Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates

January 15, 2018

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 50)

In the third quarter of 2017, NBS report show that Nigeria recorded a marginal quarter-overquarter and significant Year-on-Year increases in the value (in Naira terms) of merchandise (goods) foreign trade. At N5.92 trillion, total merchandise trade increased 3.9 percent over the preceding quarter and 23.9 percent over the corresponding quarter in 2016. Specifically, with exports rising QOQ by 15.2 percent to N3.57 trillion and imports shrinking by 9.4 percent to N2.35 trillion, trade balance amounted to a surplus of N1.22 trillion in 2017Q3- a substantial 142 percentage increase (QOQ) in trade surplus value.

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Africa Economic Update (Issue 3)

Available data shows that headline inflation rates increased and remained high in most countries in the region in February 2017. Specifically, inflation rate increased in Egypt (30.2), Burundi (20.9 percent), Kenya (10.28), and Ethiopia (8.5 percent), while it eased in Nigeria (17.78 percent), Ghana (13.2 percent), South Africa (6.3 percent), and Namibia (7.8 percent). Seychelles (-0.6 percent) remained in deflation while Sudan (32.86 percent) and Tunisia (4.6 percent) had unchanged inflation rates within the review period. Increased cost of food continued to plague the region as food component of inflation remained the major driver of inflation. Drought in East Africa continues to compound price pressure in the region. Inflation rates in Burundi6, Kenya and Ethiopia increased by 8, 3.29, and 2.4 percentage points respectively, signifying the three highest price increase in the review period

Portfolio Diversification Between Developed And Less Developed Economies

This study examines the hedging effectiveness of portfolio investment diversification between developed and developing economies; with focus on the Nigerian stock asset vis--vis the stock assets of the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK). Its main contribution is in the analysis of optimal portfolio diversification using optimal portfolio weight (OPW) and optimal hedging ratio (OHR). Empirical findings show that the OPW and OHR are low, which indicates impressive potential gains from combining Nigerian stock assets in an investment portfolio with US and UK stock assets. In addition, exchange rate volatility is found to pose stern limitation on the potential benefits of this portfolio diversification arrangement. It is therefore recommended that the monetary authority in Nigeria should pursue policies towards reducing exchange rate volatility to the barest minimum. This will possibly attract more investors from developed economies who might be willing to combine Nigerian stock in their investment portfolio to minimize portfolio risk.