The Challenges of the Global Economic Crisis and Nigeria's Financial Markets' Stability, S Igbatayo

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Content: Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 2 (6): 497-503 © Scholarlink Research Institute Journals, 2011 (ISSN: 2141-7024) Jojeutrenmasl .oscfhEomlaerrlgininkgreTseraerncdhs.oirngEconomics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 2(6):497-503 (ISSN:2141-7024) The Challenges of the Global Economic Crisis and Nigeria's financial markets' Stability
Samuel Igbatayo
College of Business and management studies,
Igbinedion University, Okada, Nigeria
The global economic crisis, which erupted with the meltdown of the United States subprime mortgage market in
2007, has been described as the severest since the Great Depression. The crisis was subsequently spread from
the United States to other economies, both in developed and developing countries. In the case of Nigeria, the
emergent global crisis has impacted negatively on the nation's financial sector, triggering instability in banks
and the capital market. The banking sector is shaken particularly hard, causing the Central Bank to inject more
than N400 billion naira or US$2.72 billion into vulnerable banks to forestall systemic collapse in the sector. In
the capital market, equity prices, in the past couple of years, have fallen sharply, with the All-share Index at the
Nigerian Stock Exchange down by 33 percent at the end of December 2009, from levels recorded in December,
2008. The instability in Nigeria's financial markets poses severe challenges to policy makers, requiring urgent
measures to stem the tide. Therefore the objective of this paper is to elaborate the challenges of the global
economic crisis and its effects on Nigeria's financial markets. The study shows that the nation's financial
markets are severely undermined by a combination of credit squeeze, loss of confidence and financial contagion
that have paralyzed the Banking System and capital markets. The paper consequently proffers policy measures
hinged on deepening financial market regulation, economic reform and poverty reduction strategies.
Keywords: global economic crises, economic reform, banking sector, financial market, Nigeria
and Brazil, as well as smaller economies, including
The Emergence of the Global Financial Meltdown Thailand and the Philippines (World Bank,
The global economy has been hit by the worst 2009.22a). Table 1 shows the trends in global
economic crisis since the Great Depression. What economic growth from 2002, including projections
began as a meltdown of the United States sub-prime for 2009 and 2010. It features a severe contraction
mortgage market in 2007, had grown steadily into a since 2007 and gradual recovery.
full blown economic crisis by 2008, wiping out
trillions of dollars of financial wealth, undermining THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS AND
global trade and investment and putting the real TRANSMISSION CHANNELS TO THE
economy on a course of protracted recession around NIGERIAN ECONOMY
the world (ILO, 2009.3; World Bank, 2009.1;
Igbatayo, 2009.5). The foreclosure epidemic in the The Global Economic Downturn and Nigeria's
United States mortgage market in 2006 became a key Macroeconomic Performance
factor that triggered the global financial crisis. Figure The Nigerian economy has demonstrated particular
1 shows the rising profile of the United States vulnerability to the emergent global economic crisis.
subprime mortgage market between 1997 and 2007, Driven by crude oil and gas, the nation's economy is
featuring a dramatic increase in the expansion of anchored on the petroleum sector, which accounts for
credit to the sub-sector until it unraveled in 2006. 80 percent of government's annual revenue and
(See figure 1)
foreign exchange earnings. The petroleum sector also
contributes about 50 percent of Nigeria's annual
The Spread of the Global Financial Crisis
GDP. The global oil and gas industry enjoyed
Indeed, virtually all emerging-market economies tremendous price increases associated with sustained
have been hit by the financial turmoil, as high- economic growth around the world until mid-2008,
income-country banks and investment funds when the price of crude oil packed at US$147.00 per
withdrew from emerging markets and converted a barrel. While the boom lasted, Nigeria became a
wide range of risk assets into more liquid holdings. major beneficiary of crude oil price upswings,
The sell-off in risky financial assets impacted increasing its foreign exchange reserves to an
dramatically on equity prices, bond spreads, and unprecedented level of about US$60 billion. The
currencies in virtually all emerging market windfall also afforded Nigeria the rare opportunity to
economies, contributing to tighter domestic credit exit the Paris Club of creditors, in a development
conditions in larger countries, including Russia, India which catalyzed the discharge its foreign debt
Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 2(6):497-503 (ISSN:2141-7024)
obligations through the payment of US$18 billion, while the sum of US$12billion was waived by creditors, leaving a paltry sum of US$2billion. However, with the advent of the global economic turmoil, global oil prices plummeted to less than US$40.00 per barrel by the 1st quarter of 2009. This development has unleashed an external shock on the
Nigerian economy. The sharp drop in oil revenue has reversed few years of fiscal surpluses to severe deficits. The dominance of the oil sector has therefore impacted negatively on Nigeria's macroeconomic performance, particularly since the emergence of the global crisis. Table 2 shows key macroeconomic indicators for Nigeria between 2006 and 2008, with performance pointing towards a downturn for 2008.
