Author Archives: rafiqraji

About rafiqraji

Dr. Rafiq Raji is managing director & chief economist at Macroafricaintel Investment LLC, an Africa-focused macro research & investment consultancy based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also an adjunct researcher at the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies at Nanyang Business School, Singapore. Dr Raji is an avid writer, with his writings severally featured in prestigious publications like BusinessDay, Africa Investor, The Africa Report, African Business, New African and HowWeMadeItInAfrica. He was previously an Africa Economist at Standard Chartered Bank in London. Before joining the Global Research team at Standard Chartered, Dr. Raji worked with various teams at its Nigerian franchise; gaining experience in credit risk, asset & liability management, and capital markets. Rafiq was also previously Head, Advisory & Capital Markets for the securities brokerage arm of Nigeria's Standard Alliance Group. Prior to that, he had investment banking stints with FBN Capital Limited, Vetiva Capital Management Limited and Africapital Management Limited; all in Lagos, Nigeria. Dr. Raji holds an MBA from the Lagos Business School, Nigeria and a PhD in Financial Economics from Wits Business School at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. His personal interests are travel, music, writing, finance & economics, international politics & relations, comparative religious studies, volunteering/philanthropy, film & photography and everything and anything about Africa! He hopes to learn how to play the guitar and speak, read and write Arabic, French and Mandarin. He is also an assiduous and lifetime student of history.

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 13 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks see brighter world as trade, UK clouds lift
  • Pound surges as exit polls show Tories with majority
  • [Labour’s Corbyn to quit before next election, after poor polls]
  • Nikkei highest since Oct 2018 on reports of Sino-US trade deal
  • Markets scale back risk of rate cuts around the world
  • Safe-haven bonds, yen fall away

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices hit highest in 3 mths as US-China trade deal takes shape
  • Brent up 0.8% at $64.68 a barrel (0221GMT)
  • WTI up 0.6% at $59.54

Precious metals

  • Gold prices slip as trade euphoria lifts risk appetite
  • Spot gold down 0.2% at $1,466.35/oz. (0051GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2% at $1,469.60/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans jump 1% , set for biggest weekly gain in over 2 months
  • Soybean futures up more than 2% for the week; hit high of $9.14-1/2
  • Corn futures up over 1% for the week; hit high of $3.84 a bushel
  • Wheat futures up more than 1% for the week

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Ghana’s Akufo-Addo press conference
  • Preliminary results of Algeria’s presidential poll expected
  • South Africa’s EFF 2nd national people’s assembly; 13-16 Dec

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • Algerians protest through day of disputed election
  • Libyan commander urges forces to advance towards central Tripoli
  • Namibia rushes to drill boreholes as worst drought in a century bites
  • Voting ends in disputed Algerian election
  • Head of Libya parliament says Turkey-Libyan deal invalid
  • West African court voids Sierra Leone’s ban on pregnant schoolgirls
  • Wintershall to carry out Sirte exploration in Libya at own cost – NOC
  • US threatens visa restrictions over South Sudan peace process
  • Africa Oil – Freight rise set to bite in February but diffs still high
  • South African rand climbs to 6-week best as flat Fed overshadows local data
  • IMF deal lifts Ethiopia bonds as currency slides to record low
  • Turnout in Algeria election 20% at 3pm – official
  • South Africa’s MTN to defend views on data prices if referred to competition tribunal – CEO
  • Most African currencies seen firm; in week ahead
  • Women want in as internet revolution creeps into Chad
  • IMF preliminary deal lifts Ethiopia dollar bonds to near 2-yr high
  • Flights resume at Libya’s Mitiga airport in Tripoli
  • Famine stalks millions in South Sudan after droughts, floods – UN
  • Zambia’s power supply deficit worsens as water levels sink
  • Egypt’s strongman extends crackdown to a new foe: soap operas
  • Ivory Coast farmers push back against cocoa output cap
  • Rwanda GDP growth rises to 11.9% y/y in Q3 2019
  • Hundreds protest in central Algiers against disputed election
  • Turkey sends Libya maritime accord to UN for approval – source
  • Vitol signs 10-yr deal to buy Nigeria’s LNG from 2021
  • Ugandan shilling firmer on central bank liquidity mop-up
  • South African power cuts set to continue as some Eskom units still down
  • Uganda’s Umeme power company gets $70 mln loan for national grid expansion

