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Survey Shows Positive Prospect of Business Expansion



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  • Survey Shows Positive Prospect of Business Expansion

The fourth quarter (Q4) 2016 Business Expectation Survey has indicated that at 46.5 index points, the positive outlook in the volume of business activities reflects prospects for expansion in the first quarter of 2017.

Also, the employment index stood at 23.4 points, indicating a favourable outlook. The employment outlook index by sector, showed that the services sector (10.4 per cent) had higher prospects for creating jobs, followed by the wholesale/retail trade (5.7 per cent), industrial (4.5 per cent) and construction (2.7 per cent) sectors.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), revealed this in a report posted on its website.

The Q4, 2016 Business Expectations Survey (BES) was carried out during the period October 24th to November 04th 2016 with a sample size of 1,950 business enterprises nationwide. A response rate of 99.5 per cent was achieved during the reporting quarter, and covered the Industry, Construction, Wholesale/Retail Trade and Services sectors.

The survey was conducted from the updated survey frames of both the CBN and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The survey response rate was 99.5 per cent in the quarter under review.

Respondents were drawn from the Industrial, Construction, Wholesale/Retail trade and Services sectors. The Services sector is made up of Financial Intermediation, Hotels and Restaurants, Renting & Business activities and Community & Social Services.

The distribution of firms by sector showed that services sector constituted the highest number of respondents (35.3 per cent), followed by wholesale/retail (26.2 per cent), industrial (24.3 per cent) and construction (14.2 per cent).

Continuing, a further analysis of businesses with expansion plans by sector in the next quarter showed that the wholesale/retail trade indicated disposition for expansion with an index of 61.0 points. Similarly, construction, services and industrial sector firms indicated expansion plans for Q4, 2016 with indices of 58.3, 56.5 and 55.3 points, respectively.

The surveyed firms identified insufficient power supply (62.4 index points), financial problems (55.6 index points), high interest rate (53.8 index points), unfavourable economic climate (52.7 index points), competition (44.1 index points), unclear economic laws (43.5 index points), unfavourable political climate (38.5 index points), access to credit (37.3 index points) and insufficient demand (36.5 index points) as the major factors constraining business activity in the current quarter.

Also, a breakdown of the respondents by type of businesses showed that 13.8 per cent were import-oriented, 2.0 per cent were export-oriented, 7.8 per cent were both import and export-oriented, and 76.4 per cent were neither import- nor export-oriented (Table 2, sections 16). The distribution of firms by employment size showed that small size firms constituted 81.3 per cent of responses, medium size firms 14.2 per cent, and large size firms 4.5 per cent.

The overall confidence index (CI), which stood at –29.0 points in Q4 2016, indicated respondent firms’ pessimism on the macro economy, however at 32.2 points, the overall CI points to greater confidence on the macro economy in the next quarter.

The pessimistic outlook of respondents in the current quarter was driven by the opinion of respondents from services (-9.4 points), industrial (-7.9 points), wholesale/retail trade (-7.5 points) and construction (-4.2 points ) sectors. Conversely, the expected drivers for the optimism on the macro economy in the next quarter are services (12.3 points), wholesale/retail trade (8.4 points), industrial (6.5 points) and construction (4.0 points) sectors.

Also, the drivers (by type of business) of the pessimism on the macro economy in the current quarter were “neither importer nor exporter” (-22.0 per cent), followed by “importer” (-3.9 per cent) and ‘both importer & exporter” (-2.8 per cent). In addition, the drivers (by size of business) of the pessimism on the macro economy in the current quarter were the small (-23.7 per cent), medium (-4.3 per cent) and large (-1.0 per cent).

” The financial condition index in the current quarter stood at -17.6 per cent and was driven by the wholesale/retail trade (-5.5 points), industrial (-5.1 points), services sector (-4.0 points) and construction (-3.0 points) sectors.

“Respondents’ pessimism in the volume of total order and internal liquidity positions (financial conditions), dampened the volume of their business activities in the current quarter. Similarly, respondents pessimism on access to credit, further lessened their internal liquidity positions in the review quarter,” the report added.

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

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Increased Demand Paves The Way for Expansion of Africa’s Sugar Industry



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Africa, June 2021:  A new focus report produced by the Oxford Business Group (OBG), in partnership with the International Sugar Organization (ISO), explores the potential that Africa’s sugar industry holds for growth on the back of an anticipated rise in regional demand. The report was presented to ISO members during the MECAS meeting at the Organization’s 58th Council Session, on June 17th 2021.

Titled “Sugar in Africa”, the report highlights the opportunities for investors to contribute to the industry’s development by helping to bridge infrastructure gaps in segments such as farming and refining and port facilities.

The report considers the benefits that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could deliver by supporting fair intra-African sugar trade efforts and bringing regulatory frameworks under a common umbrella, which will be key to improving competitiveness.

