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Debt crisis looms in emerging markets

Emerging market economies could begin defaulting on their bonds in the coming weeks,this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Global stocks tumble on "corona" sell off, BLOODY WEEKS: Coronavirus cost investors N1 trillion, triggers devaluation fears, Global Market Summary on Tuesday, Analysis: The economy is crashing, avoid falling knives,, Debt crisis looms in emerging markets,Debt crisis looms in emerging markets

Many emerging market economies could begin defaulting on their bonds in the coming weeks. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to huge outflows from emerging market assets, thereby causing their foreign exchange reserves to plummet at an alarming rate.

Why it’s important: The series of defaults is unlikely to be confined to emerging market assets alone; it could greatly affect the global credit market crisis already forming in the world’s debt markets.


The massive outflows will be particularly damaging for emerging countries, that are heavily reliant on foreign capital such as Nigeria, especially as foreign direct investment inflows have been plummeting since last year due to the lingering China-US trade war.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have lately called for an immediate postponement of debt payments from International Development Association countries, which are classified as the world’s poorest countries.

(READ MORE: Nigerian cinemas count loses in Q1 2020, amid COVID-19 lockdown)

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The emerging markets are being battered on all angles by a pause in manufacturing, falling crude oil prices and poor global demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

22nd Century portfolio, Weekly update of the Global Market ending 13th March 2020, Debt crisis looms in emerging markets

Thelma Ugonna CFA, a financial analyst wrote in an email to Nairametrics, “Africa’s debt has been on the rise due to various factors such as the need for political leaders to fulfil campaign promises of infrastructure development, the after-effect of the global financial crisis of 2008 and reduction of commodity pricing among others.

“Although Africa’s debt is yet to reach the proportion that triggered the Highly indebted poor country (HIPC) initiative in 1987 i.e. debt to GNI ratio of 104%, there is increased worry that the continent would be unable to pay back its debt.

 “As a result of the declining yields in developed countries, African Eurobonds have become very attractive to international investors seeking higher returns, however, the rate/scale of issuance keeps raising fear of a possible default.

“Worthy of note, is the fact that though it is cheaper for developing countries to borrow from multilateral creditors such as the IMF, World Bank; they have rather preferred to borrow from private investors as they get these loans without any demand on their economic policies.


“This preferred source of funding would mean that the possibility of debt cancellation if the need arises would be difficult to achieve.”

READ MORE: Naira under pressure as Nigeria records poor export earnings


The suffering expected in developed countries like the U.S. and euro-countries will be compounded greatly in emerging markets, like those in Latin America, Africa, and Asia which are expected to boost the world’s growth.

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Victor Silas, a financial investment analyst in a leading pension firm, stated in an email to Nairametrics that, “Rising sovereign debt levels in Africa amid global economics crisis brings concerns about possibilities of debt crisis in the region.

“According to data from trading economic, about 19 African countries are currently above 60% in their debt to GDP ratio. This indicates that such countries will have difficulties paying off their debts in hard times such as war, pandemic or economic recession as more borrowing will be needed to boost the economy.

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“However, some schools of thought believe central banks can print more money to settle such debt, bringing issues such as hyperinflation and debt financing cost which may put the economy in a more depressed state.”

(READ MORE: Bulls lift Nigerian bourse up 0.10%, as trading volume picks up)

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For years, countries have done little to tackle their rising debts. Now, with the global economy hit by COVID-19 pandemic and the price of crude oil, agricultural commodities and metal exports falling, lockdowns are affecting businesses negatively, both at home and in the markets they sell to. Nobody knows when the supply chains will return to normal.

Silas Ozoya, President of SUBA Capital also told Nairametrics that, “…these new debts we are getting into would trigger a huge economic crisis. It’s somewhere around 50% of GDP already, closing very fast in the 60% limit. This means increased poverty, especially at the grass-root level, creating huge negative social impact. 

“There would be a redirection of taxpayers’ money to service those debt repayments, thereby reducing what goes into infrastructure, agriculture (provision of food), social amenities, job creation and technological innovation.

“So, poverty in all forms would increase, our currency value would keep dwindling and the extreme case would be ‘economical colonization’ by those we owe as a continent.

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“This would slow down local development or better still give the control of whatever FDI development we have to foreign creditors in emerged markets as they might explore the build, operate and transfer (BOT) operation of debt repayment.”


READ ALSO: NSE loses N2 trillion in value in Q1 2020, as oil plunges 65% QoQ

Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria, all have their Eurobonds now trading at a spread of more than 1,000 basis points over American treasuries; that’s the point above which the Fixed Income instruments are considered to be distressed debt.

