • 85% from a consortium of banks guaranteed by the German government through credit insurance firm, Euler Hermes.
  • 15% of the FG’s counterpart funding.
  • 2–3 years moratorium.
  • 10–12 years repayment at concessionary interest rates.

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Financial Services

CBN grants Mortgage Refinancing Companies approval to refinance Non-member banks

The CBN has expanded access to mortgage financing by removing restrictions on refinancing mortgages earlier imposed.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has granted approval to Mortgage Refinancing Companies (MRC), to re-finance non-member banks.

This is contained in a circular referenced FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/07/056 and signed by Ibrahim Tukur, the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN.

The circular improved on the earlier provisions contained in section 7.3.1.5 which states that “A mortgage refinance company (MRC) shall not, without the prior approval of the CBN, extend total outstanding credit to any single borrower, which is equal to or more than twenty times the value of the borrower’s shares with the MRC or 25 percent of its shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses.”

READ MORE: Unity bank wants to be seen, but time is running low

READ: NFF receives $1 million from FIFA as COVID-19 palliative

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What this means

Based on the provisions contained in the latest circular, MRCs are now free and legally permitted to refinance the qualifying mortgages of banks and all other non-members ( that do not hold equity), subject to meeting all other relevant requirements specified in the framework.

In a nutshell, the restriction on non-member mortgage lenders from refinancing their mortgages with MRCs has been removed.

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READ: MFBs, DMBs, others get new lending limit directive from CBN

Why this matters

Prior to the provisions contained in the latest circular, CBN had expressed fears that provisions of section 7.3.1.5 negatively impacts the mortgages sub-sector, as it constrains the MRCS from refinancing the mortgages of non-shareholder banks. Therefore, the new order will help to remove the restrictions already highlighted.

In lieu of this, the latest circular stated that the provision of section 7.3.1 5 is hereby revised to “the MRC shall not, without prior approval of the CBN, extend total outstanding credit to any single borrower, which is equal to or more than 25 percent of its shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses,” the circular reads.

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