Naira, Fuel Scarcity Sharply Weakens Nigerian Business Activity
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
For the first time in many months, the Nigerian business activity index fell into the negative region in February 2023 due to the scarcity of fuel and Naira in the financial system.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes last year and gave Nigerians till January 31, 2023, to swap their old notes for the new ones.
However, after calls from various quarters, the deadline was shifted to February 10, 2023.
Two days before the expiration, three state governments went to the supreme court to stop the implementation of the policy designed to reduce the amount of cash in the system.
The apex bank asked the parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the matter, and before the presidential election last Saturday, many Nigerians and businesses found it difficult to get cash to carry out transactions.
In its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for February 2023, Stanbic IBTC Bank said it had a reading of 44.7 points compared with the 53.5 points achieved in January 2023.
Business Post reports that readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions in the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show deterioration.
In the report, it was observed that cash shortages across the Nigerian economy had a severe impact on the private sector midway through the first quarter of the year. Substantial declines were seen in both output and new orders, while firms scaled back their purchasing activity and employment.
Companies were also impacted by shortages of fuel, which added to price pressures and led to supplier delivery delays.
The 44.7 points recorded last month ended the 31-month sequence of expansion. The decline in operating conditions was the sharpest since the survey began in January 2014, excluding the opening wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the second quarter of 2020.
The most severe impacts of cash shortages were seen with regard to output and new orders, which both fell substantially as customers were often unable to secure the funds to commit to spending.
The decline in new orders was the first since June 2020, while the fall in output ended a seven-month sequence of growth. In both cases, the reductions were the most pronounced in the survey’s history, apart from during the opening wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With new orders and output falling, companies reduced their input buying and staffing levels accordingly. The declines were the first in 32 and 25 months, respectively. The decrease in purchasing reflected not only a drop in customer demand but also difficulties for companies to find the funds to pay for items.
Alongside cash shortages, the private sector was also impacted by a scarcity of fuel in February. This had a notable impact on suppliers’ delivery times, which lengthened for the first time in close to six-and-a-half years and to the greatest extent since April 2016.
The slump in PMI shows that while the central bank has managed to reduce the amount of cash held outside the banking system to a record low, it has come at a cost to the economy.
“The lingering cash shortages will likely continue to dampen economic activities and could depress economic growth” this quarter, said the Head of Equity Research West Africa at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Muyiwa Oni, adding that the Nigerian economy could grow at 3 per cent in 2023 due to the challenges.
“Furthermore, persistent fuel shortages from the beginning of the year saw petrol pump prices increase, which both increased production costs for firms and led to supplier delivery delays. Sure, the lingering cash shortages will likely continue to dampen economic activities and could depress economic growth in Q1:23,” he stated.
In turn, shortages led to a rise in fuel costs which were widely mentioned as having been behind a further marked increase in purchase prices.
Higher raw material costs and currency weakness were also factors pushing up purchase prices. The rate of inflation was the softest since June 2020 but marked nonetheless and stronger than the series average. Staff costs also rose again in February, but at a modest pace.
The passing on of higher input costs to customers resulted in a further sharp rise in output prices, albeit one that was the weakest in four months.
Hopes that economic conditions will improve, alongside business expansion and investment plans, led to confidence in the year-ahead outlook for business activity. The sentiment was at a five-month high but still relatively muted.
Leave a Reply
BUA Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Others Drive Stock Market’s 0.06% Loss
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited recorded a 0.06 per cent loss on Friday as a result of the selling pressure on some blue-chip stocks at the bourse.
It was observed that the decline was mainly driven by the poor performances of financial and industrial goods shares during the trading session.
Data obtained by Business Post showed that the insurance space lost 1.01 per cent, the industrial goods counter depreciated by 0.66 per cent, the banking sector declined by 0.25 per cent, and the consumer goods category shed 0.21 per cent, while the energy index remained flat.
Consequently, the All-Share Index (ASI) moderated by 31.55 points to 54,892.53 points from 54,924.08 points, and the market capitalisation went down by N18 billion to N29.903 trillion from N29.921 trillion.
A total of 137.6 million shares valued at N3.9 billion exchanged hands in 2,912 deals on the last trading session of the week compared with the 117.9 million shares worth N1.4 billion traded in the preceding session in 2,575 deals, representing an improvement in the trading volume, value and the number of deals by 16.71 per cent, 178.57 per cent, and 13.09 per cent, respectively.
Fidelity Bank closed the session as the most traded equity after it sold 21.5 million units and was trailed by GTCO, which sold 14.9 million units. Neimeth traded 14.0 million shares, UBA exchanged 12.8 million equities, and Transcorp traded 8.9 million stocks.
Investor sentiment was slightly strong yesterday as the market breadth was positive with 13 price gainers and 11 price losers led by AIICO Insurance, which fell by 5.00 per cent to 57 Kobo.
Linkage Assurance depleted by 4.76 per cent to 40 Kobo, Coronation Insurance went down by 4.76 per cent to 40 Kobo, International Breweries depreciated by 2.25 per cent to N4.35, and Transcorp lost 2.19 per cent to trade at N1.34.
