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Recession: Investment Inflow Shrinks by N642bn Under Buhari

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Muhammadu-Buhari

The Nigerian economy recorded a total decline of $2.1bn in investment inflow in the first 12 months of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The $2.1bn, when converted based on the N305.5 per dollar official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, translates to about N642bn.

Investigations by our correspondent showed that since July 2015, the country had been experiencing persistent decline in the value of direct and portfolio investments.

An analysis of the capital importation report obtained by our correspondent from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that the country attracted a total investment inflow of $2.75bn in the third quarter of 2015.

However, owing to the harsh operating environment coupled with exchange rate uncertainties, the inflow had declined by $2.1bn to $647.1m at the end of June this year.

The report stated that all the three major components of investment such as Foreign Direct Investment, portfolio investment and other investments recorded huge declines in the one-year period.

In terms of FDI inflow, an analysis of the report showed that the economy attracted the sum of $717.72m as of the third quarter of 2015.

The inflow, according to the report, dropped to $133.02m at the end of the second quarter of this year.

For portfolio investment, which is made up of equity, bonds and money market instruments, the report stated that the sum of $1.09bn was invested in the third quarter of last year.

The $1.09bn investment, it added, dropped by $673.68m to $245.32m at the end of June this year.

For other investments made up of trade credits, loans, currency deposits and other claims, the report stated that the sum of $1.02bn was invested in the economy as of the third quarter of last year as against $268.77m in June this year.

The NBS attributed the decline in investment to the harsh economic climate, stating that the investment attracted within the first six months of this year was the lowest in Nigeria’s history.

It said, “The continuing decline in the value of capital imported into the economy is symptomatic of the difficult period that the Nigerian economy is going through.

“The second quarter saw the economy enter into the first recession during the rebased period, according to the technical definition of two consecutive periods of decline.

“This may suggest less profitable opportunities for investment. In addition, in the second quarter, there was considerable uncertainty surrounding future exchange rate policy, which may have deterred investors.”

Commenting on the drop in investment inflows into the country, financial analysts said the current fiscal and monetary policies of the government were not friendly to investors.

The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, told our correspondent that a lot of investors were unwilling to bring in their funds due to the tough economic environment in the country.

He said the tough operating environment had led to the closure of so many companies in Nigeria, adding that there was a need for the government to address the structural challenges, which had made the operating environment hostile.

He listed some of the areas that were scaring away investors to include uncertainty in the foreign exchange market, hostile business climate, infrastructure deficit and the absence of adequate incentives to attract investors into key sectors of the economy.

Ejinkeonye told our correspondent that what the country needed currently was for the government to implement a well-articulated industrial plan.

This, according to him, is needed in order to begin a new era for industrial development in Nigeria.

He said, “The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made it known to the government that the issue of power and energy must be urgently addressed in order to promote industry, boost productivity, and attract both foreign and local direct investments.

“Power and energy sufficiency is the fulcrum of any meaningful development of the economy. This is the time for us as a nation to start implementing consistent policies geared towards attracting investments that will revitalise our industries.”

The Registrar, Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Eohoi, advised the government to look inwards by encouraging the patronage of locally-produced goods to boost investment activities.

He said, “We have to look inwards to reflate the economy by ensuring the encouragement of local content through patronage of locally-made goods. This will help stimulate production by local industries and thus boost investment.

“The government should come up with policies that will encourage investors to set up plants in Nigeria for production rather than spending money importing all these items that are depleting our foreign exchange reserves.

“The government should also reduce the interest rate to make funds available for investment in critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and others.”

Eohoi added that since foreign investors were shying away from investing in the country, Nigeria should look inwards and encourage local industries by reducing interest rate and making foreign exchange available to them to continue production.

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.

Investment

London Real Estate Company for African Investors Announces its Launch   

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London Real Estate Company for African Investors Announces its Launch

 Wetherby Real Estate, which has been created to source and acquire luxury Serviced Accommodation in Prime Central London on behalf of global investors, has announced its launch. It will be specialising in investment opportunities for High Net Worth individuals from the African continent, although its service is open to investors from all over the world.

The business has been launched by Barbara Chanakira, founder and CEO of the Mayfair based Eaton Property Consultants, another acquisition service but one which purchases a range of residential assets for HNWIs. She has almost 15 years’ experience in the luxury residential sector, overseeing huge property portfolios for HNWIs from across the globe which include those of Gulf State Royal Families and high-profile celebrities.

Wetherby will be operating exclusively in one of Europe’s fastest growing residential classes, Serviced Accommodation. It will only acquire real estate in Prime Central London and tap into huge demand from a global investment audience, which has grown significantly over the last few years as the U.K’s Serviced Accommodation market continues to flourish. Wetherby considers PCL to be one of the globe’s safest and most lucrative investment destinations.

The company is registered in Gibraltar but will be operating out of its London headquarters. Investments are made through the company’s affiliated wealth managers and an FCA regulated Custodian, and Wetherby completes the real estate acquisitions through its UK-incorporated Special Purpose Vehicle. It has already identified a number of attractive prospects in London’s prime postcodes and it plans to expand into other real estate sectors in the future.

Chanakira will be joined by Simon Hall and Augustina Ogbebor, who bring a combined total of over 35 years of experience in investment and advisory services and will be occupying the roles of Non-Executive Director and Head of Investor Relations, respectively.

