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 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Jump in new coronavirus cases stymies stock rally
  • Hubei province reports 14,840 new cases vs 2,015 on Feb. 11
  • US stock futures slip, dollar/yen soft
  • Nikkei down 0.2% in early trade

Oil Markets

  • Oil rises for third day as coronavirus impact may spur output cuts
  • Brent up 0.3% at $55.96 per barrel (0217GMT)
  • WTI up 0.6% at $51.46

Precious metals

  • Gold rises as jump in new virus cases weigh on equities
  • Spot gold up 0.4% at $1,571.23/oz. (0056GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.2% at $1,574.90/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans snap 8 sessions of gains as virus deaths jump
  • Soybean futures down 0.1% at $8.91-1/2 a bushel (0101GMT)
  • Corn futures down 0.2% at $3.82-1/4 a bushel
  • Wheat futures unchanged at $5.47-1/2 a bushel

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

  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa opens parliament, delivers state of the nation address
  • Uganda interest rate decision [fcst. 8.0%, prev. 9.0%]
  • Botswana’s Masisi visits Namibia
  • South Africa mining production Dec-19 [fcst. -2.8% yy, prev. -3.1%]
  • Kenya parliament screens new cabinet secretaries
  • Guinea’s Conde in Saudi Arabia
  • 18th African fine coffees conference & exhibition in Mombasa, Kenya; 12-14 Feb

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

  • Algeria says BP did not ask to sell Amenas gas stake
  • Sudan to raise price of some petrol from mid February – ministry source
  • Sudan to continue to subsidise bread but with “justice” – trade minister
  • Nigeria LNG signs 10-yr LNG deal with Galp
  • Africa Oil – Reduced offers aid sales, Asian buyers quiet
  • Head of Sudan ruling council pledges ICC cooperation over Bashir, says right group
  • Tunisia eyes IMF talks in March on sixth review of loan deal – minister
  • South Africa’s rand falls after dismal data, stocks rise
  • OPEC says coronavirus to trim 2020 oil demand, weighs output cut
  • Kenya pledges “valley of peace” legacy as veteran leader Moi buried
  • Italy’s Edison starts exploratory drilling for gas in Egypt
  • AngloGold shifts focus as it sells South African assets to Harmony
  • South Africa retail sales down 0.4% y/y in December
  • UAE’s Dana Gas receives bids for Egypt assets
  • Zambia’s GDP to exceed 3% as copper-producer steps up spending
  • Kenya shilling weakens due to importer dollar demand
  • South Africa’s Tiger Brands says interim profit could fall 36%
  • AngloGold Ashanti to sell South Africa assets to Harmony Gold for $300 mln

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 12 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Stocks inch higher as new coronavirus cases fall
  • Equities cautiously higher in Asia
  • Investors trying to measure spread of coronavirus
  • Oil prices extend rebound from 13-mth lows

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices rise as new virus cases slow, easing Chinese demand concerns
  • Brent up 1.3% at $54.75 a barrel (0137GMT)
  • WTI up 0.9% at $50.39

Precious metals

  • Gold flat as risk sentiment improves on slowing virus threat
  • Spot gold flat at $1,567.62/oz. (0051GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.1% at $1,570.90/oz.

Grains

  • Wheat falls to lowest since December on USDA stockpiles forecast
  • Wheat futures down 0.3% at $5.40-1/2 a bushel (0154GMT)
  • Soybean futures up 0.1% at $8.85-1/2 a bushel
  • Corn futures down 0.1% at $3.79-1/2 a bushel

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

  • South Africa retail sales Dec-19 [fcst. 1.8% yy, prev. 2.6%]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • 3rd Nigeria international petroleum summit in Abuja; 9-12 Feb

