Nigerian Banks’ Loan Performance Improves in Q1 2019 as DMBs reserves slumps by 8.47%


    In line with our expectation, March headline inflation rate further moderated to 11.25% year-on-year (from 11.31% in February 2019), printing three consecutive months of decline. The sustained moderation in annual inflation rate was chiefly driven by consistent decrease in core inflation rate as it grew slower (on an annual basis, to 9.46% from 9.80% and a monthly basis, to 0.53% from 0.65%). This was partly driven by y-o-y fall in the costs of transport (-0.18%), clothing & footwear (-0.08%) and energy cost (-0.05%). Also, food inflation rate declined marginally to 13.45% y-o-y from 13.47% in February 2019.

    Food prices, especially in Ogun, Bauchi and Edo States moderated y-o-y to 11.55%, 11.82% and 12.08% in March 2019 respectively. However, the pressure on general price level of food rose month-on-month (m-o-m) to 0.88% (higher than 0.82% in February 2019), amid planting season which commenced in March. Also, change in consumer price index for imported food rose m-o-m by 1.22% to 298.06 points from 294.48 points in February 2019, despite monthly average appreciation of the Naira against USD in most forex market segments (FX rate fell m-o-m by 0.78% to N357.10/USD at the BDC market).

    In the same vein, Inflation rate in the urban area dropped y-o-y to 11.54% (from 11.59%) as well as in the rural area, to 10.99% (from 11.05%) in March 2019). In another development, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) depository corporations survey, released recently, showed 3.22% m-o-m increase in Broad Money to N34.79 trillion in February 2019, from N33.72 trillion in January 2019. This resulted from a 11.80% m-o-m rise in Net Domestic Assets (NDA) to N17.77 trillion accompanied by a decrease of 4.44% m-o-m in Net Foreign Assets (NFA) to N17.02 trillion. On domestic asset creation, the increase in NDA resulted from a m-o-m rise of 6.57% in Net Domestic Credit (NDC) to N30.52 trillion, but was offset by a 0.04% m-o-m rise in Other Liabilities (net) to N12.74 trillion. Further breakdown of the NDC showed a 11.42% m-o-m increase in Credit to the Government to N6.35 trillion and an increase of 5.37% in Credit to the Private sector to N24.16 trillion.

    On the liabilities side, 3.22% m-o-m rise in Broad Money Supply was chiefly driven by 18.83% m-o-m increase in treasury bills held by money holding sector to N8.23 trillion but was offset by 0.98% m-o-m decrease in Narrow Money to N11.03 trillion (as Demand Deposits which fell by 2.22% to N9.19 trillion offset the effect of currency outside banks which rose by 5.70% to N1.84 trillion) and a 0.74% m-o-m moderation in Quasi Money (near maturing short term financial instruments) to N15.50 trillion.

    Reserve Money (Base Money) decreased m-o-m by 4.30% to N7.17 trillion as Bank reserves declined m-o-m by 8.47% to N4.58 trillion despite a 4.75% m-o-m rise in currency in circulation to N4.46 trillion. Meanwhile, analysis of the Q1 2019 Credit Conditions Survey released by CBN showed that availability of secured and unsecured credit to households as well as credit to corporate firms increased in Q1 2019 amid lenders’ optimism for better economy which boosted their risk appetite.

    This is expected to continue in Q2 2019. However, demand for secured households credit decreased in Q1 2019 as lenders tightened the credit scoring creteria. Nevertheless, lenders still reported increased demand for corporate credit from all firm sizes in the quarter under review, which was expected to continue into the next quarter, given the lower default rates printed by corporates in Q1 2019. We note the 5.37% increase in credit to the private sector, which was fairly commendable.

    However, the higher rate of increase in credit to Government showed that despite the moderation in Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) to 13.50% and the declining interest rate environment, the private sector still experienced crowding out effect as Deposit Money Banks continued to play safe despite the recorded improvement in loan performance.

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    Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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