Archive for November, 2010

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria held their regular meeting on November 22nd and 23rd. The key decisions were:

1.   To Retain the Monetary policy Rate (MPR) at 6.25 per cent.
2.   To adjust the corridor to +/- 200 basis points, implying Standing Lending Facility (SLF) rate of 8.25 per cent, and Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rate of 4.25 per cent.
3.   Maintain the policy stance of a stable exchange rate.
4.   Continue to monitor inflationary trends with a view to taking appropriate steps as and when necessary.
5.   On the stance of monetary policy in the year ahead, the  Committee reaffirmed that monetary policy would seek to exert pressure  on aggregate demand, thereby helping to lower inflation expectations.

The report is below:

Here are Dangote’s And Oando’s Investor Presentation and Earnings Release For H1 2010:

Dangote:

Afrinvest\'s Dangote Investor Presentation (469).

Dangote Investor Presentation - October 2010 (442)

Oando:

Oando - H1 2010 Presentation (353).

Oando H1 2010 JSE Press Release (396)

Courtesy of Proshare, FSDH, IBTC and Lead Capital, here is the summary of the market activities as well as the charts for the week.

Here are the press releases and presentations from First Bank and Unity Bank for their Q3 Results. First Bank: . Unity Bank: .

B.J. Rewane’s Monthly Economic News and Views presentation given monthly during the Lagos Business School’s monthly breakfast meeting is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive and informative analysis of the Nigerian economy. His November presentation is no different. Happy reading!

Company Reports

In: News

22 Nov 2010

Courtesy of FSDH, Stanbic IBTC, and Lead Capital, here is the summary of the NSE for the week ended November 12th 2010 as well the market reports:

+ The NSE All-Share Index gained 229 bps cumulatively this week.

+ Bullish activities were very prominent in most of the rescued banks’ stocks this week; this is due partly to the announcement in respect of AMCON modalities to be released in the coming week. As a result the likes of FinBank, Wema Bank, Oceanic Bank, Union Bank and Bank PHB all recorded gains between 14.5% & 21.0%. However, the top tier banks were not left out in the bullish activities, First Bank appreciated by 5.6%, Zenith Bank 9.0% and UBA 9.5%, while GTBank closed the week unchanged.

+ In the food and beverages sector, bearish sentiments dominated proceedings this week, this translated to losses of more than 2.0% for Cadbury, NBC and Flour Mills. On the flip side, Nascon, Dangote Sugar and Dangote Flour recorded gains of between 1.7% and 6.0%.

+ Activities in the insurance sub sector improved slightly this week and this led to price appreciation for some of the stocks in the sector; Niger Insurance gathered 22.8%, and this was followed by Law Union & Rock with a 7.4% gain, while Cornerstone inched up by 4.0%. On the other hand, Custodian & Allied, Prestige and NEM all shed above 4.0% each.

Below is Vetiva’s Research Report on the Nigerian Brewery Sector and a quick analysis of the top 2 players.

Here is an excerpt from the report:

<blockquote>Investment Summary
We update our view on Nigerian brewery sector with NEUTRAL ratings on the 2 biggest players – Nigerian Breweries Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc with pooled market share of 80%.

- Volume drivers still at work. With a 15m hectolitres (mhl), (2009 est.) according it the second largest in SSA, the Nigerian brewery market, in our estimate, will grow to 23mhl by 2015 premised on the combined impact of beer per capita consumption (PCC) growth (13litres expected vs. 10litres currently), population build-up (2.8% p.a.) and nominal per capita income growth (8.3% p.a.). Consumption of brewed products is intrinsically linked to GDP growth which is rising across SSA economies, with Nigeria expected to deliver aboveaverage growth performance, based on IMF and World Bank forecasts.

- Eyed by the bigwigs… Nigerian brewery sector is increasingly attracting the attention of global majors: SAB Miller, Carlsberg and Castel. These interests re-affirm the growth opportunities embedded in the sector and we expect it to generate a positive development for the sector in terms of volume growth and deeper market penetration.

- …in view of robust investment thesis. The investment case for the Nigerian brewery sector is uncomplicated: the sector is largely dominated by 2  global players, Heineken and Diageo, through their subsidiaries (Nigerian Breweries Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc respectively); beer consumption is notably at low levels with PCC of 10litres, which is a 56% discount to comparative benchmarks and 40% discount to levels attained in the 1980s; medium to long-term economic outlook is healthy at 5%-plus real GDP growth expectation over the next decade; supportive demographics characterised by growing youthful population with avid thirst for fun and social culture that encourages festivities. These fundamentals form the basis of our conviction for a deserving long-term call on the sector.

