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Debt Securities

Nigeria’s pension funds continue to divest from treasury bills

Since the beginning of 2020, pension fund managers have moved out about N1.112 trillion of treasury bills investments into mostly FGN Bonds.

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pension funds, Treasury Bill Investment: Ghana Vs Nigeria

As the low-interest regime that characterized most of 2020 continues with no immediate sign of an increase, pension fund managers have also continued to rid their portfolios of treasury bill investments.

Analysis of the recently released September 2020 edition of Pension Fund assets, by the Pension Commission of Nigeria, PenCom, shows that pension fund managers reallocated their assets away from treasury bills to FGN Bonds.

READ: Nigeria’s Micro Pension industry: A gold mine waiting to be tapped

In the month of September 2020, according to the latest report, pension fund managers closed out of treasury bill positions worth N0.224 trillion while loading up on FGN bonds worth N0.254 trillion. Since the beginning of 2020, pension fund managers have moved out about N1.112 trillion of treasury bills investments into mostly FGN Bonds.

READ: FG posts 27% revenue shortfall in 2020 as budget deficit hit N6.1 trillion

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At the beginning of 2020, total pension fund assets invested in treasury bills stood at N1.88 trillion, but that has fallen to N0.78 trillion as at the end of September 2020. Put in another way, as at the end of 2019, 18.4% of pension fund assets were invested in treasury bills but as at September 30, 2020, pension funds’ treasury bill investment stood at 6.7%

READ: Pension Fund Assets hits N9.3 trillion as investment in FGN securities drops

Implications for domestic borrowing and monetary policy

Treasury bills serve a whole lot of purposes for the government. They are used as a means for the government to borrow to cover short term budgetary deficits as well as a means for the Central Bank to manage the supply of money and its inflationary effects.

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READ: Worry for PFAs as pandemic-induced unemployment lowers new pension accounts

With the increasing and seeming lack of interest by pension fund managers, who, usually are big players in the treasury bill market, the government may find it a bit problematic raising the much-needed domestic borrowing from them.

READ: Nigeria’s Eurobond yield hit 12.8% as investors flee emerging markets

In like vein, the Central Bank’s ability to implement monetary policies through treasury bills and others, open market operation, may also suffer. May be, fiscal policy may become a more potent instrument of economic management, if that happens.

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Uchenna Ndimele is the President of Quantitative Financial Analytics Ltd. MutualfundsAfrica.com and mutualfundsnigeria.com (both Quantitative Financial Analytics company website) is a leader in supplying mutual fund information, analysis, and commentary on African mutual funds. We provide reliable fund data; and ratings information that will add value to fund managers, the media, individual investors and investment clubs.

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Companies

Flour Mills moves to diversify funding sources with N29.8 billion bond listing

Flour Mills Nigeria Plc lists N29.8 billion bonds to diversify funding sources from the Nigerian capital market.

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Flour Mills makes one of the largest contributions to COVID-19 relief fund

Flour Mills Nigeria Plc’s fresh N29.8 bond listing will help the nation’s leading food business company to explore diversified funding sources from the Nigerian capital market, with the hope of enhancing growth and the development of the company.

This statement was made by the Group Managing Director of FMN, Mr. Omoboyede Olusanya, at the listing of the Tranche A and Tranche B bonds valued at N29.8 billion on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The food and the agro-allied company which has remained Nigeria’s largest and oldest integrated agro-allied business with a broad profile and robust Pan-Africa distribution issued these bonds under its N70 billion Bond Issuance Programme.

Olusanya said that the company would continue to explore funding opportunities inherent in the capital market to ensure business growth and continuity.

While speaking about the Credit Rating of the Programme, he disclosed that FMN’s credit rating, as well as the operational financing of the Group, have improved considerably.

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According to him, the bonds floated by Flour Mill will help to strengthen the company’s capital base and provide the needed working capital required by the Company. He added that Flour Mills Group will continue to deleverage and replace short term financing with longer-tenured and lower price funding to optimize capital structure and reduce financing cost.

He noted that Flour Mills will continue to explore opportunities to raise fundings via the capital market as this enables the company to diversify its funding sources and continue to play a role in the capital market as a significant player in it.

What they are saying

The Group Managing Director of FMN, Mr. Omoboyede Olusanya, at the virtual event, said;

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  • “We are delighted with the response from the market, we are happy to be listed.
  • “We are introducing an N29.9 billion listing under an N70 billion bond issuance cover; we will continue to raise funding to diversify our funding sources.
  • “The company remains passionate about feeding the nation to improve the quality of living for Nigerians through increased production and investments in backward integration.”

