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Why Nigeria’s Mutual Funds Now Attract International Interest—Experts

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Why Nigeria’s Mutual Funds Now Attract International Interest—Experts

By Dipo Olowookere

Recently, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that total Asset Under Management (AUM) of mutual funds in Nigeria topped N300 billion for the first time ever.

This was because there has been increased interest and investments in Mutual Funds in Nigeria and experts attributed this to various factors not excluding the current state of the economy, stock market and interest rate fluctuations as well as much improved mutual funds offerings.

This is further backed by a recent report by Quantitative Financial Analytics which estimated that Nigerian mutual funds attracted the sum of N42 billion inflows in Q1, 2017 as against the N49 billion inflow recorded the entire 2016.

It was also observed that Nigeria’s mutual funds’ assets grew to N318 billion as at the beginning of H2, 2017, up by 42 percent on a YTD basis from the 2016-year end value of N223.6 billion.

Mr Emeka Okolo, a Senior Fund Manager and Head, Coronation Asset Management, speaking on this trend at the launch of one of such funds, The Coronation Mutual Funds, noted that active portfolio management by experienced professionals offer investors better prospects on their investments especially in periods of market volatility and economic downturns as is being experienced in Nigeria, making mutual funds an optimal choice.

On the Coronation Mutual Funds, he further added, “No one can doubt the capacity and expertise of Coronation Asset Management to deliver competitive returns to investors in the Coronation Mutual Funds.

“The level of professionalism and quality of investments will be difficult to match by other mutual fund managers in Nigeria and the West African sub-region.

“This, coupled with the proposed investment mix and the fund structures, distinguish these Mutual Funds.”

Indeed the recently launched, Naira denominated, open-ended mutual funds by Coronation Assets Management Ltd which witnessed a high subscription rate by individual, retail and institutional investors has continued to elicit excitement.

“The Mutual Funds, N1.5 billion Money Market Fund, N400 million Fixed Income Fund and the N200 million Balanced Fund, were all offered at par of N1 each.

In the same vein, Chairman of the Bank, Mr Tunde Folawiyo, said that the funds offer all strata of investors, individual and corporate, an opportunity to diversify their investment portfolios backed by the strength of the Coronation Brand and managed by a team of experienced professionals at Coronation Asset Management.

According to him, the Money Market Fund will exclusively invest in short-dated money market instruments, offering capital preservation and liquidity to investors.

The Fixed Income Fund will invest in FGN and investment grade corporate bonds while the Balanced Fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of carefully chosen equity securities with strong fundamentals and prospects of delivering long term positive investment returns, while tactically investing in fixed income securities to actively manage short term volatility in its equities exposure.

The Money Market Fund and the Fixed Income Fund have been assigned low to medium risk ratings, “A- (NG)(f)”  and “AA-/FV4 (NG)(f)” respectively, by Agusto & Co, a foremost Nigerian rating agency.

This IPO for the Mutual Funds came on the back of a strong financial year for the premium financial institution.

Recall that Coronation Merchant Bank, the parent company of Coronation Asset Management, grew its profits by 128 percent from December 2015 to December 2016.

The group’s financial strength, coupled with a focus on sound risk management, prudent investment strategies as well as a tradition of delivering excellent value to all stakeholders, has made the IPO for the Mutual Funds more inviting to investors.

The Coronation Mutual Funds are being overseen by institutions with strong track records of providing superior financial services with Coronation Asset Management acting as the Fund Manager, Citibank Nigeria as Custodian and United Securities Limited as Registrar to all three funds.

Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited will acts as Trustee to the Balance and Fixed Income Funds while United Capital Trustees will act as Trustee to the Money Market Fund.

Investors can visit www.coronationam.com for more information on the Mutual Funds and learn more about Coronation Asset Management.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Economy

Demand Pressure Jerks NGX All-Share Index to 54,213.09 points

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All-Share Index NGX

By Dipo Olowookere

The sustained demand for domestic stocks further raised the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.40 per cent on Friday, with the All-Share Index (ASI) crossing the 54,000-point threshold at the close of business.

The index, which measures the general performance of the bourse, appreciated by 214.97 points to settle at 54,213.09 points compared with the preceding day’s 53,998.12 points, as the market capitalisation expanded by N117 billion to close at N29.528 trillion as against Thursday’s closing value of N29.411 trillion.

The growth reported yesterday was supported by buying pressure across sectors of the market, though the consumer goods space came under selling pressure, losing 0.39 per cent.

However, this did not affect the outcome of the bourse due to the 1.06 per cent recorded by the banking counter, the 0.31 per cent expansion posted by the insurance sector, the 0.17 per cent growth printed by the energy counter, and the 0.04 per cent improvement reported by the industrial goods space.

Business Post reports that the market breadth remained positive on Friday, with 35 price gainers and 10 price losers, indicating a very strong investor sentiment.