- Credible route to economic growth potential… Nigerian brewers are moderately shielded against Nigerian macroeconomic risks as sales recover quite swiftly from unfavourable economic cycles, proven once again in the 2009/10 financial years. We believe the sector provides a solid route to accumulate direct exposure to Nigeria’s medium-term growth potential, and indeed SSA, as we think domestic beer consumption rate will increasingly set the Nigerian market apart on the heels of expanding economy. We will play this growth theme through NB and Guinness from a long-term perspective given their operational scale, market dominance and impressive CAPEX.

- …but we are NEUTRAL on full valuation, in the near-term. From a valuation standpoint, the shares of quoted brewers offer a long-term attractive proposition but, on a 12-month horizon we find the risk-reward profile limited, as the shares have performed strongly (41% in 12 months) and trade at forward P/E multiple of 17.1x and EV/2010e EBITDA of 9.8x. We are on the sidelines to make an inroad into the sector’s long-term growth prospect on better valuation attraction. At this point, we think direct acquisition and repositioning of fringe players is a potent source of alpha.</blockquote>

Afrinvest released a report on the Nigerian Economy. It is more a scorecard of the Nigerian Economy so far for 2010. As usual, it is a very comprehensive review.

I must say, it is not comforting in any way. Here are some reasons for concern – Nigeria’s investment rating has been downgraded from Stable to Negative, there has a huge depletion of the foreign reserves, the government is still on a borrowing binge, and the Naira is reducing value. And dont forget the upcoming elections.

Some excerpts are below. But to get the full benefit, read the entire report.

Afrinvest 2010 Nigerian Market Review (633)

<blockquote>On the macroeconomic front, an analysis of provisional data provided by the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) indicates that real GDP grew by 7.7% in Q2 2010, up from the 7.4% recorded in Q1 2010. The CBN has revised the GDP estimates upwards, forecasting a 7.8% growth in GDP for 2010 (with growth estimates of 7.7% and 8.2% in Q3 and Q4 respectively). The upward review in GDP forecasts rides on the back of favourable rainfall (a critical input for agricultural produce), improved crude oil and natural gas production, and the relative stability in crude oil prices. The non-oil sector is expected to remain the key driver of overall growth. External reserves stood at $36.6bn as at mid September, compared to $37.2bn by the end of July 2010. This range is expected to hold, depending on the stability of oil prices and output.

Oil production has remained relatively stable around the 1.9–2.1mbpd range (year to date), following the return of stability to the Niger-Delta earlier in the year and the success of the on-going amnesty programme. Oil prices have however been volatile all through the year; it stood at $83.30 at the end of Q3 ’10, which is above the country’s benchmark oil price of $60.00. We re-iterate our belief that oil prices will hover between the $70.00 – $80.00 range in the near term as the global economy firms up. The Naira, which remained fairly stable in the first two quarters of the year, saw more volatility in the third quarter and closed the quarter in the CBN, inter-bank and parallel market windows at N149.85/US$1.00, N154.60/ US$1.00 and N156.00/US$1.00 respectively.

The devaluation is not unconnected with the huge surge in dollar demand, particularly at the tail-end of the third quarter. The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, explained that this was as a result of an increase in the volume of petroleum products as well as rice imports, following enhanced credits from the Federal Government’s Petroleum Stabilization Fund (“PSF”) and waivers granted to rice importers. By the end of October, the Naira had appreciated to N148.50/US$1.00, N150.85/US$1.00 and N154.00/ US$1.00 at the CBN, inter-bank and parallel market windows respectively. The CBN has promised to intervene and defend the naira where necessary while it continues to monitor developments in the market, taking measures to eliminate speculative demand and exchange rate volatility.

The NBS recently revised and rebased the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to a November 2009 base period, in a bid to reflect the current consumption structure. Subsequently, inflation rose by 70bps from July to August 2010, and dropped marginally by 10 bps in September, closing at 13.6%. Afrinvest Research is of the opinion that fiscal injections related to election expenses may spur an upward trend in inflation. We however observe that the CBN is actively combating inflation through tighter monetary policies, an example of which is the recent increase in MPR to 6.25% and Standing Deposit Rate (SDR) to 3.25%.

The stock market was up 20.2% by the end of October 2010, after varying degrees of oscillation in the course of the year. This is however an improvement from the 30.5% decline recorded in the corresponding 2009 period.

….