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

  • Nigeria considers eurobond issue, president to seek approval
  • Artillery shells rain on centre of Libyan capital
  • Rhinos in Kenya face a new threat: drug-resistant bacteria – study
  • Nigerian central bank injects $210 mln into currency market
  • Algeria’s public debt rises to 45% of GDP, economy “delicate” – PM
  • South Africa’s MTN flags 2019 profit jump of up to 50%
  • Africa Oil – Trading slow despite declining freight rates
  • Sudan’s Bashir may face war crimes reckoning
  • South Africa’s rand climbs, stocks recover in global return to risk
  • Doctors in Egypt launch anti-genital cutting campaign after girl dies
  • Sudan agrees ex-president Bashir should appear before ICC over Darfur
  • South Africa’s competition watchdog approves $1.7 bln Pioneer-Pepsico merger
  • Egypt talking to IMF about technical assistance – central bank
  • Sudan ex-leader Bashir refuses to deal with ICC – lawyer
  • Total chief dismisses Tullow Oil takeover idea
  • Uganda says Chinese firm applies to build $1.4 bln power plant on the Nile
  • Morocco threatens to close down Turkish retailer amid trade talks
  • Fuel shortages put squeeze on Sudan’s transitional govt
  • Sudan & Darfur groups agree appearance of people wanted by ICC before the court – minister
  • South African union file court application over SAA job cuts
  • [Terrorist group] claims Algeria border attack
  • Egypt population reaches 100 mln people – statistics agency
  • Thousands bid farewell to Kenya’s veteran leader Moi
  • Uganda to borrow $118 mln from China to build roads key to oil production
  • Founder of South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo dies
  • South Africa’s manufacturing output drops 5.9% y/y in December
  • Egypt’s net govt debt issues increase 12% in first half of 2019-20
  • Novak to discuss OPEC+ deal with Russian oil companies on Wednesday – TASS
  • South Africa – Harmony Gold’s rebounding profits give hunt for acquisitions fresh impetus
  • South Africa Q4 unemployment rate unchanged at 29.1%
  • Egypt’s power subsidy falls to zero in second half of 2019
  • Nigeria secures $1 mln US grant to plan for gas-fired power plant
  • Burundi central bank bans foreign exchange bureaus for flouting official rates
  • World Bank chief: some development banks worsening poor country debt burdens
  • African Union delays plan to start using fund for security operations

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 11 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Asian shares bounce, China factories fight to re-start
  • Shares ex-Japan up 0.9%, Shanghai stocks rally
  • Focus on how fast China companies can return to work
  • Sentiment supported by late jump on Wall St
  • Dollar hits 4-mth high on euro as US economy outperforms

Oil Markets

  • Oil gains 1% as short-sellers take profit; investors still wary of coronavirus
  • Brent up nearly 1.5% at $54.06 a barrel (0216GMT)
  • WTI up about 1.3% at $50.20

Precious metals

  • Gold steady as virus fears counter firmer equities
  • Spot gold little changed at $1,570.98/oz. (0041GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.3% at $1,574.60/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans extend gains into seventh straight session
  • Soybean futures up 0.3% at $8.87-1/4 a bushel (0209GMT)
  • Corn futures down 0.2% at $3.81 a bushel
  • Wheat futures down 0.5% at $5.49-1/2 a bushel

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

  • Nigeria’s Buhari state visit to Ethiopia; after AU summit
  • Kenya’s Moi state funeral in Nairobi; public holiday
  • South Africa manufacturing production Dec-19 [fcst. -2.9% yy, prev. -3.6%]
  • South Africa unemployment rate Q4-19 [prev. 29.1%]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • 3rd Nigeria international petroleum summit in Abuja; 9-12 Feb

