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Nigeria’s Consumer Confidence Level Gains 3 Points in Q4 2016—Report

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Nigeria’s Consumer Confidence Level Gains 3 Points in Q4 2016—Report

Nigeria’s Consumer Confidence Level Gains 3 Points in Q4 2016—Report

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A new report released by Nielsen Holdings Plc, a a global performance management firm providing a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy, has revealed that Nigeria climbed three points to 116 in the fourth quarter of 2016, after a steep decline in the third quarter.

In the latest Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) figures for Quarter 4 of 2016, it was observed that sentiment in the west of Africa is on the increase with Ghana rising by two points to 111.

Managing Director of Nielsen East and West Africa, Mr Abhik Gupta, while explaining the reasons for Nigeria’s improved consumer sentiment in a statement made available to Business Post, stated that, “Despite previous drops in consumer confidence, Nigerians are now more positive than Kenyans, South Africans and Ghanaians, in terms of their job prospects and personal finances and as the country’s macro, business and retail prospects recover we expect to see continued positivity amongst Nigerian consumers.”

Adding to this positive outlook, the latest Nielsen Africa Prospects Indicator (APi), which integrates macro-economic, business, retail and consumer factors points to the fact that predictions are that the worst is over and it will not take much to drive the Nigerian economy into positive growth levels in 2017.

Short term positivity in Nigeria

In light of this, all confidence indicators in Nigeria increased in the fourth quarter. The percentage of respondents who predict that their personal finances will be good or excellent in the next 12 months jumped five percentage points to 80 percent, and 59 percent of Nigerian respondents said job prospects will be good or excellent, up one percentage point from the third quarter.

Immediate-spending intentions increased four percentage points, rising to 39 percent while more than four in 10 Nigerian respondents (44 percent) said they had spare cash, up from 36 percent in the third quarter.

In terms of what they would use this spare cash for, the highest number of Nigerians are seeking to batten down the hatches on their current financial future, with 80 percent saying they would put it into savings.

The second highest number (69 percent) wants to use their spare cash on home improvements and decorating and 62% on investing in shares and mutual funds. Unsurprisingly, 60 percent would spend it on out-of-home entertainment as they seek some respite from their current daily stresses and strains.

Mixed positivity in Ghana’s results

The overall increase in Ghana’s CCI, was due to a higher proportion of “Excellent” responses even though “Good” responses have declined.

This means that despite the positive outlook for jobs dropping two percentage points from Q3 to an overall 55 percent, this was made up of 12 percent saying “Excellent” (up from 10 percent previous quarter) and 43 percent saying “Good”.

This was followed by positive personal-finance sentiment decreasing by one point to 76 percent, of which 23 percent said “Excellent” (up by 4 points) and 52 percent said “Good”.

Immediate-spending intentions dropped by two percentage points to 40 percent of which 10 percent said “Excellent” (up by 4 points) and 30 percent said “Good”.

Less than half of Ghanaian respondents said they had spare cash (47%) – a drop of 3 percentage points from the third quarter, however this proportion of consumers is higher than Nigerians (44 percent) and Kenyans (42 percent).

In terms of what they would use this spare cash for, Ghanaians remain financially conservative in their outlook, with the highest number (82 percent) saying they would put it into savings, the second highest number of respondents 72 percent see home improvements as a worthwhile investment while (59 percent) saying they would invest in shares/mutual funds.

Overall Gupta comments; “In the backdrop of improved confidence levels, businesses need to adjust to the altered daily habits that consumers are displaying to deal with the tough market conditions.  As consumers have been forced to reduce consumption, only buying on an immediate need basis, businesses need to meet these new consumers realities with agility, flexible product offerings, packaging and pricing.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

Economy

MTN Declares N10 Per Share Dividend as Revenue Hits N2.0trn

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MTN N10 per share dividend

By Dipo Olowookere

Shareholders of MTN Nigeria will receive a N10 per share dividend for the financial year ending December 31, 2022.

The board proposed this cash reward in a regulatory notice filed to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.

The payment is only for shareholders who have the company’s stocks as of March 27, 2023, with the payment date fixed for April 20, 2023.

The telecommunications giant is rewarding its investors with this money amid a very profitable accounting year.

Details of its financial results showed that the revenue generated in the year under consideration improved by 21.5 per cent to N2.0 trillion compared with the N1.7 trillion achieved in the preceding year.

The improvement in the total turnover was due to increases in its mobile subscribers by 10.5 per cent to 75.6 million, active data users by 15.3 per cent to 39.5 million, and active fintech subscribers by 57.5 per cent to 14.9 million.

More people had reasons to join the MTN network because of the decision of the company to “invest in the resilience of our business and networks, expanding coverage and capacity.”

In the year, MTN cut its expenses by 21.2 per cent to N941.9 billion from N777.2 billion, with employee costs dropping to N45.1 billion from N48.4 billion, helping the operating profit to rise to N733.3 billion from N584.8 billion.

With a finance income of N13.8 billion versus N11.9 billion in FY 2021 and finance costs of N213.1 billion versus N160.0 billion a year earlier, the profit before tax closed at N534.0 billion as against the N436.7 billion recorded in the previous year, while the profit after tax stood at N358.9 billion, in contrast to N298.7 billion in FY 2021.

