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Nigeria has ranked fourth among other African nations in the list of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Projects to Africa, as the United States, the single largest country investing into the continent, remained confident in the market.
 
The nation, with a total of 64 FDI projects in 2017, was ranked behind countries like South Africa with 96 FDI projects; Morocco, 96 projects; and Kenya, 67 projects occupying the first, second and third position respectively.
 
This was contained in the 2018 Africa Attractiveness report released by EY on Monday titled, “Turning tides.” The report provides an analysis of FDI Investment into Africa over the past ten years.
 
According to the report, the number of FDI projects into Nigeria increased from 51 projects in 2016 to 64 projects in 2017, accounting for 9 percent share of the entire investment into the continent for the review year.
 
In view of this, the nation rose a step higher from the fifth investment destination in Africa in 2016 to the fourth in 2017.
 
The report shows that the performance was largely driven by increase in the number of projects invested by U.S. companies into the country, launching 22 projects against 10 in the previous year, just as South African, Chinese and UK investors also increased their FDI activity into Nigeria.
 
According to the World Bank, Nigeria was among 10 economies globally with the strongest improvement in their business environment last year. The country jumped 24 places on the Ease of Doing Business index.
 
FDI projects into Africa rebounded from their lowest level in ten years in 2017 as the continent recorded a growth of 6.2 percent to 718 inward investment projects compared with 676 projects recorded in 2016.
 
The report attributed the growth to interest in “next generation” sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure and power generation.
 
“Foreign investors committed to 718 FDI projects in Africa in 2017, a 6% increase from 2016. This brings us back to 2014 levels of FDI projects, but considerably below the 10-year average,” it read.
 
East Africa emerged Africa’s major FDI hub for the first time as the region recorded 82 percent growth in the number of FDI projects compared with 2016. Countries in the region with the strongest gains include Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Following expected shortfall in Nigeria's independent revenue and recoveries, fiscal deficit in the 2018 budget is likely to widen by about 132 percent, according to a report by Afrinvest West Africa.
 
This implies the nation may have to increase its borrowing to meet up some of its spending obligations for the 2018 fiscal year, even as concerns over the nation’s rising debt profile heightened.
 
Data from the Debt Management Office reveals that Nigeria’s external debt profile rose by 114 percent from N10.32 trillion in June 30, 2015 to N22.08 trillion as of June 30, 2018.
 
In the ‘Nigerian Banking Sector Report’ by the Lagos-based investment banking firm, which was launched on Monday in Abuja, government’s independent revenue and recoveries, accounting for 40.5 percent of total projected revenues in the 2018 budget was predicted to underperform by 40 percent.
 
The company said the projection, which was premised on political distractions caused by election campaigns ahead of the 2019 polls, might widen fiscal deficit up to 3.5 percent of nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP.
 
On June 20, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2018 Appropriation Act into law. The budget with an estimate of N9.12 trillion has N2.87 trillion allocated for capital expenditure and N3.51 trillion for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure.
 
A breakdown of the budget shows that a total of N2.01 trillion was estimated to be spent on debt servicing, deficit was put at N1.95 trillion, while statutory transfer and sinking fund were allocated N530 billion and N190 billion, respectively.
 
The budget was expected to be funded by N2.99 trillion to be generated from oil revenue and N31.25 billion from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividend.
 
Revenue from minerals and mining was projected at N1.17 billion; N1.25 trillion from non-oil revenue of which N658.55 billion will be generated from Companies Income Tax (CIT); N207.51 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT); N324.86 from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), while N57.87 billion was expected to come from Federation Account levies.
 
Furthermore, the government projected N847.95 billion from independent revenue, while N374 billion was expected from domestic recoveries, assets and fines, and N138.44 billion from other federal government recoveries.
 
Tax amnesty income was put at N87.84 billion; unspent balance in previous fiscal year, N250 billion, and signature bonus was to generate and N114.30 billion.
 
