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How to Save, Invest and Earn in US Dollars in Nigeria

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Investment - Investors King

The continuous plunge in Naira value against global counterparts has made saving in US Dollars, US Dollar investments and earning in United States Dollars attractive to Nigerians and citizens of other import-dependent emerging economies.

In the last 18 months, Naira was devalued four times from N306/US$1 to the current Central Bank of Nigeria’s exchange rate of N410/US$1. However, Nigerian economic structure coupled with limited foreign revenue generation has created chronic dollar scarcity that made access to US Dollar at N410 impossible for most Nigerians and businesses that operate in the country.

This means, most Nigerians are forced to patronise the parallel market, popularly known as the black market, to exchange their hard-earned Naira or foreign currencies at much higher rates. A situation that has eroded the profitability of businesses, escalated the inflation rate, dragged on new job creation and weighed on consumer spending.

Currency experts have said Naira’s true exchange rate to American Dollar is at over N550 and it is inevitable given the mono-product nature of Africa’s largest economy. It means Naira will decline further, and subsequently, affect your future return on investments and business decisions.

Therefore, Investors King has put together how to navigate Naira uncertainties by saving, investing and earning in US Dollars while living in Nigeria.

How to Save Money in US Dollars in Nigeria

There are several ways Nigerians can save money in US Dollars, one of such ways, is to open a US Dollar (note that you can also open A Euro, Pounds Sterling) domiciliary bank account in any Deposit Money Bank in the country, exchange your Naira to US Dollar at the black market and save the exchanged US Dollar in your Domiciliary Bank Account.

While this is a conventional method, it is stressful and exposes one to all kinds of risk given that the black market is not regulated and usually conducted in the open.

However, the advent of Financial Technology (fintech) companies have helped ease the process and one can now save in US Dollars without visiting the black market or leaving the comfort of his/her home.

Companies like Trove Technologies Limited, Chaka Technologies Limited, Rise and Bamboo allow Nigerians to deposit in US Dollars from their Naira bank account.

Read about Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory issues with investment platforms.

Each of the platform quote Naira-US Dollar exchange rate for buying (exchanging Naira to US Dollar) and selling (exchanging US dollar to Naira) daily. With this, a potential depositor can determine the forex rate he/she wants to deposit.

Here is how to sign up on any of the platforms

Download their mobile application and click on signup. Complete the signup form and send in your identification for verification. Once approved, click dollar deposit and you will be redirected to the Naira-US dollar exchange rate and ask to transfer Naira from your Nigerian bank account to a designated bank account. The quoted rate will be used to credit your account in US dollars. The process is the same if you are withdrawing.

Now here is the logic, you can leave your money in US Dollar and wait until Naira decline further against US Dollar to profit from forex differential or start investing in US Dollar on the platform you deposit your US Dollar. To start investing and earn in US Dollar keep reading.

How to Invest in US Dollar in Nigeria

Each of these platforms has a partnership with a US-regulated stockbroker that allows them to offer foreign stocks to Nigerians. They also offer Nigerian stocks, meaning potential investors can trade global and local stocks on their phones with ease.

Therefore, you can learn to trade foreign stocks with as little as $20 dollars while saving simultaneously to give yourself an opportunity to profit from both your investment and Naira decline. The good thing about these platforms is that you can do all these with your smartphone. To learn how to trade foreign stocks, contact us.

Few other platforms, Cowrywise, Afrinvest, Stanbic IBTC, offer US Dollar investment opportunities.

Cowrywise – Dollar Mutual Fund investment

Investors can now invest in Cowrywise Dollar mutual funds called the United Capital Nigerian Eurobond Fund. “You’re probably wondering why it’s called a Eurobond fund when it’s a dollar-based investment option. We’re here to break it down for you,” Cowrywise stated.

Eurobond funds are a type of bond. This type of bond is issued in the host countries currency. A great example is that the Nigerian government can issue a bond that is denominated in dollars to allow foreign investors to have access to them too.

Now you’re probably wondering what a bond is. A bond is an agreement between two different parties. Another great example is that it’s like having a friend borrow from you and payback with a set interest rate. This means a government bond is simply the government borrowing money from the public with the agreement to pay back with a certain interest rate.

How to set up a Nigerian Eurobond investment plan

  1. Download the latest version of the Cowrywise app on the Playstore or Appstore.
  2. Signup and create a free account. You can log in after this.
  3. Tap “Actions”, followed by “Invest in Mutual Funds”.
  4. Select “Nigerian Eurobond Fund” to invest in.

Afrinvest Dollar Fund

The Afrinvest Dollar Fund is an open-ended mutual fund that Afrinvest invests in Dollar-denominated Securities registered in Nigeria.

The objective of the Fund is to achieve income generation and capital appreciation in the short to medium term for investors with dollars and designed to deliver significantly higher returns than what is obtainable from the average domiciliary account in the local banks. There is free entry and exit for investors subject to the prevailing Fund price.

  • Capital appreciation
  • Competitive returns
  • Diversified portfolio; and
  • Regular and steady income stream.

The issue price is $100 per unit but there is a minimum initial subscription of 10 units or US$1000. The minimum holding period is 180 days. This means your investment needs to stay untouched within this period.

The projected return is 6 to 7.5% per annum.

To subscribe, click any of the links below to get the subscription form. Email the completed form to aaml@afrinvest.com

Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund

Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund is similar to Afrinvest Dollar Fund.

Stanbic IBTC provides currency diversification, income generation, and stable growth in USD. The leading financial institution seeks to achieve this by investing a minimum of 70 percent of investors’ funds in high-quality Eurobonds, a maximum of 25 percent in short-term USD deposits, and a maximum of 10 percenr in USD equities approved and registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria.

Here is Highlight of Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund

  • Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (SIDF) was launched in January 2017
  • The Fund invests a minimum of 70% of its portfolio in high quality Eurobonds, , maximum of 25% in short term USD deposits and a maximum of 10% in USD equities
  • 180 days minimum holding period
  • The penalty for redeeming within the minimum holding period is 20% on the accrued income
  • The minimum investment amount is $1,000 while additional investment is $500
  • It is an open ended Fund
  • The risk profile is “Moderately Conservative”
  • The expense ratio is 3.5%
  • The management fee is 1.5%

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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Verdant Capital Advises WIOCC on USD80 Million Equity Capital Raise

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Edmund Higenbottam, MD of Verdant Capital - Investorsking.com

Verdant Capital has advised WIOCC Holding Company Limited (or “WIOCC”) on an USD 80 million equity capital raise.  USD 75 million of equity was invested by CAPE IV, a fund managed by leading African private equity fund manager African Capital Alliance.  The balance was invested by management and an existing shareholder.

The equity raised has been supplemented by a debt capital raise.  The total capital raise of USD 200 million will be used to expand its connectivity within Africa and internationally, and through Open Access Data Centres (or “OADC”) – a newly created WIOCC Group company – to launch a network of pan-African data centres optimised to serve the needs of the cloud provider and wholesale community.

As well as introducing a strong new investor into the company, the capital will be used to support WIOCC’s expansion strategy across Africa and accelerate its investment in enhancing the continent’s digital infrastructure. Strategic investments in the new Equiano and 2Africa international subsea systems will augment and complement WIOCC’s existing core network infrastructure, cost-effectively adding multi-Terabits (Tbps) of capacity and significantly increasing its options for delivering the high-availability solutions demanded in markets across Africa. WIOCC’s terrestrial strategy, which includes deployment of metro and national networks in key locations, will be extended to include new countries and metropolitan areas, increasing its portfolio of end-to-end solutions for clients across Africa.

Part of the capital raise will be used in funding OADC, which is creating a transformational interconnected pan-African network of open-access, carrier-neutral data centres. First-phase locations will house key submarine cable landings in Lagos, Durban and Mogadishu, supporting the drive to land international submarine capacity directly into carrier-neutral data centres. Each will provide clients with bespoke colocation facilities and ultra-reliable, seamless connectivity directly into new international subsea systems, eliminating the costs and risks traditionally associated with terrestrial backhauling. Construction and fit-out is underway in Lagos and Durban, with both to be launched early in 2022, whilst the Mogadishu data centre will be ready before the end of 2022. Further phases of deployment will deliver more than 20 new data centres in strategic locations throughout the continent, focusing on major connectivity hubs in each country.

African Capital Alliance was attracted to the investment by the clear vision to develop high quality and synergistic assets and solutions to support its long-term client partnerships. The investments will further position WIOCC to take advantage of the accelerating migration of infrastructure and services into the cloud, driving demand for data transmission, storage and processing in wholesale, enterprise and consumer end-markets in Africa, and bringing forward realisation of WIOCC’s vision to make an enduring contribution to Africa’s communications.

The successful capital raise further strengthens Verdant Capital’s track record as a leading advisor on transactions for or involving pre-eminent private equity firms in Africa.