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

 

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 12 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares rise as Fed cheer offsets trade, UK angst
  • Traders around the world brace for British election
  • Trump to meet advisors on China tariffs
  • Dovish Powell comments hurt dollar
  • Treasury yields rebound in Asia

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices stabilise on OPEC supply deficit forecast
  • Brent up 19 cents at $63.61 a barrel (0100GMT)
  • WTI down 9 cents at $58.85

Precious metals (11 Dec)

  • Gold rises 1% after Fed stands pat on rates, curbs hike hopes
  • Palladium hits peak of $1,917.30; set for 14th straight gain
  • Spot gold up 0.7% at $1,474.62/oz. (2100GMT)
  • US gold futures settled 0.5% higher at $1,475/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans steady as market awaits Sino-US trade updates
  • Soybean futures nearly unchanged at $8.93-3/4 a bushel (0224GMT)
  • Corn futures up 0.1% at $3.71-1/2 a bushel
  • Wheat futures down 0.3% at $5.17-3/4 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Kenya Jamhuri Day; public holiday
  • Algeria presidential election
  • South Africa mining production Oct-19 [fcst. -1.8% yy, prev. 0.2%]
  • South Africa producer inflation Nov-19 [fcst. 3.0% yy, prev. 3.0%]
  • Aswan forum in Egypt; 11-12 Dec [Nigeria’s Buhari et al. attending]

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • France, Niger propose to postpone G5 Sahel meeting to early 2020
  • Australia’s FAR completes $99 mln placement for Senegal project
  • Pompeo says US wants to work with Russia on Libya, reminded Lavrov of arms embargo
  • Production at Libya’s El Feel oil field restarts gradually – engineers
  • Goldman Sachs names new head of Johannesburg office
  • At least 70 soldiers killed in attack on Niger military camp – security sources
  • Africa Oil – High freight weighs, Angolan overhang looms
  • South Africa’s Eskom aims to stabilise grid by end of March after blackouts – president
  • IMF, Ethiopia reach preliminary agreement on $2.9 bln financing package
  • Algeria budget cuts spending, encourages foreign investors
  • South African rand firmer after data shows slowing inflation
  • Angola opens case against ex-minister over Namibia fishing bribe scandal
  • ICC: Central African Republic suspects to face war crimes trial
  • Egypt’s new sovereign fund cherry-picks assets to lure investors – CEO
  • South Africa’s cabinet to discuss self-generation of energy – Ramaphosa
  • Turkey says Libya accord does not include troop deployment
  • Small business owners count cost of South Africa’s power cuts
  • Egypt’s Rameda Pharmaceutical shares end 4.7% lower in debut trading
  • South Africa’s Eskom will work to restore network stability by end of March – Ramaphosa
  • Algerian protesters demand Thursday’s election be cancelled
  • Springfield E&P says it discovers 1.5 bln barrels of oil offshore Ghana
  • US sanctions five South Sudan officials over killings of govt critics
  • South Africa’s retail sales up 0.3% y/y in October
  • Kenyan court grants bail to Nairobi governor charged with corruption
  • South Africa’s Absa appoints new international head
  • Ugandan shilling little-changed, may gain on charity flows
  • South Africa annual consumer inflation slows to 9-yr low
  • Scaled power cuts set to continue in South Africa
  • Kenyan shilling holds steady amid importer demand
  • South African rand falls as nationwide blackouts weigh

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 11 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares adrift as tariff deadline looms
  • Investors wary as trade deadline draws closer
  • Nikkei flat, ASX drifts higher
  • Pound wobbles as projected Conservative majority shrinks

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices slip on surprise US crude inventory build
  • US crude stocks rise by 1.4 mln bbls – API data
  • Analysts had been expecting a drop in inventory
  • Investors eye China-US trade negotiations for trading cues
  • Brent down 0.6% at $63.97 a barrel (0121GMT)
  • WTI down 0.5% at $58.94

Precious metals (10 Dec)