But according to the report, while the revenue projection from oil was achievable owing to increased oil prices in the internationals market, that of independent revenue and recoveries remained undoubtful.
 
“The Federal Government plans to generate 41.6 percent of its revenues from oil and the remainder from taxes, independent revenue and recoveries, which account for 40.5 percent of total projected revenues and have historically underperformed.
 
“Given these considerations as well as political distractions, we estimate a significant underperformance in revenues by 40 percent.
 
“Hence, we estimate the fiscal deficit to expand to N4.4 trillion above budget estimate of N1.9 trillion, representing 3.5 percent of nominal GDP, well above the three percent threshold prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act,” the report read in part.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Perhaps the biggest financial market story in 2018 so far is the colossal fall from grace of the Chinese stock market, which has witnessed losses in excess of 30% since the start of the year.
 
The fall, which has seen the benchmark Shanghai Composite index drop to its lowest level in almost four years this week, is generally explained through the prism of investors realising that the blockbuster growth China has enjoyed over the last decade is on the wane, and that things are likely to slow down to a strong, but not stellar, rate.
 
Such a view has been exacerbated by the rise of the trade conflict between the US and China, which has seen the world's two largest economies exchange tit-for-tat tariffs, which now apply to goods totalling close to a cumulative $300 billion (about R4.3 trillion).
 
Many economists see the trade war having a major negative impact on Chinese growth, with JPMorgan earlier in October saying a full-blown trade war could have a 1% shrinking effect on the economy.
 
While these two factors are evidently at play, there's reason to believe that another factor could soon come into play, and force Chinese stocks even deeper into bear market territory - forced selling.
 
In China, hundreds of companies use their shares as collateral for loans, but when share prices fall they are forced to sell in order to maintain a certain level of balance in brokerage accounts, used to lend the companies money.
 
According to the Report available, about 4.18 trillion yuan (R8.6 trillion) worth of shares have been put up by company founders and other major investors as collateral for loans, accounting for about 11% of the country's stock market capitalisation, based on calculations using China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation data.
 
The South China Morning Post, citing a report by Tianfeng Securities, said earlier in the week that more than 600 company stocks have fallen to levels where forced sales may kick in.
 
"It's a vicious cycle: share drops lead to liquidation and liquidation leads to further share drops," Wang Zheng, chief investment officer at Jingxi Investment Management told the South China Morning Post earlier in the week.
 
"The recent declines, particularly in small caps, are blamed for the problem arising from share pledges."
 
 
Source: Business Insider
Following concerns over the nation’s rising debt profile and dwindling revenue, the Federal Government of Nigeria said it was planning to reduce its fiscal plan for the first time since the return of democracy in 1999.
 
This, according to the government, was to ensure prudence, reduce deficit financing and borrowing, even as it vowed to deploy strategies to improve the nation’s revenue so as to reduce the country’s debt service to revenue ratio which is currently at 62 percent.
 
To achieve this, a budget size of N8.65 trillion is being proposed for the 2019 fiscal year, indicating about N470 billion reduction from N9.12 trillion budgeted for the 2018 fiscal year.
 
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, made the disclosure at a public consultation on the 2019 – 2021 Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) on Thursday in Abuja.
 
Udoma revealed that deficit in the 2019 budget would be cut from N1.9 trillion in 2018 to N1.6 trillion, noting that the key assumptions for the 2019 proposed fiscal plan include an oil production volume of 2.3 million barrels per day (mbpd), $60 per barrel of oil benchmark and an exchange rate of N305 per dollar
 
He said Inflation rate was put at 9.98 percent, while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was reviewed downward to 3.01 percent from 3.5 percent earlier projected in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
 
Udoma added that N3.6 trillion oil revenue was being targeted as against N2.9 trillion for the current fiscal year, while N1.385 trillion is projected as non-oil revenue as against N1.348 trillion in the 2018 budget.
 
