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Capital importation falls by N1.68tn – CBN

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Foreign investors appear to have boycotted the Nigerian market as capital importation has dropped by $4.08bn (N1.68tn) in one year, latest statistics have shown

Between January and September 2020, total capital importation amounted to $8.55bn, data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed.

However, according to the latest capital importation report by the NBS, during the same period in 2021, foreign capital inflows into the country fell by $4.08bn (N1.68tn) to $4.47bn.

A breakdown of the 2020 figures shows that in the first quarter of 2020, capital importation into Nigeria stood at $5.85bn, representing an increase of 53.97 per cent compared to Q4 2019.

During this period, Foreign Portfolio Investment contributed the largest amount to capital inflows, accounting for $4.31bn or 73.61 per cent of the total capital importation, followed by ‘other investments’, which accounted for $1.33bn or 22.73 per cent; then the Foreign Direct Investment which accounted for 3.66 per cent or $214.25m.

In terms of sectors, the banking industry led the chart by contributing $2.99bn to the total capital importation in Q1 2020.

In the second quarter of 2020, the aggregate capital inflow fell by 77.8 per cent to $1.29bn when compared to the preceding quarter.

“The largest amount of capital importation by type was received through ‘other investments’, which accounted for 58.77 per cent ($761.03m) of the total capital imported, followed by FPI which accounted for 29.76 per cent ($385.32m); and then the FDI which accounted for 11.47 per cent ($148.59m) of the total capital imported in Q2 2020,” the NBS said.

By sector, capital importation by shares dominated in the second quarter of 2020 reaching $464.57m of the total capital importation.

Capital importation, however, rose to $1.56bn in the third quarter of 2020, representing an increase of 12.86 per cent compared to Q2 2020.

The rise in capital inflows in Q3 was driven mainly by other kinds of investments besides the FDI and the FPI, the NBS said.

According to the bureau, ‘other investments’ accounted for 43.75 per cent ($639.44m) of the total capital importation, while the FDI and the FPI contributed $414.79m and $407.25m, respectively.

Further analysis showed that in Q1 2021, the total value of capital importation was $1.90bn which represented a decline of $3.95bn when compared to the same quarter in 2020.

Capital importation, however, declined to $875.62m in Q2 201, representing a decrease of $415m compared to the $1.29bn recorded in Q2 2020.

The NBS said that, “The largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 62.97 per cent ($551.37m) of total capital importation, followed by other investments, which accounted for 28.13 per cent ($246.27m) of total capital imported and the FDI, which accounted for 8.90 per cent ($77.97m) of total capital imported in Q2 2021.”

It added that by sector capital importation by banking dominated in Q2 2021 at $296.51m.

In Q3 2021, capital inflows rose by over 97 per cent to $1.73bn in Q3 2021 (quarter-on-quarter), and by 18.47 per cent (year-on-year).

Portfolio investment, which accounted for $1,217bn was the major driver of capital inflow in Q3, followed by other investments which accounted for $406.35m while the FDI amounted to $107.81m.

Responding to the development, the Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management, Johnson Chukwu, said that the likely cause of the decline was a decrease in the FPI, which is the major driver of capital importation.

He noted that portfolio investors might be discouraged to invest in the Nigerian market due to forex illiquidity.

He said, “The decline in capital importation has been consistent for the past three years if you look at the data.

“In terms of portfolio investment, which is the major component, I think the issue is that foreign portfolio investors have likely stayed away from the Nigerian market because of foreign exchange illiquidity, as some of the funds that are trapped are yet to be accessed.”

He expressed hope that the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria to meet FX demands and clear arrears would incentivize portfolio investors to return to the Nigerian market.

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BUSINESS

5G Deployment: Nigeria approves Microsoft’s agreement, migration of C-Band services

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The federal government has approved an Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products and the clearing up of C-Band Spectrum in order to accelerate the deployment of 5G services in the country.

In a statement, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, on Thursday, said the approval was given during the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) last Wednesday.

This agreement is part of the federal government’s effort towards keeping the cost of IT projects within sustainable levels, the statement, signed by the Technical Assistant to Pantami, Dr Femi Adeluyi, revealed.

He said the agreement would give the government access to discounted prices and other cost benefits, as well as reduce project duplication across Federal Public Institutions (FPIs).

