macroafricaintel | Nigeria – On the electoral bill and peace pact

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Finally happened on a title for a future book, if I ever write one. “Awon Alariwo”, properly translated as “The Noisemakers.” It is a perfect metaphor for the Nigerian situation. We are quick to make a show of everything but do almost little else.

The Nigerian would borrow money to buy a Range Rover than build a business. We would rather take our friends out to show off our phony success than feed the family at home. Our politicians make a big show of launching projects but rarely do we see them commissioning completed ones at about the same rate. In fact, it is almost certain that the more the fanfare around the groundbreaking of a government project, the higher the likelihood it would not be completed.

Why, I often ponder, would a Nigerian not hesitate one bit to roll up his or her sleeves when in “The Abroad” but once on our shores, they develop an ego. It is astonishing how much time a great proportion of the Nigerian youth population wastes on unproductive activities. But that is a discussion for another time.

The peace pact recently signed by presidential aspirants in the upcoming poll is largely symbolic. Politicians would still do whatever they can get away with to win; legal or otherwise. Even so, it was important that they all sign. That is why it was a little unsettling when the leading opposition party’s candidate Atiku Abubakar was absent at the formal signing ceremony of the pact on 11 November.

It was a huge missed opportunity. A picture of the two leading presidential candidates holding hands would have been very helpful optics. Whether the eventual signing by Atiku Abubakar the next day was an afterthought or not is probably irrelevant now. They have all signed. And that is that. Not that it would necessarily stop any potential violence.

Mr Abubakar did also implore President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended electoral bill, which he refused assent to recently. Mr Buhari attributes an ECOWAS protocol against making significant changes to electoral laws too close to a poll for why he didn’t sign the bill; amongst other reasons.

Clement Nwankwo, convener of the Civil Society Situation Room, affirmed to Channels Television, a well-regarded local TV station, on 12 December, that the presidency was asked if the amended bill (in light of previous feedback by Mr Buhari) was to its satisfaction before the National Assembly sent it back for presidential assent; for the umpteenth time. The next day, the same news media organisation asked the president’s legislative liaison Ita Enang if he was one of those who advised the president not to sign the amended electoral bill. He pleaded privilege.

What I think is that the president’s political strategists likely prefer the more ‘flexible’ old law. The leading opposition party would probably have a similar preference if it were the ruling party. Still, the president would likely sign the amended electoral bill if it would not apply to the 2019 polls. Thus, I would rather the legislators simply make that little change and send it back for his assent.

True, it would have been great to have the new law for the imminent polls. But if the incumbent has exercised his presidential powers, it would be best not to risk losing the opportunity of making future elections better all together.

Should the legislature override him? If they can, they should. But it is doubtful they would be able to muster the two-third votes in both houses needed to do so. It is probably needless. If our politicians are genuinely interested in violence-free, free and fair elections, they do not need any law to bring that about.

The same sentiment applies to vote-buying. The key stakeholders are saying all the right things about how it is wrong and should be curbed. And yet, most of the mainstream politicians, if not all, are guilty of the act via varied pretensions like “mobilisation”, “logistics”, and so on.

#Africa #Markets | 14 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares jolted by weak Chinese data, growth risks
  • Worries about US-China collision also keep investor on edge
  • Euro almost flat a day after ECB ends QE but keeps reinvestments

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices dip, but expectations of tightening supply support
  • Brent crude oil futures down 0.6 pct at $61.06 per barrel (0135GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures down 0.3 pct at $52.42 pr barrel (0118GMT)

Grains

  • Soybeans fall to 8-day low, on course for 2nd straight weekly loss
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures down 0.4 pct at $5.34 per bushel (0130GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.2 pct at $3.83-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down 0.4 pct at $9.03-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down about 0.1 pct at $10.45 per hundredweight

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Nigeria’s Vice-presidential debate today
  • Nigeria inflation data for Nov-18 expected [fcst. 11.4% yy, prev. 11.3%]

