By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A research carried out by FBNQuest Research has predicted that Nigeria’s economy will leave recession this year and grow by 2 percent.
However, it pointed out that there would be another devaluation of the Naira in 2017.
In June 2016, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) floated the Naira in a bid to give the local currency strength at the foreign exchange market. But this seems not to have worked because the Naira has lost over N150 against the Dollar since then.
At the moment, the Naira is N516 to $1 at the parallel market compared with about N342 it was sold in June 2016.
In the report titled ‘2017 Outlook So much to do; so little time,’ it was noted that the fiscal stimulus for this will be the main driver, supported by a recovery in oil production and selective private investment.
“Beyond our forecast horizon, household consumption will recover, leading to an acceleration in growth,” part of the report said.
According to FBNQuest Research, “The 2017 budget proposals are still more expansionary than the previous year’s, set a heady target for capital releases and maintain the level of personnel costs. If the FGN is able to hit its revenue targets and implement its proposals, we will see a sizeable fiscal stimulus. We could have the rare bonus of a relatively fast passage of the budget.”
It described the 2017 budget proposals as “ambitious”, noting that it contains aggregate spending of N7.30 trillion including unprecedented capital releases of N2.24 trillion, aggregate revenues of N4.94 trillion and a mouth-watering FGN deficit of N2.36 trillion.
The report identified these as “hefty increases on the 2016 budget and even larger increases on the likely outturn for 2016. “
It said one change for the better is that the FGN has produced more realistic projections for non-oil revenue collection, and assumed that the oil economy will generate more revenue than the non-oil.
“The fiscal expansion is the base of our GDP growth forecast of 2 percent for this year. We hear that we are being overly hopeful: we would reply that the population is said to be growing at 3.2 percent per year and that we are forecasting a decline in per head incomes.
“Our forecast is supported by selective private-sector investment (as in agriculture and petrochemicals) and by a pick-up in oil production.
“Our thinking is that the FGN has no choice but to reach a compromise to restore stability to the Niger Delta.
“It has said repeatedly that the diversification of the economy hinges ironically upon healthy oil revenues.
“Initially, it did not want to continue paying the allowances to militants in the delta but has reluctantly changed its position,” the report noted.
FBNQuest Research says it sees a rise in crude production including condensates to 2.10 mbpd this year from an estimated 1.82 mbpd. The FGN is assuming 2.20 mbpd in its proposals.
It said further that, “On the average oil price assumption of $44.50/b for this year, in contrast, the proposals are conservative.
“Our expectation is $57/b with some upside. The FGN therefore should have some welcome headroom, which it will value if production underperforms. Our thinking is based on hints from OPEC that, when it next meets in May, it may make further cuts in production quotas if it is not happy with the direction of the price.”
Also, the report observed that the “signals from the CBN, the MPC and the political leadership indicate otherwise but we think that there will be devaluation in Nigeria in 2017.”
It explained that, “While we cannot detect any changes in the official mindset on the exchange rate, we see another devaluation this year in the ‘last resort’ category. The CBN will struggle to resist the urge to manage the rate in some way.”
It pointed out that the economy has need of sizeable autonomous forex inflows to meet legitimate import demand, close the gap between the interbank and other forex markets, and create a market in which the CBN is not the dominant player.
The report argued that the monetary authorities are not equipped to counter both GDP contraction and rising inflation. Their task will be clearer when positive growth returns and inflation starts to slow on positive base effects.
It said, “The next rate moves by the MPC should be downwards, in line with (or perhaps anticipating) steady declines in headline inflation.”
Commenting on the stock market, the report said it expects the market to trade sideways for the most part until some clarity on the forex situation emerges.
“If a resolution leads to a free float regime (or very close to it), we expect a surge in capital inflows. Our base case scenario is a 10 percent rise in the ASI for 2017 based on our fair value forecasts. A resolution of the forex situation could lead to a gain of at least 20 percent.
“We see upside potential of up to 10 percent for the banks sector on average; a marked resumption of capital inflows from offshore portfolio investors could lead to a much stronger performance.
“We forecast the average ROAE for our universe of banks to move up to 18.3 percent in 2016E, thanks to forex-related gains, but subsequently fall sharply to 11.2 percent in 2017E (assuming forex-related gains are not material in 2017E).
“Among the non-financials, we prefer the cement and palm oil names for which we see upside potential of 56 percent and 6 percent respectively on average.
“The other sectors continue to struggle with the headwinds stemming from forex devaluation given their high dependence on imported raw materials and/or FCY loans.”
On the federal government’s bonds, the report said, “FGN bond yields are likely to drift higher before the policy rate cuts due to the fiscal expansion and substantial issuance programme.
“Active investors will prefer the better returns on longer tenor NTBs. After three years of consecutive losses, we expect equities to regain some lost ground this year. We forecast the ASI to return 10 percent, implying an end-year target of 29,560.”
Achieve Greater Control of Your Assets with a Living Trust
Estate Planning is more about gaining control of your assets while you are alive than about one’s passing. A Living Trust (an Estate Planning tool) is one way by which individuals maintain control over their assets whilst alive and also have their wishes carried out when they pass on. It is called a Living Trust because it takes effect during the lifetime of the individual who set it up.
Indeed, the power of a Trust is in the control. A Trust left for a beneficiary will be held and managed by a Trust organisation and the assets could then be distributed to the beneficiary in a predetermined way.
