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Open up Economy, Experts Urge

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  • Open up Economy, Experts Urge

The Federal Government has been urged to open up the economy to foreign direct investment to put Nigeria on the path of sustainable economic growth.

An Economist and Chief Executive Officer of Economic Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba, made the call during a breakfast session of the Financial Services Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), with the theme: Economic Recovery and Growth Plan: Roadmap to a Sustainable Economy held in Lagos yesterday.

The forum was sponsored by Sterling Bank.

Teriba, who spoke on Nigeria’s economic outlook: Getting out of recession cycle, said “there is need to open up Nigeria to receive massive foreign investments, just like Saudi Arabia and India. This will unlock vast and latent opportunities in the country.”

He urged the Federal Government to sustain its recent issuance of 1.5 Eurobond and must plan to issue a Diaspora bond. Teriba advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to complement the Federal Government’s effort by issuing Eurobond to ensure stability in the forex market.

He said the Federal Government should learn how to manage cyclical shocks such as the remarkable drop in oil earnings which led to the devaluation of the naira in 2016, high level of inflation as well as increase in the interest rate.

While urging fiscal responsibility, Teriba called on the Federal Government to halt the mis-alignment in some sectors of the economy where government parastatals were building expensive corporate offices and official cars without appropriation through the aid of revenue collecting agencies.

Chairperson of the group and General Manager, Corporate Banking, Sterling Banking, Mrs. Mojisola Bakare, said the lender was keen on the resolution of issues affecting Nigeria’s economic development, adding that it has become necessary to discuss the theme of the breakfast session.

She said the topic of the session was motivated by the recent launch of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) by the Federal Government with the three broad strategic objectives of restoring growth to the economy, investing in the people and building a globally competitive economy as a blueprint for recovery in the short short-term and a strategy for sustained growth and development in the long-term.

Mrs. Bakare said there was no doubt that the economy was in the recovery mode with inflation rate coming down from 18.45 per cent last February to 16.25 per cent in June.

According to her, the capital market is also on the upward swing though at a slow pace coupled with renewed effort of the Federal Government on the ease of doing business, adding that “Generally, the other economic indices are pointing towards our exit from recession by September 2017 as predicted by the World Bank.”

Also speaking, the President of LCCI, Chief Dr. (Mrs.) Nike Akande said with the economy highly import dependent, consumption driven and undiversified, it has become necessary for government to draw a roadmap for economic diversification that would drive sustainable growth and development.

Represented by the Deputy President, Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, she also said it has also become imperative for government to create initiatives that would restore growth, a competitive economy and provide an enabling business environment that would empower the private sector in delivering its mandate towards the actualisation of the EGRP.

Dr. Akande said while the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is perceived as a laudable initiative, commitment to its implementation is critical if the plan would foster growth in the economy within the next couple of years, adding that driving these plans require the collaborative efforts of Federal Government, state government and the private sector.

She said Nigeria remained one of the developing nations with high returns on investments, noting that with governments’ renewed focus on growth sectors like agriculture, solid minerals, creative and entertainment, power, automobiles, infrastructure and technology, Nigeria will remain a major investment destination on the African continent.

The president also said the Federal Government was also committed to the creation of an enabling environment through the creation of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

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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Global Oil Drops as Coronavirus Infections Rises in India and Other Nations

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Crude oil

Oil prices declined on Monday during the Asian trading session amid rising concerns that the surge in coronavirus in India and other nations could force regulators to enforce stronger measures at curbing its spread and eventually affect economic activity and drag on demand for commodities like crude oil.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 22 cents or 0.33 percent to $66.55 per barrel at 8:19 am Nigerian time on Monday, following a 6 percent surge last week.

The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 18 cents or 0.29 percent to $62.95 per barrel, after it gained 6.4 percent last week.

The decline was after India reported 261,500 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the country’s total cases to almost 14.8 million, second to only the United States that has reported over 31 million coronavirus infections.

“With … a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.

Businesses in Japan believed the world’s third-largest economy will experience a fourth round of coronavirus infections, with many bracing for an additional slow down in economic activity.

While Japan has had fewer COVID-19 cases when compared with other major economies, concerns about a new wave of infections are fast rising, according to responses in Reuters poll.

On Tuesday, April 20, 2020, Hong Kong will suspend all from India, Pakistan and the Philippines because of imported coronavirus infections, authorities stated in a statement released on Sunday.

India’s COVID-19 death rose by a record 1,501 to hit 177,150.

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Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO

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Stocks

As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.

Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.

“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.

“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.

“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.

“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”

However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.

“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.

“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”

Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”

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Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa

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Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.

Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.

Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.

Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades.  As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”

Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:

  • Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
  • Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
  • The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
  • International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent

Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.

 Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.

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