Stability in Oil Prices…
Crude oil prices remained stable during the quarter with a Q3 2010 average (Bonny light) of $77.84 per barrel, a slight drop from the $80.06 per barrel recorded in Q2 2010. This drop in price has been compensated for by an increase in daily production, from approximately 2.35 million barrels per day in Q2 2010 to about 2.41 million in Q3 2010. Consensus analysts’ forecasts indicate that the outlook on oil prices is stable both in the short and medium term. Investor expenditure on commodities picked up during Q3 2010 after very strong flows during the tail end of 2009. Recognizing this upward trend in oil prices, analysts have reviewed their forecasts up towards the $95.00 mark over the next 12 months. Afrinvest Research  expects fundamentals and investor flows to drive oil prices, though the potential increase in production quota/output may lead to a supply glut and check an upward movement in price.

With the return of stability in the country’s leadership, President Jonathan has taken a number of steps, seemingly in the right direction, aimed at boosting economic performance in the third quarter. Top on the list is the unveiling of a very articulate strategy designed to put an end to Nigeria’s chronic power shortages through the privatization of the country’s inefficient power generation and distribution facilities. The recent sanitization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) (which should help rebuild investor confidence) and the incorporation of  the Asset ManagementCompany of Nigeria (AMCON), are further indications that the president seeks to create the desired enabling environment for economic growth and development.

The exchange rate assumption of N150.00/US$1.00 is proving difficult to sustain given the drastic reduction in the nation’s foreign reserves, the depletion of the windfall oil savings and the fact that inflation has climbed to a high of 13.6%, a sharp contrast to the 11.2% assumed for the budget. We believe that this will pose a threat to exchange rate stability with the exchange rate at N151.50/US$1.00 as at end of October 2010. Cost efficiency ratios are also a major concern, as the quality of government expenditure is suspect, while the level of budget performance remains poor.

….

Piling Debt Despite Increasing Revenues…
A Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) is a state-owned investment fund composed of financial assets, which include money, stocks, bonds, property and other financial instruments. In the Nigerian context, the SWF is expected to replace the current Excess Crude Account (ECA). The ECA was set up as a stabilization fund to bridge budget deficits and fund domestic infrastructure investments. It was however set-up as a political arrangement (and without legal backing) during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. The bill for the National SWF was submitted to the National Assembly on the 13th of September, to ensure that it has a legal underpinning. About N153.0bn (US$1.0bn) has been set aside as seed capital for its take-off. The fund is to be used for three distinct purposes; savings for the future generation, an economic stabilization fund, and an infrastructure fund for co-investment with other investors.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) released figures in Q3 2010 showing an outstanding domestic debt of N4.2tn (US$28.2bn) from N3.8tn (US$25.3bn) in Q2 2010. FGN bonds accounted for 64.0% of the Q2 2010 domestic debt amount, while Non-treasury Bills (NTBs) and Treasury Bills accounted for 23.9% and 10.4% respectively. Development Stocks and Promissory Notes made up the balance of the debt figure with both responsible for just less than 2.0% of the domestic debt figure. The increase in domestic debt can mainly be attributed to the financing of Federal Government budget deficits and expenditure on capital projects. The DMO also released its issuance calendar for 2010 showing a quarterly increment FGN auctions from N300.0bn in Q2 2010 to N330.0bn in Q3 2010, with a scheduled issuance of N408.8bn in Q4 2010.

….

The Federal Government also plans to issue a N75.0bn (US$500.0m) Eurobond to fund outstanding infrastructural projects. This is expected to be a five year bond with a fixed coupon rate of 8.625% that will also help finance the budget deficit in the country. This means that the country’s domestic debt figure could climb to over N4.5tn (US$30.0bn) by Q4 2010. In a related development, the international rating agency, Fitch Ratings, downgraded Nigeria’s credit rating to a BB-, and from a stable to a negative outlook. This was based on certain factors, including the near total drawdown of the excess crude account and the continuous fall in foreign reserves.

A depleted excess crude account, amid oil revenues of N7.2tn (US$48.0bn) is a major cause for concern, while the quality of Government expenditure remains worrisome. Apart from the cost incurred from Nigeria’s bureaucratic structure, there is a risk that if a project funded through an FGN Bond is unsuccessfully completed either through mismanagement or poor execution by the contractor, the Federal Government would have to redeem its initial debt on the maturity and re-issue another debt instrument for the same project. This, coupled with the interest paid on any debt facility, means that a project could cost 2-3 times its original price. The Minister of Finance however noted that the steps needed to ensure that Nigeria’s outlook be upgraded to stable are already being implemented. Standard & Poor’s Rating Agency however affirmed Nigeria’s B+/B global scale rating and the NGA+/NGA-1 national scale rating. They also confirmed a stable outlook, reflecting expectations that the country will maintain her strong external and fiscal balance sheet, and improve in budgetary performance.

