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CBN Gives Reasons for External Reserves’ Fall

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  • CBN Gives Reasons for External Reserves’ Fall

The Central Bank of Nigeria has given reasons why the nation’s external reserves, which currently stand at $44bn, have been on a downward trend lately.

Speaking during the CBN Day at the ongoing Abuja International Trade Fair in Abuja on Wednesday, the Director, Corporate Communications at the apex bank, Mr Isaac Okorafor, explained that the external reserves had been going down recently because of higher yields in the United States.

Okorafor, however, gave an assurance that at the current level, the external reserves were sufficient to take care of the nation’s import bill for 17 to 20 months, much more than the three-month standard recommendation.

According to him, some foreign investors who had gone to emerging markets to take advantage of the high yields, have had to go back to the United States because of better opportunities there at the moment, adding that Nigeria’s situation was not peculiar.

Okorafor said, “The drop in our forex reserves is basically as a result of the capital flow reversals arising from rising interest rates in the United States. You will recall that the Federal Reserve has been raising rates and has even given guidance that this would continue in the near term.

“As a result of this, investments in the emerging and some frontier markets are gravitating towards the US market to reap higher returns. There is also the factor of election cycle. In Nigeria, however, we have done much better than most emerging and frontier economies.”

He added, “Some of these countries have suffered substantial depreciation in their currencies as a result of these flow reversals. For instance, since this year, Argentina has lost 134 per cent of its currency to depreciation largely occasioned by these reversals; Brazil lost 34 per cent; Turkey, 78 per cent; Iran, 25 per cent; South Africa, 19 per cent; Russia, 18 per cent; Pakistan, 17 per cent; United Kingdom, 3.7 per cent; Japan, 1.3 per cent; whereas Nigeria has gained six per cent by way of appreciation.

“The key reason is because the CBN adopted a forex management strategy that has worked successfully, achieving a comfortable stability in the exchange rates and still maintaining an equally comfortable reserves level.”

The CBN spokesperson also listed some intervention programmes, which the apex bank had undertaken in order to propel the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.

Some of the interventions include the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund; N200bn Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme; N200bn SME Restructuring and Refinancing Facility; SMEs Credit Guarantee Scheme; N300bn Power and Airline Intervention Fund; and N220bn Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund.

“It is pertinent to mention here that so far, the overall impact of these interventions is the enhanced operational capacity of the SMEs that has translated into a reflation of our economy with the attendant growth and development,” Okorafor added.

Responding, the Vice-President, ICT, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prof Adesoji Adesugba, expressed appreciation to the apex bank for its efforts to lift the nation’s economy, especially through SME intervention programmes.

He, however, pleaded with the bank to make such interventions through channels such as chambers of commerce instead of the traditional banking channels.

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.

Finance

MTN Nigeria Generates N1.35 Trillion in Revenue in 2020

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MTN Nigeria Grows Revenue by 15.1 Percent from N1.169 Trillion in 2019 to N1.35 Trillion in 2020

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging business environment, MTN Nigeria realised N1.346 trillion in revenue in the financial year ended December 31, 2020.

The leading telecommunications giant grew revenue by 15.1 percent from N1.169 trillion posted in the same period of 2019.

Operating profit surprisingly jumped by 8.5 percent from N393.225 billion in 2019 to N426.713 billion in 2020.

This, the telecom giant attributed to the surge in finance costs due to increased borrowings from N413 billion in 2019 to N521 billion in 2020.

MTN Nigeria further stated that the increase in finance costs was the reason for the decline in growth of profit before tax to 2.6 percent.

MTN Nigeria grew profit before tax by 2.6 percent to N298.874 billion, up from N291.277 billion filed in the corresponding period of 2019.

The company posted N205.214 billion profit for the year, a 0.9 percent increase from N203.283 billion recorded in the 2019 financial year.

Share capital remained unchanged at N407 million. While Total equity increased by 22.3 percent from N145.857 billion in 2019 to N178.386 billion in 2020.

MTN Nigeria’s market price per share increased by 61.8 percent from N105 to N169.90.

While market capitalisation as at year-end also expanded by 61.8 percent to N3.458 trillion, up from N2.137 trillion.

The number of shares issued and fully paid as at year-end stood at 20.354 million.

MTN Nigeria margins were affected by Naira devaluations and capital expenditure due to the new 4G network coverage roll-out.

Margins were adversely affected by the effect of naira devaluation and expenses associated with new sites’ roll-out to boost 4G network coverage in FY’20.

“On the former, we note that MTNN expanded the scope of its service agreement with IHS Holding Limited and changed the reference rate for converting USD tower expenses to NAFEX (vs CBN’s official rate previously). Thus, over the full-year period, the company’s operating margin contracted by 1.9 ppts YoY to 31.7%,” CardinalStone stated in its latest report.

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Nestle Nigeria Approves Final Dividend of N35.50k per 50 Kobo Ordinary Share for 2020

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Nestle Nigeria Approves Final Dividend of N35.50k per 50 Kobo Ordinary Share for 2020

Nestle Nigeria, a leading food and beverage company, has declared a final dividend of N35.50k per 50 kobo ordinary share for the year ended December 31, 2020.

The beverage company said N24.50k of the amount declared was from the after-tax profit of 2020 and N5 and N6 were from the after-tax retained earnings of the years ended December 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Nestle Nigeria stated that the amount declared is subject to appropriate withholding tax and approval at the Annual General Meeting of shareholders.

It also noted that payment will be made only to shareholders whose names appear in the Register of Members as at the close of business on 21 May 2021.

Dividends will be paid electronically to shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members as at 21 May 2021, and who have completed the e-dividend registration and mandated the Registrar to pay their dividends directly into their Bank accounts.

Shareholders who are yet to complete the e-dividend registration are advised to download the Registrar’s E-Dividend Mandate Activation Form, which is also available on their website: www.gtlregistrars.com, complete and submit to the Registrar or their respective Banks.

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Banking Sector

Dennis Olisa Invests N53.6 Million in Zenith Bank

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Executive Director of Zenith Bank Plc Buys 2 Million Shares of Zenith Bank at N53.6 Million

Executive Director of Zenith Bank Plc, Dennis Olisa, has invested a combined N53.58 million in shares of Zenith Bank.

The leading financial institution stated in a disclosure statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday.

Olisa carried out the purchase in two different transactions on February 24, 2021 at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos, Nigeria.

He purchased 1 million units of Zenith Bank at N26.60 each and another 1 million shares at N26.50 per share.

On aggregate, Olisa purchased 2 million shares of Zenith Bank at N26.79 per share or N53.58 million. See the details below.

Dennis Olisa was appointed as Zenith Bank’s executive director three years ago.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Olisa was the Chief Inspector at Zenith Bank Plc and served as its Director from March 3, 2017 until March 16, 2017.

He also served as General Manager and Heads of the Energy Oil & Gas Group at Zenith Bank Plc and served as its Deputy General Manager. He served as Head of Internal Control & Audit Group at Zenith Bank Plc

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