Reporter’s notebook – In support of the northeast

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

In mid-November, I covered the launch of the “Nigeria Humanitarian Fund – Private Sector Initiative” (NHF PSI) in Lagos for London-based African Business magazine. Edward Kallon, the United Nations (UN) resident/humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, calls it a “global first” and says it “provides a blueprint for private sector engagement in humanitarian action through a country-based pooled fund set up and managed by the United Nations.” The NHF PSI is primarily aimed at funding the relief efforts in northeast Nigeria, where over 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Having already secured more than $70 million in contributions from 17 countries, the launch in Lagos was to get private sector actors to contribute their quota.

In attendance were representatives of numerous non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the region, chief executives of banks and oil firms, ambassadors, politicians, and so on. I struck conversations with at least three of the NGO-types in the room. A major point that kept coming up was corruption. There have been quite a lot of money from donors towards helping the victims of the violence in the northeast. Not nearly enough, of course. Sadly, an ample portion of the little that there is never gets to the actual people in need.

The lower house of the federal legislature recently raised concerns about the seeming pilferage of humanitarian assistance for the northeast. Their focus was on government expenditure via the emergency agency, however. And while the motive of their investigations was likely also political, there is genuine concern. Those who have visited the internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in their camps express shock at their plight. They wonder how after so much resources were supposedly put towards assisting IDPs, they could still be in such deplorable circumstances.

There has not been similar controversy around the humanitarian efforts of NGOs, private-sector actors and multilateral organisations. What they have in transparency and efficiency, they lack in scale, however. In other words, while the NHF PSI is likely to avoid some of the problems found to be associated with the government’s efforts, it would require much more heft to have a huge impact.

Thankfully, there were generous pledges by the many deep pockets at the launch of the NHF PSI. I am also aware that the Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA), the governing council of which I am a member, plans to help out in the northeast as well. As do many other similarly-minded bodies in the country.

Still, you do not have to be wealthy to help out. Every raised voice in advocacy for more relief efforts in the region matters. And the ubiquity of social media means almost everyone can add their voice to the cause relatively cheaply.

Voices must also be raised about the welfare of our men and women in uniform. If they are not able to secure the region, there can be no meaningful humanitarian assistance to the displaced. The recent killing of soldiers by terrorists in the region should be a wake-up call to the government not to become complacent. Our soldiers should be well-equipped and kitted to perform their patriotic duty. Their salaries and welfare packages must be paid in full and on time.

Another set of people I had a chat with at the launch were some young medics. It was not long before they started bemoaning the state of the country. I was a little bemused. After all, they were employed. Naturally, they want more. And they were convinced their chances would be better abroad. England, America and Canada were top choices. Having travelled a bit myself, I tried to convince them that things are not as rosy over there as they think. Silence would have been golden.

#Africa #Markets | 7 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asia shares struggle to rally, oil skids further
  • Asia shares ex-Japan inch up 0.4 pct, China shade firmer
  • WSJ reports Fed weighing pause after Dec rate rise
  • Bonds rally as markets price in less than one hike next year

Oil Markets

  • Oil drops as OPEC makes supply cut dependent on Russian support
  • Brent crude oil futures down 0.9 pct at $59.50 per barrel (0144GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures down 0.5 pct at $51.24

Grains

  • Soybeans set for 2nd weekly gain on US-China trade deal hopes
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up about 0.1 pct at $5.15-3/4 per bushel (0106GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.6 pct at $3.82-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures up 0.1 pct at $9.10-1/2 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures unchanged at $10.83 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa speech at 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
  • South African foreign exchange reserves for Nov-18 [prev. $50.2B]

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

  • World cocoa supply surplus to grow in 2018/19 – JSG
  • UK’s Tullow oil seeking partners in bid for additional Ghana block
  • Libyan election commission says needs budget for February constitution vote
  • No breakthrough at rare UN Western Sahara talks
  • Developing nations say swifter climate action depends on cash to pay for it
  • Africa Crude – Angolan cargoes linger, Qua offered lower
  • South African slides as current account deficit widens, Eskom woes weigh
  • Somali blast kills two generals and seven guards
  • Niger adopts law to protect displaced people in first for Africa
  • Fitch keeps South Africa’s sovereign rating unchanged
  • South Africa’s Tiger Brands reopens meat plant after listeria outbreak
  • South Africa’s Eskom bonds slide on debt restructuring talk
  • Critic of Rwandan president cleared of insurrection and forgery
  • Libyan election commission says has “zero” budget to prepare polls
  • Kenya’s NIC Bank and Commercial Bank of Africa to explore merger
  • Barrick Gold to sell assets, reduce head office mgt – WSJ
  • Algeria mobile operator Djezzy added 1 mln customers this year – CEO
  • South Africa’s Eskom bonds tumble as debt worries mount
  • Plan to restructure $28 bln debt of South Africa’s Eskom due in 2019
  • Zambian kwacha seen firm, Ugandan shilling weak; in week ahead
  • OPEC agrees oil output cut, no final figure yet – delegate
  • Bank Windhoek becomes first commercial lender in southern Africa to issue green bond
  • Egypt to auction $1 bln 1-yr dollar t-bills on Monday – central bank
  • In southern Ethiopia, herders join forces to revive rangelands
  • Ugandan shilling steady, propped by charity and commodity flows
  • South African business confidence index rises in November
  • South Africa Q3 current account deficit widens 3.5 pct of GDP as trade surplus narrows
  • Bad weather keeps Eastern Libyan oil ports closed
  • Egypt’s non-oil business activity contracts in November, but pace of slowdown eases
  • Steinhoff expects to publish 2017, 2018 results in April
  • US military says strike kills 4 militants in Somalia