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

  • Algeria military court upholds jail sentences for former intelligence chiefs
  • Sudan seeks US help on subsidy payments, dollar transfers – finmin
  • Mali’s president seeks dialogue with insurgents
  • [Terrorists] kill at least 30 in northeast Nigeria – residents
  • Egypt’s core inflation at 2.7% in January from 2.4% in Dec – central bank
  • Africa Oil – Cheap freight sparks little buying interest as virus weighs
  • Oil producers still in talks over extending output cut – Algeria minister
  • Algeria plans to develop bond, stock markets to ease financial pressure
  • South Africa’s rand inches up ahead of key data
  • Smart drones to be tested in battle against E.Africa locust swarms
  • Libya oil revenues fall to zero in Jan as ports blocked – central bank data
  • Mozambique drops court appeals to extradite ex-minister from South Africa
  • Google plan to buy into largest African wind farm ended by delay
  • Egypt slashes energy subsidy spending in second half of 2019
  • Nigeria’s petroleum bill to be passed by mid-2020 says oil minister
  • Eskom’s urgent bid for bigger tariffs rejected by South Africa court
  • Nigeria’s parliament to receive petroleum bill next week – oil minister
  • Uganda sprays locust swarms to protect coffee crop, livestock
  • Egyptian pound strengthens to 3-yr high
  • Egypt sells $984.8 mln in dollar t-bills at yield of 3.49% – c.bank
  • West African countries to investigate Nigeria border closure
  • Uganda shilling unchanged on lacklustre dollar demand
  • Violence in Africa’s Sahel region attacks the mining food chain
  • Shanta Gold buys Kenya exploration project from Barrick
  • Girl’s drowning sparks water riot in thirsty South African township
  • Kenya shilling weakens due to increased importer dollar demand
  • South Africa’s rand rises after plunging to 3-mth low
  • Satellite data brings farming advice to remote areas of Zimbabwe
  • Congo’s move to control artisanal cobalt is double-edged – Andy Home

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 10 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Asian markets stem losses as China returns to work but sentiment jittery
  • Asian shares fall after Friday’s losses on Wall Street
  • Chinese authorities make plans for businesses, schools to reopen
  • Singapore raises alert level on China travel

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices fall on oversupply worries as virus hits China demand
  • Brent down 38 cents at $54.09 a barrel (0100GMT)
  • WTI down 38 cents at $49.49

Precious metals

  • Gold prices tick up as virus fears stoke safe-haven demand
  • Spot gold up 0.1% at $1,572.01/oz. (0100GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.3% at $1,577.50/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans gain for fourth straight session as China demand worries ease
  • Soybean futures up 0.3% at $8.84-3/4 a bushel (0208GMT)
  • Corn futures up 0.4% at $3.82 a bushel
  • Wheat futures down 0.4% at $5.56-1/2 a bushel

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

  • African leaders in Addis Ababa for AU summit; 9-10 Feb
  • South Africa state capture inquiry resumes
  • 3rd Nigeria international petroleum summit in Abuja; 9-12 Feb

Key African events or data releases over the weekend & early a.m today

  • Trudeau raises issue of detained Canadians with Egypt’s Sisi
  • Suicide bomber attacks Algerian barracks, killing a soldier – defence ministry
  • Libya’s Azzawiya stops refining operations due to lack of crude
  • Route cuts intended to make South African Airways sustainable – rescue team
  • OPEC+ panel calls for more oil cuts on coronavirus impact – Algeria
  • UN to host new Libya ceasefire talks after no deal in first round
  • Somalia president signs new petroleum bill into law
  • Libya’s oil production dropped to 181,576 barrels per day
  • French soldiers kill more than 30 militants in Mali – army
  • Malawi President Mutharika appeaks ruling overturning his election victory
  • Botswana auctions permits to hunt elephants to ease human-wildlife conflict
  • South Africa govt calls for review of SAA route cuts
  • Africa Oil – IOC mops up as spot trade stutters
  • Smuggling pushes Ivory Coast cashew output down 17% in 2019
  • South Africa govt wants SAA route cuts reviewed – ministry
  • South African rand falls to 3-mth low, stocks down
  • Ramaphosa opposes plan to cut South African Airways’ domestic routes
  • Airlink interested in buying some South African Airways assets
  • Fighters step up attacks in Mozambique gas region, beheadings reported – UN
  • Rwanda secures $214 mln China loan for hydropower plant
  • Canadian miner Banro looking to sell Congo gold mine at discount – CEO
  • Congo’s move to control artisanal cobalt is double-edged: Andy Home
  • South African miners keen to start generating their own power
  • Tunisia’s current account deficit narrows on tourism boost – cenbank governor
  • Botswana auctions permits to hunt elephants to ease human-wildlife conflict
  • Kenyan sculptor turns scrap metal into art with a message
  • South Africa’s net foreign reserves rise to $45.1 bln in January

