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 nations foreign reserves have been on a steady rise. In the review week, reserves increased by $415.2 million from $28.3 billion on February 3, 2017 to $28.8 billion on February 10, 2017. The increase is likely the reflection of a sustained crude oil revenue complemented by moderating global crude oil price and increasing domestic production. This should help strengthen the ability of the CBN to foster forex liquidity, and thus help maintain stability in the domestic forex market. If sustained, it should also help improve the value of the naira overtime. Hence, the government should implement proactive and effective policy strategies to, not only, sustain improvements in oil revenue but also boost non-oil revenue.
The Nigeria Stock Exchange market advanced further as equity indices pitched higher in the review week. Benchmark indices, All-share Index and Market Capitalization rose by 1.5 percent to settle at remarkable points, 37,425 and N12.90 trillion respectively an exceptional first-time record in more than two years. The uptrend has been sustained by stronger demand for investment securities due to outstanding H1 performance reports submitted by some listed companies during the week10.
International rating body, Fitch, has projected higher economic growth for Nigeria in 2018. The body estimated that Nigerias economy will grow by 2.6 percent, slightly higher compared to projections from the International Monetary Fund (2.1 percent) and The World Bank (1 percent). A myriad of factors may have driven the projected increase: improved availability of forex for the non-oil sector, higher government capital expenditure capability driven by more oil revenue, and fiscal stimulus. However, the relatively strong economic growth projected by Fitch and IMF may be hampered