……

Our Overall Expectation: 2010
With election related activities on the rise, we fear that progress on the roadmap to reforms in the power sector may stall. The revival of the power sector is a key factor in the continuous growth of industries and businesses in  particular and the economy in general. There is therefore an urgent need to follow through on these reforms. We expect that the relative peace in the Niger Delta, as well as stability in crude oil prices, will enhance the country’s foreign exchange revenues. The excess revenue, which will be saved in the SWF, is expected to be used to improve on infrastructure and close budget deficits where necessary.

The CBN stipulated a September 2010 deadline for AMCON to become fully operational. This has however not been the case. We however hope to see some clarity as to the direction of the banking sector when AMCON becomes fully operational. There has also been interest in certain banks by both local and foreign participants, suggesting that mergers and acquisitions are likely to occur. We also believe that the banks will resume lending, although at a gradual pace. Persuasive mechanisms by the CBN may also encourage this to happen as quickly as possible. The resilience of many listed companies in the face of harsh macroeconomic and business conditions has been shown by the relatively decent financial results released. We expect investors to continue to show interest in stocks with positive results and growth potential, as well as a high level of transparency and corporate governance.

The drive by the SEC to ensure transparency and corporate governance in the NSE is expected to boost investors’ confidence and renew interest in equities. The uncertainty around the outcome of the forensic audit on the NSE has somewhat dampened this. We therefore believe that the timely conclusion and release of the audit findings will help restore investor confidence and encourage positive sentiments towards the equities markets. Participants will however remain cautious and eager to lock in any significant short term gains. This suggests that there will be constant profit-taking activities in the market, signifying volatility in trading which may persist till the end of the year.

In our Q1 2010 Market Review, we re-iterated our expectations of significant volatility within the NSE ASI 20,000 to 28,000 points range. Afrinvest Research remains bullish on equities, although we are slightly cautious. We review our forecast to a bear case scenario of a 10.0% -15.0% downside and a bull case of a 5.0% – 10.0% upside from around the 25,000 mark. We also expect lending rates to slowly dip and savings rate to rise as the year comes to an end. </blockquote>

Late last month, <a href=”http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20101022-710047.html”>Fitch lowered Nigeria’s outlook primarily because of the withdrawals from the Crude Accounts</a>. Here is an excerpt from the report in the Wall Street Journal:

<blockquote>Fitch Ratings moved toward a possible downgrade of Nigeria’s  junk-level ratings, raising concerns about the country pulling money  from a crude-oil account the help fund government operations.

That and a continued gradual fall of international reserves at a time  of high oil prices and record oil production is a major concern,  according to Fitch. It also raises vulnerability to any renewed fall in  oil prices and threatens macroeconomic stability.

Fitch director Veronica Kalema said that while there were plans to  remedy the situation through the establishment of a sovereign wealth  fund and removal of the fuel subsidy currently taken out of the  country’s excess crude account, implementing those actions “will be  challenging before elections expected in April next year.” The poll has  increased short-term political uncertainty, Fitch said.

Other major constraints on the rating — low per capita income, weak  transparency and governance and the infrastructure deficit, especially  the power shortage — remain in place. Nigeria’s national infrastructure  is poor and power generation is grossly inadequate, resulting in low  industrial production while offices and homes go for days without  electricity.

Fitch revised Nigeria’s outlook to negative.

Fitch did note that Nigeria’s ratings — which stand at BB-, or three  notches into junk — are supported by robust non-oil sector growth, and  low public and external debt ratios. The recovery in oil production in  the fourth quarter last year, and renewed reform momentum this year,  also support the ratings.

In August, the nation said gross domestic product grew 7.4% in the  first half of the year, building on 5.9% growth the same time in 2009.  The enhanced economic development was linked to growth in non-oil  sectors and improvement in oil production.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund said the economies  of sub-Saharan Africa will be among the best performing in the world  this year and next, lagging only behind those in emerging Asia. It  raised its growth forecasts for Nigeria’s economy to 7.4% in both 2010  and 2011 from 7% and 7.3%, respectively.</blockquote>

But in the last week, Fitch affirmed it’s long-term investment rating of B+ for Nigeria. Here is the excerpt of that report from Bloomberg:

<blockquote>Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its ‘B+’ long-term rating on Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and top oil producer, with a stable outlook before a $500 million Eurobond sale next month.

The agency also affirmed its ‘B’ short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the West African nation, it said in a statement today.

“The outlook is stable, reflecting our expectation that Nigeria will maintain its strong external and fiscal balance sheet and that its budgetary performance will gradually improve over the next few years,” it said.

