20 Sep

Daily Watch – Adeosun calls for MPC rate cut, Nigeria ‘may lose $1.3t’ to free trade

  • Nigerian regulators have approved plans to enable the investment of as much as $20 billion of pension-fund money in the development of the country’s infrastructure, Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, has said. The SEC and PenCom have approved “a new instrument that will allow pension funds to invest in infrastructure bonds,” Adeosun said at a meeting of business leaders Monday. “That’s what will drive, for example, our social housing and our roads program outside the budget.”
  • The naira on Monday appreciated against the dollar at the interbank market, gaining 1.4 points to exchange at ₦307.25 to the dollar, from ₦308.69 on Friday, representing an appreciation of 0.5 percent. The currency stabilised at the black market, exchanging at ₦425/$, a figure it has maintained for three straight days, while it traded against the pound and euro at ₦550 and ₦470 respectively. Trading at the BDC segment of the market also showed the naira stabilising against the major currencies, closing at ₦422/$ while it settled at ₦549/£ and ₦470/€. Currency traders attributed the relative stability of the naira to the anticipation of a likely policy change at the 2-day CBN MPC meeting which commenced on Monday. “We would like to see the interest-rate increase that happened at the last MPC meeting reconsidered,” Adeosun said in an interview with CNBC Africa Monday. “At the moment in the Nigerian economy, growth is the most important thing.”
  • FSDH Merchant Bank Limited has commissioned a commercial paper issuance to raise up to ₦15 billion in the local money market with the issue of a Series 1 90-day and Series 2 269-day commercial papers and is coming on the heels of its ₦30 billion CP programme on August 23. The earlier bond programme according to the bank saw subscription levels of over ₦17 billion; of which it (the bank) elected to allocate ₦14.98bn to investors across both series, in line with its initial target amount. The CP programme will afford FSDH periodic access to the money market for short-term funding as and when required. The funds raised from the now concluded Series 1 and 2 issuance will be applied by the bank for its general banking asset and liability management purposes including replacement of maturing wholesale liabilities.
  • Nigeria may lose up to $1.3 trillion in revenue if it signs the Economic Partnership Agreement, according to the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria. MAN President, Frank Jacobs said, “We totally oppose signing if the agreement will stifle the Nigerian market and hinder the government’s effort at industrialisation with finished items from European countries.” The EPA is a free trade deal between ECOWAS and the EU. ECOWAS’ Committee of Heads of State and Governments endorsed EPA in July 2014 and opened it for signature by member states. But in spite of being beneficiaries to the EPA letters, including a $6.5 billion EU pledge to support infrastructure development in the region in a 2015 to 2020 programme, Nigeria, along with Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, the regional powerhouses, are the only states yet to sign the document.
  • Global hotel giant, Marriot says it will open a new property – the Renaissance Lagos Ikeja Hotel located in Ikeja GRA. The hotel, which will be the first Marriot property under the brand print in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a statement, will boast 155 rooms. The hotel website says the hotel is slated to open in December 2016. The hotel group has announced plans to open 11 properties in the Middle East and Africa by the end of 2016 as it continues an expansion plan in the region which will see a further 74 properties and approximately 16,169 rooms bolstering its total regional footprint to 221 properties and 40,816 rooms by 2020.