CNN lauds Emefiele for growing Nigerian equities in 2017
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, has received accolades from Cable News Network (CNN) for his effort in the management of the foreign exchange market which helped to push up Nigeria’s stock market making it amongst the five top performers in 2017, pushing behind equities markets of most major European, Middle Eastern and Asian countries.
A CNN report, which examined the performances of global equities’ markets, listed the United States stock market (Average 25%), Nigeria (43%), Turkey (43%), Argentina (73%) and Hong Kong (35%) as the major outperformers. Qatar was listed as the “Biggest loser” down 19% this year despite the big recovery of crude price. The small nation’s economy has been under pressure following its spat with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE.
Nigeria has had a torrid time in the international market with the local currency, the naira, weakening at dizzying speed against the dollar. This translated to a weakening of equities with some foreign investors making early exit out of the market. But in 2017, there was a turnaround, thanks to the ingenuity of Emefiele and his team at CBN.
The Nigerian stock market has so far this year recorded a 43% gain after the central bank made it easier to swap foreign currencies through the special window called the ‘Investors’ and Exporters’ FX Window’ created last April which also helped the country ease out of a short but painful recession, the report said.
The All-Share index is still miles below record highs set in early 2008 when oil, Nigeria’s main forex earner topped $100 per barrel. Crude oil Wednesday reached $67 a barrel, the highest since 2015.
Many analysts are optimistic that stocks in Nigeria could keep rising in 2018.
“If you look at where we stand today, the [Nigerian] market is still one of the cheapest markets on the planet,” said Zin Bekkali, founder and CEO of Silk Invest, according to the report.
The value of public companies on global stock markets grew by $12.4 trillion in 2017, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, which included dividends in its calculation.
The Dow Jones Industrial average shot up by 25%, the S&P 500 surged by 20% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index outshined them with all with a stunning 29% gain, the report added.
Emefiele has received several accolades for thinking out of the box and executing strategies during the recession that helped stabilize the naira, curbed the recession and started the process of diversifying the economy through the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, an Agro-based initiative that provided billions of naira in cheap funds to farmers to grow and process rice, millet, maize and beans amongst several others.