The increased international focus on ESG standards is another topical issue examined. Here, the report charts the initiatives already under way in Africa supported by green-focused investment with sustainability at their core, which will help to instil confidence in new investors keen to adhere to ESG principles in their decision-making.

In addition, subscribers will find coverage of the impact that Covid-19 had on the industry, with detailed analysis provided of the decrease in both worldwide sugar production and prices, as movement restrictions and social-distancing measures took their toll on operations.

The report shines a spotlight on sugar production in key markets across the continent, noting regional differences in terms of output and assessing individual countries’ roles as net exporters and importers.

It also includes an interview with José Orive, Executive Director, International Sugar Organisation, in which he maps out the particularities of the African sugar industry, while sharing his thoughts on what needs to be done to promote continental trade and sustainable development.

“The region is well advanced in terms of sugar production overall, but several challenges still hinder its full potential,” he said. “It is not enough to just produce sugar; producers must be able to move it to buyers efficiently. When all negotiations related to the AfCFTA have concluded, we expect greater investment across the continent and a clearer regulatory framework.”

Karine Loehman, OBG’s Managing Director for Africa, said that while the challenges faced by Africa’s sugar producers shouldn’t be underestimated, the new report produced with the ISO pointed to an industry primed for growth on the back of anticipated increased consumption across the continent and higher levels of output in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Regional demand for sugar is expected to rise in the coming years, driven up by Africa’s population growth and drawing a line under declines triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “With sub-Saharan Africa’s per capita sugar consumption currently standing at around half of the global average, the opportunities to help meet increasing domestic need by boosting production are considerable.”

The study on Africa’s sugar industry forms part of a series of tailored reports that OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.

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Global Demand for Investment Gold Plunged by 70% YoY to 161 Metric Tons in Q1 2021



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Last year, investors flocked to gold as stock markets crashed on a gloomy economic outlook due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the second quarter of 2020, global demand for investment gold surged to over 591 metric tons, the second-highest level since 2016. However, the investors’ demand for gold has dropped significantly this year.

According to data compiled by AksjeBloggen, global demand for investment gold plunged by 70% year-over-year to 161 metric tons in the first quarter of 2021.

The Lowest Quarterly Figures after Record Gold Investments in 2020

In 2016, the global gold demand amounted to 4,309 metric tons, revealed Statista and the World Gold Council data. By the end of 2019, this figure rose to 4,356 metric tons. Investment gold accounted for 30% of that amount. Worldwide gold jewelry demand volumes reached 2,118 metric tons that year. Central banks and technology followed with 648 and 326 metric tons, respectively.

Statistics show the global demand for investment gold surged amid the COVID-19 outbreak, growing by 35% YoY to almost 1,800 metric tons in 2020. Demands for gold used in technology also rose by 17% to 383.4 metric tons, while central banks and other institutions bought 326.2 metric tons of gold in 2020, a 50% plunge in a year.

However, after record gold investments in 2020, the global demand for gold for investment purposes dropped to the lowest quarterly level in years.

The Price of Gold Dropped by 5% Since January

The average gold value tends to increase during a recession, making it an attractive investment in uncertain times. In February 2019, a troy ounce of gold cost $1,320.07, revealed the Statista and World Gold Council data. By the end of that year, the price of gold rose to $1,479.13.

The gold price continued growing throughout 2020, reaching an all-time high of over $2,000 in August. By the end of the year, the precious metal price slipped to $1,864 and then rose to over $1,950 in January 2021.

However, the first quarter of the year brought a negative trend, with the price of gold falling to $1,684 by the end of March. Statistics indicate the price of gold stood at around $1,860 last week, a 5% drop since the beginning of the year.

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Gold, Other Safe Haven Assets Plunge Ahead of Fed Rate Hikes



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Gold and other safe-haven assets plunged last week as the Federal Reserve signals the possibility of raising interest rates twice in 2023 given the ongoing economic recovery post-COVID-19.

The price of gold dropped by 6.04 percent last week as investors rushed to move their funds out of safe-haven assets including the new gold, cryptocurrency.

The entire crypto space sheds $898 billion in market value to hover around $1.625 trillion last week, down from $2.523 trillion recorded on Wednesday 12, 2021. Its highest market capitalisation till date.

The Federal Reserve raised inflation expectations to 3.4 percent and shifted the year it is expected to increase interest rates from near-zero to 2023 from the previously projected 2024.

The new hawkish stance of the central bank led to capital outflow from safe havens and subsequently boosted dollar attraction.

The United States Dollar gained across the board with the dollar index that tracks its performance against six major currencies, rising by 0.63 percent to 91.103 last week.

However, on Monday morning the gold showed signs of recovery, gaining 0.5 percent to $1,772.34 per ounce following the retreat in U.S. treasury yield that boosted the attraction of non-yielding metal.

Bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency coin, pared losses to $33,245 per coin, up from the $32,658 decline it posted last week.

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