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

macroafricaintel Weekly | 10 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Click here for PDF version

Date Data / Event Period Forecast Previous
11 Feb South Africa Manufacturing Production, % yy Dec 2019 -2.9 -3.6
12 Feb South Africa Retail Sales, % yy Dec 2019 1.8 2.6
13 Feb South Africa Mining Production, % yy Dec 2019 -2.8 -3.1
13 Feb Uganda Interest Rate, % 8.0 9.0
Botswana CPI, % yy (mm) Jan 2020 2.2 (0.3) 2.2 (0.2)
Tanzania CPI, % yy (mm) Jan 2020 3.8 (0.5) 3.8 (0.6)
Namibia CPI, % yy (mm) Jan 2020 1.6 (0.2) 2.6 (-0.1)
Nigeria CPI, % yy (mm) Jan 2020 12.1 (0.8) 12.0 (0.9)
South Africa CPI, % yy (mm) Jan 2020 4.4 (0.2) 4.0 (0.3)

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 7 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Rally in stocks runs out of steam as coronavirus toll climbs
  • Coronavirus cases rise, Asian markets slip
  • Nikkei, Kospi down but poised for best week in 2020
  • Major currencies steady, oil rises but has not recovered

Oil Markets

  • Oil climbs after Russia backs possible output cuts to counter coronavirus impact on demand
  • Brent up 0.6% at $55.25 a barrel (0104GMT)
  • WTI up 0.5% at $51.21 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold inches up on virus concerns; set for worst week since early Nov
  • Spot gold up 0.1% at $1,568.76/oz. (0052GMT)
  • US gold futures flat at $1,570.70/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans up for 5th session, gains capped by slowing Chinese purchases
  • Soybean futures up 0.4% at $8.84-1/4 a bushel (0145GMT)
  • Soybean up 1.3% w/w
  • Corn futures down 1.5% week thus far
  • Wheat up 0.5% for the week

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

  • African leaders head to Addis Ababa for AU summit; 9-10 Feb
  • Canada’s Trudeau visits Ethiopia for AU summit, heads to Senegal next week
  • Botswana elephant hunting auctions in Gaborone
  • Germany’s Merkel visits South Africa; 5-7 Feb
  • Kenya’s Kenyatta in Washington DC for trade talks
  • South Africa FX reserves Jan-20 [prev. $55.1B]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Cameroon national assembly elections; 9 Feb
  • 3rd Nigeria international petroleum summit in Abuja; 9-12 Feb

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

  • US, Kenya launch talks on trade deal in move welcomed by industry
  • Eastern Libyan tribes asked to lay out conditions to reopen oil terminals – UN
  • Sudan dissolves central bank board, governor remains
  • Canada’s Trudeau seeks to rescue faltering UN bid on Africa trip
  • Kenya’s president says Kenyan, US officials will begin work on trade deal
  • Female genital mutilation will take centuries to eradicate, UN says
  • Trump says US will probably sign trade agreement with Kenya
  • Sudan dissolves boards of central bank and 11 other banks – state TV
  • Two die in Zimbabwe gold mine collapse
  • Africa Oil – Unipec offers down, Djeno lingers
  • Eastern Libyan tribesmen to submit conditions to reopen blocked oil terminals – UN
  • South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater doubts it will become owner of world’s deepest gold mine
  • Egypt’s net foreign reserves rise to $45.457 bln in January – c.bank
  • Tunisia central bank keeps key interest rate unchanged at 7.75 pct
  • South African rand falls, stocks up as Gold Fields shines
  • Ex-Ivory Coast leader Gbagbo wants unconditional release
  • Gambia’s labouring farmers show why premature births may boom in a warmer world
  • Vegans see green shoots in meat-loving Nigeria
  • Eni oil production in Libya halved to around 160,000 bpd – CEO
  • Lesotho leader’s wife released on bail ahead of murder trial
  • South Africa’s Eskom bonds see biggest jump since June after debt pledge
  • South African Airways to scale back routes at end Feb – rescue team
  • South Africa’s Harmony Gold Mining forecasts first half profit
  • Algeria leader pardons more than 6,000 prisoners in conciliatory gesture
  • South Africa plans new generating firm to boost power security
  • Lesotho police fear PM’s wife may escape again while on bail
  • South Africa business confidence index falls in January
  • Female genital mutilation hurts economies, says WHO

