Africa Briefs

13 February 2019 | Ekonomie
Undervalued Nigerian stocks seen poised for rally

Nigerian stocks could see a relief rally once Saturday's presidential election is out of the way and rise as much as 10% this year as investors pile back into riskier assets.

Investors have tentatively started to pick up shares to position for a post-election rally, which could help lift Nigeria's all-share index to 35 000 points this year from around 31 000 now, analysts say.

Analysts expect a win by either candidate will spur renewed fund flows into Nigerian equities, after foreign investors pulled US$2.1 billion out of the Lagos stock market last year.

The index fell to 29 336 points last month, its lowest since May 2017, and lost 17.8% last year as uncertainty around the election and rate rises in the United States triggered fund outflows from Nigeria.

Saturday's presidential election is expected to be a tight contest between incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and the main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, as the chances of more than 60 other candidates are seen as slim. – Nampa/Reuters

Sudan inflation plunges, prices fall

Sudan's inflation rate, a key factor behind anti-government protests, fell sharply to 43% in January from almost 73% the previous month, official figures showed Monday.

Soaring inflation along with acute foreign currency shortages have triggered deadly protests since December 19 across the east African country.

Inflation fell because the price of food items fell, Sudan’s statistics agency said.

For more than a year, Sudan's inflation had steadily increased as food prices rose following subsidy cuts announced by the government. Food prices, especially of bread, tripled in December after the government cut a vital subsidy.

The government's decision to triple the price of bread prompted widespread rallies against president Omar al-Bashir's three-decade-old rule, with demonstrators calling for his resignation.

Algerian unemployment unchanged at 11.7%

Algeria's unemployment rate stood at 11.7% in September 2018, unchanged from the same month in 2017, the government said on Monday.

But joblessness was up 0.6% compared with the 11.1% recorded in April 2018, according to data released by the National Statistics Bureau.

Unemployment among people aged 16 to 24 years rose to 29.1% from 26.4% in April 2018 and 28.3% in September 2017.

Construction employs 16.1% of the total workforce, followed by public administration at 15.8% and healthcare at 14.4%, the statistics bureau said.

Lack of investment and delays in implementing promised reforms has kept Algeria, which relies heavily on oil and gas, from diversifying is economy. – Nampa/Reuters

Final investment decision for Mozambique gas block

A final investment decision, commonly called FID, for a massive offshore natural gas block in Mozambique is expected to be ready by March or April, the chairman of Mozambique's national oil company ENH said in New Delhi on Sunday.

This is the first time any of the seven partners in the block has given a specific timeline regarding an investment plan for the block, located east of Mozambique's Rovuma basin and called Area 1.

An FID for the block could unlock value in one of the world's biggest recent gas discoveries, estimated at 75 trillion cubic feet.

Indian companies - state-owned explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd through its overseas arm ONGC Videsh Ltd, Oil India Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd together hold the highest share in the block with a 30% stake.

National oil company of Mozambique Empresa Nacional de Hydrocarbonetos (ENH) holds 15% and Anadarko Mozambique Area, a subsidiary of US-based explorer Anadarko Petroleum , holds 26.5% and is operator of the block. – Nampa/Reuters

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