- Market Experts Explain Low Patronage of FGN Savings Bonds
Capital market operators have advised the Debt Management Office (DMO) to embark on more aggressive awareness creation in order to attract more patronage for the Federal Government of Nigeria Savings Bonds (FSB).
The DMO had last March introduced the FSB on behalf of the federal government as part of its efforts to promote savings culture in Nigeria and improve financial inclusion, particularly amongst retail investors.
The bond is expected to also provide additional funding for the government. However, investors’ participation in the FSB has remained poor despite the increase in the coupon rate (interest rate) on the bond.
For instance, the amount allotted dropped consistently from N2.07billion in March 2017 to N400.57million in July 2017, while the total number of investors also dropped from 2,575 in March 2017 to 779 in July 2017.
The coupon rate on the 2-year Bond, which was 13.01 per cent in March 2017 stood at 13.39 per cent in July 2017 while the coupon rate on the 3-year Bond which was 13.79 per cent in April, the first time a 3-year bond was issued, stood at 14.39 per cent in July 2017.
The coupon rates for the August 2017 offer are 13.535 per cent and 14.535 per cent for the 2-year bond and 3-year bond respectively. This means that the August bond issues carried higher coupon rates than the July issues and represent the highest coupon rates since inception.
But the persistent increase in the coupon rates, have not attracted enough subscription to the bond despite the steady decrease in the inflation rate in the country since January 2017.
Commenting on the development, analysts at FSDH Research said one of the factors responsible for the poor patronage of FSB is we can attribute is the rally that dominated the equity market in Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index (NSE ASI) appreciated by 51.47% between March 01, 2017 and August 9, 2017. Many retail investors diverted funds to the equity market to take advantage of capital appreciation. Other factors are: the low awareness of the benefits and characteristics of the Bond; the low liquidity of the Bond at the secondary market and the high yield on the Nigerian Treasury Bill (NTB),” they said.
Speaking on how to increase investors’ patronage, they said the DMO and the stockbrokers can organise investors’ road shows in various cities and schools across the country.
“This will be an avenue to directly engage retail investors on the need for them to hold the bonds in their investment portfolio. The DMO can work with some identified large corporate organisations that have large number of employees to encourage their employees to invest in the Bonds on a monthly basis. The DMO can also work with government agencies to encourage civil servants to invest in the bond,” the analysts stated.
According to them, these strategies should be able to attract a minimum of one million subscribers on a monthly basis.
“If this is achieved and the monthly subscription amount increases, the overall weighted average interest rate on the FGN debt will drop,” they said.
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
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