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UPDATE: Fitch downgrades Nigeria’s IDR to “B”, says CBN’s remedial policy not enough

A new report by Fitch has downgraded Nigeria’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to a ‘B’ rating. 

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A new report by Fitch has downgraded Nigeria’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to a ‘B’ status.

The Fitch report, which was published on the  ratings agency’s website earlier this morning, noted that the outlook is negative. Note that Nigeria’s IDR was, until this morning, rated B+.

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Reason for the rating: According to Fitch, the rating is reflective of the current pressure on Nigeria’s external reserves due to the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the recent plunge in global oil prices.

Nigeria’s foreign reserves declined by 9.4% year-on-year, thereby representing a cumulative fall of 22.5% since a peak was recorded in mid-July 2019.

What this means: The Fitch report noted that excessive external pressures will increase the risks of disruption to Nigeria’s macroeconomic adjustment. The country’s uncertain monetary and exchange rate policy and the absence of reliable fiscal buffers, are also factors that are increasing the said risks.

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The situation also has the potential to increase the government’s debt and interest payment-to- revenue ratios which, unfortunately, are already high. Ultimately, these could result in an economic recession, the report said.

READ MORE: CBN temporarily suspends settlement of failed Visa and Verve card transactions

Meanwhile, the Fitch report said that the recent remedial policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria is not enough to take care of the country’s depleting external reserves. Some parts if the report said:

“The plunge in international oil prices, which we assume will average of USD35/barrel in 2020 after USD64.1/barrel in 2019, highlights Nigeria’s high dependence on the oil sector, with hydrocarbon revenues representing 57% of current-account receipts and nearly half of fiscal revenue over the last three years.

“The shock exacerbates the overvaluation of the naira and remedial policy actions taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will not suffice to address deteriorating external imbalances, in our view.

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“The CBN allowed the exchange rate on the Investor and Exporter Window, on which the bulk of foreign-currency (FC) transactions is held, to depreciate by 6.7% since mid-January and devalued the official exchange rate by 15% in March.”

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The Fitch report went further to argue that the scope of CBN’s adjustment policy is too small, compared to the nature of the shock that has been witnessed.

READ ALSO: Nigerian banks face gloomy future over low oil prices, coronavirus

Note that Nigeria’s exchange rate has appreciated by more than 30% since 2016. This has been driven mainly by rising inflation which averaged 13.3% between 2017 and 2019 due to rigid nominal exchange rates, Fitch noted.

Fitch’s negative projections: in view of the foregoing, Fitch projected that the Federal Government of Nigeria will witness a further weakening of its fiscal revenue due to the oil price slump and the near-shutdown of economic activities in the country.

More so, general government deficit was projected to widen by 5.8% of GDP in 2020, up from 3.8% in 2019.

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You may read the full report by clicking here read the full report by clicking here.

Emmanuel holds an MSc. in International Relations and a B.A in Philosophy & Logic, both from the University of Ibadan. He is a communications professional. As a Lead Business Analyst at Nairametrics, he focuses mostly on quoted companies, their products/services, and the economy in which they operate. Emmanuel is also experienced in the areas of corporate communication, brand communication, corporate storytelling, public relations, business research, management/strategy, etc. You may contact him via his email- emmanuel.abara@nairametrics.com.

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Business

Where to invest in May

Post-COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerians need to send their money on the right errands in May 2019, if they will not be caught napping the expected recession.  

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Money

This May, post-COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerians need to send their money on the right errands, if they don’t want to be caught napping during the anticipated recession.

When listing out assets that should make up the ideal portfolio in May 2020, founder of Nairametrics, Ugochukwu “Ugodre” Obi-Chukwu, explained that investors should consider choice stocks in the Nigerian and foreign stock exchanges, as well as investments in money market instruments where some decent profits can be made.

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Ugodre said this during the maiden edition of the Nairametrics Monthly Investment Guide Webinar.