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BUSINESS

Bitcoin posts its worst quarter in more than a decade

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Bitcoin on Thursday posted its worst quarterly loss in more than a decade.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency has lost around 58% of its value in the second quarter of 2022, according to data from CryptoCompare. Bitcoin has fallen from $45,524 at the start of the quarter and was trading just below $19,000 on Thursday, the last day of the three-month period.

This is the worst quarterly performance for bitcoin since the third quarter of 2011 when it lost 68.2% of its value.

Bitcoin is down 39.8% in June and is on pace for the worst month ever dating back to 2010 when it became available on exchanges, Coin Metrics data shows.

Meanwhile, ether is down 69.3% in the second quarter and is on track for its worst quarter on record, dating back to its inception in 2015, according to Coin Metrics data.

Coin collapse, 3AC liquidation
Cryptocurrency prices have come under intense pressure this quarter amid rampant inflation which has caused central banks around the world to raise interest rates and led to a sell-off in risk assets, such as stocks and digital coins.

The crash in prices has also exposed issues with a several cryptocurrency companies and projects, particularly those in the lending space and firms that are highly leveraged.

A number of high profile issues have come to light during the quarter.

In May, the algorithmic stablecoin terraUSD collapsed along with its sister token luna. A stablecoin is a digital currency pegged to a real-world asset. TerraUSD was supposed to be pegged one-to-one with the U.S. dollar. Some stablecoins such as tether are backed by real assets like fiat currencies and government bonds. But terraUSD was governed by an algorithm which effectively failed.

Then In June, crypto lending firm Celsius paused withdrawals for its customers citing “extreme market conditions.”

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency exchange CoinFlex halted withdrawals for customers last week also citing “extreme market conditions.” But the company also claimed long-time crypto investor Roger Ver owes it $47 million after his account went into “negative equity.” Ver has denied that he owes CoinFlex money.

And the liquidity crisis has also hit prominent crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital which has fallen into liquidation, CNBC reported on Wednesday.

The latest downturn is being described as a new “crypto winter” and has also impacted growth and hiring at companies. Coinbase and BlockFi announced plans to lay off staff.

How does this cycle compare to the past?
Jacob Joseph, research analyst at CryptoCompare, notes that in the previous boom and bust cycle, bitcoin fell from a peak of $19,871 in the fourth quarter of 2017 to a low of $3,170 in the fourth quarter of 2018, suffering a drawdown of 8%.

Joseph said a similar fall of 82.2% was seen in 2014 when bitcoin fell from a high of $1,239 in the fourth quarter of 2013 to a low of $221 in the second quarter of 2015.

“This suggests that we could be in for a further drawdown period if the current poor macroeconomic conditions continue to persist,” Joseph told CNBC.

Other investors have expressed bearishness. In May, Guggenheim Chief Investment Officer Scott Minerd, said bitcoin could drop to $8,000. At the time, the cryptocurrency was trading at around $30,000, representing a 70% fall.

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European markets set to retreat as caution persists after worst quarter since 2020

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European markets are set to pull back on Friday after suffering their worst quarter since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, as inflation and interest rate hikes continue to weigh on sentiment.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 38 points lower at 7,131, Germany’s DAX is set to fall by around 123 points to 12,661 and France’s CAC 40 is expected to drop by around 54 points to 5,869.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed the second quarter of the year on Thursday down 9% — the worst three-month period since the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 — and was down 16.6% year-to-date.

Global market sentiment remains gloomy as the war in Ukraine shows no sign of abating and inflationary pressures continue to mount, prompting central banks to embark on aggressive monetary policy tightening and exacerbating fears of a global economic slowdown.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were lower overnight with Japan’s Nikkei 225 leading losses in the region, after the Bank of Japan’s quarterly business sentiment survey posted a sharp decline in the April-June period.

However, China’s manufacturing activity expanded at its sharpest rate for 13 months in June, boosted by resurgent output after the easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

U.S. stock futures also retreated in early premarket trade after the S&P 500 closed out its worst first-half performance since 1970, dropping 20.6% year-to-date by Thursday’s close.

Back in Europe, Reuters reported Thursday that the European Central Bank will on Friday begin a process of buying bonds from southern European nations, including Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. The ECB will reportedly use the proceeds from maturing German, French and Dutch debt, in a bid to cap spreads between their respective borrowing costs.

On the data front, a flash euro zone June inflation reading is due Friday morning, along with manufacturing PMIs from Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

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