  • Palladium breaches $1,900 ceiling after South Africa outages
  • Spot gold settled up 0.1% at $1,463.88/oz.
  • US gold futures settled up 0.2% at $1,468.10/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans fall for first time in 7 sessions
  • Soybean futures down 0.1% at $9.00 a bushel (0221GMT)
  • Corn futures down 0.1% at $3.76-3/4 a bushel
  • Wheat futures down 0.1% at $5.23 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Aswan forum in Egypt; 11-12 Dec [Nigeria’s Buhari et al. attending; Ramaphosa cuts short trip]
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa to meet Eskom executives
  • South Africa inflation Nov-19 [fcst. 3.6% yy, prev. 3.7%]
  • South Africa retail sales Oct-19 [fcst. 0.5% yy, prev. 0.2%]
  • Kenya’s docked maverick Nairobi county governor Sonko bail hearing

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • US imposes sanctions on Islamist rebels in eastern Congo
  • Ethiopia deploys police in universities to stop ethnic violence
  • South African mines grind to halt as floods deepen power crisis
  • Rape map and murdered men – welcome to South Africa’s Republic of Sexual Abuse
  • Al Shabaab gunmen attack hotel near president’s residence in Somali capital – police, group
  • Petra Diamonds restarts South African mines
  • Africa Oil – Freight rates swell as Angolan glut looms
  • Unregulated teak trade fuelling South Sudanese violence – report
  • African cities bet on new technology to fix growing water shortages
  • Libya approves Total’s purchase of stake in Waha concessions
  • South African rand tumbles on blackouts shock, platinum and gold shares shine
  • Brazil’s Embraer signs $194.4 mln deal for 2 E175 jets with Congo Airways
  • Nigerian stocks fall for seventh session to 1-mth low
  • Alphabet’s Loon agrees airspace deal with Uganda for internet balloon service
  • Algeria set for presidential election denounced by protesters as charade
  • South Africa’s rand, Eskom dollar bonds hit by load shedding
  • Madagascar to raise minerals taxes, take 20% stake in mining projects
  • Angolan ex-president’s son on trial in rare corruption case
  • Sudan’s Bashir questioned over 1989 coup that brought him to power
  • Nobel peace laureate Abiy says militants, global powers threaten Horn of Africa
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa cuts short Egypt trip over power crisis
  • Gambia asks UN judges to impose measures to protect Myanmar’s Rohingya
  • Kenya’s coffee crop nosedives due to high temperatures, low prices
  • South Africa’s Tongaat seeks new chapter with equity raise, debt restructure
  • 2 days before election. Algeria jails 2 ex-prime ministers
  • Egypt’s core inflation falls to 2.1% in Nov from 2.7% in Oct – central bank
  • Rwanda’s inflation jumps to 6.9% y/y in Nov. – stats office
  • South Africa’s Eskom plans more load shedding, says crisis manageable
  • South Africa mining companies cut production due to power shortages
  • Kenyan shilling unchanged against the dollar

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 9 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks pulled higher by Wall St jobs rally but China caution prevails
  • US job data shows unexpected strength, calms recession fears
  • China Nov exports fall; import growth may signal demand recovery
  • Oil near multi-month high as OPEC+ agrees on deeper output cuts

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices stumble on weak China exports hangover
  • Brent down 0.5% at $64.06 a barrel (0055GMT)
  • WTI down 0.6% at $58.85

Precious metals

  • Gold rises as prospects of US tariffs lift safe-haven demand
  • Spot gold up 0.1% at $1,460.40/oz. (0158GMT)
  • US gold futures flat at $1,464.90/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans rise for 5th day on tariff waivers by China
  • Soybean futures up 0.4% at $8.93-1/4 a bushel (0132GMT)
  • Corn futures up 0.3% at $3.77-3/4 a bushel
  • Wheat futures down 0.2% at $5.23-1/4 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • 9th African, Carribean & Pacific Group of States (ACP) summit in Nairobi, Kenya; 9-10 Dec
  • Ethiopia’s Abiy heads to Oslo to receive Nobel Peace Prize
  • Kusi ideas festival: “The next 60 years in Africa” in Kigali; 8-9 Dec
  • Nigeria’s Osinbajo due in UAE, to meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince