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • US to counter China, Russia influence in Africa – Bolton
  • UN climate talks produce draft text in final push
  • Tunisia’s parliament rejects bill on lifting retirement age
  • Nigerian comic creates heroes with albinism to end ritual murders
  • Congo fire destroys thousands of voting machines for presidential election
  • Tunisia doctors protest against wage disclosure
  • Eskom debt swap not an option – South Africa’s Ramaphosa
  • Africa Crude – Burst of spot trade mops up Nigerian cargoes
  • Bolton frustrated Western Sahara conflict has not been resolved
  • Somalia arrests ex-Islamist militant running for regional presidency
  • Hundreds of Egyptian Christians protest at police killing
  • Sierra Leone’s sick suffer untreated as doctors strike
  • South Africa’s Eskom says more power cuts unlikely until January
  • Kenyan court convicts ex-police officer of murder in killing of detainee
  • Hike in record-dry months for Africa’s Sahel worries scientists
  • Nigeria files $1.1 bln London lawsuit against Shell, Eni over oil deal
  • Nigeria’s president asks to present budget to parliament on Dec 19 – house speaker
  • Congo fire destroyed materials for 19 of capital’s 24 polling districts
  • Gunmen kill more than 40 Tuaregs in ongoing Mali violence
  • Zimbabwe mining minister invites De Beers, Vast Resources to return
  • Eritrean leader pays first visit to Somalia, seeking closer ties
  • Sibanye-Stillwater extends wage agreement to striking gold workers
  • Remittances, charity flows strengthen Ugandan shilling
  • Egypt wants World Bank, IMF to quantify informal sector in GDP
  • MTN, Nigerian central bank dispute will be over ‘very soon’ – regulator
  • Gold Fields restart production in South Africa as workers return
  • Egypt’s Hassan Allam Holding aims to float shares in H1 – sources
  • PZ Cussons warns of weakening demand, Nigeria challenges
  • Egypt’s Pharos Holding says set to launch microfinance services
  • Amplats expects 20 pct jump in full-year earnings
  • South Africa’s Group Five gets interest for parts of business
  • South Africa’s Afrox looks to trim cost base, forecasts lower 2018 earnings
  • Militia leader’s bravado shows limits of Libya reforms

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

#Global #Markets | 14 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
07:30 India WPI Inflation YoY 
08:30 Germany Bundesbank Semi-Annual Forecasts 
09:00 Switzerland Current Account 
09:00 Euro Area Eurogroup Meeting 
09:15 France Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash 
09:15 France Markit Services PMI Flash 
09:30 Germany Markit Services PMI Flash 
09:30 Germany Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash 
10:00 Euro Area Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash 
10:00 Euro Area Markit Services PMI Flash
NEWS
Malaysia Jobless Rate Edges Lower to 3.3% in October 
China Retail Sales Growth Hits Record Low in November 
China Fixed Asset Investment Growth Beats Estimates 
Japan Manufacturing Growth Picks Up in December 
Peru Holds Interest Rate at 2.75% 
Moody’s Changes Lebanon’s Rating Outlook to Negative 
New Zealand Manufacturing PMI Edges Down 
Argentina Inflation Rate Above Expectations 
US Budget Deficit Hits Record for November Month 
US Stocks Trade Higher on Thursday

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

#Africa #Markets | 13 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares, sterling up on pause in Brexit, trade fears
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific ex-Japan index up 0.2 pct
  • Nikkei up 0.8 pct
  • Australian shares up 0.2 pct
  • GBP rallies after May no-confidence vote win, trading at $1.2629

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices climb amid signs of easing US-China trade tensions
  • Brent crude oil futures up 0.5 pct at $60.46 per barrel (0213GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures up 0.5 pct at $51.40 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold edges lower, palladium hits record high
  • Spot gold down 0.1 pct at $1,244.56 per ounce (0124GMT)
  • US gold futures little changed at $1,249.5 per ounce

Grains

  • Soybeans fall from 6-mth high, Chinese orders limit losses
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.3 pct at $5.28-1/4 per bushel (0153GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.3 pct at $3.84-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down 0.2 pct at $9.18-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down 0.2 pct at $10.53 per hundredweight

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South Africa producer inflation data for Nov-18 due [fcst. 6.8% yy, prev. 6.9%]
  • Kenya’s Kenyatta to launch universal health care initiative today

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Barrick, Tanzania make progress in tax row, no deal yet – source
  • France arrests CAR war crimes suspect
  • Uganda says pipeline investors want higher tariff, may delay first oil
  • Climate talks work on fair way to phase out coal use – Canada
  • Africa Crude – Angolan surplus falls, Nigerian market still hampered
  • Nigerian opposition candidate signs election peace accord
  • Congo police fire live rounds to disperse opposition candidate supporters
  • Tanzania signs $3 bln hydro deal in heritage site despite concerns
  • Gold production resumes at Randgold’s Loulo mine in Mali
  • South Africa’s retail sales up 2.2 pct y/y in October
  • Egypt stock market halts trading of el Sewedy Electric pending details on Tanzania dam deal
  • Nigerian court adjourns MTN, central bank case until Jan. 22
  • South African rand’s volatility grows as economic risks gather
  • Gabon oil union calls off strike at Total facilities
  • Egypt’s El Sewedy, Arab Contractors to build $3 bln Tanzania hydro power plant
  • South Africa’s consumer inflation rises to 5.2 pct y/y in Nov
  • France’s Total wins contracts for two offshore blocks in Mauritania
  • South Africa’s Group Five appoints new CFO
  • Egypt wants World Bank, IMF to include informal sector in GDP