The Federal Government said nine government-owned enterprises, excluding the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is expected to generate the sum of N955.3 billion, while a sum of N624.5 billion was being expected from independent revenue sources, down from about N847 billion in 2018.
 
Udoma said for the government expenditure, a sum of N506.8 billion is projected for statutory transfer against N530.4 billion in 2018; debt service of N2.144 trillion in contrast to N2.013 trillion in 2018; and sinking fund of N220 billion, against N190 billion in 2018.
 
According to him, up to August 2018, the 2018 revenues was N2.48 trillion, while the full year 2017 revenue was N2.6 trillion. The minister added that the overall 2018 revenues current run-rate is 30 percent higher than that of 2017.
 
“2018 revenues up to August 2018 was N2.48tn, while the full year 2017 revenue was N2.6tn. Overall, 2018 revenues current run-rate is 30 per cent higher than last year’s. This is the reason we have cut the size of the budget from N9.12 trillion to N8.65 trillion.
 
“In 2019, we will concentrate on getting more revenue, oil and non-oil, by squeezing the maximum from oil, and build up non-oil revenue by an average of 30 percent up from the previous figure,’ he said.
 
Explaining the rationale behind the nation’s ballooned debt profile, Udoma said the borrowing was critical as the country needed funds to bring it out of recession, “that borrowing was directed at capital projects and it worked. That is why you see activities on Lagos-Ibadan rail line and others.”
 
 
Source: The daily mail
The Federal Government of Nigeria has admitted that Nigeria is in debt distress as pointed out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday.
 
The Director of African Department at the IMF, Abebe Selassie, while addressing participants at a special session on African development at the on-going 2018 IMF/ World Bank Group Meetings in Bali, Indonesia, had categorised eight African countries as being in debt distress over rising foreign debt.
 
Selassie had stressed the need for African nations to constantly monitor their debts and make external borrowing sustainable.
 
He however did not mention the name of the affected countries, he simply described most of the oil exporting countries in Africa as being engrossed in the ensuing burden.
 
Africa’s oil producing countries in order of production capacity are, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Congo, South Sudan, Chad, Cameroon, Ghana, among others.
 
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, who spoke at the presentation of the IMF Regional Economic Outlook Report for Sub-Sahara Africa at the ongoing event on Thursday, agreed with IMF’s position and said Nigeria’s debt vulnerabilities was an issue that should be adequately monitored.
 
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Akpandem James, quoted him as saying, “Even though we in Nigeria have one of the lowest debt levels among our African peers, we realise that we need to improve our revenues to bring down our debt service to revenue ratio to more comfortable levels.”
 
Udoma noted that the Federal Government was deploying some measures for domestic revenue mobilisation and maintaining fiscal discipline, adding that its tax reform policy such as the tax amnesty programme has helped in broadening the nation’s tax base.
 
“This, among, other measures, has resulted in the number of taxpayers rising from 13 million to over 19 million. We are also deploying technology in tax and customs’ collections to automate processes and enhance efficiencies.
 
“Our external debt is primarily concessional borrowing, representing 54 per cent of our external debt as of June 2018. The Debt Sustainability Analysis is conducted annually to reaffirm that our public debt stock is sustainable. In Nigeria, our borrowing is being utilised principally to fix our infrastructure,” Udoma said.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
The South African economy is in the midst of its longest business cycle downturn in more than 73 years, according to the Reserve Bank, and things aren't looking particularly favourable right now either.
 
The adverse business climate has impacted the stock market too this year, seeing listed companies declining year-to-date on the whole. 
 
According to analysis done by Corion Capital, a boutique hedge fund manager, 60% of listed counters had depreciated by the end of September, with more than a third slumping in excess of 15%. Only 16% of the stocks in the All Share Index gained more than 15% this year to end-September.
 
Topping the list of poor performers are Tiger Brands, off more than 40%, two healthcare companies, Aspen and Mediclinic, MTN, and Woolworths.
 
