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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Raised its Forecasts For The Euro

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its forecasts for the euro after its call that the European Central Bank would send the shared currency tumbling as much as 3 percent with dovish easing policies crumbled last week.

The euro instead climbed more than 3 percent in the wake of the ECB’s Dec. 3 meeting, after President Mario Draghi’s package of measures underwhelmed some investors. The decision marked a shift in the central bank’s behavior for Goldman’s chief currency strategist Robin Brooks, who says he is losing faith that officials are “wholeheartedly” pursing reflationary policies.

Brooks forecasts the euro will weaken to $1.07, $1.05 and $1.00 in three, six and 12 months respectively. This compares to previous forecasts of $1.02, $1 and 95 cents. At end of 2017 the euro will be at 90 cents versus a previous forecast of 80 cents, he said.

“Although we are reluctant to do this, given our view of euro-zone fundamentals (a large output gap and low underlying inflation), we have to acknowledge the apparent disagreement on the Governing Council over the need for additional easing,” Brooks wrote in a note to clients. “There is no doubt in our minds that euro down will again become a theme over time, but regrettably that time is not now.”

The euro weakened 0.7 percent to $1.0810 as of 10:40 a.m. London time, extending a decline from Friday. On the day of the ECB meeting it jumped 3.1 percent, the biggest advance since 2009.

Goldman also raised forecasts for the euro against the pound and Swiss franc, to reflect new expectations that declines will be smaller. In six months the euro will be at 70 pence, compared with a previous forecast of 67 pence.

The ECB’s easing measures, which included a cut to the deposit rate and a six-month extension to the bond-buying program, didn’t meet expectations for aggressive stimulus, which were stoked by Draghi on Nov. 20 when he said policy makers “will do what we must to raise inflation as quickly as possible.” This sense of urgency was missing, Brooks said.

Bloomberg

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

Ghana/Kenya: Eurobonds to Decouple as Fiscal Challenges Come to Fore

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Ghana and Kenya, two of the sub-Saharan African sovereigns with the highest amount of outstanding Eurobonds, could see a widening of their risk premiums over 2021, according to a Senior Credit Analyst at Redd Intelligence, Mark Bohlund.

Faced with fiscal challenges, the two African nations are expected to return to the Eurobond market in the first quarter of 2021, but this time with bigger risk premiums as investors are expected to incorporate a higher likelihood of frontier-market issuers being pushed into debt restructuring.

Mark Bohlund said, “Ghana and Kenya are likely to return to the Eurobond market in 1Q21 but see a widening of their risk premiums over 2021 as investors incorporate a higher likelihood of frontier-market issuers being pushed into debt restructuring.”

With Ghana’s outstanding Eurobonds presently estimated at US$10.3 billion and Kenya’s outstanding Eurobonds put at US$6.1 billion, spreads on Ghana’s Eurobonds will increase over those of Kenya in 2021.

It is likely that spreads on Ghana’s eurobonds over those of Kenya will increase over 2021 as concerns rise over its weak fiscal position and high reliance on commercial overseas financing,” Bohlund stated.

Commenting on the countries’ fiscal positions, Bohlund said both countries are likely to post double-digit fiscal deficits this year, as contracting economies add to already faltering government revenue.

“With interest costs absorbing close to 50% of government revenue, Ghana will struggle to find sufficient cost- savings in other areas to reduce the fiscal deficit substantially in 2021.”

“In contrast to Kenya, Ghana has already cut back its capital expenditure to a bare minimum. The Bank of Ghana stepped up its purchases of government bonds sharply in September and we expect this to continue during 2021.

“In Kenya, part of the solution should be to encourage county governments to raise more revenue, but this will be challenging to implement before the August 2022 elections.

“Having shied away from bi- and multilateral creditors in favor of commercial borrowing, Ghana is likely to struggle to secure sufficient external financing in 2021. This makes increased central bank financing likely and poses downside risks to the cedi.

“Neither Ghana nor Kenya is likely to seek DSSI participation in 1H21 even if they deem that international bond issuance will not be possible.

“We have changed our view and now expect both Ghana and Kenya to issue Eurobonds in 1H21.

“Kenya is likely to continue to draw on funding from the IMF, the World Bank and other multilateral creditors, as well as bilateral financial support from China as the Standard Gauge Railway, continues to bleed funds.”

Bohlund added that the spreads between Ghana and Kenya Eurobonds are likely to widen further as a higher risk of a debt restructuring is priced into Ghanaian assets.

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Insider Dealing: Paul Miyonmide Gbededo Adds Another 612,326 Shares of Flour Mills to His Stake

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Paul Miyonmide Gbededo, the Group Managing Director, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc bought an additional 612,326 shares of the company.

The management stated this in a disclosure statement sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday.

The managing director purchased the shares at N27.75 per share on November 20, 2020 at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos, Nigeria. Meaning, Gbededo has invested another N16,992,046.5 into the company.

This was in addition to the 3,284,867 shares valued at N91,642,269 and 4,200,852 shares worth N117.62 million purchased by Gbededo earlier in the month of November. Bringing his recent purchases to 8,098,045 million shares worth N226,254,315.5. See the details of the latest transaction below.

 

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FCMB Reports 16.4 Percent Increase in Profit After Tax in Q3 2020

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FCMB Group Plc, one of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria, reported a 16.4 percent increase in profit after tax for the third quarter of the year.

In the unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the lender’s profit before tax grew by 10.2 percent year-on-year to N4.8 billion while profit after tax increased by 16.4 percent to N4.2 billion.

FCBMB Group Plc expanded gross earnings by 4.8 percent to N48.3 billion during the period under review. Similarly, the bank’s net interest income rose by 30.03 percent year-on-year to N22.7 billion.

The strong performance continued across the board as net fee and commission income increased by 0.29 percent to N5.2 billion. Net trading income rose by 39.4 percent year-on-year to N1.82 billion.

Personnel expenses dropped by 7.9 percent to N6.9 billion during the quarter while general and administrative expenses declined by 7.52 percent year-on-year to N7.6 billion. Largely due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Loans and advances to customers rose by 10.8 percent to N793.14 billion between December 2019 and September 2020. Total desposits from customers during the same period grew by 26.7 percent to N1.2 trillion.

The bank’s total assets increased by 22.12 percent to N2.04 trillion.

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