FSL Securities Limited has projected Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 3.2 per cent in 2024, given various reforms being implemented by the current administration.
Specifically, Head Research, FSL Securities, Victor Chiazor, while speaking at a virtual Economic Review and Outlook for 2024, expressed optimism that these initiatives would help boost the economy and restore it on the path of sustainable growth.
“We are optimistic GDP growth will hit 3.2 per cent for 2024. Barring any shocks and going by OPEC+ intervention, we expect oil prices to hover between $70 and $105 in 2024. We expect China to increase output in 2024.”
He pointed out that economic activities are expected to pick up from the first quarter of 2024 as the appointment of ministers and major government officials is completed.
According to him, the year will see the federal government struggling with the current elevated debt levels as its current debt-to-service ratio remains significantly high.
For the equities market, Chiazor said the stock market is likely to struggle to achieve the performance reported in 2023, but added that activities will be dominated by domestic players while foreign investors’ interest in the market is expected to remain low.
He said the market will majorly be impacted by a dovish stance of the CBN and company performance, even as the visibility of the fiscal authority is expected to improve in the year.
Further, he said the monetary policy for 2024 is expected to remain mixed and continue to reflect unfolding events. Chiazor decried the effect of the current interest rate regime on businesses, especially those with significant loan exposure.
According to him, at the current level of interest rate, business and even individuals with significant loan exposure will be affected. He said this is expected to negatively impact the profit margins of companies.
“Foreign direct investments are expected to remain low on the back of security challenges, foreign exchange uncertainties and issues around policy inconsistencies. Government’s borrowing is expected to continue, and at a higher interest rate as it continues to raise capital to fund its budget deficit.
On the bond market, he said a higher level of bond activities is anticipated for 2024 due to the need to fund the budget deficit, private sector activity in the segment of the market, as well as weakening government revenues.
However, he pointed out that as the appetite for state bonds continues to wane, states with high revenues would access the bond market given the number of reconstructions done on some state bonds.
He urged investors to adopt a careful approach towards investing in bonds stating the policy direction of the MPC team will determine if investors are to go long or short-term instruments.