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CBN Offers New 12-Month Futures Contract of $1bn at N250/$

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CBN

One month into the June 27, 2016 introduction of and formal unveiling of the Naira-Settled OTC FX Futures Market, the pioneer 1M contract – NGUS JUL 27 2016 $/N279, for about $26.73 million executed between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and authorised Dealers on FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, matured and was settled on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, according to this BusinessDay.

Consequently, in line with the FMDQ OTC FX Futures Market Framework,N962.23mn total Settlement Amount was paid to the ‘Futures Banks’ – the counterparties to the CBN – on the matured NGUS JUL 27 2016 at $/N279 on the maturity date, July 27, 2016.

The CBN has consequently replaced the matured July 2016 contract and has now offered a new 12M contract, NGUS Jul 19 2017, with a total notional amount on offer of $1.00bn at N250 to $1.

Analysts say this is a milestone in the history of the Nigerian FX market, with the OTC FX Futures market having reported remarkable success in its almost one month of existence with over $1.20bn worth of the CBN’s OTC FX Futures contracts across all the tenors.

The profile of the buyers of the contracts includes Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) and importers, among others, who have been trading on the FMDQ OTC FX Futures Trading and Reporting System.

In line with the OTC FX Futures Market Framework released by FMDQ and the FMDQ OTC FX Futures Market Operational Standards, the 1M contract was valued by the Exchange against the Nigerian Inter-Bank Foreign Exchange Fixing (NIFEX) spot rate, which ceased to trade on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

Clearing operations and settlement for the final variation margins, as valued by FMDQ, were effected through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System PLC (NIBSS), acting as the clearing and settlement infrastructure for the margining and settlement of the OTC FX Futures contracts.

Meanwhile, the hike in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), anchor rate at which the CBN lends to banks by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) may have started its positive impact, with over 4,000 percentage or $158million surge in deals at the interbank FX spot market, a day after the decision, data from the FMDQ website show.

Consequently, foreign exchange dealers traded $162.4million in 33 spot deals between Tuesday and Wednesday, compared to thin trade of $3.560million recorded the preceding Monday in six deals.

Nigeria’s currency traded at an average of N316.93/USD on Thursday, as at 2.39 PM, FMDQ data showed. At the FX interbank spot market, the local currency reached a high of N340.46/USD and a low of N283/USD yesterday. Dealers traded $23.414million on Thursday in 12 deals.

Charlie Robertson, global chief economist at Moscow-based Renaissance Capital said “Nigeria FX is closer to the market clearing rate and long-term fair value (315-320/$) on a 20 year average Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) model”.

“The key point is that Africa is back – with two of the three biggest economies (Nigeria and Egypt) now making themselves investable again, after an overly long period where FX policy deterred investors. As we progress through 2H16, it is worth re-examining Africa again,” Robertson said.

Michael Famoroti, economic research analyst at Vetiva Capital Management, in recent commentary said the move by the MPC is positive for the naira in the short-term “but note that longer-term, it is in addressing the structural defects in Nigeria’s export sectors that will ensure a viable currency market.

“We expect that following this decision, the interbank market rate could retrace closer to the N300/USD level and if the CBN’s move to redirect liquidity via banks to Bureau De Changes (BDCs) proves successful, the gap between the interbank and parallel market rate could narrow in the coming weeks,” the Vetiva analyst added.

The prices of oil, Nigeria’s biggest source of revenue steadied just above three-month lows on Thursday, as producers continued to pump more than needed, filling inventories, and economic growth prospects darkened.

Brent crude oil was down 35 cents at $43.12 a barrel by 1335 GMT, after touching $42.88, its lowest since April 20. U.S. light crude was down 15 cents at $41.77.

“Having introduced a flexible exchange rate policy, we expect the current move by the CBN to raise interest rates to positively affect the foreign exchange market as we anticipate that more foreign direct investments (FDI) will begin to flow into the country, targeting investments in Government securities which will now return higher. This should immediately improve liquidity in the FX market and reduce volatility,” said research analysts at Lagos-based Capital Bancorp Plc.

Naira-Settled OTC FX Futures contracts are essentially non-deliverable Forwards (NDF) contracts where parties agree to an exchange rate for a predetermined date in the future, without the obligation to deliver the underlying US Dollar (notional amount) on the maturity/settlement date.

Upon maturity, both parties are assumed to have transacted at the Spot FX market rate.

Since these contracts are cash- settled in Naira, there is no physical delivery of the underlying currency to the counterparties, in this case the CBN and the Authorised Dealers.

The differential between the OTC FX Futures contract rate and the NIFEX Spot rate on the settlement day determines the Settlement Amount, the gain/loss inherent in the contract; and the party that would have suffered a loss with the NIFEX Spot FX rate is paid the Settlement Amount in Naira, thus ensuring that both parties in purchasing or selling the US Dollar in the Spot FX market will achieve an effective rate equal to the NDF rate that had been guaranteed to each other via the trade in the OTC FX Futures contract.

To facilitate the operational efficiency of the Futures market, the CBN, on June 24, 2016, issued a circular on ‘Externalisation of Differentials on OTC FX Futures Contracts for FPIs’, thus providing an avenue for this category of end-users, upon presentation of an FMDQ-issued Settlement Advice and a Certificate of Capital Importation, to repatriate the Settlement Amounts of the OTC FX Futures contracts. Similarly, on July 22, 2016, the apex Bank released another circular mandating the sale of foreign currency proceeds of international money transfers by banks to the Bureaux-de-Change (BDC) operators, who will in turn sell the proceeds to retail end-users.