Red Star Express, International Energy Insurance, and FTN Cocoa gained 10.00 per cent each yesterday to finish at N2.53, 99 Kobo, and 33 Kobo, respectively. MRS Oil gained 9.94 per cent to end at N19.35, and Northern Nigerian Flour Mills rose by 9.55 per cent to N9.75.

Conversely, Ikeja Hotel was the worst-performing stock after it dropped 10.00 per cent to 99 Kobo, Lasaco Assurance fell by 5.88 per cent to 96 Kobo, ABC Transport declined by 5.41 per cent to 35 Kobo, Universal Insurance went down by 4.76 per cent to 20 Kobo, and May & Baker shed 2.89 per cent to N4.71.

At the market yesterday, investors traded 268.02 million stocks worth N2.4 billion in 4,017 deals compared with the 2.9 billion stocks worth N8.1 billion traded in 3,940 deals on Thursday, indicating an increase in the number of deals by 1.95 per cent and a decline in the trading volume and value by 90.66 per cent and 70.37 per cent apiece.

Universal Insurance topped the activity chart after it sold 63.4 million shares, GTCO traded 20.8 million equities, Transcorp exchanged 19.5 million stocks, International Energy Insurance transacted 12.8 million equities, and Access Holdings traded 12.5 million shares.

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Economy

Naira Shortage: President Buhari Calls for Calm

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President Buhari

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to remain calm as they express their anger over the shortage of Naira in the financial system.

Since last week, many citizens of the country have been unable to access their funds in the banks because of a shortage in the supply of the redesigned Naira notes.

This has resulted in a huge crowd at banking premises across the nation, with several persons queuing at Automated Teller Machine (ATM) terminals waiting to withdraw their money with success.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations last year and said the old notes would no longer be legal tender from January 31, 2023.

However, while many Nigerians approached their banks last Sunday to quickly deposit their funds to beat the deadline, the CBN announced that the deadline had been moved to February 10, 2023.

The next day, while customers attempted to withdraw their funds over the counter, they were informed that the apex bank had directed them (commercial banks) not to honour cash withdrawal requests.

Also, cash withdrawal from ATMs was limited, making it very difficult for businesses to operate, triggering a protest in Ibadan on Friday.

When the demonstration was going on, Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were meeting with President Buhari to persuade him to do something about the Naira scarcity.

After the gathering, he said in a social media post that, “I am aware of the cash shortages and hardship being faced by people and businesses on account of the Naira redesign.

“I want to assure you that we are doing everything to resolve these issues. Nigerians should expect significant improvements between now and the February 10 deadline.

“I met with a delegation of Governors today on the matter. All the complaints about the execution of the currency change are being seriously looked into.

“I will ensure that everything is resolved in a lasting manner, and we will all enjoy the long-term benefits of the decision.”

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Economy

Local Currency Appreciates at P2P, I&E, Depreciates at Black Market

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local currency nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

The local currency appreciated by N2 on the United States Dollar at the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) foreign exchange (FX) window, closing at N760/$1 on Friday, February 3, compared with the previous day’s N762/$1, indicating a form of ease as tensions rose across the country following a cash crunch that has triggered anger and aggression in some states.

President Muhammadu Buhari stepped in on Friday and pleaded with Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the crisis caused by the scarcity of new Naira notes.

The President said he had seen reports about cash shortages and the effect on local businesses and ordinary people.

In the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment, the Naira recorded a 50 Kobo or 0.11 per cent upward movement against the US Dollar to trade at N461.50/$1 compared with the preceding day’s N462.00/$1.

The day’s trading data showed that the value of forex transactions during the official market slightly increased by 3.54 per cent or $4.08 million to $119.43 million from the $115.35 million recorded a day before.

But in the black market, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the Dollar by N1 to close at N753/$1, in contrast to Thursday’s exchange rate of N752/$1.

In the interbank window, the domestic currency closed flat against the British Pound Sterling and the Euro on Friday at N568.32/£1 and N507.14/€1, respectively.

At the cryptocurrency market, there was a mixed outcome across the tokens tracked by Business Post as moves by the US Federal Reserve to raise rates by 25 basis points continued to send jittery signals.

Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 2.8 per cent rise to sell at $329.32, Dogecoin (DOGE) grew by 2.4 per cent to trade at $0.0935, Solana (SOL) appreciated by 1.1 per cent to $24.49, Ethereum (ETH) improved by 0.9 per cent to $1,654.18, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 0.6 per cent addition to quote at $0.4006, while Litecoin (LTC) rose by 0.4 per cent to $99.15.

However, Bitcoin (BTC) declined by 0.7 per cent to trade at $23,356.32, and Ripple (XRP) recorded a 0.2 per cent slump to trade at $0.4092, while Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closed flat at $1.00 each.

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