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Financing the Agriculture sector

SEC ha expressed worry that credit to agriculture sector in the last 10 years remains as low as 5%, severely hampering the sector’s growth.

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Agricultural financing

It was reported few days back that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) expressed worry that credit to agriculture sector in the last 10 years remains as low as 5%, severely hampering the sector’s growth.

According to the report, the Acting Director-General, SEC, Mary Uduk noted that only the capital market has the capacity to unlock better access to credit and finance for the sector through innovative financing structures and products.

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Agricultural financing

The CBN had at various times dedicated funds to agricultural financing through various schemes with the aim of resuscitating the agricultural sub-sector which is a major contributor to GDP and employs a high percentage of the labour force.

One of such schemes is the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) established in 2009. The scheme is financed through a N200 billion Bond raised by the Debt Management Office (DMO). Loans are given to qualifying companies at a maximum interest rate of 9%.

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[READ MORE: Ban on generators: Throwing the baby with the bath water?)

Another such scheme is the Anchor Borrowers’ Program (ABP). The Program was launched in 2015 to create a link between anchor companies involved in agricultural processing and smallholder farmers (SHFs) of the required key agricultural commodities. The SHFs are provided with farm inputs in kind and cash to boost production of these commodities and ensure stability of these inputs supply to agro-processors.

At harvest, the SHFs supply these produce to the Agro-processors and are paid for the products. There have also been World Bank assisted Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) and the States’ Agricultural Credit Programmes. However, not much seems to have been achieved through these schemes.

Though financing the agricultural sector via capital market type funding may be a clearly better approach, growth in the agric sector is dependent on more than availability of finance in our view. Adequate infrastructure, re-establishment of the commodity boards, efficient storage facilities etc are structures that need to be in place to accelerate growth in the sector.

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CSL STOCKBROKERS LIMITED CSL Stockbrokers,

devland

Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange,

First City Plaza, 44 Marina,

PO Box 9117,

Lagos State,

NIGERIA.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ikechukwu ossai

    March 15, 2020 at 4:53 am

    All this scheme didn’t get to the real farmers it stop at the office farmers

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Columnists

Reduction in PMS: A nod to the deregulation of the downstream sector?

The Presidency yesterday announced a reduction in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to N125 from the current price of N145.

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FG battles 6 oil firms for failure to remit N20 trillion , ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron delay $58.4 billion oil and gas investment in Nigeria, Crude Oil: Nigeria’s oil production slips for the third consecutive month , Tax reform, policy uncertainty to cause oil drop as foreign firms look outside Nigeria, Nigeria plans to support oil price with lower production cost per barrel, Oil price slumps further to $30 pb, as Nigeria grapples with high production cost, Reduction in PMS: A nod to the deregulation of the downstream sector?

The Presidency yesterday announced a reduction in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to N125 from the current price of N145, necessitated by the fall in crude oil prices. Brent crude oil prices have fallen by c.64% since the beginning of the year, implying a reduction in the landing cost of PMS.

The pricing template puts the total landing cost for a litre of petrol at Nigerian port at N137/litre as of February 12, 2020, when Brent crude price stood at US$55.79/bb. This has however declined to N64.33/L as of 16 March 2020 following the dip in crude oil price to US$30/bbl.

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Reduction in PMS: A nod to the deregulation of the downstream sector?

The decision has been lauded by many as a signal towards deregulation of the downstream sector. While we see the rationale behind the move, we are concerned that the government is giving up an opportunity to prop up its already slumped revenue prospect given the significant drop in crude price. That said, the decrease will likely ease inflationary pressures at a time when inflation is on the rise. Headline inflation stood at 12.2% y/y in February, up from 12.13% in January.

READ MORE: Nigeria in trouble as rising subsidy cost exacerbates revenue crisis

On May 11, 2016, petrol pump prices were hiked by around 68% from N87/litre to N145/litre and many assumed this signalled full deregulation. This wasn’t the case however as the subsidy regime was still in place. The exchange rate factored into the landed cost of fuel was between N280 and N285/US$1.

A steep devaluation in the currency and an increase in crude prices in the international market, implied an increase in the landing cost which necessitated the continuation of the subsidy regime, though now booked as under-recovery losses in the books of NNPC.

The removal of the subsidy is a critical free-market reform, in our view, and we believe it is beneficial to the economy and government finances, though it will almost certainly put pressure on consumers and small businesses.

READ MORE: FG to reduce N1.5 trillion from 2020 budget due to coronavirus

Beyond the impact on government revenues, the removal of the subsidy also removes disincentives to refine petroleum product and may improve the balance of payments through import substitution. We, however, refrain from labeling this price reduction move as any sign of deregulation as the price of fuel is likely to remain regulated in our view.

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CSL STOCKBROKERS LIMITED CSL Stockbrokers,

Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange,

First City Plaza, 44 Marina,

PO Box 9117,

Lagos State,

NIGERIA.

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Columnists

Economy: Domestic investors hold sway in January

The NSE data on domestic and foreign investor participation for January revealed that activity level in the stock market was high.

