By Peter Leger, Coronation Fund Managers
So you thought a six-month break on a desert island looked appealing and spent long hours in silent meditation, reflecting on self-actualisation, harmony and humanity’s ceaseless race to consume the planet. Now you’ve just made the return journey to find that the oil price collapsed from over $110/barrel to less than $50. Peak theorists having turned into piqued theorists. You didn’t see that coming. And, frankly, neither did we. Nor did we expect to see the Swiss franc jump 28 per cent in a single day – as it did recently.
The lesson being that extreme volatility has to be an assumption when building portfolios, and doubly so when investing in frontier markets, where volatility is often amplified. Read more
The Nigerian economy has enough resilience to ride out the wave of Boko Haram terror attacks, the country’s finance minister said in an attempt to persuade foreign investors to keep their holdings in local bonds and stocks.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and a magnet for international investors, which have poured billions of dollars into factories, oil fields and its local securities market.
“We are sticking to our growth forecast of 6.75 per cent [for 2014]. It is realistic. Any losses in the northeast [where Boko Haram is more active] will be made up by activity elsewhere,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told the Financial Times in an interview. Read more
Nigeria’s central bank has held its policy interest rate at 12 per cent for the 12th consecutive month. Can anything make it budge?
Analysts seem to think not. There are three factors that will keep rates locked: inflation, the naira and reserves. Read more
As African central bank governors go, few have a higher profile than Lamido Sanusi – and few have courted more controversy. Appointed in the midst of a debt crisis in 2009, his bold moves to fix Nigeria’s crisis-stricken banks toppled the chief executives of eight local lenders, and he’s not one to tiptoe around the political elite either.
After years of persistently high inflation, you would think taming the beast would be cause for celebration.
Not in Nigeria – or in the central bank, at any rate. Despite inflation falling to a 5-year low of 8.6 per cent year-on-year in March, the news has simply exacerbated the debate over what to do about interest rates. Read more
Nigeria’s economy grew 6.5 per cent in the third quarter, slightly up from 6.4 per cent in the previous period. Read more
Joining the club can bring a whole new bunch of friends. In the case of Nigeria, which last month was admitted by JP Morgan to its emerging market Government Bond Index with effect from October, it means a lots of new overseas investors – and borrowing costs dropping off a cliff.
But that doesn’t mean everything is rosy. Inflation is still stubbornly high, above the single-digit target, and the central bank is expected to hold interest rates on Tuesday. Read more
Falling inflation wasn’t enough to twist policy makers’ arms in Nigeria on Tuesday. The central bank’s monetary policy committee left its policy rate at 12 per cent for a third consecutive time.
Although Monday’s inflation figure of 11.9 per cent year on year in February surprised the market, it is still above the central bank target of 10 per cent. Read more