Key African events or data releases over the weekend & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Sudan says it has reduced troops in Yemen to 5,000
  • South African Airways rescue aimed at saving jobs – minister
  • Congo authorities say ebola survivor falls ill a second time
  • 4 dead after rock collapse at South African gold mine
  • Egypt’s fuel subsidy bill drops by 69% year on year July – Sept – minister
  • Kenya police officers among 8 killed in bus attack
  • Algerian protesters march in last Friday rally before election
  • Mauritanian coast guard intercepts boat carrying 180 migrants – IOM
  • Nigeria files fraud charge in bid to overturn nearly $10 bln penalty
  • Africa Oil – Buyers await Nigerian discounts as gasoline cracks slip
  • President of South African agricultural lobby group resigns
  • South Africa’s power cuts may last the weekend if rain persists
  • 2 Tunisian parties reject coalition role
  • Kenya arrests gold-loving Nairobi governor on suspicion of corruption
  • Nigeria activist Sowore re-arrested hours after has was freed – lawyer
  • Turkey says Greek expulsion of Libyan envoy is ‘outrageous’
  • South African Airways to restructure under ‘business rescue’
  • South Africa’s Eskom tells customers about more power cuts
  • Uganda shilling holds steady against the dollar
  • Greece to expel Libyan ambassador over Turkey-Libya accord
  • IMF approves $247 mln reform loan to Angola
  • Kenyan shilling extends gains, helped by offshore investor flows
  • Sime Darby to sell Liberia plantation to local manufacturer
  • Kenya public prosecutor orders arrest of Nairobi governor on suspicion of economic crimes
  • South Africa’s net foreign reserves fall to $44.4 bln in Nov
  • Burundi ruling party militia forcing citizens to fund 2020 vote – rights group
  • Power cuts to continue in South Africa as Eskom units perform at low levels

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

 

macroafricaintel Weekly | 9-31 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Click here for PDF version

Date Data / Event Period Forecast Previous
10 Dec South Africa Manufacturing Production, % yy Oct 2019 -5.8 -2.4
11 Dec South Africa CPI, % yy (mm) Nov 2019 3.6 (0.1) 3.7 (0.0)
11 Dec South Africa Retail Sales, % yy Oct 2019 0.5 0.2
12 Dec South Africa Mining Production, % yy Oct 2019 -1.8 0.2
12 Dec South Africa PPI, % yy (mm) Nov 2019 3.0 (0.3) 3.0 (0.3)
31 Dec South Africa PSCE, % yy Nov 2019 7.7 7.3
31 Dec South Africa M3, % yy Nov 2019 6.9 7.3
Botswana CPI, % yy (mm) Nov 2019 2.1 (0.1) 2.4 (0.1)
Tanzania CPI, % yy (mm) Nov 2019 3.4 (0.1) 3.5 (-0.1)
Namibia CPI, % yy (mm) Nov 2019 2.5 (0.2) 3.0 (0.2)
Nigeria CPI, % yy (mm) Nov 2019 11.9 (1.1) 11.6 (1.1)

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 6 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares gain as Trump fuels trade deal optimism, oil firm on OPEC+ output cut
  • Trump still upbeat on deal with Beijing despite gap over tariffs
  • Oil prices hold at recent highs as OPEC+ deepens cuts
  • Investors eye US jobs data, Fed’s policy decisions

Oil Markets

  • Oil rises, US crude trading 2-mth high after OPEC cut
  • Brent up 1 cent at $63.40 a barrel (0101GMT)
  • WTI up 2 cents at $58.45

Precious metals

  • Gold flat as risk sentiment rises on trade optimism; set for weekly rise
  • Spot gold flat at $1,475.51/oz. (0120GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2% at $1,480.80/oz.

Grains

  • Soybean futures extend gains, linger near 9-day top
  • Soybean futures up more than 0.5% for the week
  • Corn futures down about 0.5% for the week
  • Wheat futures down 3% for the week

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • 2019 corruption in Nigeria report release by NBS & UNODC
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa on working visit to Togo (6 Dec)
  • 7th OPEC & non-OPEC ministerial meeting in Vienna
  • South Africa FX reserves Nov-19 [prev. $54.53B]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry resumes