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

#Global #Markets | 7 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
06:00 Japan Leading Economic Index Prel 
06:00 Japan Coincident Index Prel 
08:00 Germany Industrial Production MoM 
08:45 France Balance of Trade 
08:45 France Industrial Production MoM 
10:00 Italy Retail Sales MoM 
10:30 UK Consumer Inflation Expectations 
11:00 Euro Area GDP Growth Rate QoQ 3rd Est 
11:00 Euro Area GDP Growth Rate YoY 3rd Est 
11:00 Euro Area Employment Change YoY Final 
11:00 Euro Area Employment Change QoQ Final 
12:00 Brazil Inflation Rate YoY
NEWS
Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals Rise the Most in 5 Months 
Brunei Trade Surplus Narrows 50.5% YoY in September 
Brunei Consumer Prices Fall for First Time in 3 Months 
Philippines Q4 Consumer Sentiment Falls to 4-Year Low 
Australia Construction PMI Contracts Further 
European Stocks Plunge on Oil, Huawei CFO Arrest 
US Crude Oil Inventories Fall for 1st Time in 11 Weeks 
Ecuador Inflation Rate at 1-1/2-Year High of 0.35% 
Oil Prices Drop as OPEC Meets 
US Services Growth Beats Forecasts: ISM 
US Factory Orders Post Biggest Drop in 15 Months 
Canada Ivey PMI Index Falls More than Expected

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

#Africa #Markets | 6 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • US stock futures slip, Asia follows after Canada arrests Huawei CFO
  • US stock futures down 1.3 pct, Nikkei falls 1.8 pct
  • Arrest of Huawei CFO seen heightening US-China tension
  • Adds to investor worries over trade outlook, global growth

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices ease in cautious trading ahead of OPEC meeting
  • Brent crude oil futures down 0.3 pct at $61.39 per barrel (0109GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures down 0.6 pct at $52.57

Grains

  • Soybeans drop on lack of Chinese buying, wheat down for 2nd day
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures down 0.1 pct at $5.17-1/4 per bushel (0116GMT)
  • Most active corn futures unchanged at $3.84-1/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down 0.3 pct at $9.10-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures up 0.8 pct at $10.91 per hundredweight

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

  • South Africa current account balance data for Q3 due [fcst. -3.4% of GDP, prev. -3.3%]

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

  • Moscow asks Italy to drop charges against Russian in Nigeria graft case
  • Emerging market monthly inflows jump to highest since Jan – IIF
  • Egyptian court hands Muslim Brotherhood leaders life sentences – sources
  • Airport flooded in Libya’s Benghazi after heavy rain
  • Africa Crude – Buyers deterred by weak Asian refining margins, high freight rates
  • French court approves extradition of brother of ex-Burkina Faso president
  • Nigerian bank FCMB has received $3 mln after sale of 9mobile
  • South Africa’s Eskom wants state to take on almost quarter of its debt
  • Sierra Leone doctors strike over conditions, nurses may follow
  • South African insurer Sanlam’s shares fall on weak earnings
  • Congo mining revenue jump 147 pct in first 9 months of 2018
  • All Libyan oil export terminals closed due to bad weather – NDC
  • Ethiopia aims blast economy forward with satellite launch
  • Uganda central bank holds main lending rate at 10 pct
  • Kenyan shilling firm on diaspora remittances, horticulture exports
  • Zimbabwe to allow two new mining companies to mine diamonds
  • Kenyan central bank sets next rate-setting meeting for Jan. 28
  • Libyans protest against US air strike in southern Libya

