By Dipo Olowookere
A new report released by South Africa-based Nielsen Africa has revealed Nigeria’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for the second quarter of 2018 recorded a very healthy increase of nine points to 122, while Ghana’s CCI for the same quarter dropped 12 points to 108.
In an emailed statement to Business Post, Nielsen Africa noted that in terms of Nigeria’s performance, its Sub Saharan Africa chief, Mr Bryan Sun, submitted that, “The stability of forex rates and a steady Naira has led to stable retail prices of most manufactured goods and imported staples, resulting in a recovery in confidence levels in Nigeria. The improvements seen in the economic environment are reflected in the overall enhanced sentiment, with 83% of Nigerians describing the state of their personal finances over the next year as excellent or good.”
He stated further that this has resulted in a more positive outlook in terms of Nigerian consumers immediate-spending intentions, which has risen to 48% (up from 38% in Q1) who say now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they need or want.
This increasingly positive sentiment is also reflected in their job prospects, with 67% viewing them as excellent or good (up from 56% in Q1’18) and 29% as not so good or bad.
More cash, more spend
Looking at whether Nigerians have spare cash, a majority of 54% said yes, up nine points from the previous quarter, while 46% said no. Looking at what their spending priorities are once they do have spare cash, the highest number 86% would put it in savings followed by 82% on home improvements, 72% on new clothes and 67% would use their spare cash for both out of home entertainment and investing in shares and mutual funds.
When asked about the changes in their spending to save on household expenses, compared to this time last year, 80% of Nigerians agreed that they have changed their spending habits.
In terms of the actions they took to save money last year, the highest number (66%) said they spent less on at home entertainment, followed by 57% who took less holidays, 42% who spent less on new clothes and 39% who delayed the replacement of major household items.
Some of the major concerns driving this more cautionary mindset include 19% who think economy is their biggest concern over the next six months, whereas 12% consider food prices and 11% said work/ life balance is their biggest concern. When asked what their second biggest concern would be over the next six months, 19% said food prices, 13% said work/life balance and 12% mentioned job security.
Growing uncertainty in Ghana
From a stable confidence level in Q1’18, Ghana dropped 12 points this quarter to 108, the lowest since quarter 3, 2016.
Mr Sun comments; “Though consumer confidence in Ghana has declined in Q2’18, it still leans on the positive side, 100 being the neutral point on the index. The declining economic growth in Ghana, subdued performance in the non-oil and industrial sector, and poor agricultural performance has led to declining confidence levels this quarter.”
He adds that this uncertain sentiment is reflected by the six point drop in Ghanaians, down to 79%, who describe the state of their personal finances over the next year as excellent or good, and 17% (increase of 10% from Q1’18) who say that state of their personal finances is “not so good” or “bad”.
“It’s therefore no surprise that Ghanaian consumers’ immediate-spending intentions have declined, with only 35% of respondents (down from 48% in Q1’18) who say now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they need or want, versus the 61% who said it was not,” reports Mr Sun.
This declining sentiment is also reflected in Ghanaians’ job prospects, which has dropped 11 points to 54% who view them as excellent or good and a 10 point rise to 39% who think their job prospects are not so good or bad compared to the previous quarter.
Looking at whether Ghanaians have spare cash to spend, there was an even 50/50 split between those respondents who said yes and no. Looking at what their spending priorities are once they do have spare cash, the highest number 78% would spend it on home improvements, 77% would put it into savings and 61% would spend on new clothes.
When asked about the changes in their spending to save on household expenses, compared to this time last year, 61% of Ghanaians agreed that they have changed their spending habits. In terms of the actions they took to save money last year, the highest number (49%) said they spent less on at home entertainment, followed by 48% who took less holidays, 32% who delayed the replacement of major household items and 31% who spent less of new clothes.
The factors driving this more cautionary mindset are embodied in Ghanaians biggest and second biggest concerns over the next six months. The highest number of respondents (14%) said health is their biggest concern, followed by work/life balance (13%), and food prices and the economy (both at 12%).
When asked about their second biggest concern over the next six months, 16% of respondents said work/life balance, 12% said their kids’ education/welfare, and food prices and higher fuel prices both recorded 11%.
