BusinessDay

The Week Ahead

New month, new week, new batch of COVID-19 vaccines

The federal government has said that Nigeria will receive a new batch of 4 million doses of Moderna vaccine, latest by Sunday, August 1, 2021.

The arrival of the new batch of the vaccine is expected to provide another opportunity for authorities to advance the protection of Nigerians against Covid-19 with the country expected to resume vaccination by next week.

This disclosure was made by the executive director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, during an interview on the NTA network news on Friday night.

Shuaib said that the vaccine would be taken to various storage facilities across the country for immediate deployment for the vaccination exercise.

He said that the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19 had made adequate preparations for the storage and distribution of the vaccine by procuring 60 ultra-cold chain storage facilities across the country.

He explained that the Modena vaccine, expected to arrive on Sunday, requires ultra-cold temperatures ranging from 25 to 50 degrees Celsius whose storage equipment has been procured and installed.

Shuaib pointed out that as soon as the vaccines arrive, vaccination exercises will start by next week, assuring that other vaccines like the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be arriving in the country in September.

“In Less than 72 hours from now, Nigeria will be receiving four million doses of Modena vaccines from the Covax facility and we are excited that this will be another opportunity for us to advance the protection of Nigerians against COVID-19 virus,” he said.

 

Lagos to start online vehicle licence renewal next week

The Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA) has announced that the Lagos State Government will flag off its newly introduced online vehicle licence renewal with effect from August 1, 2021.

The state government said that the newly introduced vehicle registration portal via https: portal.autoreg.ng is to allow individuals to renew their vehicle licences from the comfort of their homes.

This disclosure was made by the general manager of MVAA, Lape Kilanko, during a stakeholders’ meeting at Alausa, Ikeja, noting that the concept is part of the agency’s efforts at enhancing service delivery in the area of vehicle documentation in Lagos State.

Read also: Cement companies bounce back from COVID downturn

Kilanko explained that the hitherto common practice of visiting MVAA stations before renewal of vehicle licence could be done will soon be a thing of the past, stressing that with the laudable innovation, the vehicle information is secured as only the details supplied by the vehicle owner will be updated on the page.

 

Resident doctors to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike

Medical doctors under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have agreed to commence an indefinite strike across the country with effect from Monday, August 2.

This action which is coming at a very critical time when the country is currently experiencing a rise in Covid-19 infections follows a directive issued on Saturday at the end of the executive meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union held in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.

This disclosure was made by the National President of NARD, Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, while briefing the press after the meeting, saying that members have been asked to proceed on a nationwide indefinite industrial action.

FG to invest $200 million on pharmaceutical infrastructure

The managing director and chief executive officer of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji has announced plans by the Federal Government to invest $200 million in pharmaceutical infrastructure.

The funds are expected to be used to execute 20 projects in the health sector under the Federal Government’s Health Intervention Initiative.

This disclosure was made by Orji during a weekly briefing on Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Abuja.

Orji said that some of the pharmaceutical infrastructure to be embarked upon with this fund includes the manufacture of essential drugs, vaccines, and the construction of cancer centres in the nation’s health care sector.

The successful implementation of this initiative would help the country drastically reduce its dependence on foreign supplies.

Bullish sentiments favour the oil sector

Oil prices fell by nearly $1 on Monday as concerns about fuel demand from the spread of COVID-19 variants, as well as floods in China, offset expectations of tight supplies through the rest of the year.

India has announced a move to commercialise its strategic crude oil reserves which is a sign the major Asian importer is taking steps to mitigate the high prices caused by OPEC+’s output cuts.

The United States government says it is considering a ban on Chinese imports of Iranian crude as it is increasingly clear that Chinese firms are the central players in the supply of Iranian oil and reaching a deal with Iran before the inauguration of its new government is unlikely.

Oil prices recorded little change on Friday and headed for a weekly gain as demand grew faster than supply, while vaccinations are still expected to alleviate the impact of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections across the globe. Brent had a weekly growth of 3.3%.

In the coming week, oil prices are expected to be bullish on expectations of tighter supplies through 2021 as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis.

 

Currency market

The currency market was chaotic last week following the CBN’s governor’s pronouncement that the Regulator stopped the sale of FX to BDC operators at the end of the two-day MPC meeting held last week.

The Naira depreciated at the BDC market while it appreciated marginally at the I & E FX window on a week-on-week (W-o-W) basis.

Against the US dollar at the BDC it closed at US$1/N525 depreciating by -5.00%, against the British pound it also depreciated by -1.42% to close at £1/N715, and against the Euro by -1.34% to close at €1/N603.

At the I & E FX window, the Naira appreciated W-o-W by +0.05% and dipped by -0.02% at the NAFEX window.

The Naira closed the week at $/N411.44 at the I&E FX window, at the NAFEX (spot market) it closed at $/N411.19.

More of the same is expected in the week ahead as the Naira is anticipated to continue to hover around N406/$1-N412/$1 threshold in the NAFEX window.

 

Money market

Interbank rates fell sharply for most of the week, as over N530bn inflow from repo and primary market strengthened system liquidity.

At the close of the trading session on Friday, funding rates dipped. Open Buyback (OBB) closed at 7.50% while Overnight (O/N) rates closed at 7.75% indicating a W-o-W fall of -72.73% for OBB and -73.04% for O/N rates.

Funding rates are expected to trade in double digits trend in the coming week in the absence of any maturity.

Treasury bills market
The treasury bills market was largely bullish for most of the trading session last week, as we saw some buying in the week.

At the close of the market last week, average benchmark yields for T-bills declined by -14.56% to 5.90% while OMO bills inched up by +1.38% W-o-W to close at 8.69%, CBN’s Special Bill fell by -1.44% to close at 8.23%.

Activity next week is expected to be dictated by the market liquidity situation.

 

FGN bond and eurobond market
The Bond market sustained its bullish trend last week as positive sentiment was seen across the board. The overall average benchmark yields closed at 9.25% for the week which fell W-o-W by -3.85%.

There was a huge sell-off of Chinese investment as a result of the crackdown by the regulators on monopolistic tendencies of tech companies in China. This sent negative sentiment to investors in emerging and frontier economies. At the close of trading last week, average benchmark yields rose by +0.38% to close at 5.56% on a W-o-W basis.

We expect the relatively quiet trend to persist in the near term.

 

The Nigerian capital market

The Nigerian bourse closed the week on a negative note as the Bears dominated the market. The NGXASI closed the week with a decline of -0.31%.

The Nigerian Exchange lost N62.95bn, year-to-date return moderated to -4.28%, while the market capitalization settled at N20.08trn. The volume and value of stocks traded on the exchange this week advanced by +48.92% and +92.53% respectively.

Sectoral performance across sectors tracked was broadly negative last week as the NGX Mainboard was the highest loser for the week with -2.59% while NGX Oil and Gas recorded the highest gain with +3.84%. NGX IND, NGX-30, NGX Consumer Goods, and NGX Banking closed the week with -1.32%, -0.60%, +0.06%, and -0.95% respectively.

Market breadth for the week closed positive with 37 gainers led by OANDO and BOCGAS as against 35 losers led by LINKASSURE and REGALINS
In the coming week, we expect the possibility of bargain hunting as investors look to take advantage of the result season. However, press releases from listed companies and other macroeconomic developments are also likely to impact investors’ decisions.

In addition, we expect investors to monitor the movement of yields in the fixed income market.

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