Anthony Okafor, Ph.D., ACCA, Head of Investments & Strategy at Vyne Investment Partners, in a phone chat told Nairametrics, “The COVID 19 pandemic has again exposed the fragility of the Nigerian economy, with foreign reserves down to $35 billion.

“The country is now facing her second recession in quick succession. A rebound in crude oil prices would perhaps do the magic and prevent the economy from slipping into recession in the third quarter. The loan requests earlier put in abeyance need to now be revisited, fast-tracked, and channelled to spur economic activities within the real sector.

“Rate cuts and tax cuts will have little effect on stimulating demand. Policymakers need to get creative in crafting policies to keep companies afloat and to fix the dwindling revenues.”

With COVID-19 pandemic raging on across emerged markets and in its infancy in Africa, there’s little relief on the horizon.

Major central banks around the world, including the U.S, China, Japan, Europe, have already added up more than $21 trillion on their respective balance sheets and are expected to add up more in the coming months.

In addition, in potential politically conflicted central banks such as the ones in some parts of Africa, such a program like quantitative easing carries a very huge risk of spiking inflation and eroding the credibility of policymakers.

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Olumide Adesina is a French-born Nigerian. He is a Certified Investment Trader, with more than 15 years of working expertise in Investment Trading. A member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society. Financial Market; Yale University, Behavioral Finance; Duke University. You can follow Olumide on twitter @tokunboadesina or email [email protected]

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Hospitality & Travel

UAE denies placing travel ban on Nigerians, gives reason for suspending visa issuance

The travel between Nigeria and UAE remained limited due to the closure of the Nigerian airspace.



UAE denies placing travel ban on Nigerians, gives reason for suspending visa issuance

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Nigeria has reacted to media reports about the purported travel restrictions imposed on Nigerians wishing to travel to the UAE.

In its response, the UAE Embassy in Abuja refuted the accuracy of the information which was contained in those reports, while also affirming the growing bilateral relations between the 2 friendly countries.


This disclosure was made in an official statement by the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Abuja on Thursday, August 6, 2020.

The embassy, in its statement, said the UAE government acknowledged that travel between Nigeria and the UAE has been limited due to the closure of the Nigerian airspace. Part of the statement said:

In response to recent press and social media reports regarding purported travel restrictions between the UAE and Nigeria, and in an affirmation of the growing bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, the UAE Embassy in Abuja denies the accuracy of the information contained in these reports.

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“At the onset of the COVlD-19 pandemic, the UAE took a number of precautionary measures to combat the virus’ spread, including the temporary suspension on issuing UAE visas for all nationalities as of March 17, 2020.

“After entering the recovery phase of the pandemic, the UAE eased some measures on July 7, permitting visitors from various countries to adhere to the necessary precautionary measures, including by showing negative PCR test results within 92 hours of travelling to the UAE. This includes those visiting from Nigeria.”

(READ MORE:FG travel restrictions on 13 countries: A little too late?)

The statement also noted that the UAE Embassy and the Nigerian Government will continue to work closely to obtain the necessary approvals to facilitate travel between both countries.

It can be recalled that there were media reports which were triggered by claims of a travel agency, saying that visa renewals for Nigerians in the UAE, approval for permanent residents, and tourist visas have been discontinued.

Some social media users, in reaction to the development, linked the new restrictions to some of the fraud cases involving some Nigerians in Dubai recently




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Hospitality & Travel

FG commences process of resumption of international flight operations in weeks

The government has expressed its readiness to reopen the nation’s airspace in a matter of weeks.



COVID-19: Reactions trail FG travel ban on 13 countries

The Federal Government has commenced the process of gradual resumption of international flight operations which were suspended as part of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19.

Airport authorities have expressed their readiness to reopen the nation’s airspace in a matter of weeks rather than months.


During a briefing on Thursday, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, said that approvals have been given for aviation authorities to commence the process for the resumption of international flight operations.

Aliyu revealed that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), other aviation agencies and the airlines, are to come up with a safe process through which airlines operating international flights can resume operations.

The PTF National Coordinator further disclosed:

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For international travel, we have made recommendations to the aviation industry to commence the process for reopening international airports, provided all existing international and local COVID-19 protocols are in place.

“We have modified the protocol for passenger arrivals at the airports. Domestic passengers arriving at the airports are advised to arrive one hour before their flights and three hours before international flights when this restarts.”

He said passengers arriving for domestic flights can now arrive an hour and a half before departure, while international flight passengers are to arrive 3 hours before departure.