Elaborating on these results, Sun says: “Despite the decline in confidence levels, Ghana’s outlook is still positive. A strong domestic demand and favourable performance on oil, cocoa, and gold, coupled with ongoing investment in the country, gives hope for a brighter second half in 2018 for the country, resulting in a revival of consumer sentiments and spend”.
Experts Foresees NGX Technology Board Deepening Capital Market
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Experts in the Nigerian financial markets have expressed optimism about the proposed NGX Technology Board’s positive impact on the capital market and the economy.
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited plans to establish this platform to attract the listing of technology companies, giving them an avenue to raise funds to expand their operations.
On Thursday, October 6, 2022, the exchange held a seminar themed Enabling the Next Wave of Growth for Technology Companies in Africa. It was held to allow stakeholders to discuss ways to make things better for players in the sector.
Speakers at the event included the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Digital Transformation, Mr Oswald Osaretin Guobadia; Kendall Ananyi, Chief Executive Officer, Tizeti; Vice President, Cardinalstone, Mrs Onyebuchim Obiyemi; CEO, Opay, Mr Olu Akanmu; Managing Director, Nigerian Capital Market Institute, Timi Agama; Head, Financial Markets Support and Development Division, Financial Markets Department, CBN, Mr Demenongu J. Yanfa; and President, Pension Funds Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Oguche Agudah.
Others were the CEO, Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, Jalo Waziri; Partner, Fund the Gap Alliance, Segun Cole; Associate Dean, Lagos Business School, LBS, Prof. Olayinka David-West; Representative of London Stock Exchange and Director, Tech Sector Specialist, Shah Neil; Co-Founder/COO, One Watt Solar Director, Jubril Adeojo; CEO Future Africa, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Chief Growth officer, Halo Invest, Nnenna Onyewuchi.
In his remarks, the Chairman of NGX, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, represented by NGX board member, Mrs Angela Adebayo, said that Nigeria is home to several unicorns like Flutterwave, Andela, Jumia, Opay which have valuations surpassing $1 billion.
“As a sustainable exchange championing Africa’s growth, NGX is positioned to support the growth of the next wave of technology companies.
“It is stimulating the capital market, providing a tailored platform for tech companies in Nigeria and wider Africa to access growth capital whilst providing exit opportunities for all investors.
“The next wave of growth for home-bred technology companies needs to be anchored on sustainability, agility, collaboration and digital innovation, and these are elements that NGX represents,” he said.
Director-General of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, represented by Dayo Obisan, Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC, while delivering his goodwill message, noted that with the several developments recorded in the technology space, Africa remains a continent with the highest potential when it comes to tech and innovations and as such, its ability to determine its future digitally must be accelerated by strengthening its technological capabilities.
According to him, “Africa has the potential to grow into a technological giant with the right enablement, and SEC will support laudable initiatives aimed at improving on the capacity of our market to develop a robust ecosystem for the Nigerian capital market.”
Also, the CEO of NGX, Mr Temi Popoola, while speaking on the proposed NGX Technology Board, said, “The exchange, in conjunction with other major stakeholders, including SEC, CBN, CSCS and PenOp, are working tirelessly to launch and on-board a new asset class.
“The specialised technology board aims to encourage the listing of companies in the technology space, provide increased transparency, and visibility on foreign investment activities in tech companies and local tech startups.”
Giving the keynote address, the Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability Directorate, CBN, Mrs Aisha Ahmad, noted that tech had grown from an enabler of business to a fully-fledged sector as some of the largest companies in the world like Meta and Google.
“Africa is a $2.7 trillion economy, and for this growth to translate into broader economic impacts, we need more local investor participation. I’m particularly excited about NGX’s Technology Board plan, which will help grow the listings of Nigerian and African tech companies. It will aid price discovery of tech industry valuations and channel capital to tech and other sectors,” she said.
Panellists at the first panel titled The Path to Tech Listings – Leveraging Capital Market for Exponential Growth agreed that the proposed launch of NGX Technology Board is timely as it addresses challenges startups face with funding and capital formation during their developmental stage.