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

#Global #Markets | 6 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
06:30 Netherlands Inflation Rate YoY 
08:00 Germany Factory Orders MoM 
09:00 Euro Area ECB General Council Meeting 
09:30 Germany Construction PMI 
10:05 Australia RBA Debelle Speech 
14:00 Russia Inflation Rate YoY 
14:15 US ADP Employment Change 
14:30 Canada Balance of Trade 
14:30 US Balance of Trade 
14:30 US Nonfarm Productivity QoQ Final 
14:30 US Unit Labour Costs QoQ Final 
14:50 Canada BoC Gov Poloz Speech
NEWS
Egypt Non-Oil Private Sector Shrinks at Softer Pace 
Philippines Retail Price Rises the Least in 6 Months 
Australia Retail Sales Rise More than Expected in October 
Australia Exports Rise 1% MoM in October 
Australia Imports Hit Fresh Record High 
Australia Trade Surplus Narrows in October 
Moody’s Cuts Costa Rica’s Credit Rating to ‘B1’ 
Colombia Inflation Rate Edges Down to 3.27% YoY 
Kazakhstan Producer Inflation at 3-Month High of 24% 
Ireland Consumer Confidence Climbs 3 Points Despite Brexit 
South Korea Current Account Surplus Widens Sharply 
Uruguay Inflation Rate Edges Up to 8.05% in November

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research

#Africa #Markets | 5 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Stocks drop as falling US yields, trade worries hit mood
  • MSCI Asia-Pacific index down 1.35 pct, Nikkei drops 0.8 pct
  • Asia hit as Wall St tumbles on trade woes, growth concerns
  • Dollar struggles amid declining US treasury yields

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices skid with global stock markets; US supply swells
  • US crude oil inventories rise further in emerging glut – API
  • Brent crude oil futures down 2 pct at $60.87 per barrel (0418GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures down 1.8 pct at $52.31

Precious metals

  • Gold prices steady as dollar edges higher
  • Spot gold at $1,236.85 per ounce (0121GMT); lower than yesterday’s peak
  • US gold futures down 0.4 pct at $1,241.4 per ounce

Grains

  • Soybeans fall for first time in four sessions
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures down 0.3 pct at $5.21 per bushel (0124GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.5 pct at $3.82-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soy futures down 0.1 pct at $9.11 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures down 0.2 pct at $10.96 per hundredweight

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

  • Namibia central bank to decide interest rates [fcst. 6.75%, prev. 6.75%]
  • OPEC ministers to meet in Vienna today

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

  • Libyans protest against US air strike in southern Libya
  • Nigeria central bank sells $210 mln on FX market after naira eases
  • Death sentence of raped teen in Sudan named world’s worst case for women’s rights
  • Sudan lawmakers back amendment to let Bashir stand again
  • Africa Crude – India, Indonesia seek crude; Nigerian market struggles with surplus
  • Economic reforms offer scant relief in heart of Libya’s capital
  • Kenya hires foreign attorney to prosecute high-profile graft cases
  • Ghana rubber tapper shows dilemma of child labour
  • 15 migrants die in boat off Libya, Egyptian survivor says
  • Uber launches bus-booking service in Egyptian capital
  • South African parliament endorses report on disputed land reform
  • Kenya to roll over $760 mln syndicated loan, cut budget deficit
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa names Botohi new chief prosecutor
  • Egypt foreign reserves rise to $44.513 bln at end-November – central bank
  • Italy investigates 5 Egyptian suspects over disappearance of student – source
  • South Africa emerges from recession as farming, manufacturing jump
  • Oman’s Raysut Cement eyes acquiring Kenya’s ARM Cement – statement
  • Uganda shilling inches down as banks buy dollars
  • South Africa’s economy out of recession as GDP expands 2.2 pct in Q3
  • EM currencies gain against weak dollar, shares steady
  • South Africa’s gross spending up 2.3 pct in Q3
  • Nigeria court adjourns MTN and central bank case amid settlement talks
  • Kenya Treasury sees 2019/20 budget deficit at 4.7 pct of GDP
  • Digital newcomers out to disrupt South African banking

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

#Global #Markets | 5 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

(GMT+1)

CALENDAR
09:00 Euro Area ECB Non-Monetary Policy Meeting 
09:15 Spain Markit Services PMI 
09:30 Euro Area ECB President Draghi Speech 
09:30 UK BoE FPC Minutes 
09:45 Italy Markit/ADACI Services PMI 
10:00 India RBI Interest Rate Decision 
10:30 UK Markit/CIPS UK Services PMI 
11:00 Euro Area Retail Sales MoM 
11:00 Euro Area Retail Sales YoY 
13:00 Poland Interest Rate Decision 
15:00 Mexico Consumer Confidence 
16:00 Canada BoC Interest Rate Decision
NEWS
Malaysia Imports Rebound in October 
Malaysia Exports Rise More than Expected in October 
Malaysia Posts Largest Trade Surplus in 21 Years 
Philippines Industrial Output Rises the Least in 10 Months 
Philippines Q4 Jobless Rate Edged Up to 5.1% 
Philippines Inflation Rate Slows to 4-Month Low of 6.0% 
China Composite PMI Picks Up in November 
Singapore Private Sector PMI Rises to 5-Month High 
Australia Services PMI Jumps to 5-Month High 
Japan Services Growth Little Changed in November 
Hong Kong Private Sector PMI Falls to Near 2-1/2-Year Low 
Australia Q3 GDP Growth Weakest in 2 Years

Source: Trading Economics, Macroafricaintel Research