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Budget Crisis Puts Foreign Investments on Hold

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Nigeria investment

Following the controversy over the alleged padding and errors in the 2016 Budget, some corporate economics have raised concern on the implication for national economy recovery and foreign capital inflow.

Sunday Vanguard learnt that some Nigerian companies that have been in talks with their foreign partners over counterpart funding of joint ventures have been forced to hold action since mid last year over policy uncertainties following the election of new government.

While many of them expressed satisfaction with the process and outcome of the election, they were non-committal over prospects of funding their Nigerian investments preferring to wait for a clear policy direction from the new government. The first shock was the long delay in rolling out the cabinet which elongated policy positions while also elongating the waiting time for foreign investors’ commitments.

Economy observers were of the view that while there is massive decline in government revenue following the oil price crash, 2016 Budget, which provided for massive economic stimulus, gave hopes of economic recovery amidst the dwindling revenue.

However, a top executive of a Nigerian company whose foreign partners have adopted the waiting position, told Sunday Vanguard, at the weekend, that the companies had thought they would wait for about three months after the take-off of the new government but lamented that ‘’we are now in the tenth month and our partners are still saying they will wait for some more time”.

According to him, the on-going controversy over the 2016 Budget has further complicated the relationship with their partners and the fate of the joint venture as they had hoped that the budget, which they saw as a good one with clear policy positions, appears to have run into a glitch.

Analysing the situation further, chief economist at FSDH Merchant Bank, Mr. Ayodele Akinwunmi, said the controversy over the budget creates more uncertainty for investors who had delayed their decision up till now.

‘’It may also delay the implementation of the projects in the budget which will not make an average Nigerian to feel the impact of the current government,”Akinwunmi said.

However, another notable economist, Mr. Bismarck Rewane who is the Managing Director/Chief Executive, Financial Derivatives Company, is more concerned with the assumptions of the budget which he sees some problems than the issue of errors which he believed would easily be resolved.

‘’The errors in the budget are not an issue, they can be corrected. The real issues are the assumptions of the budget. The crude oil price, the production target, exchange rate and inflation rate, these are the real issues, that determine the effectiveness of the budget,”Rewane stated.

In the same line of argument, the Deputy President of Nigerian Labour Congress, Mr. Issa Aremu, pointed out: ‘’The President has said they (errors) would be corrected, and those responsible would be punished. What we should be concerned about is if the budget would be used to boost the economy and then strengthen the Naira. Will the budget be used to boost local production through patronage of locally produced goods, or it would be spent on imported goods and hence weaken local production? These should be our concerns’’.

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.

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Business

CBN Plans Start E-invoice For Import, Export Operations Feb 1

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e-invoice

The Central Bank of Nigeria has stated that it will begin the use of electronic invoices for import and export transactions in the country from February 1, 2022.

It noted that the electronic invoice will be submitted through the portal – Trade Monitoring System, a Nigeria single-window portal.

This was made known in a circular, on Friday signed by the CBN Director, Trade and Exchange Department, O. S. Nnaji, sent to all authorised dealers as well as made available on its official website for the general public.

With the title– ‘Guidelines on the introduction of e-valuation, e-invoicing for import and export in Nigeria,’ the circular stated that all import and export operations will now be done with an electronic invoice.

It noted that the e-invoice must be authenticated by an authorised dealer bank as part of the seller’s documentation for payment.

The CBN pointed out that the use of a hard copy final invoice will not be accepted from February 1 as it is now to be replaced with the electronic invoice.

Explaining the reason for the new regulation, it said the use of e-invoices is aimed at getting the exact value of import and export transactions in the country.

“This is to inform dealers and the general public that the introduction of e-valuator and e-invoice replaced the hard copy final invoice as part of the documentation required for all import and export transactions.

“This new regulation is primarily aimed at achieving accurate value from import and export items in and out of Nigeria. 

“No importer/exporter may effect payment to the credit of any foreign supplier unless the electronic invoice has been authenticated by authorised dealer banks presented together with the relevant document for payments,” the circular read.