Additionally, they noted that having major stakeholders like NGX, SEC and CBN champion the Board would attract foreign investor participation, especially in terms of liquidity.
The second panel, themed Beyond Tech – Regulation as an Enabler for Technology Board Listings and Investor Protection, highlighted policies and the right standards as key factors in creating an enabling environment for tech listings and investor protection.
The panellists noted that regulators should be concerned about the companies listed, the governance structure, evaluations, returns and their positive impact on Nigeria’s economy, such as introducing new founders to the market and creating employment for Nigerians.
Helicarrier Acquires Stake in Accrue to Drive Crypto, Stock Investment
By Adedapo Adesanya
Helicarrier, the owning company of Buycoins and Sendcash, has announced that it has completed the signing of definitive agreements to acquire a significant equity interest in Accrue.
As part of this agreement, Buycoins Basic will be transitioning into Accrue effective immediately.
This means Buycoins Basic will now be onboarded on Accrue and position the company for more growth as it pursues cryptocurrency acceptance and adoption in Africa while helping users to grow their wealth with low-risk investment options.
Mr Timi Ajiboye, CEO of Helicarrier, said, “Embarking on this partnership underscores our dedication to democratising wealth building on the continent. Accrue has built the perfect wealth-building tool for the internet-powered African, and we’re excited to bring that experience to 100k+ Buycoins users.”
In a statement sent to customers and seen by Business Post, Helicarrier and Accrue have a long history together as the company was the first investor in Accrue, which ex-Helicarrier teammates founded.
“The mission to help Africans build wealth by leveraging transformational digital currency technology is a shared driving force for both companies,” the statement read.
On his part, Mr Clinton Mbah, co-founder of Accrue, noted that, “Everything you love about Helicarrier culture and its products — ease of use, timely customer support, fantastic product sense, execution speed, technical chops, and tenacity in the face of adversity, are tenets we brought over to Accrue. We’re committed to these tenets forever.”
Accrue is a long-term wealth-building app built for beginners to invest. Users can save in Dollars (stablecoins), earn up to 6 per cent annual interest, and auto-invest in top-performing stocks and cryptocurrencies with minimal risk and likelier profit.
Accrue is available for users across Ghana and Nigeria, with support for more African countries coming soon.
Helicarrier, founded in 2017, has several interests in the African fintech space, and its products include Buycoins Pro, the order book for advanced crypto traders, Sendcash which lets users send money to and from Africa easily powered by crypto for the best exchange rates and fastest delivery times.
Helicarrier also owns significant equity in other pioneering products like Abacus.
Inflation in Nigeria Will Remain High Through 2023—S&P
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A rating company, S&P Global Ratings, has projected that inflation in Nigeria will remain high through 2023 as a result of rising energy prices and tensions in the food-producing regions of the country, majorly the northern part.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last month said inflation increased by 20.52 per cent in August 2022, forcing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to increase the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 1.50 per cent to 15.5 per cent from 14.0 per cent.
For S&P, the central bank may have to continue to hike the rates because inflation will continue to face north till next year unless the government takes action to ease the energy crisis and insecurity in the country.
“Rising production costs for the corporate sector, due to high energy prices, and tensions in the food-producing middle belt, will likely keep inflation in double digits through 2023,” the agency said in a statement made available to Business Post.
In the disclosure, the firm warned that Nigerian banks could see a decline in their earnings. It further said the lenders could suffer weaker lending growth and asset quality due to the rate hike by the apex bank.
S&P further disclosed that the increase in the cash reserve ratio to 33.5 per cent from 27.5 per cent last month by the CBN could likely lead to a freeze in lending in the short term and squeeze net interest margins, especially if raised higher.
It was also stated that the harsh macroeconomic situation in Nigeria would deplete banks’ earnings as non-performing loans (NPLs) increase and net interest margins decline.
“We expect the banking sector’s NPL ratio will deteriorate to 5.5 per cent on average in 2022 after improving to 5 per cent at year-end 2021, while the return on equity moderates to 13 per cent from 14 per cent,” the agency said.
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