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

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 6 Feb

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Asian shares gain after solid US data, focus on virus
  • Upbeat US private jobs, service data lift mood
  • WHO says no break-through reported on coronavirus drugs

Oil Markets

  • Oil gains a second day as coronavirus optimism may mean demand rebound
  • Brent up 1.1% at $55.90 a barrel (0142GMT)
  • WTI up 1.4% at $51.48

Precious metals

  • Gold steady as virus fears offset robust US data
  • Spot gold flat at $1,556.36/oz. (0100GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.2% at $1,559.30/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans extend gains for fourth straight day
  • Soybean futures up 0.4% at $8.83-3/4 a bushel (0127GMT)
  • Corn futures unchanged at $3.80-3/4 a bushel
  • Wheat futures up 0.4% at $5.64-3/4 a bushel

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

  • International day of zero tolerance for FGM
  • Germany’s Merkel visits South Africa
  • Ghana’s main opposition NDC press briefing on Airbus scandal
  • Kenya’s Kenyatta in Washington DC for trade talks
  • African Union executive council meets
  • South Africa SACCI business confidence Jan-20 [prev. 93.1]
  • South Africa state capture inquiry continues
  • Investing in African mining indaba in Cape Town; 3-6 Feb

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

  • Kenya wants close ties with both US and China, Kenyan president says
  • Female genital mutilation hurts economies says WHO
  • Sudan gives Israel initial okay for overflights – official
  • Nigeria drafting oil reform bill “from scratch” to pass this year – Senate President
  • OPEC+ technical meeting drags on amid oil cut debate
  • Malawi presidency to challenge court ruling overturning vote result
  • Algeria names new chief for state energy firm Sonatrach – state TV
  • Ivory Coast navy seizes record cocaine haul off coast
  • Africa Oil – Contango market, China virus upends trading
  • Nigeria sets ambitious target for mining sector growth
  • South Africa’s rand firms for third straight session
  • Lesotho PM’s wife in court charged with killing his previous wife
  • Italian court throws out witness request in Eni Nigeria graft case
  • Egypt’s c.bank to auction $900 mln of 1-yr t-bills on Feb 10
  • ‘Fragile’ Africa prepares for high risk of coronavirus spread
  • Morocco’s unemployment rate slips to 9.2% in 2019
  • Saudi Telecom must offer to buy remaining 45% in Vodafone Egypt – regulator
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa open to Eskom debt proposal
  • Qatar Airways swoops for RwandAir stake and eyes bigger LATAM holding
  • Tunisia’s next govt must be broad-based, says leader of biggest party
  • First payment in South African silicosis settlement expected in Q2
  • Morocco’s trade deficit widens by 1.5% in 2019
  • Tunisia’s gas output capacity jumps 50% as Nawara field opens
  • Ghana draws strong demand as sells $3 bln in eurobonds
  • Nigeria sees exponential growth in mining sector within five years – minister
  • Nigeria’s contortionists go out on a limb for recognition
  • 8-yr old rapper strikes chord in Uganda with songs about poverty
  • Uganda shilling weakens as interbank players beef up positions
  • Nigeria customs find $8 mln in cash on bus at airport
  • Kenya private sector activity down in January – PMI
  • Kenya shilling strengthened due to inflows from remittances
  • South Africa private sector activity shrinks again in Jan – PMI
  • Trafigura to take 100% control of its Zimbabwe fuel import business
  • IMF lowers Uganda growth projection, cites oil investment delays
  • Sudan’s Burhan casts doubt on rapid normalization of ties with Israel
  • Measles vaccine drive aims to protect 45 mln children in Africa, Asia

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