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • When did you last see an African video game hero? Asks Kenya’s Usiku Games
  • South Africa makes last-ditch move to save state airline
  • Ethiopia PM shoulld talk to media when collecting Peace Prize – Nobel committee
  • Full of promise? Refugees in Ethiopia impatient for right to work
  • Africa Oil – Nigeria kidnappings raise ship insurance jitters, offers ease
  • Sime Darby to sell Liberia plantation to local manufacturer – minister
  • Pirates kidnap 19 crew members from Greek tanker off Nigeria
  • Nigeria’s parliament passes record 10.59 trillion naira budget for 2020
  • Uber takes to streets of Ivory Coast in African expansion
  • South African rand stumbles on economic data
  • South Africa hit by power cuts as Eskom units break down
  • Half a million ebola vaccine doses to be stockpiled for emergency use
  • Kenya’s Safaricom tests new mobile savings service
  • Landslides in northwest Burundi kill at least 26 people
  • South African Airways to name business rescue practitioner soon
  • At least 58 dead after migrant boat sinks off Mauritanian coast
  • South Africa moves step closer to land expropriation without payments
  • Angola petroleum minister says he supports maintaining OPEC+ oil cuts
  • With memories of Rwanda: The Gambian minister taking on Suu Kyi
  • Measles toll in Congo exceeds 5,000, WHO says
  • Libya’s El Feel oilfield shut due to valve closure – NOC
  • Commercial International Bank Egypt seeks to buy small Kenyan bank
  • Almost half of land sold for first phase of Egypt’s new capital
  • Nigerian court orders security agency to release activist within 24 hours
  • Zimbabwe court appoints Mugabe daughter to identify his assets
  • Egypt to sell $1 bln in 1-yr dollar denominated t-bills on Dec. 9 – c.bank
  • South Africa business confidence improves in November
  • Sluggish demand for dollars supports Ugandan shilling
  • South Africa Q3 current account deficit narrows to 3.7% of GDP
  • Botswana’s Minergy puts UK listing plans on hold
  • OPEC and allies prepare to deepen oil output cuts
  • Kenya shilling firmer on scarce liquidity, remittances
  • Drought and economic woes empty Zimbabwe’s ‘cattle bank’
  • Uganda to borrow 600 mln euros to cover 2019/20 budget deficit
  • South African Airways in line for 4 bln rand boost to continue operating – minister

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 5 Dec

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian stocks inch up on trade outlook but markets remain wary
  • Asian stocks head higher on trade hopes
  • Mixed signals from Trump keep investors on their toes
  • Oil eases slightly but OPEC meetings loom

Oil Markets

  • Oil steadies after price jump; investors wait on OPEC meetings
  • Brent down 0.2% at $62.90 a barrel (0112GMT)
  • WTI down 0.4% at $58.21

Precious metals

  • Gold steady as dollar weakens on dour US data
  • Spot gold up 0.1% at $1,475.37/oz. (0100GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.1% at $1,481/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans extend gains on positive Sino-US trade signals
  • Soybean futures up 0.1% at $8.78-3/4 a bushel (0112GMT)
  • Corn futures little changed at $3.78-1/2 a bushel
  • Wheat futures up 0.1% at $5.28-1/4 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa on working visit to Ghana (5 Dec) & Togo (6 Dec)
  • 177th meeting of the OPEC conference in Vienna
  • Nigeria’s 2020 budget passage by legislature expected; appropriations committee report submitted yesterday
  • South Africa current account balance Q3-19 [fcst. -3.9% of GDP, prev. -4.0%]

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Up to 57 dead after migrant boat sinks off Mauritanian coast – UN agency
  • South Africa’s struggling SAA to enter business rescue
  • Euronext wheat subdued as Algeia tender results awaited
  • US to exchange ambassadors with Sudan – state dept
  • Africa Oil – Traders wait for flurry of tender results
  • Macron conditions troop presence in Sahel on West African clarifications
  • Algeria tries top figures for corruption as opposed election looms
  • South African anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Tutu in hospital
  • South Africa’s rand firmer as trade deal optimism eases growth shock
  • Bolt expands South African operations to small towns
  • Botswana retailer Choppies sells ailing South African operations for 1 rand
  • Algeria to block sale of assets to Total – state media
  • MTN to oppose South African regulator’s recommendations on data costs
  • Endeavour bid for Centamin will boost mining interest in Egypt – minister
  • Foreigners dump nearly $10 bln of South Africa assets in 2019
  • Egypt to get $1.1 bln from ITFC to fund commodities imports
  • Uganda shilling unchanged, commodity flows to lend support
  • Kenyan shilling firms on tight liquidity, offshore investor flows

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters