Foreign capital imported into Nigeria increased by 53.97 percent from US$3.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 to US$5.85 billion in the first quarter of 2020. This rise was largely driven by an increase in portfolio investments which grew 128.78 percent to US$4.3 billion, accounting for 73.61 percent of total capital importation. Other components such as foreign direct investment (-16.7 percent) and other investment (-19.9 percent) declined compared to the previous quarter1. The rise indicates a renewed interest from investors in local money market instruments, which had been on the decline since Q12019. This capital inflow would benefit the limited national foreign reserves. As the government shifts away from foreign debt and seeks to borrow US$4.34 billion from the domestic market, the associated increase in yields will attract foreign investors and is likely to further increase foreign portfolio investment in the coming months. However, caution should be taken as sudden increases in the FPI outflows will have a negative impact on the foreign exchange market and the overall economy.
June 9, 2020
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 22)
The naira depreciated by 4.3 percent to a record low of N313/$ at the interbank market segment on July 29, 2016.Precisely, the lack of liquidity in all FX market segments continues to weaken the naira. In order to increase FOREX liquidity, moderate inflationary pressures, encourage capital inflows and support the naira, the CBN may need to increase the supply of FOREX in the interbank market while simultaneously mopping up idle funds through the sale of securities.
Activities in the manufacturing sector remained at levels recorded in 2016Q3. Specifically, manufacturing capacity utilization (a measure of potential manufacturing output that is actually realized) remained at 48.46 percent in 2016Q4 below average. During the quarter, structural bottlenecks such as epileptic power supply (average of 2, 548 Megawatts) in addition to forex constraints, hampered manufacturing activities. As such, high cost of raw materials and cost of production subdued activities in the short term. Recent efforts by the monetary authority to increase forex access to the manufacturing sector as well as improvement in gas supply and electricity generation would help minimize production costs and enhance production process.
Nigerias external reserve fell marginally by from $25.36 billion to $25.16 billion. The decline likely reflects the continued sales of dollar by CBN amid fall in oil revenue. Similarly, the naira/dollar exchange rate depreciated marginally by 0.5 percent to N424/$ at the parallel segmentas also seen in preceding weeks. The continued depreciation likely points to banks low level compliance to CBNs dollar sales directive made in August, 2016, thus creating artificial dollar scarcity in the parallel market.