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Nigerian Economy to Grow 2.6% in 2021, 2.7% in 2022 – IMF

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Nigerian Economy

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian economy is expected to grow by 2.6 per cent in 2021, the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday said.

The country’s gross domestic product is expected to achieve progress thanks to high oil prices, even if production will remain below pre-COVID levels, it added.

Meanwhile, the Bretton Wood institution then predicted a 2.7 per cent growth in Africa’s most populous country in 2022.

For the continent, the lender forecast that Africa’s economic rebound from pandemic-induced shrinkage would be weaker than in the rest of the world in 2021 and 2022.

Low rates of vaccination against COVID-19 across the continent top the list of reasons for the slower recovery, the Washington-based institution said in a biannual report on the region.

Growth for sub-Saharan Africa should reach 3.7 per cent in 2021 and 3.8 per cent in 2022, a welcome but relatively modest recovery, the IMF said in its forecast.

Those figures would nevertheless be “the slowest in the world given that the developed economies will grow by more than five per cent and the emerging or developing countries by more than six per cent,” it added.

With just 2.5 per cent of people vaccinated against COVID-19, lockdowns have been the sole option for containing the virus,” said IMF.

Even though 12 billion doses of vaccine are to be produced in 2021, it will likely take more than a year for a significant number of Africans to be vaccinated, the Fund added.

Although Africa has been the region of the world least affected by the pandemic, it has also experienced several successive waves of the coronavirus, and the lender pointed out that there is little reason to believe that there won’t be repeated waves going forward.

The Fund blamed “stockpiling by advanced economies, export restrictions by major vaccine manufacturing countries, and demands for booster shots in advanced economies” for shortages in Africa that could continue for the foreseeable future.

It added that “international cooperation on vaccination is critical to address the threat of repeated waves.

“This would help prevent the divergent recovery paths of sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world from hardening and becoming permanent fault lines, which would jeopardize decades of hard-won social and economic progress.”

In South Africa, growth should reach five per cent this year, better than expected, but return to a more modest level (+ 2.2 per cent) next year for want of structural reforms, according to the IMF.

In Angola, another economy that relies heavily on oil, the IMF forecasts a 0.7 per cent GDP contraction in 2021, before the growth of 2.7 per cent in 2022, ending six consecutive years of recession.

In tourism-dependent countries such as Cape Verde, Mauritius, The Gambia or Seychelles, growth has returned to pre-COVID levels but the losses sustained in 2020 will be difficult to erase.

Meanwhile, the most fragile economies include Sahel nations facing jihadist insurgency or political tensions, like Chad and Guinea.

The security situation there could shake the expected rebound in consumption and investor confidence, the IMF warned.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

Airtel Africa, 17 Others Lift Stock Exchange by 0.46%

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Local Stock Exchange

By Dipo Olowookere

Nigeria’s stock exchange closed positive on Friday by 0.46 per cent following a renewed bargain hunting in Airtel Africa, Guinness Nigeria, Sterling Bank, Ardova and 14 others.

This pushed the All-Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 199.52 points to 43,308.29 points from the previous day’s 43,108.77 points and jerked the market capitalisation higher by N104billion to N22.598 trillion from N22.494 trillion.

Royal Exchange and ABC Transport grew by 10.00 per cent each at the trading session to finish at 55 kobo and 33 kobo respectively.

AIICO Insurance gained 9.38 per cent to close at 70 kobo, University Press appreciated by 8.89 per cent to N2.94, while Regency Assurance jumped 7.69 per cent to 42 kobo.

On the other hand, UPDC REIT topped the losers’ table of 24 members with a price depreciation of 9.82 per cent to settle for the day at N5.05.

Champion Breweries retreated by 5.90 per cent to N2.55, UPDC moderated by 5.07 per cent to N1.31, FTN Cocoa eased by 4.76 per cent to 40 kobo, while Veritas Kapital contracted by 4.55 per cent to 21 kobo.

Unlike the preceding day, the level of activity was mixed yesterday with the trading value declining by 15.15 per cent to N3.6 billion from N4.2 billion, while the trading volume rose by 14.73 per cent to 305.3 million units from 266.1 million, with the number of deals rising by 13.96 per cent 4,450 deals from 3,905 deals.

