Naira Exchange Rate Liberalization Key To Nigeria’s Growth Outlook- UBS

Naira Exchange Rate Liberalization Key To Nigeria’s Growth Outlook- UBS

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Post Views: 726 Despite the improvement in its creditworthiness on the back of higher commodity prices, stronger economic outlook, Michael Bolliger, H...

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Despite the improvement in its creditworthiness on the back of higher commodity prices, stronger economic outlook, Michael Bolliger, Head of Emerging Market Asset Allocation at UBS Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Office says Nigeria’s growth outlook would be determined by “a successful continuation of the Naira’s exchange rate liberalization.”
“We expect Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, to recover from recession this year although it is unlikely that growth rates will return to previous highs,” he noted.
According to a new report by UBS Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Office, on Africa’s sovereign credit prospects, which is an important benchmark used to evaluate the risk of investing in a country, Nigeria has seen several credit rating downgrades in recent quarters. The recent recovery in energy prices and the potential for further moderate upside, it noted, should bode well for the sovereign’s creditworthiness.
Meanwhile, the report noted that Africa’s encouraging economic prospects is expected to end years of deteriorating credit ratings on the continent.
The report concludes that after years of deterioration, the credit outlook of many African sovereign issuers is stabilizing or improving.
African nations have been hit by a range of issues in recent years, including the end of the commodity super cycle, depreciating exchange rates and mounting public debt ratios. This situation particularly affected energy exporters, such as Nigeria.
According to the report’s findings, macroeconomic prospects in the region are beginning to improve, following which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts real GDP growth to almost double this year in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 2.6% percent, while fiscal and current account deficits are expected to have peaked at 4.5 percent and 4 percent last year, respectively. Key drivers supporting the outlook include rising global growth and trade, a modest recovery in energy and base metal prices, more competitive exchange rates for African currencies, and structural reforms in a range of countries.
For Ali Janoudi, Head of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, France and Belgium International at UBS Wealth Management: “The modest energy price recovery over the past 18 months has supported the growth potential of many African economies, but especially Nigeria. The more optimistic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa should also affect Nigeria’s economy going forward as the region embarks on a new phase of development.”

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