On the flip side, NPF Microfinance gained 6.94 per cent to finish at N1.85, Geregu Power appreciated by 6.25 per cent to N323.00, Lasaco Assurance rose by 5.00 per cent to N1.05, Chams grew by 4.17 per cent to 25 Kobo, and Japaul improved by 3.57 per cent to 29 Kobo.
Analysis of the market data indicated losses reported by BUA Cement (1.60 per cent), Nigerian Breweries (0.55 per cent), GTCO (0.25 per cent), and Zenith Bank (0.15 per cent) caused the downfall of the exchange on Friday.
Again, NASD OTC Exchange Valuation Crosses N1 trillion
By Adedapo Adesanya
The market capitalisation of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange recorded a 5.3 per cent appreciation at the final session for the week, Friday, March 24, to close at N1.01 trillion from N959.06 billion on Thursday.
Business Post reports that this is the second time the value of the NASD OTC exchange would cross the N1 trillion mark.
The first was when Access Bank Plc was admitted to the alternative stock exchange in March 2022 and about a year later, it again crossed the same mark after Purple Real Estate Income Plc joined the platform on Thursday and began trading the next day.
Meanwhile, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) grew by 0.5 points or 0.07 per cent yesterday to wrap the session at 730.37 points compared with 729.87 points recorded in the previous session.
The day’s single price gainer was Geo-Fluids Plc, which improved its value by 16 Kobo to close at N1.80 per share versus Thursday’s closing price of N1.64 per share.
The volume of securities traded by investors depreciated on Friday by 67.3 per cent to 1.7 million units from 5.2 million units, the value of transactions slumped by 87.2 per cent to N3.1 million from N24.3 million, while the number of deals decreased by 78.6 per cent to three deals from the 14 deals carried out in the previous trading day.
Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with 462.1 million units valued at N505.0 million, UBN Property Plc stood in second place with 365.8 units valued at N309.5 million, while IGI Plc was in third place with 71.1 million units valued at N5.1 million.
In terms of the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis, VFD Group Plc was on top of the chart for exchanging 7.3 million units worth N1.7 billion, followed by Geo-Fluids Plc with 462.1 million units valued at N505.0 million, and UBN Property Plc with 365.8 million units valued at N309.5 million.
Naira Appreciates at Official Market, Loses at Peer-to-Peer, Black Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
It was a mixed bag for the Naira at the foreign exchange (forex) market on Friday as its value closed stronger against the United States Dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) side of the market but was weaker in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and the parallel market.
Data showed that the local currency gained 34 Kobo or 0.07 per cent against its American counterpart to trade at N461.33/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N461.67/$1.
It was observed that the Nigerian currency gained weight during the session despite being pressed by FX demand pressure, resulting in the sale of $241.38 million worth of forex at the close of transactions, $161.35 million or 66.8 per cent higher than the $80.03 million recorded in the preceding session.
In the P2P window, the domestic currency lost N1 against the US Dollar to settle at N756/$1, in contrast to the N755/$1 it was sold a day earlier.
In the same vein, the Naira depreciated against the greenback in the black market yesterday by N1 to close at N743/$1 compared with Thursday’s closing rate of N742/$1.
However, in the interbank segment, the Nigerian Naira closed flat against the Pound Sterling and the Euro on Friday at N566.08/£1 and N497.72/€1, respectively.
In a related development, the digital currency market was in the red as most of the tokens tracked by Business Post depreciated in price, as the markets reacted to the latest Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The Fed opted to increase rates by 25 basis points (bps) as many had anticipated and signalled one more hike this year.
Bitcoin (BTC) slid by 3.0 per cent to $27,458.80, Ethereum (ETH) dropped 3.8 per cent to $1,745.28, Solana (SOL) lost 6.3 per cent to trade at $20.61, Litecoin (LTC) went down by 2.9 per cent to $92.64, Dogecoin (DOGE) shrank by 2.3 per cent to $0.0748, Cardano (ADA) declined by 2.2 per cent to $0.3586, and Binance Coin (BNB) went down by 1.1 per cent to trade at $323.15, while Ripple (XRP) appreciated by 2.2 per cent to $0.4465, with Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) flat at $1.00 apiece.
Latest News on Business Post
- Family Announces Death of General Dipo Diya March 26, 2023
- Wema Bank Educates Students on Personal Finance March 25, 2023
- Access Bank Gets Regulatory Nod to Merge Zambian Subsidiaries March 25, 2023
- BUA Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Others Drive Stock Market’s 0.06% Loss March 25, 2023
- Again, NASD OTC Exchange Valuation Crosses N1 trillion March 25, 2023
- Naira Appreciates at Official Market, Loses at Peer-to-Peer, Black Market March 25, 2023
- US Reserves Worries Tumble Crude Oil Market March 25, 2023
- CBN Distributes Naira Notes to Banks, Orders Weekend Operations March 25, 2023
- Nigeria Records 36.3% Rise in Insurance Premium in Q4 2022 March 24, 2023
- How Data Protection Policy In Nigeria Is Evolving To Secure Customers March 24, 2023
Pingback: Naira, Fuel Scarcity Sharply Weakens Nigerian Business Activity - eNaira Online News