Thus serving to ease the demand pressure for FX in the BDC market and improving the value of the Nigerian Naira against the US Dollar.

Meabwhile in its continued efforts aimed at bringing back liquidity into the Nigerian FX market, attracting foreign investors and shoring up the contracting economy, the Central Bank revised its quotes on the OTC FX Futures market on July 27, 2016.

A month after the launch of the product, the OTC FX Futures market has witnessed significant buy-in from the market, with c. $1.33bn of contracts purchased in the first month, considerably reducing front-loading in the spot market and promoting hedging

Although the Spot FX rate depreciated 14.73 percent between June 27 (N281.49) and July 27, 2016 (N330.12) and yields on the 1-year and 3-month bills (Jul-6-2017 & Oct-20-2016) recorded 7.20 percent and 4.13 percent hikes over the same period, OTC FX Futures quotes by the CBN were adjusted to remain competitive in furtherance of the strategy to attract foreign investors into the domestic market.

Changes along the OTC FX Futures curve were asymmetric, with significant adjustment at the short-end of the curve.

NGUS APR 26 2017, previously quoted at N210.00 (the lowest priced contract), is now quoted at N260.00, reflecting a 23.81% increment in the price – the largest change across the curve.

Patrick Atuanya & IHEANYI NWACHUKWU

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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Energy

Unlocking Investments into Africa’s Renewable Energy Market

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green energy - Investors King

The African Energy Guarantee Facility (AEGF) is launching a virtual roadshow of free webinars allowing a deeper understanding of risk issues for renewable energy projects on the continent, and conversations around risk mitigation solutions. The first webinar will take place on Thursday, 23 September from 14:30-16:00 hrs. EAT. 

The session will be oriented on how to get more energy projects from the drawing board to the grid. While the energy demand in African economies is expected to nearly double by 2040, and although the potential for renewable energy is 1,000 times larger than the demand, only 2GW out of almost 180GW of this new renewable power were added on the African continent.

Clearly not good enough! To improve the situation within the next two decades, new solutions need to be implemented urgently. De-risking and promoting private sector investments will play a crucial part of it.

In this 90-min interactive session, AEGF partners: the European Investment Bank (EIB), KfW Development Bank, Munich Re and the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) will share their experience and provide valuable insights on how they were able to come together and design practical solutions for investors and financiers of green energy projects in Africa aligned with SDG7 objectives.

Across Africa, the complexity of renewable energy projects and their long tenors hold back crucial energy investment. Tailored to the specific needs and risk profiles of sustain­able energy projects, AEGF will tackle the investment challenge by providing underwriting expertise and capacity tailored to market needs.

The AEGF will significantly boost private investment in sustainable energy projects, both expanding access to clean energy and contribute to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals. The scheme supports new private sector investment in eligible renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Energy

Shell Signs Agreement To Sell Permian Interest For $9.5B to ConocoPhillips

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Shell profit drops 44 percent

Shell Enterprises LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has reached an agreement for the sale of its Permian business to ConocoPhillips, a leading shales developer in the basin, for $9.5 billion in cash. The transaction will transfer all of Shell’s interest in the Permian to ConocoPhillips, subject to regulatory approvals.

“After reviewing multiple strategies and portfolio options for our Permian assets, this transaction with ConocoPhillips emerged as a very compelling value proposition,” said Wael Sawan, Upstream Director. “This decision once again reflects our focus on value over volumes as well as disciplined stewardship of capital. This transaction, made possible by the Permian team’s outstanding operational performance, provides excellent value to our shareholders through accelerating cash delivery and additional distributions.”

Shell’s Upstream business plays a critical role in the Powering Progress strategy through a more focused, competitive and resilient portfolio that provides the energy the world needs today whilst funding shareholder distributions as well as the energy transition.

The cash proceeds from this transaction will be used to fund $7 billion in additional shareholder distributions after closing, with the remainder used for further strengthening of the balance sheet. These distributions will be in addition to our shareholder distributions in the range of 20-30 percent of cash flow from operations. The effective date of the transaction is July 1, 2021 with closing expected in Q4 2021.

Shell has been providing energy to U.S. customers for more than 100 years and plans to remain an energy leader in the country for decades to come.

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Crude Oil

Oil Gains 1 Percent on Possible Tight Supply 

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Oil prices - Investors King

Oil prices rose on Tuesday as analysts pointed to signs of U.S. supply tightness, ending days of losses as global markets remain haunted by the potential impact on China’s economy of a crisis at heavily indebted property group China Evergrande.

Brent crude gained 95 cents or 1.3% to $74.87 a barrel by 0645 GMT, having fallen by almost 2% on Monday. The contract for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) , which expires later on Tuesday, was up 91 cents or 1.3% at $71.20 after dropping 2.3% in the previous session.

Global utilities are switching to fuel oil due to rising gas and coal prices, and lingering outages from the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ada that imply less supply is available, ANZ analysts said.

“While slowing Chinese economic growth and uncertainty around the (U.S.) Fed’s tapering timetable weighed on market sentiment, other developments still point to higher oil prices,” ANZ Research said in a note.

Still, investors across financial assets have been rocked by the fallout from heavily indebted Evergrande (3333.HK) and the threat of a wider market shakeout in the longer term.

“Evergrande’s woes are threatening the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy and making some investors question China’s growth outlook and whether it is safe to invest there,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

While that view of the state of China’s economy is weighing on markets, the U.S. Federal Reserve is also expected to start tightening monetary policy – likely to make investors warier of riskier assets such as oil.

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