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Investment Opportunities in Africa in Full Display at IATF’s Investor Forum

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Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2021

The Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2021, which is currently taking place at the Durban International Conference Centre, will be hosting tomorrow, 18 November, its Investment Day. Organised under the theme “Unlocking Investment and Accelerating Deal Flow in Africa”, the Investor Forum is a full day dedicated to showcasing Africa’s investment potential and showcasing investment-ready projects. The Investment Forum will also feature sector specific parallel sessions on: Agriculture, Logistics, Technology and Tourism.

IATF is Africa’s biggest in-person B2B and B2G event of the year and seven Heads of Government attended the opening ceremony. The message was loud and clear that there is the political will and engagement to make the African Continental Free Trade Agreement a success and that at the heart of this is developing intra-African trade and investment.

IATF has featured three days of debates and discussions to help overcome the obstacles holding back trade such as the cost of moving goods and cross-border payments. Afreximbank has developed some specific products to help deal with these structural issues: the Afreximbank African Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme (AACTGS) and the Pan-African Payments and Settlements System (PAPSS). A full day of deliberations focusing specifically on the Automotive Sector and the Pharmaceuticals Industry to help grow domestic manufacturing is also taking place.

The Investor Day will focus on investment opportunities on the continent and unlocking cross-border investment by African national champions, focusing on some key sectors and learning from investors and companies who are committed and invested in the African continent.

Confirmed speakers include: Hon. Ms. Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, Global Economist, Kenewendo Advisory and Former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Botswana; Mr. Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Corporate Banking, Afreximbank; Dr. Acha Leke, Senior Partner and Chairman, McKinsey & Company, Africa; Mr. Akol Ayii, Founder and Chairman, Trinity Energy; Mr. Paulo Gomes, Chairman, Orango Investment Corporation; Ms. Ndiarka Mbodji, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Kowry Energy; Mr. Abdou Souleye Diop, Managing Partner, Mazars.

“I have always been a believer in the development of national champions and for these national champions to be the locomotive of private sector investment across the continent. We’re seeing it but the examples are still too seldom. The pandemic has highlighted the necessity to become self-reliant and this will require cross-border collaboration,” said Omar Ben Yedder, Project Lead on the Investment Forum and Publisher of African Business magazine. “This Investment Forum is built on this same spirit of cooperation, bringing together projects from across the continent to present the investment potential in Africa,” he added.

To coincide with the dates of the event, the IATF 2021 Investment Forum team, in coordination with African Investment Promotion Agencies, is making available an IATF 2021 Project Book, a compilation of investment ready projects across multiple sectors. The IATF 2021 Project Book can be downloaded here.

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Investors, Prepare Now for Trek Towards Normalised Interest Rates

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Interbank rate

As the Bank of England signals it will soon implement tighter monetary policy, investors should review their portfolios to ensure they successfully navigate increasing complexities, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.

The comments from deVere Group’s Nigel Green come as the UK’s central bank kept interest rates on hold on Thursday, defying market expectations that it would be the first of the world’s major central banks to hike rates following the pandemic.

The Bank of England decided to keep interest rates at an all-time low of 0.1%, rather than raise them to 0.25%, in a 7-to-2 vote.

Mr Green says: “After putting out hawkish signals recently, the Bank ultimately opted not to go for the interest rate hike that the markets had fully priced in, sending sterling falling to a one-month low.

“However, crucially, the BoE did leave the door open to the likelihood of raising rates ‘over coming months.’

“We believe this is the central bank’s way of prepping investors and households that inflation has become a concern and that growth has become slower due to supply side bottlenecks – and, therefore, to expect an interest rate hike as early as December.”

He continues: “Should this happen, stock and bond markets could correct sharply. Investors would be well-advised to stay in the market, but they should review their portfolios to ensure that they are properly diversified across asset class, sectors, regions and currencies.

“This will ensure they are best positioned to mitigate the downsides and seize opportunities arising from the likely volatility.

“The current scenario might normally drive investors to increase their exposure to fixed-income, but it’s almost universally agreed that stocks will continue to outperform bonds. There’s no real alternative at the moment.

“Plus, the growing inflation issue means cash will be eroded in a bank.”

The Bank of England has lifted its inflation forecast, and now sees consumer price inflation peaking around 5% next April, before dropping again. This is more than double its 2% target and an increase from the 3.1% in September.

The deVere CEO concludes: “This is the hardest time to be an investor and worst time not to be.

“There are real opportunities to be had, but navigating the territory is set to become more complex in coming months as we move towards a new era of interest rate normality driven partly by inflation fears.”

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