“2022 was challenging due to global macroeconomic and geopolitical volatility, resulting in higher inflation, supply chain uncertainties, foreign exchange volatility and availability.

“In Nigeria, Inflation reached a 17-year high of 21.5% in November before moderating slightly to 21.3 per cent in December, bringing the average for the year to 18.8 per cent and putting pressure on consumer spending.

“To curb rising inflation, the Central Bank of Nigeria increased interest rates four times in 2022, bringing the Monetary Policy Rate to 16.5 per cent – up by five pp during the year. This was further raised by 1pp in January 2023 to 17.5 per cent,” the chief executive of the firm, Mr Karl Toriola, said.

“In line with our dividend policy and guided by our ambition to create shared value for our stakeholders, the Board of Directors has proposed a final dividend of N10 per share to be paid out of distributable net income.

“This brings the total dividend for the year to N15.60 kobo per share, an increase of 18.9 per cent, delivering economic value to our shareholders,” he added.

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Economy

Buhari Tasks MOFI Board to Grow Assets to N100trn

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MOFI board

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The newly inaugurated board of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) has been given the mandate to grow its Assets Under Management from the current value of N18 trillion to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.

A statement issued on Wednesday by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, disclosed that the charge was given at the State House, Abuja, during the inauguration of the MOFI board shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting today.

The President also tasked the new board to “be the clearinghouse for the management of federal government investments and assets in line with global best practices with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”

He also called on the new MOFI to “work with other MDAs to create a consolidated national asset register with a view to converting these assets into cashflow-generating entities to support the government’s revenue drive and; partner with the government with a view to using government-owned investments and assets to support the government in delivering on its social and economic obligations to the citizenry.”

To this effect, he directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislations to institutionalise this reform further and ensure that MOFI is restructured and repositioned to become a trusted custodian and manager of Federal Government investments and assets.

President Buhari said the event was significant as the restructured MOFI will help identify “what we own” and how to get the best out of them.

According to him, the MOFI Act of 1959, now Cap. 229, Laws of the Federation, 2004 “explicitly empowers MOFI to enter into commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria in its own name. As a result, MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across different sectors to invest in commercial entities over the last 64 years. To put this in context, MOFI was created even before Nigeria’s independence.”

Speaking further, the President said, “MOFI was not structured to be governed or resourced to deliver on the expected mandate. MOFI’s peers, on the other hand, that were deliberately set up with the institutional framework, governance structure, and execution capacity, have gone on to make major social and economic impacts in their respective nations. Many of these have become global brands for investing domestically and internationally.

“As part of the governance structure, there will be a Governing Council headed by me, a Board of Directors under the leadership of a former Minister of Finance and an Executive Management Team headed by Dr Armstrong Takang.”

President Buhari reminded members of the Governing Council as well as the Board of Directors that this administration expected much from them. Specifically, he tasked Ministers who are members to “create an enabling environment that will facilitate the creation of a National Asset Register that will be harnessed to strengthen our fiscal and economic realities and the optimization of our investments and assets that will be under the purview of MOFI.”

In her remarks, Mrs Ahmed thanked President Buhari for his support and approvals that have made the restructuring and repositioning of MOFI possible, assuring him that Council members and the Board will ensure that the new MOFI delivers on its mandates.

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Economy

US Stocks May Give Back Ground Ahead Of Fed Announcement

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US stocks

By Investors Hub

The major US index futures are currently pointing to a lower open on Wednesday, with stocks likely to give back ground following the strong upward move seen in the previous session.

Traders may cash in on gains by US stocks yesterday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement this afternoon.

While the Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points, traders will look to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for further rate hikes.

After a slightly cautious start, stocks climbed higher on Tuesday thanks to sustained buying across the board.

Investors picked up stocks right through the day’s session, digesting a slew of stronger-than-expected earnings updates and the latest batch of economic data.

Data showing a slowdown in the pace of growth in US labour costs helped raise expectations that the Federal Reserve will soften its aggressive approach to fighting inflation.

The major averages all ended with strong gains. The Dow ended with a gain of 368.95 points or 1.09 per cent at 34,086.04. The S&P 500 surged 58.83 points or 1.46 per cent to 4,076.60, while the Nasdaq climbed 190.74 points or 1.67 per cent to 11,584.55.

The Dow gained about 6.6 per cent in the month, while the S&P surged nearly 3 per cent, and the Nasdaq gained as much as 11.5 per cent.

Data showing a drop in labour costs has reinforced the view that the central bank will likely slow the pace of its monetary policy tightening and raise the interest rate by 25 basis points.

The central bank’s accompanying statement will be in focus for clues about further interest rate hikes.

On the economic front, data from the Labor Department showed employment cost index wages in the US increased by 1% on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2022, after rising 1.3 per cent in the previous quarter.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index in the United States decreased 0.8% month-over-month in November of 2022, the same as in October and marking a fifth consecutive decline.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said the Chicago PMI in the United States fell back to 44.3 points in January of 2023 from 44.9 in December and compared to market forecasts of 45. The reading pointed to a fifth consecutive month of contraction in business activity in the Chicago region.

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