FCMB finished the day as the most active stock with 81.1 million units worth N247.9 million, trailed by GTCO with 29.5 million units valued at N738.3 million.

Further, Access Bank transacted 28.1 million units valued at N253.9 million, Honeywell Flour sold 16.8 million units worth N70.2 million, while Zenith Bank exchanged 13.2 million units for N320.2 million.

At the market on Friday, the insurance sector gained 1.98 per cent, while the quartet of the consumer goods, banking, energy and industrial goods counter lost 0.89 per cent, 0.33 per cent, 0.03 per cent and 0.01 per cent respectively.

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Economy

Naira Closes Week Flat as Cryptocurrencies Suffer Heavy Loss

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Cryptocurrencies

By Adedapo Adesanya

The local currency closed flat against the US Dollar at both the Investors and Exporters (I&E) and the interbank segments of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Friday, November 26.

At the I&E segment of the market, the domestic currency retained the preceding session’s rate of N415.07/$1 amid an upshoot in the turnover for the trading session, according to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange.

At the market window, the turnover achieved at the final session for the week was $215.47 million, 119.7 per cent or $117.4 million higher than the $98.07 million recorded the day before.

At the interbank window, the Naira halted its depreciation against the American currency as it remained unchanged at N411.64/$1 at the close of transactions yesterday.

In the same trend, the local currency was flat against the Pound Sterling to sell for N548.55/£1, while the Nigerian currency stuck to N462.07/€1 as it was sold at the preceding session.

Bears Rampage Cryptocurrencies

Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies witnessed a bearish outcome on Friday as all the 10 cryptos monitored by Business Post weakened and analysts attributed the dip to the rout that gripped global investments following the discovery of a new coronavirus variant.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the new variant known as B.1.1.529 may contain more than 30 mutations. The United Kingdom and other nations have temporarily suspended flights from six African countries in response.

At the market, Bitcoin (BTC) recorded a 6.7 per cent depreciation to sell at N30,862,885.94, Ethereum (ETH) fell by 1.7 per cent to trade at N2,388,999.00, while Ripple (XRP) witnessed a 6.3 per cent fall to N543.44.

Furthermore, (DASH) dropped 5.9 per cent to trade at N109,054.38, Litecoin (LTC) slumped by 7.2 per cent to N111,931.77, Tron (TRX) made a 7.6 per cent loss to close at N52.66, Cardano (ADA) retreated by 5.0 per cent to N918.72, Binance Coin (BNB) witnessed a 4.2 per cent loss to sell at N242,540.63, Dogecoin (DOGE) also followed with a 4.2 per cent slide as it traded at N123.87, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) moved down by 0.7 per cent to sell for N569.90.

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Economy

Unlisted Stocks Trade Flat Friday Amid Low Investor Appetite

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unlisted stocks

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed in the flat territory on Friday as the interest of investors in unlisted stocks waned during the session.

According to data from the exchange, the level of activity declined as there was a 99.9 per cent fall in the volume of securities transacted by market participants as only 288 units exchanged hands compared with the 371,600 units traded at the previous day.

In the same vein, there was a decrease in the total value of shares transacted by traders on Friday and this depleted by 99.0 per cent as securities valued at N65,088 transacted in contrast to the N6.5 million exchanged on Thursday.

Business Post reports that the number of deals executed during the last trading session of the week waned by 50.00 per cent as only two deals were recorded as against the four deals carried out at the preceding trading day.

At the close of transactions, the major performance indicators of the exchange remained unchanged, with the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) flat at 744.90 points as the market capitalisation remained intact at N615.42 billion.

The unlisted securities market was without a price gainer or a price loser as the equity price of all the stocks on the exchange remained unchanged.

Also, the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis remained Food Concepts Plc as it has transacted a total of 11.4 billion units of its shares worth N14.4 billion. Lighthouse Financial Services Plc has traded 1.1 billion units worth N546.32 million to occupy the second spot, while Geo Fluids Plc, which claimed the third place, has traded 1.0 billion units worth N700.1 million.

By value, on a year-to-date basis, Food Concepts Plc was also on top of the chart with the sale of 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, followed by Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc with 456.5 million units valued at N9.2 billion, and VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.

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