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FG to Sell Diaspora Bonds in March after Eurobond Issue

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  • FG to Sell Diaspora Bonds in March after Eurobond Issue

The federal government will issue a debut diaspora bond by March to raise funds from Nigerians abroad, after completing a $1 billion eurobond sale this month, a finance ministry source told Reuters yesterday.

Nigeria is in its first recession in 25 years and needs to find money to make up for shortfalls in its budget. Low prices for crude and militant attacks in its crude-producing heartland, the Niger Delta, have slashed its oil revenues.

It first announced plans to sell diaspora bonds in 2013 to raise between $100 million to $300 million, but the government at the time could not finish appointing bookrunners for the sale before an election that swept the opposition into office.

The government plans to borrow up to $10 billion, with about half of that coming from foreign sources as it seeks to boost overseas loans to plug funding gaps and lower costs.

But so far only the African Development Bank has publicly confirmed a budget support package of $1 billion. The government has held talks for months with the World Bank, China and other institutions to fund the budget gaps.

In December, the government appointed Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank to manage the $1 billion eurobond sale, which it hopes to begin marketing in January.

Remittances are the second-largest source of foreign exchange receipts in Nigeria, after oil revenues. Citizens living abroad send at least $10 billion home annually.

Nigeria is the world’s fifth-biggest destination for international remittances after China, India, the Philippines and Mexico, with five million Nigerians living abroad sending money back to relatives, according to Western Union.

Meanwhile, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a pan-African multilateral institution based in Nigeria, is likely to make a debut U.S. dollar sukuk issue by early February, banking sources close to the deal told Reuters yesterday.
If AFC makes a final decision to go ahead with the proposed debt sale over coming days, the sukuk will be issued in two or three weeks through a private sale, a banking source familiar with the transaction said.

At least one of the banks arranging the transaction is based in the United Arab Emirates, the source added. A spokeswoman at AFC declined to comment. A private placement normally requires less documentation than a bond listed on a public exchange.

The sukuk would be structured with a murabaha format, a popular cost-plus structure in Islamic finance, and use Nasdaq Dubai’s platform for murabaha transactions, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service, which assigned a provisional A3 credit rating to the Cayman-domiciled special purpose vehicle.

“We will see more sukuk issuance from Africa-based issuers over the next few years” as borrowers seek to expand their investor bases, global head of Islamic finance at S&P Global Ratings, Dr. Mohamed Damak said.

“Another reason for issuers in Africa to choose the sukuk route is that sometimes sukuk can be cheaper than (conventional) bonds in terms of cost of funding, especially when it attracts significant interest from the market.”

AFC obtained a 15-year, $50 million line of financing from the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank in 2015. It issued a debut $750 million conventional bond in 2015, a five-year deal that offered a 4.375 percent coupon.

Last year it issued a 100 million Swiss franc bond. That paper, with a maturity of three years and 150 days, pays a 0.85 percent coupon and was arranged by Deutsche Bank and UBS.

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.

Gold

Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

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Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021

Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.

According to Michael McCarthy, the Chief Market Strategies, CMC Markets, the surged in gold price is a result of the projected drop in dollar value or uncertainty.

He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”

As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.

Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.

Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

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Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday

Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.

While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.

On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”

“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.

Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

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Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.

On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.

OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”

“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”

Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.

The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.

Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.

But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.

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