February Headline Inflation May Jump To 17.27%

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We are estimating a sharper increase in headline inflation to 17.27% for February 2021 up from 16.47% in January. If this happens, it will be the 18th consecutive monthly increase in Nigeria’s inflation rate. It will also be the highest level in 46-months.

Inflation is moving further away from the upper band of the CBN’s 6- 9% target. It is likely to impede output growth. Real GDP growth increased marginally by 0.11% in Q4’20 after two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

February Headline Inflation May Jump To 17.27% Brandspurng

In the last two months, we have seen a divergence between the direction of month-on-month and annual inflation due to the base year effects and supply shocks. The month-on-month inflation is estimated to remain relatively flat at 1.49% (19.47% annualized) in February.

We have also seen the impact of high- powered money and the massive borrowing of the FGN via the CBN. The impact of the crowding out of private investors from the public debt market by the CBN printing money is now playing out in higher price inflation.

Food and core sub-indices to increase

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We expect the food and core sub-indices to move in tandem with the headline inflation. Food price pressures will remain the primary driver of inflation, rising to 21.98% in February. The impact of the recent blockade of food supply from the Northern states to the south-west is unlikely to reflect in the February inflation numbers.

However, the impact will be felt in the month of March. Core inflation (inflation fewer seasonalities) is also projected to cross the 12% threshold to 12.02% in February due to exchange rate pressures and higher logistics costs. The impact of higher transport fares will be more potent in March.

Inflation expectations more to the upside: Tighter monetary policy stance likely in H2’21

Inflation expectations, which is the basis for policy formulation is more to the upside due to supply shocks emanating from the food blockade and heightened insecurity, exchange rate pass-through effect and higher energy and logistics costs.

Recently, the naira has been allowed to crawl up to N411.63/$ at the I&E window, whilst hovering around N480- N482/$ at the parallel market. This coupled with the periodic dilemma on the adjustment of PMS price will continue to increase production costs and push up commodity prices.

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The persistent rise in inflation increases the chances of a tighter monetary policy stance albeit in H2’21. The CBN has indicated that it is unlikely to change its accommodative stance in the near term.

The MPC committee will continue to monitor the impact of recent policies and stimulus on economic growth while using orthodox tools to mop up liquidity and contain inflationary pressures.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Heightened inflationary pressures

Average inflation in the SSA region is currently at 8.6%, up from 8.1% in 2020. The major driver is the recent increase in oil prices and the import costs of refined petroleum. Three of the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries under our review have released their inflation numbers for February, all recording increases.

This was largely driven by food price pressures and higher energy costs. Year-to-date, the price of oil rose by 21.35% to $62.9pb due to reduced global oil supply and increased vaccine rollouts. With the exception of Zambia, all the SSA countries under our review left their benchmark interest rate unchanged.

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For the first time since November 2019, the Central Bank of Zambia increased its monetary policy rate by 50bps to 8.5% pa at its February meeting to anchor inflation expectations and restore macroeconomic stability. The country’s inflation rate climbed to a near 5-year high of 22.2% in February.

February Headline Inflation May Jump To 17.27% Brandspurng
Trading Economics, FDC Think Tank

Nigeria at policy crossroads

This is crunch time for Nigerian policymakers as they attempt to make the pricing of financial instruments consistent with the monetary policy framework of inflation targeting. The CBN has moved reluctantly but expectedly in allowing the exchange rate to move at the I & E window to N411/$.

This is designed to bring about some level of general equilibrium in the markets but is still far away from achieving what is considered an efficient formula for maintaining exchange rate flexibility and achieving fiscal neutrality.

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February Headline Inflation May Jump To 17.27% - Brand SpurFebruary Headline Inflation May Jump To 17.27% - Brand Spur

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February Headline Inflation May Jump To 17.27% - Brand SpurFebruary Headline Inflation May Jump To 17.27% - Brand Spur

Latest News

Cityneon Raises S$235 Million; Well Positioned for Next Growth Chapter

  • The global experience entertainment company gets a S$235 million shot in the arm, closes its private fund raising in April 2021
  • Investors both new and existing include Singapore's Pavilion Capital, Seatown Holdings International and EDBI, Qatar's Doha Venture Capital and financial institutions and family offices in Singapore and China
  • These now join other existing Cityneon shareholders CITIC Capital, veteran entrepreneur and investor Mr. Johnson Ko, and Executive Chairman & Group CEO Mr. Ron Tan
  • Funding comes just after the Group acquired multi-year licensing rights for James Cameron's AVATAR touring exhibition, and two original artefacts IP on the ancient civilization Machu Picchu from Peru and Ramses the Great (Ramses II) from Egypt
  • Investments position the Group well to bring experiences across the globe, targeting to launch six experiences in China and five in the U.S. by the end of 2021, with more in other parts of the world

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 21 April 2021 - Cityneon Holdings ("Cityneon", the "Company"/collectively with its subsidiaries, the "Group") raised S$235 million in the most recent round of private funding. The latest round of funding adds seasoned investors to Cityneon's already strong stable of shareholders.