It also stated as part of the electronic invoice principles that products that are more than 2.5 percent around the vertical price would not be accepted nor allowed successful completion of Form M or Form NXP as the case may be.

Every importer or exporter of goods must ensure that the purchase/sale contract with a foreign supplier/buyer is in compliance with the guidelines of the new regulation.

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Brands

Amazon Launches First ‘Real Life’ Clothing Store For Men And Women

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American multinational technology company, Amazon is launching its first apparel store, ‘Amazon Style’.

Investors King gathered that the clothing store, located in a Southern California mall, later this year will feature women’s and men’s apparel, shoes, and accessories from a mix of well-known and emerging brands, with prices catering to a wide range of shoppers.

According to Amazon, shoppers will get personalized recommendations pushed to their phones as they browse the new Amazon Style store. The company also noted that the clothing store will feature a mix of well-known and emerging brands, adding that every individual’s budget would be met.

The store which will be about 30,000 square feet would be digitalized as shoppers will rely heavily on their smartphones in order to browse the store.

Managing Director of Amazon Style, Simoina Vasen told CNBC that when shoppers walk into the store, they’ll see “display items,” featuring just one size and color of a particular product; the remaining inventory for each product will kept in the back of the store.

He added that after logging into the Amazon app on a smartphone, they’ll scan a QR code on the item to view additional sizes, colors, product ratings and other information, such as personalized recommendations for similar items.

“This allows us to offer more selection without requiring customers to sift through racks to find that right color, size and fit,” he said.

After scanning the QR code on an item, shoppers can click a button in the Amazon app to add the item to a fitting room or send it to a pickup counter.

According to Vasen, shoppers will be able to access their in-store purchase history in the Amazon app.

A recently released research by Wells Fargo analysts shows that Amazon has surpassed Walmart as the No. 1 apparel retailer in the U.S.. This is largely due to the e-commerce boom recorded as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wells Fargo estimates that Amazon’s apparel and footwear sales in the U.S. grew by roughly 15% in 2020 to more than $41 billion, which is 20% to 25% above rival Walmart.

This represents an 11 to 12 percent share of all clothing sold in the U.S. and 34 to 35 percent share of all clothing sold online.

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Merger and Acquisition

Sullivan, Ellis Were Top M&A Legal Advisers by Value and Volume in financial Services Sector in 2021

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merger and acquisition

Sullivan & Cromwell and Kirkland & Ellis were top M&A legal advisers by value and volume in financial services sector for 2021, finds GlobalData.

Sullivan & Cromwell and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in the financial services sector for 2021 by value and volume, respectively, according to GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company notes that Sullivan & Cromwell advised on 42 deals worth $105.1 billion, which was the highest value among all advisers tracked. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis led by volume, having advised on 76 deals worth $20.1 billion. A total 3,854 M&A deals were announced in the sector during 2021.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Global and Financial Services M&A Report Legal Adviser League Tables 2021‘, deal value for the sector increased by 21.1% from $430.6 billion during 2020 to $521.3 billion during 2021.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Kirkland & Ellis was the only advisor that managed to advise on more than 70 deals during 2021. However, it lagged behind in terms of value and did not find a place among the top 10 by value due to involvement in low-value transactions.

“The average deal size of transactions advised by Kirkland & Ellis was just $264.2 million, while it was $2.5 billion for Sullivan & Cromwell. Apart from leading by value, Sullivan & Cromwell also occupied the fourth position by volume.”

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz occupied the second position in terms of value, with 26 deals worth $79.1 billion; followed by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, with 54 deals worth $55.9 billion; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, with 37 deals worth $51.6 billion; and Cravath Swaine & Moore, with nine deals worth $47.6 billion.

Alston & Bird occupied the second position in terms of volume, with 55 deals worth $7.9 billion; followed by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and Sullivan & Cromwell. Willkie Farr & Gallagher occupied the fifth position by volume, with 42 deals worth $13.8 billion.

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