Since the global oil price crash in 2014, Nigeria has been one of the hardest-hit economies due to its overdependence on oil as its main source of revenue. China’s economic slowdown, as well as the United States’ rate hike, also affected its economy adversely. As a result, Nigeria’s economic growth has declined dramatically, with its currency falling to an all-time low. As a result of the new monetary policies, Investors are pulling out regularly as most of them are scared to leave their investments in the country. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) put in stringent policies to help save the Naira from falling but all efforts seem to have backfired.

However, it looks like that is all about to change as the CBN, which once showed that its decisions were not independent on the federal government, seem to be taking a different turn. But it is still uncertain if the CBN will be able to sustain some of its recent policies, which are geared towards saving the Naira from falling.

Below is the Ventures Africa Weekly Economic Index, for the week ending 7th of April 2017. This economic index gives you a glimpse into the recent activities in Nigeria’s economy as well as changes that could affect the economy:

How did the Naira fare?

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During the week under review, the Naira suffered further depreciation against the dollar at the parallel market to 405 Naira/$ on Friday 7th April 2017, down from 380 Naira/$ recorded on Friday 31st March 2017. According to reports from Forex traders, the recent fall in the Naira was caused by the inability of some customers to easily access Forex through the banks. Most of them had to resort to the black market to get Forex. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday 6th April 2017 offered the sum of $100 million to meet the requests of wholesale customers.

Did the price of crude oil change?

Weekly Economic Index

The OPEC weekly basket price revealed that between April 3rd and April 7th 2017, the price of crude oil increased considerably from $50.68 per barrel to $52.91 per barrel. According to the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA), the rise in crude oil prices reflects demand-side expansion, due to a myriad of factors: a slower rise in USA crude reserves, huge supply disruptions in Libya, and the prospective extension of OPEC supply cut deals in member countries. The strengthening of crude oil price amid calm in the Niger Delta oil region presents a positive outlook for the Nigerian economy. However, given the adverse implications of sole dependence on crude oil revenue, the government should avoid returning to the norm and make efforts to intensify investments in other key sectors of the economy.

How low is the external reserve?

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Data from the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria reveals that as of April 5th, 2017, Nigeria’s external reserve increased by $18.60 million to $30.325 billion from $ 30.307 billion recorded in April 3rd 2017.

What happened to the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

PMI

The Central Bank of Nigeria, on Friday, 31st of March 2017 released the March 2017 report on Purchasing Mangers Index (PMI) which measures business performance. According to the report, the Manufacturing PMI recorded an increase in activities in March 2017 as it saw a 3.1 index point increase from 44.6 Index Point February to 47.7 Index point in March. The index is still below the 50-benchmark index points for three consecutive months. The increase was slight as 13 out of 16 sub-sectors reported a decline as opposed to 14 out of 16 recorded in February. These sub-sectors include transportation equipment; paper products; electrical equipment; printing & related support activities; fabricated metal products; chemical & pharmaceutical products; furniture & related products; cement; plastics & rubber products; petroleum & coal products; computer & electronic products; nonmetallic mineral products and primary metal. However, appliances & components, food, beverage & tobacco products; textile, apparel, leather and footwear sub sectors reported an expansion in the period under review.

However, the data further revealed that the PMI for the non-manufacturing sector increased by 2.6 index point from 44.5 index point recorded in February to 47.1 Index point in March. This index point is still below the 50-benchmark index points making it the 15th month consecutive decline. The increase was slight as out of the 18 non-manufacturing sub-sectors, 11 recorded declines as opposed to 15 recorded in February. The 11 sectors recorded the decline in the following order: construction; professional, scientific, & technical services; real estate, rental & leasing; management of companies; repair, maintenance/washing of motor vehicles; accommodation & food services; wholesale/retail trade; arts, entertainment & recreation; information & communication; utilities; and health care & social assistance. The remaining seven sub-sectors reported growth in the review month.

According to CSEA, slight improvements in business activities can be attributed to the recent rise in Forex liquidity by the CBN– with significant appreciation in the value of the Naira and availability of raw materials for manufacturing/production. Going forward, the government should fast-track the implementation of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, in order to provide the necessary stimulus needed to significantly improve business activities in the country.

Dividends Announced So Far In 2017

Fidelity

Tracking companies that have announced their dividends are very important for the country as it affects the share price of the company. This also enables people to know if they are eligible to collect the dividend, when it will be approved and when it will be paid. So far the companies that have announced the full year reports are Vitafoam Plc, Greif Nigeria Plc, United Capital, Nigerian Breweries, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Africa Prudential, Zenith Bank, Dangote Cement, Nestle Nigeria, Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Total Nigeria Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Custodian and Allied Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nig. Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc, FCMB Group Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Pharma-Deko Plc, UACN Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, Chemical and Allied Products Plc, Trans-Nationwide Express Plc, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, Beta Glass Plc, Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc, NASCON Allied Industries Plc, B.O.C. Gases Plc, Learn Africa Plc, NEM Insurance Plc, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Med-View Airline and Fidelity Bank.

Nigeria Stock Market

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According to the recent data released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as of 7th April 2017, the market closed trading on a positive note as the all share index decreased 0.90 percent from the previous week ending 31st March 2017. Market capitalization at the close of trading was N8.91 trillion. This represents a 0.90 percent fall in the all share index from the previous week.

Top five price Gainers and Decliners in the week under review:

Top five price Gainers

  1. Learn Africa Plc
  2. 7-Up Bottling Comp. Plc.
  3. Dangote Flour Mills Plc
  4. Nascon Allied Industries Plc
  5. Mobil Oil Nig Plc.

Top five price Decliners

  1. United Bank For Africa Plc
  2. Trans-Nationwide Express Plc.
  3. May & Baker Nigeria Plc.
  4. Eterna Plc.
  5. Conoil Plc

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