05 Oct

Daily Watch – Investors binge on Guinness shares, Remittances to hit $22b this year

  • Nigeria’s two top oil officials are at loggerheads over the management of the state oil firm, according to a letter from the oil minister to the country’s president, threatening to hinder industry reforms. The letter, confirmed by the oil ministry late on Tuesday, is titled “Matters of insubordination and lack of adherence to due process perpetrated by the GMD NNPC (Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation).” It was sent by the oil minister, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, to President Muhammadu Buhari and is dated 30 August. In the letter, Kachikwu accuses the state oil firm’s GMD, Maikanti Baru, of making “massive changes” without the minister’s approval, including appointments never approved by the board of the company, on which the minister sits. Baru’s actions over the course of the preceding year were “disrespectful and humiliating,” Kachikwu told the president. Baru’s conduct was non-transparent, his recent appointments should be suspended pending a review and the running of the NNPC should be under board supervision, said Kachikwu. The oil ministry said in a separate statement the letter was “normal procedural correspondence” between Kachikwu and Buhari. The president replaced Kachikwu with Baru as the head of NNPC in July last year, while the oil minister kept his position as chairman.
  • The World Bank says Nigeria will record an inflow of $22 billion from foreign remittances in 2017, an increase from the $19 billion recorded in 2016. According to the Migration and Development Brief released by the bank on Tuesday, global remittance flow will recover in 2017 after two consecutive years of decline. Foreign remittance is money sent by a person in a foreign country to his or her home country. “Officially recorded remittances to developing countries are expected to grow by 4.8% to $450 billion for 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 3.9% to $596 billion,” a statement on the bank’s website read. “Among major remittance recipients, India retains its top spot, with remittances expected to total $65 billion this year, followed by China ($61 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico (a record $31 billion), and Nigeria ($22 billion). “Buoyed by improved economic activity in high-income OECD countries, remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa are projected to grow by a robust 10 percent to $38 billion this year. The region’s major remittance receiving countries, Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana, are all set for growth.
  • Nigeria plans to raise between ₦270 billion and ₦330 billion ($857 million – $1.1 billion) in local currency-denominated bonds in the fourth quarter, the DMO said on Wednesday. The debt office said it would auction between ₦135-165 billion worth of bonds maturing in 2021 and the same amount of the debt maturing in 2027. In its latest issuance calendar, the debt office said the bonds will be re-opened from previously issued debt. Nigeria expects a shortfall of $7.5 billion for its 2017 budget, which it plans to raise in foreign loans from the World Bank, offshore and domestic markets.
  • The CBN said on Tuesday it injected $195 million into the interbank foreign exchange market, extending efforts to boost liquidity and alleviate dollar shortages. The bank said it had released $100 million earmarked for the wholesale market, $50 million for small businesses and individuals, and $45 million for certain dollar expenses such as school fees and medical bills. In a statement, spokesman Isaac Okorafor said the central bank would continue to intervene to sustain liquidity in the currency market, adding that the bank “was pleased with the state of the forex market”. The naira was quoted at ₦305.70 to the dollar on the official market on Wednesday and ₦360 for investors, traders said, close to the black market rate of ₦363.
  • Guinness Nigeria’s ₦39.70 billion ($126 million) share sale to existing shareholders was 116 percent subscribed, the company said on Wednesday. The brewer said in a statement it sold five new shares from the company to shareholders for every 11 held, at ₦58 each. The company, 54 percent owned by the world’s leading spirit maker Diageo, said two shareholders applied for 50 million shares and above during the rights issue. Diageo has said it was willing to take up its rights in the share issue to maintain its shareholding. The company had been seeking to raise funds to strengthen its balance sheet after it posted its first annual loss in 30 years in the 12 months to June 2016.