18 Aug

Daily Watch – Nigeria’s sugar rush is in free flow, GTB earns huge payday on dollar bets

  • At an auction on Wednesday, the FG raised ₦110 billion worth of bonds maturing in 2021, 2026 and 2036. According to the DMO, it sold ₦40 billion of 2021 paper at 14.50 percent. It also sold ₦30 billion worth of 2026 paper at 12.50 percent and ₦40 billion worth of 2036 paper at 12.40 percent. The summary stated that an additional ₦109.5 billion of the 14.50 percent July 2021 bonds was allotted on a non-competitive basis. The Federal Government said it would borrow about ₦900 billion locally to finance part of a ₦2.2 trillion deficit in its budget.
  • The CBN has granted Fidelity Bank final approval to commence electronic commerce services in the country. The development would enable the lender to empower SMEs in line with its strategic business objectives. The platform dubbed ‘The Fidelity GreenMall,’ is an online marketplace with fully integrated e-commerce capabilities for online payments, delivery logistics, advertising, and business networking opportunities, among others.
  • Following the free fall in the naira’s value against the US dollar, the cost of purchasing of gas for power generation has risen by about 60 percent, a new Punch report says. While gas purchases for power generation are denominated in the US dollar, power generation firms pay the naira equivalent. The NERC in 2014 had approved a new gas-to-power pricing benchmark of $2.50 per thousand cubic feet from $1.5 per mcf, taking effect from January 1, 2015. Power companies have complained of a revenue squeeze as costs rise, consumers remain unwilling to pay more for electricity and the currency continues a slide to record lows – the naira now being the year’s worst global oil currency save for the Venezuelan bolivar. Power generation fell to a record low in May, with households experiencing an average daily cumulative supply at 5.6 hours, according to a new NOIPolls survey, continuing a near continuous decline in power supply between January and June 2016.
  • Guaranty Trust Bank said first-half profit rose 45 percent as foreign currency gains in the wake of the naira’s devaluation compensated for a surge in bad-loan charges. Net income climbed to ₦77.5 billion ($237 million) from ₦53.4 billion a year ago, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday. The lender made foreign exchange revaluation gains of ₦61.2 billion, compared with ₦6.9 billion a year ago, while also turning a profit on trading investments from losses a year earlier. Impairments rose to ₦37.5 billion from ₦5.95 billion a year earlier.
  • SEC has directed all market operators who are yet to register as members of their respective trade groups or associations to do so on or before 31st October. In a resolution from its just concluded Capital Market Committee meeting, the regulator said it had been receiving the overwhelming majority of investor complaints even when such complaints could be addressed more swiftly at trade group level. In attending to such huge volumes of complaints, it has had to allocate significant resources that could be better utilised in more effective market development and regulation.
  • Nigeria imported $227 million worth of sugar in the first seven months of this year. According to the CBN, the highest monthly value of imports of $79.1 million was recorded in June, a monthly CBN compilation of funds used for sugar imports obtained by Bloomberg News showed Wednesday. The amounts are for raw sugar as well as “chemically pure glucose and glucose syrup not containing fructose,” according to the document. The Nigerian sugar market has an estimated potential of 1.7 million tonnes, according to the United States Development of Agriculture.