The announcement “will help to allay the concern of potential investors in Nigeria’s Eurobond,” especially after Fitch Ratings cut its outlook on the country to negative from stable on Oct. 22, said Bismarck Rewane, chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Co. Ltd., a fund manager.

Nigeria plans to appoint bookrunners next week for its first-ever Eurobond sale, planned for mid-December, Abraham Nwankwo, director general of the Debt Management Office, said today.

“The ratings on Nigeria are constrained by high political risk, but supported by a strong balance sheet,” Standard & Poor’s said in the statement.

Elections

The nation of about 150 million people is scheduled to hold general elections in April in which incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, from the mainly Christian south, has said he will run. Politicians from the predominantly Muslim north say that decision runs counter to an agreement by the ruling People’s Democratic Party to reserve the office for the region until 2015. Jonathan stepped in to the office after the death of former President Umaru Yar’Adua, a northern Muslim, on May 5.

Fitch Ratings lowered its outlook on Nigeria’s BB- rating to “negative” on Oct. 22, concerned about withdrawals from the excess crude account and a drop in foreign currency reserves. The decline in reserves increased the risk to the economy from any renewed drop in oil prices, Fitch said.

Nigeria’s foreign-exchange reserves fell 7.6 percent to $33.9 billion in the month to Oct. 21, according to data on the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Nigeria’s economy, the second-biggest on the continent after South Africa, is expected to grow 7.8 percent in 2010, up from 7 percent last year, driven by non-oil industries such as agriculture, central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said on Sept. 21. </blockquote>

To get the full details, you can download a copy of their report below. I believe that the report by Fitch is the most detailed analysis and description of the Nigerian economy.
Fitch Ratings For Nigeria 2010 (1001)

Proshare has been doing a consistently good job of preparing a detailed review and analysis of the NSE every month. Here is their report for the month of October. It has a detailed breakdown of the NSE activity for the month as well as the company results reported during the month.

NSE Monthly Report - Proshare NG - October 2010 (342)

And here are the official NSE reports for the month of September and October 2010

NSE Monthly Report - Sept 2010 (305).

NSE Activity Report For October 2010 (416)

FSDH has also released the Economic and Financial Review for Q3 2010 and their outlook for Q4. It is a very thorough and detailed report. Please take time to read it. It is worth the time.

FSDH - Quarterly Economic Review - Q3 2010 (1496)

·         In the banking sector; last minute sales of over 10m units of Oceanic Bank shares by some participants could be an indicator that the bullish run on the stock might be coming to an end soon as participants seek to lock in gains, other fringe players remained bullish however with robust unsatisfied bids at the close of the session. On the flip side market forces sent Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Diamond Bank, GTBank and UBA southwards today, while Zenith Bank inched up by marginal points.

·         In the building materials sector, the bears continued to hold sway over Dangote Cement, trading fully on offer throughout proceedings. Ashaka Cement and CCNN were not divergent to this trend shedding 0.7% and 3.5% respectively. Lafarge Wapco however, bagged marginal points.

·         In other sectors, an upward review of prices at the last quarter of the session led to a marginal gain for NB, on the flip side International Breweries shed full points with active demand at the lowest price for the day.

Find below, a summary of the activities for the week ended today:

·         The NSE All-Share Index shed 97 basis points this week, the market was relatively quiet and price volatility for most stocks was minimal.

·         In the banking sector aside distressed banks, most companies traded around current support levels, with sustained demand matching offers leading to marginal gains and losses. FCMB and Zenith Bank were up by 10.1% and 4.0% respectively, while Skye Bank, UBA and First Bank lost 0.7%, 4.4% and 2.6% respectively. Sellers holding back on offers for distressed banks continued this week, subsequently top gainers in the sector were Bank PHB, Afribank, Oceanic Bank, Intercontinental Bank, Unity Bank and Wema Bank with gains in excess of 25.0% apiece.

·         The breweries sector did not diverge from the current trend, bids for NB were at the lower end of the market for most of the week, an upward review on Friday however led to a 1.2% appreciation in its share price, the current support level however appears to be N76, Guinness also traded around the N180  price band for most of the session this week.

·         Bearish sentiments dominated the building materials sector this week, with only Lafarge Wapco diverging from this trend, as robust bids at the N40 mark curbed any price slide. Dangote Cement lost 5.0% as investors seeking exits outweighed current demand in the market. CCNN and Ashaka Cement were also not spared shedding 8.1% and 3.5% respectively.


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This blog is dedicated to informing users on the latest business and economic news news from the CBN and Nigerian Stock Exchange. Happy reading!

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