What you should know

  • With the successful issuance of the new N29.8bn Tranche A and Bonds, FMN has utilized its bond issuance program registered in 2018.
  • It is important to note that the Senior Unsecured bond listing includes an N4.89bn under Series 4 Tranche A of the bond issuance programme, at a 5.5% rate for 5 years, due by 2025, and a 25bn under Series 4 Tranche B of the same program at a 6.25% rate for a tenure of 7 years, due by 2027.
  • The bond proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt obligations. It will also help the company take collaborative actions to diversify the company’s financing options beyond expensive short term debt.

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Debt Securities

January 2021 FGN Bond records oversubscription of N88.3 billion

FGN bond offer has received a total bid of N238.28 billion across all tenors.

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Debt management office, DMO,Nigeria's Debt to revenue ratio, DMO suspends April 2020 FGN savings bond offer

The January 2021 FGN bond offer has received a total bid of N238.28 billion across all tenors, indicating it was oversubscribed by approximately N88.3 billion.

This fact was implicitly revealed through a disclosure by the Debt Management Office (DMO), seen by Nairametrics.

Nairametrics had earlier reported the offering of N150 billion worth of FGN bonds by the Debt Management Office for January 2021. In line with the notice, the auction occurred on the 20th of January, 2021 (yesterday).

Key highlights

The following are the key highlights of the 2021 FGN bond auction;

  • A total of N91.84 billion was submitted for the 10-Year tenor worth N50 billion, implying that it was oversubscribed by N41.84 billion.
  • The 15-Year tenor recorded a total subscription of N106.37 billion, implying an oversubscription of N56.37
  • On the other hand, the 25-Year tenor was undersubscribed by N9.93 billion, after it recorded a total subscription of N40.07 billion.

What you should know

  • Recall that the December 2020 FGN bond offer was oversubscribed by more than N70 billion, as reported by Nairametrics.
  • Nairametrics learnt that the oversubscription is sequel to higher rates across all tenors for January 2021, at 7.98%, 8.74% and 8.95% for the 10-Year, 15-Year and 25-Year period respectively, compared to the rates of 6.945% and 7.00% for the 10-Year and 15-Year tenors at the last auction in December 2020.

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Debt Securities

Collapse in domestic bills and bonds yields forcing local funds into stocks

A collapse in yields on domestic bills (3 months at 0.35%) and bonds (five-year at 3.5%) is forcing local funds into stocks.

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Nigerian Treasury Bills falls to 3.05% per annum, Implications of the new CBN stance on treasury bill sale to individuals

EFG Hermes has stated that a collapse in domestic bills yield (3 months at 0.35%) and bonds yield (five-year at 3.5%) is forcing local funds into stocks.

This is according to a recent report by the company tagged: 2021 The Year Ahead — Is the Recovery in the Price?

The report notes that current fixed income yields, of which bills and bonds are a part, seem unsustainable – citing that real 12 month yields are -13.8%. Hence, the report suggests that the country is likely to remain a cautious market for foreign investors in 2021.

READ: CAC says defaulting lawyers to face 2 years imprisonment for filing false documents

Despite the awareness, the company is of the opinion that fixed income yields in Nigeria could stay higher than 2020 lows for the next few months, which may lead to heavy bond issues in early 2021, as precedent suggests.  

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  • The company believes that the macro context is weak and policy-making is unpredictable in the country – pointing that although the country is facing a slow-burning BoP and fiscal crisis, it appears the authorities are making little efforts towards the difficult decisions necessary to put the economy and market on a sustainable footing.
  • This may, according to the company, impact earnings growth negatively in 2021 and 2022.

Accordingly, the report contends that this is one of the reasons why foreign investors avoid investing in the country’s instruments – noting that foreign investors seem to be happy selling to the local institutional bidders so that current data on holdings and flows depicts there is not much foreign money left in the market – as illustrated by foreign and domestic portfolio investment.

READ: Nigeria’s GDP growth to rebound between 1.7% and 2.0% in 2021 – United Capital report

What EFG Hermes is saying

  • “While foreign portfolio investors are seeing some relief on the backlog, until we see serious policy changes, we do not think foreign investors will become net buyers of Nigerian stocks. There is no indication that such changes are in the pipeline.
  • “We, therefore, expect a rising share of future net contributions to go to stocks, as well as cash coming from bond and bill maturities. However, we note that PFAs remain reluctant buyers, and the list of stocks in which they are happy investors is short.”

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