The design of the Trust will ensure that other interested parties are unable to change the instruction of the creator of the Trust. With this arrangement, you are able to achieve greater control over what happens to your assets, providing greater security for the beneficiaries of the Trust.
A Trust also allows you to control how the assets in the Trust are managed, ensuring that only those that you specify can stake a claim to them.
A Living Trust can be revocable or irrevocable. A Revocable Trust can be revoked or amended, but an Irrevocable Trust cannot be changed once it is executed. The assets placed into a properly drafted Irrevocable Trust are permanently removed from the Estate of the individual. They are therefore not considered part of the Estate and will not be subject to estate taxes in the event of the creator’s demise.
In addition to estate tax savings, a Living Trust can offer you tremendous flexibility and efficiency. It can hold the money for your minor children until they are responsible enough to manage the money themselves. If you cannot trust your children or any other beneficiary with the responsibility of managing your assets after your demise, the Trust can address this concern. The trustee can do so by holding the assets in trust for the Settlor’s lifetime and only distribute it to the beneficiary as stated in the Trust.
Placing your assets in the Trust during your lifetime instead of a Will also helps you avoid probate. A Will that is probated as well as other information relating to the assets listed in the Will becomes a public record when you pass on. In contrast, a Living Trust is a private document and the assets listed in it will not be exposed to the general public.
The added benefit of a Living Trust is its usefulness during your lifetime in the event that you become incapacitated. You can arrange for a Trustee to manage the Trust assets on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Does a Living Trust sound like a good fit for you to gain control of your assets while preparing to gift these assets to a beneficiary? If so, consider reaching out to FBNQuest Trustees. We can help you create a Living Trust agreement that outlines how the Trust assets are to be managed and distributed.
Our team will also walk you through the process of transferring assets to the Trust. The process may take less time than you think.
C&I Leasing Drops Centurion Registrars Limited
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Centurion Registrars Limited has been dropped as the registrar of C&I Leasing Plc, a statement from the company has confirmed.
Centurion Registrars was replaced by C&I Leasing with Cordros Registrars Limited, a notice signed by the company secretary, Mbanugo Udenze & Co, stated.
It was disclosed that the appointment of the new registrar became effective from January 1, 2022.
“C&I Leasing Plc hereby notifies Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), its shareholders and the investing public of the appointment of Cordros Registrars Limited as its Registrars, share registration and data management service provider.
“Cordros Registrars Limited replaces Centurion Registrars Limited and takes over the register of members of C & I Leasing Plc effective January 1, 2022,” the disclosure stated.
C&I Leasing is one of the companies trading its shares on the Nigerian stock exchange. It provides both operating and finance leases and other services.
Its principal activities include the extension of structured operating and finance leases to the productive and other sectors of the economy.
The company was established in 1990 as a private organisation but was converted into a public company listed at the Nigerian stock exchange in 1997.
The Ghanaian subsidiary of the group; Leasafric Ghana Plc is the largest provider of fleet management services in Ghana.
The fleet management, which is managed along with the Hertz car rental franchise in Nigeria, is adequately supported by C&I leasing’s own service centre and their Citracks Telematics solutions making the fleet management business a one-stop brand for fleet management services.
Over the weekend, in a chat with newsmen, its chief executive, Mr Ugoji Ugoji, said the firm was planning to explore opportunities in the digital space to grow its revenue on a sustainable basis despite the pandemic.
He also stated that C&I Leasing will retool its fleet business and focus on vehicle fleets due to increased opportunity in the space.
Nigeria’s December 2021 Inflation Jumps to 15.63%
By Dipo Olowookere
For the first time in nine months, the inflation rate in Nigeria increased to 15.63 per cent year-on-year in December 2021, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday stated.
In the previous eight months, the inflation rate in Nigeria had slowed, declining to 15.40 per cent in November 2021, according to the stats office.
In the report released today, the NBS said when compared with the corresponding period of 2020, inflation, which is a measure of the consumer price index (CPI), moderated by 0.13 per cent as it stood at 15.75 per cent a year ago.
The stats office further disclosed that increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the headline index and on a month-on-month basis, it rose by 1.82 per cent last month, 0.74 per cent higher than the 1.08 per cent recorded in November 2021.
In addition, the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending December 2021 increased by 16.95 per cent from 16.98 per cent over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period recorded in November 2021 down by 0.03 per cent points.
As for urban inflation, it increased by 16.17 per cent (year-on-year) in December 2021 from 16.33 per cent in December 2020, while rural inflation jumped by 15.11 per cent in December 2021 from 15.20 per cent in December 2020.
On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.87 per cent in December 2021, up by 0.75 the rate recorded in November 2021, which stood at 1.12 per cent, while the rural index also rose by 1.77 per cent in December 2021, up by 0.73 the rate that was recorded in November 2021, which was 1.04 per cent.
Business Post reports that in the period under review, the composite food sub-index rose by 17.37 per cent compared with 19.56 per cent a year ago, indicating a decline by 2.19 per cent.
The NBS attributed this to moderation in the prices of bread and cereals, food product, meat, fish, potatoes, yam and other tuber, soft drinks and fruit.
On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 2.19 per cent in December 2021, up by 1.12
Per cent from 1.07 per cent recorded in November 2021.
It said the average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending December 2021 over the previous twelve-month average was 20.40 per cent, 0.22 per cent lower than the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2021, which stood at 20.62 per cent.
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