By year-end 2018, the country recorded a total trade value of ₦32.3 trillion1, representing 39.3% increase over the corresponding period in 2017. The volume of total merchandise trade in 2018 is noted to be the highest since 2014, nearly double pre-recession levels. Export component grew by approximately 41%, from ₦13.6 trillion in 2017 to ₦19.1 trillion in 2018. Oil (crude and non-crude) is responsible for the most part of export growth in the review year and accounts for about 94% of total exports. Agriculture and manufacturing sector exports also recorded a boost, rising to ₦302 billion and ₦645.7 billion respectively. Similarly, imports rose by 37.5% to ₦13.2 trillion. With exports exceeding imports, the current account balance of trade improved to ₦5.9 trillion in 2018. To further boost Nigeria’s current account position going forward, supply-side policies to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of domestic industries, and thus exports is crucial.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
The Naira strengthened against the dollar in the review week. Specifically, the Naira appreciated by 2.7 percent to N355/$ (parallel market rate) on June 17, 2016, following the release of the flexible FOREX policy guidelines by the CBN on June 15, 2016. The new policy effectively adopts a single market structure hosted at the autonomous/inter-bank market. The inter-bank trading scheduled to commence on June 20, 2016 will be market-determined, officially eliminating the N197/$ peg. To ensure foreign exchange liquidity, primary market dealers have been introduced while the CBN will participate in the market through periodic interventions.
Recent domestic Crude oil statistics from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), reveals an increase in total crude oil export sales in December 2016. Relative to November 2016, total export sales of crude oil rose from $166.18 million to $195.40 million in December 2016 representing 17.6 percentage (Month-on-Month) increase. The increase is attributable to a rise in crude oil production following a drastic (Year-on-Year) reduction in pipeline vandalism in the preceding month. Given that improvement in oil revenue is critical to fiscal sustainability and external balance, intensified efforts should be implemented towards the maintenance and sustainability of peace in the Niger Delta Region.
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.
Capital Importation: Foreign investment into the agricultural sector was relatively flat between 2007 and 2012 but gained unusual momentum in September 2015. The spike in 2015 is likely driven by the