Hall has over 20 years’ experience advising HNWIs and global corporations on growth and investments, working closely with international developments banks and clients within emerging markets.

Ogbebor’s 16 years in investment banking has seen her work with the likes of JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie and Lotus Capital Ltd; one of Nigeria’s most prestigious fund managers and where she was head of business development.

 Barbara Chanakira, CEO of Wetherby Real Estate Ltd, said:

“London’s Serviced Accommodation market has an extremely bright future ahead, which has been compounded by changes taking place in the economy and society more broadly. The ongoing influence of Covid 19 has meant that lower operating costs, better social distancing and self catering benefits have enhanced its appeal, whilst the evolution of an increasingly transient workforce puts the sector in poll position to build upon its rapid growth of the last few years.

 London has an immovable social, cultural and economic appeal, and our intricate knowledge of its luxury real estate market as well as our carefully designed investment structure makes for an extremely attractive proposition. We have already identified a number of attractive opportunities and look forward to offering them to our network of investors from Africa and beyond.”

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Investment

2021’s Major Investment Risks – but Why it Could be a Year of Massive Opportunity

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Investment headwinds will “still exceed the tailwinds” in 2021 – but there could be more “major opportunities now than in perhaps the last 10 years” if you know where to look.

This is the bold and, given 2020, perhaps surprisingly optimistic forecast from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

It comes as investors around the world focus on rebalancing portfolios for 2021, after a year no-one expected.

Mr Green says: “2020 was a year for which nobody had planned.

“This included investors, many of whom were caught spectacularly off-guard by not having properly diversified portfolios, which left them open to untold financial risks.

“Looking ahead to 2021, it is likely that investment headwinds will still exceed the tailwinds – but, I believe, that there are also more major investment opportunities to be had in the next year than perhaps in the last decade.”

‘Headwinds’ are the factors that likely weigh on growth and returns, and ‘tailwinds’ are those that can be expected to boost growth and help drive positive returns.

He continues: “The major long-term headwind from the fallout of 2020 is unemployment, which will hit demand, growth and investment.

“There’s also the roll-out of a mass global vaccination agenda which will be a lengthy process and logistical minefield, plus there are the ‘vaccine sceptic’ concerns to address.

“Meanwhile there are geopolitical issues that could impact on investor returns. These include the significant readjustment that will need to happen following Brexit, U.S.-China trade relations which are likely to become increasingly competitive especially in the tech sector, and the rising border tensions between India and China, amongst others.”

However, despite the significant headwinds, the deVere CEO flags three major investment tailwinds in 2021.

“First, the rollout of the Covid vaccines which means economies can be expected to begin solid recoveries,” he says.

“Second, President-elect Joe Biden will enter office and his administration promises a more predictable approach to trade and foreign affairs – and the markets like certainty.

“And third, it is likely that governments will continue to offer fiscal support packages as their economies recover from the pandemic, offering a ‘floor’ for markets.”

Mr Green goes on to add: “To quote Einstein, ‘In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.’

“This is why, after such a monumental crisis, I believe that if you know where to look and act appropriately to build your wealth, there could be plenty of key opportunities to come.

“The pandemic has accelerated history, speeding up and exacerbating major trends in just a few months, that ordinarily might have taken decades to be fully realised.”

He maintains that the global economy, how we live, do business and interact remains fundamentally changed.  “It is doubtful the world will go back exactly to how it was pre-Covid – there are many aspects of the ‘new normal’ which people like and support, just a home working.  As such, some of the major shifts are unlikely to be reversed,” he notes.

“As such, investors need to look for the lower entry points of quality companies to top-up their portfolios and, critically, they need to bear in mind how the world has changed.

“Their portfolios must reflect the future, not the past.”

Mr Green concludes: “Headwinds will surpass tailwinds in 2021 as the world readjusts, but it’s essential that investors stay invested. As we know, history has shown us that stock markets tend to go up over the long-term.

“But as the world moves ahead to a post-pandemic era, it’s crucial that investors ensure their portfolios are suitably diversified across asset classes, sectors, currencies and regions, so as to make the most of the considerable opportunities that will inevitably present themselves.”

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Finance

Global Deal Activity Down by 4.5% in October 2020

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A total of 6,304 deals were announced globally during October 2020, which is a decrease of 4.5% over the 6,598 deals announced during September, according to GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company. An analysis of GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database revealed that the deal volume during October remained below the monthly average of Q3 2020.

Aurojyoti Bose, the Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “After demonstrating growth for four consecutive months, the deal volume shrank in October. The decline in deal activity could be attributed to inconsistencies across different regions. The APAC region remained a weak spot, while deal activity remained mostly flat in North America, and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region witnessed growth in deal activity.”

North America attracted the highest number of investments, followed by APAC, Europe, the MEA, and South, and Central America.

The uncertain global economic landscape lowered the deal volume in October for major markets such as the US, Germany, Australia, France, India, and China compared to the previous month. On the contrary, the UK, Japan, South Korea, and Canada saw growth of 15.6%,14.9%, 3.8%, and 2.2%, respectively, in October as compared to September’s deal volume.

Bose continued: “Most of the deal types witnessed a decline in volume during October compared to the previous month. Private equity, equity offerings, venture financing, debt offerings, and partnership deals volume decreased by a respective 2.4%, 9.1%, 9.8%, 14.6%, and 24.6% – while the deal volume for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) increased by 7.2%.”

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