In line with our inhouse expectation, the MPC meeting ended today with a neutral outcome as the members of the committee voted unanimously to leave all policy rates unchanged.
Notably, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) was left at 11.5% as the equally important asymmetric corridor around the MPR, the Cash Reserve Ration, and Liquidity Ration were left at +100/-700bps, 27.5%, and 30.0%, respectively.
Comments and Outlook
We note that the above stance of the monetary policy committee is in spite of the recent Q3-2020 GDP report where output growth fell by -3.6% YoY but grew by 248bps QoQ from -6.1% in Q2-2020. A growth figure that can be viewed as some positive outcome of the efforts of the Apex bank aimed at limiting the impact of the pandemic on the economy.
Maybe a rate cut could have signalled the apex bank’s willingness to support the economy out of the current crisis. Furthermore, the Apex bank emphasized that the value of Naira is only determined by the forces of demand in the Nigeria Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market as opposed to the forces of demand and supply influenced by speculators in the parallel market.
Given the outcome of the meeting, we expect the low yield environment to persist in the fixed income market with sustained interest for equities as dividend yields on tier 1 banks remain relatively competitive.