Last week was interesting and we tracked some notable events in the economy and markets that would likely have an impact on your money this week.
The National Bureau of Statistics released its monthly inflation figures and it is pretty clear that inflation in Nigeria is going only one way — up. Inflation rate stands at 18.17% for the month of March, rising from 17.33% in February. Food inflation currently stands at 22.95%. The macro environment looks particularly gloomy for the average man with rising inflation eroding purchasing power.
What we find the most significant is how this will affect investors. With inflation heading towards 20%, it is going to be increasingly difficult for fund managers and investors to earn decent returns on their investments. A few weeks back, it was stated that the CBN had no real concern with inflation because it was caused by other related factors. We believe it is the right time for the Central Bank to step in by raising interest rates and mopping the excess liquidity in the economy.
The Central Bank last week announced that it was including wheat and sugar on the foreign exchange restriction list. Recall that the CBN had listed 41 items placed on the FX restriction list in 2015, then added maize to the list in 2020.
With existing players like Dangote Sugar, the CBN believes that Nigeria has enough or should have enough capacity to meet local demand.
Last week, The Debt Management Office (DMO) announced the offer of N150 billion bonds for subscription by auction in the month of April on behalf of the Federal Government. We reported two weeks ago that bond prices were falling as the yield was rising. As at April, 15th, the S&P FMDQ Nigerian Sovereign Bond Index was -22.07% YTD.
Nigerian investors can still capitalize on decent yields in the bond market. The total subscription received from investors for the bonds was N333.48bn comprising N65.25bn for 16.2884% FGN March 2027 bonds; N110.19bn for 12.5% FGN March 2035 bonds; and N158.04bn for 9.8% FGN July 2045 bonds.
Cryptocurrency and volatility
The cryptocurrency market had a bullish week till yesterday when sell-offs in the market ensured that coins like Ethereum dropped by about 21.46%. Olumide Adesina, a market analyst and cryptocurrency expert, called it a “bloody Sunday.” In a Twitter Spaces conversation with Ugodre Obi-Chukwu on Saturday, he discussed how the market was overheating and the bullish run was unsustainable. Despite the losses yesterday, there is still a lot of upside on cryptocurrencies and many experts remain bullish long-term.
For whoever is willing to invest in this asset class, the rule of thumb is to only invest money you can part with and do your research.
Other related news:
FG lifts suspension of issuance of new sim cards
The FG lifted its ban on new sim cards for telco players last week. This had previously been halted by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy last December. Without a doubt, this is good news for stakeholders in the industry as analysts had predicted that the ban would affect the growth of the sector.
From the government’s perspective, it begs the question, what was the need to issue a ban on new sim cards in the first place?