According to him, this will also be the time to look into Agri-Tech investments, using crowdsourcing platforms, after which you can sit back and watch your funds grow over a time span of 5 months to a year.

According to him, it is also important to invest in foreign currencies and crypto-currencies to balance one’s portfolios.

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He noted that foreign direct investments have reduced over the last couple of years due to reduced trust in Nigeria’s economic policies, and the desire of foreign investors to cash out their funds with ease. This also explains why portfolio investments grew by 38% in 2019.

He said, “Foreign investors love portfolio investments because when they put their money in, they can easily take it out as well.”

(READ MORE:   CrowdFunding: Who is qualified according to new SEC Guidelines)

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Finding the right stocks

On the stock market, he noted that quite some stocks improved in the month of April and could improve in the coming months. He listed 20 suggested shares, including six stocks which he described as COVID-19 proof.

Agritech,Errands you can send your money in May 2020  

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Dangote Sugar Refinery, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, GSK, Neimeth International Pharm, Nestle Nigeria, and Cadbury Nigeria Plc are fast-moving consumer goods companies that are expected to be resistant to pressure from the pandemic.

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He advised investors to track stocks that are liquid, have good financials and good corporate governance, in order to limit risks borne by investors. Valuation of the shares, he said, could be done by comparing stock value and earnings per share.

Working around cryptocurrency volatility 

While making a presentation on “Why Bitcoin should be in your portfolio,” Yele Badamosi, CEO of Bundle stated that foremost cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, had maintained a steady appreciation over the last decade giving investors high yields.

Although the market is highly speculative and unregulated, its high returns and high risk indicate that investors with high-risk appetites could find the market more attractive.

To avoid being on the wrong side, he advised users to consider time-based rebalancing, or tolerance rebalancing to reduce risks and rebalance one’s portfolio.

(READ MORE: AfCFTA delay: A bane to Africa’s $3.4 trillion economic bloc)

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“There are reputable people in the space, but it is important to do your research, start small, and buy regularly. Be wary of get-rich-schemes and unrealistic guaranteed returns,” he advised.  cryptocurrency,Cryptocurrencies and its usage in Africa, Errands you can send your money in May 2020  

 

With applications like Bundle Africa on Google Play Store, buying cryptocurrencies is as easy as selecting the buy button and having it saved in your bundle wallet.

What to expect in Q2 2020

According to Wale, an economist, who also spoke at the webinar, the demand for crude oil will remain low as several countries and businesses are still in lockdown, even though OPEC has cut down production.

Interest rates may remain low, though, despite this, Nigerian business entrepreneurs cannot expect single-digit interest rates.

Foreign reserve and government reserves will remain under pressure in the coming months. The World Bank says that this is the worst year so far, going back to the great depression and this is what I think as well. This is probably going to be the worst economic crisis we have seen,” Wale said.

He added that with the exception of industries in the Healthcare sector, telco companies, digital technology companies, and food producers, other sectors could very well expect a big hit.

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Business

Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)

Unlike other apps that are laced with either unbidden and hidden charges, V is free, as there are no charges for customers whether they are transferring money to another customer of V or another bank.

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VFD MFB closes gap with bank customers, launches new app, Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)

The recent lifting of the lockdown has seen Nigerians rush to the banks to execute banking transactions that they have missed in the last five weeks.

Saying that this action or mis-action contravenes the physical distancing preached by the health agencies and government, is only stating the obvious. By doing this, they endanger themselves, and other family members whom they return to after their day at the bank.
But what if it was possible to do all your banking from your phone?

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V to the rescue
V disrupted the banking industry when earlier this year, it launched a highly optimized virtual bank app that enables users to carry out all banking transactions with ease and from their phones.
Users are able to create and set up a bank account with the app within 5 minutes and start carrying out transactions immediately.
Of course it doesn’t matter if you already have an account with the traditional banks. There’s always room for pleasant disruptions, aren’t there?