Table 2: Nigeria's Key Macroeconomic Indicators, 2006-2008
Nominal GDP (US$ billions)
Real GDP growth (%)
Per capital GDP (US$)
Average Annual CPI Inflation (%)
Commercial prime bank lending (%)
91-Day T-bill (%)
Annual average Interbank foreign exchange Naira/Dollar
Current Account Balance (% GDP)
Foreign reserves (US$ billions)
External debt (US$ billions)
oil production (million barrels/day)
Bonny light crude oil price ($/barrel/y/e)
Source: Adapted from BGL Financial Monitor, various issues.
in 1973, Nigeria's position in the global oil market
The Transmission Channels of the Global was consolidated with the Arab oil embargo against
Economic Crisis on the Nigerian Economy
the industrial economies (HRW, 1999.6) The spiking
Nigerian's economic profile features extreme of crude oil prices in the wake of the Arab oil
dependence on natural resources, particularly in the embargo brought unprecedented revenue windfall to
agricultural and solid mineral sectors. Although the Nigerian government, which altered the structure
agriculture was the mainstay of the Nigerian of the nation's economy in favor of the petroleum
economy at Independence in 1960, the nation's industry since the 1970s. Figure 2 shows the rapid
economic profile changed with the discovery and rise and fall in global crude oil prices between 2007a
export of petroleum. Fueled by the Arab-Israeli war and 2009.
Figure 2: Trends in Global Crude Oil Prices in recent years
Source: CBN, 2009
market. This development has exacerbated or
`bearish' run on the capital market, with serious
The next transmission channel of the global consequences on the prices of equities quoted on the
economic crisis to the Nigerian economy is the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Another
nation's financial markets. The nation's capital transmission channel of the emergent crisis on the
market, until recently, had steadily evolved to Nigerian economy is the decline in remittances from
become one of the most dynamic in Africa, Nigerians in Diaspora to relations in the country.
particularly in the past decade, attracting portfolio Nigerians abroad have lost their jobs, becoming
investors from around the world. However, the global unable to send money back home. This development
financial crisis, which has undermined international
has impacted negatively on vulnerable relations in
capital and credit flows, has also fueled flight capital Nigeria, particularly the aged, children and spouses
from Nigeria, with foreign investors selling-off assets of Nigerians abroad. Figure 3 shows the dynamics of
and repatriating capital from the nation's capital monthly remittances to Nigeria from January, 2006 to
Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 2(6):497-503 (ISSN:2141-7024)
October 2008. The data reveal a reduction in the flow of remittances after mid-2008, reflecting the effects of the global economic turmoil. Figure 3: Monthly Remittances to Nigeria (in Naira currency), January, 2006-October, 2008. THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS AND FINANCIAL MARKETS' STABILITY IN NIGERIA An Overview of the Financial Markets in Nigeria The Nigerian financial markets-comprising the money and capital markets-are acknowledged as some of the most dynamic in the world. The foundation for modern financial markets in Nigeria was laid in the 1960s. In order to establish the capital market, key infrastructure and institutions were established to mobilize long-term capital needed to grow the economy. This development led to the establishment of such relevant institutions as the Lagos Stock Exchange (later transformed into the Nigerian Stock Exchange), which commenced business in 1979 in replacement of the Capital Issues Commission, established in 1973, as the apex regulatory agency in charge of the capital market. Players in Nigerian capital market include stock brokers, issuing houses, registrars, quoted companies in the stock market and the investing public. Other players include the discount houses and the investing public. (Ayogu and Emenuga, 2008.19). The Evolution of Nigeria's Banking Sector and Crisis Management Challenges The history of the banking sector in Nigeria is traceable to 1892, when the British colonial administration established the First Bank of Nigeria. After independence in 1960 and until the 1990s, three banks (First Bank, Union Bank and United Bank or Africa) dominated the money market. However, in 1986, the banking sector witnessed a major shift in policy, ushering in deregulation initiatives that
