Valentine’s Day of Love, Fear, & Isolation
As a corporate CEO you are facing your worst nightmare as you fear being infected by the new variant of the Covid-19 virus. This is because your neighbour arrived two weeks ago from the UK or South Africa. The thought of depositing N10mn for every member of your household in a hospital (rat hole) with fake oxygen cylinders does not make life any easier.
No Vaccine, No NIN – What a run-around!
Whilst you are trying to get your head around the probability of surviving the second surge, you see on TV the scramble for the NIN at various centres. You are worried that some of your employees on leave are in the crowd. You are saying gee-whiz, this is a massive problem, I think I better go into isolation for the next 14 days than mix with my colleagues who have mingled in those NIN crowds.
Naira to Stabilize as Oil Prices Increase
The naira fell again at the parallel market to N480/$ and at the Non-deliverable forward market to N465.95/$ for the 365day period. It also slipped at the I & E window by 1% to N397.63/$. These are indications that inflation continues to take its toll on the naira. Money supply growth (M2) of 31.9% and negative real interest rates have depressed the appetite and propensity to save and invest.
Hope Rising as Interest Rates Climb
Empirical evidence shows that countries like Kenya, Ghana and South Africa where T/bill rates are higher than inflation are doing much better. For example, South Africa has reported a record 16-year low rate of inflation of 3.1%.
Stock Market Sizzle Fizzles
We await with bated breath the inflation numbers due to be released by the NBS on February 16 and the GDP data scheduled for February 22. Nigerian Investors seem to be fleeing from an overvalued stock market. Has the inevitable correction started or is this another hoax? The average increase in earnings this month was 4.4% while stocks have surged by 157.2% in the market. This looks like a bubble, feels like a bubble and sounds like a bubble, then it must be……….. Remember Alan Greenspan’s talk about irrational exuberance in the early 2000s.
All of these issues are reviewed in detail by Bismarck Rewane and the FDC Think Tank at the LBS breakfast session. This is bound to be an interesting pre-Valentine day soothing read.
Enjoy your read!