What they offer
VBank was launched as Nigeria’s first fully virtual bank to close the gap which hitherto existed between established traditional banks and their customers. That means there are no barriers between the bank and its teeming customers and potential customers.
Unlike other apps that are laced with either unbidden and hidden charges, V is free, as there are no charges for customers whether they are transferring money to another customer of V or another bank.

(READ MORE: VFD Group meets nutritional needs of residents of Olowogbowo community)

According to Azubike Emodi, MD/CEO, VFD Microfinance Bank, experts behind V are taking a consumer-centric approach with an aggressive feedback collection mechanism to build an app that meets the objectives of the customer.
The app, which is available for download on App store and google playstore allows users to monitor expenses and income, categorize budgets, and set spending limits. V is available to download by searching for “V by VFD” on App Store and Google Play store.

Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)
What else could one ask for in a bank?
Another landmark feature of V is referral functionality (Veelage), which is also connected to monthly financial reward. It allows interested users of V to earn income and advance though the V community simply by getting account holders signed up with a unique ID and maintaining an average balance.

About this unique feature, Olukunle Salami, Business Performance Manager, VFD Group Plc would say that It is a 2-way value proposition that ensures individuals can earn consistently for several months beyond the initial referral point.

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Whoever guessed that we could earn from our bank?

 

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Business

Total Health Trust Provides Covid-19 Relief for Healthcare Providers in Nigeria

Total Health Trust Limited is playing a leading role in the response through its strategic collaboration with healthcare providers

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With rising costs and operational challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this relief aims to support the scheme’s healthcare providers across the country.

As Nigeria continues its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Total Health Trust Limited (THT), a member of the Liberty Group, is playing a leading role in the response through its strategic collaboration with healthcare providers and their delivery of quality health care services in the country.

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THT has created a COVID-19 relief initiative for its network of healthcare providers to help ensure that Nigerians continue to have access to the healthcare they need during this challenging time. Through this initiative, THT is supporting healthcare providers to mitigate the impact of the epidemic by covering the cost of protective disposable equipment, such as masks and gloves, for consultations, as well as technical support for exposure to COVID-19 related cases.

In a statement recently released by THT, Nigeria’s leading Health Maintenance Organisation, the CEO Kieran Godden applauded the intensive efforts of healthcare professionals in curtailing the spread of the virus. “We at Total Health Trust, and indeed the whole country, remain very thankful to our health professionals, the NCDC and the State Ministries of Health for the immense and co-ordinated role they continue to play in ensuring that the country records ongoing success in the fight against this pandemic” he said.

“At Total Health Trust, we are concerned about the well-being of healthcare providers and the risks they face to ensure a healthier Nigeria. We understand their concerns in managing their own exposure to suspected Covid-19 cases, while providing medical care to citizens. As such, we are focusing our efforts on providing the necessary protection in the fight against COVID-19.”

“Furthermore, our commitment to delivering the highest level of support to our network of healthcare providers continues, especially at a time when their operations and needs are quickly changing.” said Godden .

“As a responsible corporate organisation, with a purpose to make Nigeria healthier, we are contributing to the fight against the virus by empowering our healthcare centres across Nigeria to continue delivering essential health and wellbeing services. We urge other corporate organisations and sector leaders to play their part as we overcome this disease together as a nation” he added.

(READ MORE: Aliko Dangote donates mobile COVID-19 testing lab to Kano State)

About Total Health Trust Limited

Total Health Trust (THT), a member of the Liberty Group, is a proudly Nigerian company with a pan-African foot print working to make Nigeria healthier. We are the leading Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) dedicated to serving SMEs, corporates and multinationals in Nigeria. With a demonstrated track record of providing affordable and reliable healthcare services and solutions of more than 18 years , we understand healthcare and know the needs of those we serve. Our pan-African footprint enables us to leverage world class solutions together with local expertise as well as a network of over 7 000 healthcare providers to deliver better health care results.

The organisation has offices in all geopolitical zones of the country and is headquartered in Lagos.

www.totalhealthtrust.com

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