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) data on domestic and foreign investor participation for January revealed that activity level in the stock market was high, as total value of transactions grew 84% m/m to N235.5 billion.

The sturdy growth in the level of transactions was driven largely by domestic investors, as the value of transactions executed rose by 155% m/m to N165.1 billion from N64.8 billion in December 2019.

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We believe the strong participation of domestic investors was spurred by buoyant system liquidity following the restriction placed by the CBN on individuals and Pension Fund Administrators from investing in OMO bills. As a result, this segment of the market could no longer invest funds from maturing OMO bills, leading to a surge in the amount of the funds chasing existing asset classes.

We recall that there was a lot of buying interest in high dividend yield stocks particularly in the banking sector with tickers such as UBA, ZENITH, GUARANTY & FMN recording significant gains.

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Despite the improvement in the value of transactions executed by foreign investors (up 11% m/m to N70.3 billion), we highlight that foreign investors’ outflows from the local bourse outpaced inflows for the fourth consecutive month. Specifically, foreign investors’ net outflows rose to N22.7 billion in January compared to N19.8 billion in December 2019. In our view, this reflects the fact that foreign investors interest in the local bourse remains weak despite attractive valuations.

[READ MORE: CBN announces initial policy response to COVID-19)

We think the absence of structural reforms in strengthening the resilience of the domestic economy, rising vulnerabilities to external shocks, heightened uncertainty in the banking sector given the flurry of regulatory guidelines from the CBN are fundamental issues inhibiting foreign investors appetite for Nigerian equities.

Considering the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) which has disrupted global supply chain and the downturn in oil prices (crude oil prices are down c.50% from US$68.91/b at the start of the year), we expect foreign investors to remain averse towards Nigerian equities.

With respect to domestic investors, we expect subdued interest in the local bourse given heightened concerns around a currency devaluation and the tendency to want to hold foreign currency. Accordingly, we envisage that domestic investors will trade cautiously with many remaining on the sidelines.

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devland

CSL STOCKBROKERS LIMITED CSL Stockbrokers,

Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange,

First City Plaza, 44 Marina,

PO Box 9117,

Lagos State,

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NIGERIA.

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CBN announces initial policy response to COVID-19

In light of the rampaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chains, CBN announced its initial policy response to the pandemic.

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In light of the rampaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chains, demand shocks and consequently impact on liquidity and growth prospects, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced its initial policy response to the pandemic.

This comes ahead of its Monetary Policy meeting on March 23 and 24. Below are highlights of the bank’s communique:

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  • All CBN intervention facilities are hereby granted a further moratorium of one year on all principal repayments effective March 1, 2020.
  • Interest rates on all applicable CBN intervention facilities are hereby reduced from 9.0% to 5.0% for 1 year effective March 1, 2020.
  • The CBN establishes a N50 billion targeted credit facility through the NIRSAL microfinance bank for households and SMEs vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The CBN hereby opens intervention facilities and loans to pharmaceutical companies intending to expand operations and set up drug manufacturing plants.
  • The CBN hereby grants Deposit Money Banks leave to consider temporary and time-limited restructuring of the tenor and loan terms for businesses and households most affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
  • Strengthening of the CBN’s LDR policy to support credit growth. The CBN would further support industry funding levels to maintain DMB’s capacity to direct credit to individuals, households and businesses.

READ MORE: Oil price crash, Coronavirus: The trouble that lies ahead for Nigeria

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We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted global supply chains and created demand shocks. Consequently, this has impacted revenue and created cashflow constraints for companies vulnerable to the spillovers of the outbreak.

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Granted some Nigerian companies, which rely on supplies from China, may have met with tough times, we believe the most serious negative impact of the outbreak on the Nigerian economy stems from weaker oil prices and pressured external conditions which have led to rising FPI outflows and consequently exchange rate panic. These pressures have significantly raised the risk of an economic slowdown and a possible recession in the medium term.

In light of this, we don’t think the CBN’s policy response addresses the key risks faced by the Nigerian economy from the COVID-19 outbreak. The policies highlighted above are geared towards freeing up more liquidity into the financial system and relaxing debt covenants for companies rather than tackling exchange rate concerns.

We note the CBN has earlier stated it believed market fundamentals do not support a devaluation. Thus, we do not expect any major reaction from the apex bank on that front.

READ ALSO: REMINDER: Nationwide implementation of cashless policy starts April 1st

Nevertheless, we think the policies will be beneficial for companies who currently enjoy CBN intervention loans. With an extra 1-year moratorium and lower interest rate (from 9.0% to 5.0%), these companies would enjoy improved liquidity. In addition, the CBN’s regulatory forbearance on loan restructuring would further support credit quality and prevent a credit crunch in the event of a protracted low oil price environment.

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_______________________________________________________________________

devland

CSL STOCKBROKERS LIMITED CSL Stockbrokers,

Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange,

First City Plaza, 44 Marina,

PO Box 9117,

Lagos State,

app

NIGERIA.

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