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Nigeria’s dollar reserves fall to $31.6 billion, FDIs drop 46%

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dollar reserve

The Central Bank Of Nigeria, CBNs gross dollar reserves stood at $31.6 billion on August 18, 2015, down 8.8 percent from $34.4 billion on December 31st 2014, data

from the CBN shows.

The naira has weakened 7.8 percent against the dollar this year, pushing inflation beyond the Central Bank’s upper target of 9 percent. The CBN reserves may start to fall again after a recent uptick, as the naira is most likely to continue tracking lower oil prices.

In the second quarter of 2015, Nigeria recorded Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Inflows of $211.14 million, showing a significant 46.49 percent or $183.47 million drop from level reported within the first months of the year.

FDI which was also the smallest (14.77%) of the Investment types in Q2 of 2015, also declined on annual basis by $261.85 million or 55.36 percent, according to new statistics from the National Bureau of Statics released on Wednesday.

The Bureau said FDI comprised mostly of Equity, at $211.01 million or 99.94 percent  of the total, while Other Capital hold the remaining $0.13 million.

Oil prices have slumped as a global surplus remain almost nine months after OPEC unveiled its plan to squeeze rivals led by U.S. shale drillers. American production has however remained resilient, while the lower oil prices resulting from unabated supplies have affected Nigeria’s growth prospects.

Oil proceeds account for 70 percent of Nigeria’s Federal Governments revenue and 95 percent of exports. This has meant a squeeze in the government’s ability to fund capital expenditure (capex), with most public construction projects cancelled or mothballed.

Growth in the first quarter of 2015, slowed to about 4 percent, from on an annual basis, compared with 5.9 percent a quarter earlier, as the oil sector shrunk by 8.2 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Crude-oil futures fell as much as 1.1 percent on Wednesday in New York, and traded down 0.5 percent at $42.39 a barrel as of 7:46 a.m. local time. That’s less than half the price a year ago.

Meanwhile Nigeria has been grouped alongside Algeria, Iraq, Libya and Venezuela as members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) ‘fragile five’, according to RBC Capital Markets Ltd.

The countries are said to be OPECs most vulnerable nations who are exposed to risks of worsening political and economic turmoil as oil prices plunge to six year lows.

“While promises of reform from newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari have bought Nigeria time, the grace period won’t last indefinitely,” according to RBC Capital Markets LLC analysts, Christopher Louney and Helima Croft.

Nigeria which accounts for 6 percent of OPECs production has been unable to increase production sufficiently to offset the fall in oil prices as output remains close to 1.98 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Nigeria needs $119 per barrel to balance its budget according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The loss of government revenue has meant workers not being paid salaries in most Nigerian subnationals or states, which has the prospect of increasing political and social instability.

Renaissance Capital Sub Sahara Africa analyst, Yvonne Mhango, says interest rates and government wages have the highest correlations with consumer confidence in Nigeria, which has remained weak.

Nigeria’s FDIs drop 46%, Q2, 2015

Total investment inflow, including FDIs, portfolio and other investments into the country was $266.636 million. representing a marginal drop of $5.24 million or just 0.20 percent quarter on quarter.

“Capital importation thus remained relatively unchanged from the $2,671.59 million recorded in the opening quarter of 2015, suggesting that this new, lower level will be maintained as long as an uncertain economic environment remains,” the Bureau observed.

Year on year, second quarter capital inflow was $313.753 million or 54.06 percent lower than the $580.389 million imported in quarter two of 2014.

But portfolio investments remained the largest of all investment types, totaling $218.315 million in Q2 of 2015, representing 81.88 percent of all capital imported.

This was $322.50 million or 17.33 percent higher than the $186.065 million portfolio investments recorded in the opening quarter of 2015, when it represented 69.65 percent of the total.

Year on year decline remained huge at $273. 399 million or 55.6 percent, the NBS stated, noting that the key driver of portfolio investment’s quarterly growth was equity, which at 84.56 percent, increased by $706.70 million or 62.02 percent from the preceding quarter.

The data office also noted that the growth in Money Market Instruments further contributed to total investments, increasing by $270.39 million or 1,674.78 percent from $16.14 million in Q1 to $286.53 million in Q2 of 2015.

The remaining component, Bonds, declined on a quarterly basis, $654.58 million or 92.83 percent, so that its share of total Portfolio investment declined from 26.39% to just 2.31 percent.

Year on year, all subsectors declined, with Equity suffering the greatest losses, down by $202.927 million or 52.36 percent, accounting for 74.22 percent of the overall decline.

Other Investments, at $272.07 million, represented 15.58 percent of total Capital Imported, and held the second largest capital inflows by investment type.

Other investments mainly comprised of Loans, which at $153.23 million represented 56.23 percent of the total, and Other Claims, which at $117.85 million represented 43.32 percent of the total. Currency Deposits held the remaining $0.99 million or 0.36 percent, whilst Trade Credits recorded zero.

The NBS further stated that other investments declined by $144.27 million or 34.65 percent from the preceding quarter, driven solely by declines in Loans, which were lower by 231.60 million or 60.18 percent.

Other claims were up $86.34 million or 274.03 percent. Year on year, declines in Other Investments were similar, at $141.69 million or 34.24 percent, although this time were driven by both Loans, which were lower by $83.76 million or 35.34 percent, and by Other claims, which were lower by $57.55 million or 32.81 percent, the NBS stated.

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