Performance of the top 40 JSE shares. Tiger Brands and Aspen were the biggest losers, while Sasol and BHP Billiton were the top performers. (Corion Capital)
Performance of the top 40 JSE shares. Tiger Brands and Aspen were the biggest losers, while Sasol and BHP Billiton were the top performers. (Corion Capital)
And the sharp sell-off has continued into October, with only the Resource Index managing to gain ground last week and the Banks Index hardest hit, losing 7%.
 
Garreth Montano, a director of Corion Capital, puts the bout of negativity swamping investor sentiment this year down to:
 
- Low GDP growth. South Africa has unfortunately missed out on a resurgence in the world economy and has been left well behind in terms of GDP growth. The reasons behind the sluggish performance of the domestic economy can be debated at length, but many view the Zuma era as a large contributor to the underperformance of SOEs, heightened corruption, lack of job creation and lack of investor confidence in attracting foreign direct investment.
 
- The land debate and mining charter have further dented prospects of new investment, which would aid growth as well as assist in creating new jobs. All of which are dearly needed.
 
- Many commentators believe that president Ramaphosa’s hands are tied until general elections, and the righting of the ship and benefits to the economy will start gaining momentum once there is more clarity around the land issue and elections are behind us.
 
To add to these internal challenges, emerging markets, as a whole, have had a difficult 2018, being largely led down by the crises in Turkey and Argentina. Trade wars have also had a negative effect, creating concerns about a drag on emerging markets exports due to potential for tariff impositions by the US, Montano says.
 
Locally the negative sentiment towards broader emerging markets has played out in large outflows fromn our bond market, as well as foreigners selling off equities, says Montano. Last week almost R6bn alone was taken out of South Africa by foreign investors.
 
These disinvestments have also played out in currency markets, driving the rand dramatically lower to more than R15 to the dollar at stages compared with its peak of almost R11.50 in February this year.
 
 
Source: Business Insider
The South African economy is in the midst of its longest business cycle downturn in more than 73 years, according to the Reserve Bank, and things aren't looking particularly favourable right now either.
 
The adverse business climate has impacted the stock market too this year, seeing listed companies declining year-to-date on the whole. 
 
According to analysis done by Corion Capital, a boutique hedge fund manager, 60% of listed counters had depreciated by the end of September, with more than a third slumping in excess of 15%. Only 16% of the stocks in the All Share Index gained more than 15% this year to end-September.
 
Topping the list of poor performers are Tiger Brands, off more than 40%, two healthcare companies, Aspen and Mediclinic, MTN, and Woolworths.
 
Performance of the top 40 JSE shares. Tiger Brands and Aspen were the biggest losers, while Sasol and BHP Billiton were the top performers. (Corion Capital)
 
Performance of the top 40 JSE shares. Tiger Brands and Aspen were the biggest losers, while Sasol and BHP Billiton were the top performers. (Corion Capital)
 
And the sharp sell-off has continued into October, with only the Resource Index managing to gain ground last week and the Banks Index hardest hit, losing 7%.
 
Garreth Montano, a director of Corion Capital, puts the bout of negativity swamping investor sentiment this year down to:
 
- Low GDP growth. South Africa has unfortunately missed out on a resurgence in the world economy and has been left well behind in terms of GDP growth. The reasons behind the sluggish performance of the domestic economy can be debated at length, but many view the Zuma era as a large contributor to the underperformance of SOEs, heightened corruption, lack of job creation and lack of investor confidence in attracting foreign direct investment.
 
- The land debate and mining charter have further dented prospects of new investment, which would aid growth as well as assist in creating new jobs. All of which are dearly needed.
 
- Many commentators believe that president Ramaphosa’s hands are tied until general elections, and the righting of the ship and benefits to the economy will start gaining momentum once there is more clarity around the land issue and elections are behind us.
 
To add to these internal challenges, emerging markets, as a whole, have had a difficult 2018, being largely led down by the crises in Turkey and Argentina. Trade wars have also had a negative effect, creating concerns about a drag on emerging markets exports due to potential for tariff impositions by the US, Montano says.
 