This funding round was led by Singapore's Pavilion Capital, Seatown Holdings International, EDBI, and Cityneon's Executive Chairman & Group CEO, Mr. Ron Tan. EDBI and Pavilion Capital are existing shareholders of Cityneon whilst new investors include Seatown Holdings International, Qatar's Doha Venture Capital, which will now own approximately 4 per cent of the Group, and other financial institutions and family offices in Singapore and China.

These now join other existing Cityneon shareholders CITIC Capital, veteran entrepreneur and investor Mr. Johnson Ko, and Executive Chairman & Group CEO Mr. Ron Tan to form a new and strong shareholder base for the Group. Mr. Johnson Ko and Mr. Ron Tan remain as the largest shareholders of the company via their combined entity, West Knighton Limited.

The Group is now well positioned for its next growth chapter and will use the proceeds for capital expenditure that includes building more of its various intellectual property (IP) exhibition sets, totaling 24 travelling and four semi-permanent sets under the Studio IP partnerships and three travelling sets under the original artefact IP partnerships by the end of 2022.

Already, the Group just signed its fifth IP rights with Avatar from 20th Century Studios last year. Amidst the anticipation from Avatar fans worldwide, Cityneon will debut a multi-sensory Avatar exhibition in Chengdu, China in May 2021, ahead of the Avatar movie sequel which is slated for release in 2022. Avatar is the world's top grossing film of all time at over US$2.8 billion, and adding millions more after its successful re-release in China in March 2021. Avatar's director James Cameron has announced that he will be producing four sequels with 20th Century Studios, with the first sequel slated for release next year. Disney acquired 20th Century Studios for US$71 billion in 2019.

The Company also recently entered the original artefacts IPs space and will stage international exhibitions of the treasures of the ancient civilization Machu Picchu from Peru in Boca Raton, Florida and Pharaoh Ramses II from Egypt in Houston, Texas. These two experiences will start welcoming visitors in October and November 2021, respectively.

Other IP rights that the Group holds include partnerships with Universal Studios for Jurassic World: The Exhibition, Marvel for Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N., Lionsgate for The Hunger Games: The Exhibition and Hasbro for Transformers Autobot Alliance. All in, Cityneon holds the IP rights for five of the top 10 worldwide box office hits and two artefacts IP from Peru and Egypt. The Group expects to have six sets of its various IP rights travelling across China, and five travelling and permanent sets in the United States, with a few more in other parts of the globe.

The Group will also be reopening experiences that were temporarily closed in 2020, aiming to provide visitors with a safe entertainment option. These include the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. in Toronto, Canada that will be re-opening in May 2021; and the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibition in Lotte Mall in Seoul, Korea in April 2021; the same exhibition space which previously housed Jurassic World: The Exhibition, another IP experience exhibition by the Group in 2019. In the past month, the Group also witnessed record visitor numbers at their semi-permanent installations in Las Vegas, USA, signaling a strong comeback and demand for their immersive experiences, as they step into the 6th year of operations there.

While there are exciting plans lined up, the Group is not resting on its laurels. More Hollywood IPs and artefact IPs can be expected, and there will be further announcements on new IP verticals in entertainment experiences that the Group is looking to enter.

Mr. Ron Tan, Executive Chairman & Group CEO of Cityneon, said: "It is exciting that the Company is going through such strategic expansion as one of the largest providers of exhibition entertainment experiences globally. The S$235 million funding round sets a solid foundation for us to invest in developing more of our entertainment experiences, to stage even more exhibitions of the five box office hits and two artefact IPs that we hold the rights to all over the world. I'm thankful that our strong investors base, now from Singapore, Hong Kong, China and the Middle East, have trust in our vision, and believe alongside us that this space of big ideas and big experiences will only grow."

By the end of this year, Cityneon will arguably be the largest provider of exhibition entertainment experiences internationally; with global footprints in more than 50 cities and welcoming 10 million unique visitors across the world by 2022.

Cityneon Holdings

With its global reach and international partnerships, Cityneon has the capability to serve its clients anywhere in the world. Cityneon was listed on the Mainboard of the Singapore Stock Exchange since 2005, and was privatized on February 2019 by West Knighton Limited, a company wholly owned by Cityneon's Executive Chairman and Group CEO, Ron Tan, together with Hong Kong veteran entrepreneur and investor, Johnson Ko Chun Shun. Johnson is a capital markets veteran and has held controlling interests and directorships in many listed companies. In May 2019, Cityneon welcomed CITIC Capital as a new shareholder, who holds approximately 10% shares in Cityneon. CITIC Capital is part of CITIC Group, one of China's largest conglomerates, and has over US$25b of assets under its management across 100 funds and investment products globally. Other institutional shareholders of the Group include EDBI - a Singapore government-linked global investor, and Pavilion Capital - a Singapore-based investment institution which focuses on private equity investments, that made strategic investments in August and October 2019 respectively, to support the Group's further expansion globally. For more information, please visit www.cityneongroup.com.

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