In his statement earlier, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, who also doubles as the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had disclosed that the major changes being proposed in the eased lockdown were aimed at achieving gradual reopening of international flight operations within parameters.

It also includes reopening of rail transportation within established parameters and the granting of permissions to exit classes to resume ahead of examinations.

In his own contribution, the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said that the decision to resume flight operations was not purely an aviation problem, as it had to do with health.


He revealed that the PTF had set up a technical committee that would deliberate on the date that all the stakeholders in international air transport would be happy to start operations.

While sharing in the pain of Nigerians, Hadi Sirika admitted that the closure of the international air space had separated families and friends, denied people access to hospitals and schools abroad as well as denied them access to their businesses.


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COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 6th of August 2020, 354 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.



The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 45,244 confirmed cases.

On the 6th of August 2020, 354 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,673 samples across the country.


To date, 45,244 cases have been confirmed, 32,430 cases have been discharged and 930 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 306,894 tests have been carried out as of August 6th, 2020 compared to 304,221 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 6th August 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 45,244
  • Total Number Discharged – 32,430
  • Total Deaths – 930
  • Total Tests Carried out – 306,894

According to the NCDC, the 354 new cases are reported from 17 states- FCT (78), Lagos (76), Kaduna (23), Ebonyi (19), Oyo (18), Nasarawa (17), Rivers (17), Delta (16), Kwara (15), Akwa Ibom (13), Edo (12), Ogun (12), Plateau (11), Kano (9), Bauchi (6), Borno (6), Ekiti (6).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 15,627, followed by Abuja (4,241), Oyo (2,825), Edo (2,340), Rivers (1,911), Kano (1,608), Delta (1,557), Kaduna (1,530), Ogun (1,428), Plateau (1,294), Ondo (1,243), Enugu (880), Ebonyi (838), Kwara (815), Katsina (746), Borno (634), Abia (625), Gombe (620), Osun (586), and Bauchi (574).

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Imo State has recorded 472 cases, Nasarawa (360), Benue (356), Bayelsa (342),  Jigawa (322), Akwa Ibom (234), Niger (226), Adamawa (176), Ekiti (159), Sokoto (154), Anambra (142),  Kebbi (90), Zamfara (77), Taraba (72), Cross River (68), Yobe (67), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.



READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
August 6, 202045244354930332430118847
August 5, 2020448904579271732165117987
August 4, 2020444333049101431851116727
August 3, 202044129288896820663225707
August 2, 202043841304888520308226457
August 1, 202043537386883420287225677
July 31, 202043151462879119565227077
July 30, 202042689481878519270225417
July 29, 202042208404873519004223317
July 28, 202041804624868818764221727
July 27, 202041180648860218203221177
July 26, 202040532555858217374223007
July 25, 2020399774388561116948221737
July 24, 2020395395918451216559221357
July 23, 2020389486048332016061220547
July 22, 202038344543813815815217167
July 21, 202037801576805415677213197
July 20, 2020372255628011215333210917
July 19, 2020366635567891115105207697
July 18, 202036107653778614938203917
July 17, 202035454600772314633200497
July 16, 202034854595769914292197937
July 15, 202034259643760613999195007
July 14, 2020336164637541013792190707
July 13, 202033153595744413671187387
July 12, 2020325585717401613447183717
July 11, 2020319876647241513103181607
July 10, 2020313235757092012795178197
July 9, 202030748499689512546175137
July 8, 2020302494606841512373171927
July 7, 2020297895036691512108170127
July 6, 202029286575654911828168047
July 5, 2020287115446451111665164017
July 4, 202028167603634611462160717
July 3, 2020275644546281211069158677
July 2, 2020271106266161310801156937
July 1, 2020264847906031310152157297
June 30, 202025694561590179746153587
June 29, 20202513356657389402151587
June 28, 20202486749056579007149957
June 27, 20202407777955848625148947
June 26, 20202329868455458253144917
June 25, 20202261459454977822142437
June 24, 20202202064954297613138657
June 23, 20202137145253387338135007
June 22, 20202091967552577109132857
June 21, 202020242436518126879128477
June 20, 202019808661506196718125847
June 19, 202019147667487126581120797
June 18, 20201848074547566307116987
June 17, 202017735587469145967112997
June 16, 202017148490455315623110707
June 15, 20201665857342445349108857
June 14, 202016085403420135220104457
June 13, 20201568250140785101101747
June 12, 20201518162739912489198917
June 11, 2020145546813875449496737
June 10, 20201387340938217435191407
June 9, 2020134646633654420688937
June 8, 2020128013153617404084007
June 7, 20201248626035412395981737
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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