Locally the negative sentiment towards broader emerging markets has played out in large outflows fromn our bond market, as well as foreigners selling off equities, says Montano. Last week almost R6bn alone was taken out of South Africa by foreign investors.
 
These disinvestments have also played out in currency markets, driving the rand dramatically lower to more than R15 to the dollar at stages compared with its peak of almost R11.50 in February this year.
 
 
Source: Business Insider
Zimbabwe has appointed an independent administrator to run its loss-making national airline to try and revive its fortunes, according to an official notice.
 
Air Zimbabwe has been struggling with a $300 million debt, including to foreign creditors. Only three of its planes are operational, with another three grounded, which has forced it to abandon international routes.
 
Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi appointed Harare-based chartered accountant Reggie Saruchera as administrator with powers to “raise money in any way without the authority of shareholders for the purposes of the reconstruction,” according to a government gazette published late on Friday.
 
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Friday the government was hoping to sell stakes in Air Zimbabwe and other state-owned companies under a package of reforms - though the airline has failed to attract private investors in the past.
 
The government said in April it had bought two Boeing 777 aircraft and an Embraer plane from Malaysia but added that the planes would be leased to a new local airline until Air Zimbabwe returned to profitability.
 
 
Source: News24

The Naira on Thursday appreciated marginally against the dollar at the Investors’ Window (I & E), exchanging at N363. 57, stronger than N363.94 posted on Wednesday.

The daily market turnover stood at 392.9 million dollars.

The Nigerian currency closed at N306.40 to the dollar at the official CBN window.

At the parallel market, the Naira closed at N359 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N478.30 and N420.

Trading at the Bureau De Change(BDC) segment saw the Naira close at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N478.30 and N420.

Meanwhile, in spite of the continuous intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the foreign exchange market and the increase in the price of oil at the international market, the manufacturing sector witnessed slow growth in the month of September.

The manufacturing sector continued to expand in September, though at a slower pace, the latest CBN Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) report, shows.

It showed that the September Manufacturing PMI eased to 56.2 from 57.1 in August, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 18th consecutive month.

The report noted that “a composite PMI above 50 points indicates that the manufacturing/non-manufacturing economy is generally expanding, 50 points indicates no change and below 50 points indicates that it is generally contracting.”

 

Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that oil prices were too high, and he called for the OPEC cartel of oil producers to "get prices down!"
Trump seemed to threaten the withdrawal of US military resources from the Middle East if OPEC members in the region didn't work to lower prices.
 
He has consistently complained that oil prices are too high.
The oil price dropped after the tweet.
US President Donald Trump on Thursday once again tweeted his belief that major oil producers in the Middle East were conspiring to keep oil prices high, and he seemed to threaten the withdrawal of military resources from the region if the OPEC cartel did not help to lower prices.
 
"We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices!" he said in an early-morning tweet. "We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!"
 
Oil prices have increased from about $50 a barrel last September to more than $70 a barrel today, with a rebalancing of supply and demand in the market as well as major weather and geopolitical events playing a part.
 
Trump has consistently complained that oil prices are too high, following a significant uptick in prices that has been passed on at the pump to US drivers.
 
High petrol prices can be an issue for voters, and Trump's attacks come just a couple of months ahead of the US midterms, where analysts say rising prices could hurt Republicans. Prices at the pump hit four-year highs back in July.
 
For this year's April-to-September driving season, the Energy Information Administration expects US petrol prices to be up 19% from a year ago, mostly because of expectations for higher crude-oil prices.
 
Bruce Whitfield: Here’s why there is no escaping high petrol prices – and what government can do to make it better
Trump sent a similar tweet in July, in which he also called the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries a monopoly and tacitly threatened to withdraw US support.
 
"The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help," he tweeted on July 5. "If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s. This must be a two way street.
 
 
Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA
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