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

#Global #Markets | 13 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
06:30 Netherlands Balance of Trade 
08:00 China FDI (YTD) YoY 
08:00 Germany Inflation Rate YoY Final 
08:15 Germany Bundesbank Balz Speech 
09:00 Philippines Interest Rate Decision 
09:00 Euro Area European Council Meeting 
09:30 Sweden Unemployment Rate 
09:30 Switzerland SNB Interest Rate Decison 
10:00 Norway Norges Bank Interest Rate Decison 
10:00 Norway Norges Bank Monetary Policy Report
NEWS
Singapore Q3 Jobless Rate Confirmed Highest in 3 Quarters 
Equities Worth Much More than Other Investment Options 
Moody’s Changes Ecuador’s Rating Outlook to Negative 
British Pound Rebounds Sharply after Confidence Vote 
Ecuador Trade Deficit Widens Sharply 
New Zealand Food Inflation Edges Down to 0.4% YoY 
US Stocks Close Higher on Wednesday 
Brazil Holds Interest Rate at 6.50% as Expected 
Uruguay Factory Activity Rises Faster 
European Shares End Higher

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

#Africa #Markets | 12 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Stocks run with Sino-US trade hopes; sterling hamstrung by politics
  • Trump says trade talks ongoing with China, could act on Huawei
  • Asia markets push higher, but have been disappointed before
  • Pound hits 20-mth low as British PM risks party challenge
  • Oil prices bounce after big draw in stockpiles

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices rise as OPEC-led supply cuts expected to stabilise markets
  • Brent crude oil futures up 1.2 pct at $60.89 per barrel (0212GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures up 1.2 pct at $52.25 per barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold holds firm on easing rate hike expectations
  • Spot gold up 0.1 pct at $1,244.40 per ounce (0115GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.2 pct at $1,249.9 per ounce

Grains

  • US soybeans extend gains after Trump says China back in market
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 0.6 pct at $5.24 per bushel (0147GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 0.1 pct at $3.85-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up 0.4 pct at $9.18-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures unchanged at $10.65 per hundredweight

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Jamhuri day in Kenya today; Kenyatta & Odinga to lead celebrations
  • South Africa inflation data for November due [fcst. 5.3% yy, prev. 5.1%]
  • South Africa retail sales data for November expected [fcst. 2.8% yy, prev. 0.7%]

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Egyptian lawyer held for wearing yellow vest as sales restricted – activist
  • Nigerian opposition candidate absent from election accord ceremony
  • War, hunger and a housing boom: welcome to Africa’s most crowded city
  • Tanzania to sign deal this week for $3 bln power plant – president
  • France gives weapons to Central Africa, favours end to embargo
  • Africa Crude – More Angolan sold, Nigerian lingers
  • Ghana could cut interest rates by March – central bank gov
  • Anglo forecasts copper, diamonds and platinum to lift output
  • Zambia’s chamber of mines sees 21,000 job cuts due to higher taxes
  • Botswana’s Mowana copper mine suspends operations over working capital
  • Egypt’s El Sewedy Electric to borrow $500 mln from Afreximbank
  • Climate policies put world on track for 3.3C warming – study
  • South Africa’s manufacturing output jumps, boosting rand
  • Kenya struggles to give life to futuristic ‘Silicon Savannah’ city
  • South Africa’s October manufacturing output rises 3 pct
  • Kenyan shilling steady, remittance dollar flows meet importer demand
  • Liquid Telecom gets $180 mln from UK for pan-African fibre network
  • Ugandan shilling flat, dollar flows from charities, exporters meet demand
  • Somalia’s GDP growth seen expanding to 3.1 pct in 2018 – IMF

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

#Global #Markets | 12 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
05:30 Japan Tertiary Industry Index MoM 
08:00 China FDI (YTD) YoY 
09:00 South Africa Inflation Rate YoY 
09:30 Sweden CPIF YoY 
09:30 Sweden Inflation Rate MoM 
11:00 Euro Area Industrial Production YoY 
11:00 Euro Area Industrial Production MoM 
12:30 Saudi Arabia OPEC Monthly Report 
13:00 India Industrial Production YoY 
13:00 India Manufacturing Production YoY
NEWS
Japan Producer Prices Climb Below Expectations 
Australia Consumer Confidence Improves Modestly 
South Korea Jobless Rate Edges Down to 3.8% 
European Shares Close Higher on Trade Hopes 
US Stocks Erase Most Gains 
Azerbaijan Monthly Inflation Rate Hits 0.6% in November 
Kosovo Inflation Rate at 9-Month High of 2.1% 
US Producer Prices Unexpectedly Rise in November 
Belarus November Inflation Rate Edges Up to 5.0% 
Jordan Inflation Rate Rises the Most in 3 Months

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research