lowered barriers to entry. Consequently, banking licenses were issued to a variety of domestic and foreign investors, bringing the total number of major banks to 119 by 1991. By the early 1990s, however, the sector began to experience systemic challenges, culminating in a crisis of confidence characterized by deleveraging, skyrocketing loan defaults, and ultimately the collapse of more than 30 banks by the mid-1990s. This development led to major reforms in banking sector, including the conversion of commercial and merchant banks into Universal Banks, with an increase in minimum share capital to N2 billion or US$15million (Becker, L. et al., 2008.16). At the turn of the new Millennium, it became clear that Nigeria's banking sector was still struggling with a systemic crisis that has left it on the verge of collapse. The beleaguered sector was characterized by the following negative features (Soludo, 2007.8): Low aggregate banking credit to the domestic economy (20 percentage of GDP). Systemic crisis prompting resort to the Central Bank bailout. Inadequate capital base Oligopolistic structure (10 out of 89) banks accounted for over 50% of total banking system asset Poor corporate governance Low banking/population density-1:30, 432 Payment system that encouraged cash-based transactions In view of the banks' weak balance sheets and their inherent inability to provide long-term financing to Nigeria's real sector, additional reforms became inevitable. Consequently, in 2004, another round of reforms was initiated in the banking sector aimed at consolidating the industry. Minimal capital requirement for banks was increased to N25 billion or US$200 million. This development triggered a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the industry in which 25 strong banks emerged in 2005 from 89 banks in 2004. The Central Bank also introduced an additional incentive to banks to strengthen their balance sheets further. It offered an opportunity for a category of banks tagged "Mega Banks" to manage a portion of Nigeria's foreign exchange reserves in association with reputable global financial institutions. The minimum capital requirement for the management of the nation's reserves was put at US$100 million. Invariably, First Bank, Union Bank, United Bank for Africa, Intercontinental Bank, Oceanic Bank, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, Guaranty Bank, Fidelity Bank and Unity Bank were accorded the privilege as Mega Banks to manage the nation's foreign reserves in partnership with notable global money managers. Undoubtedly, the bank consolidation initiative is acknowledged as a positive development for the banking sector, ushering in an era of stability that had eluded the sector since the inception of sectoral
Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 2(6):497-503 (ISSN:2141-7024)
reforms in the mid-1980s (Ikhide and Alawode, 2009.10). The emergence of the global financial crisis has however unsettled the relative stability subsisting in Nigeria's banking sector since its consolidation in 2004. The plummeting of Government revenues from crude oil proceeds has reduced public sector deposits, a major revenue earner for the nation's banks. Also, the global economic meltdown caused a reduction in remittances sent back to Nigeria by the nation's Diaspora community. By the end of 2008, indications began to emerge that the banking sector in Nigeria may be set for yet another round of instability. The true extent of damage to banks' balance sheets was unveiled with the assumption in office of a new Governor of the Central Bank in June 2009. The new administration of the apex bank moved quickly to stem the tide of instability that had emerged in the banking sector. A system wide audit of all banks was ordered, when it became apparent that a few major banks had a total outstanding loan secured through the CBN's Expanded Discount Window valued at N256.57 billion or US$1.72 billion (Sanusi, 2009.3). In the initial examination of bank operations conducted on the first 10 banks, five banks were seriously indicted. They are: Afribank, Finbank, Intercontinental Bank, Oceanic Bank and Union Bank. The major findings on the banks included: Excessively high level of non-performing loans attributable to poor corporate governance practices. The percentage of non-performing loans to total loans ranged from 19 - 45 percent, requiring the five banks to make additional provision of N539.09 billion or US$3.67 billion. Total loan portfolio of the five banks was N2, 801.92 billion or US$19.06 billion. Margin loans amounted to N456.28 billion or US$3.10 billion and exposure to Oil and Gas sector was N487.02 billion or US$3.25 billion, while aggregate non-performing loans stood at N1, 143 billion (US$ 7.78 billion) or 40.81 percent. From 1 and 2 above it is apparent that the five banks had a disproportionate component of total exposure to the capital market and oil and gas, reflecting a propensity for high risk ventures and lack of prudence relative to others in the industry. The huge provisioning requirements translate to significant capital erosion, leaving the five banks undercapitalized. At least one bank is technically insolvent with a Capital Adequacy Ratio of 1.01 percent. Thus, a minimum capital injection of N204.94 billion or US$1.39 billion is required for the five banks to meet the minimum capital adequacy ratio of 10 percent. The five banks were perennial net-takers of funds in the inter-bank market. Their outstanding balances on the EDW amounted to N127.85 billion or US$8.70 billion at end July
2009, representing 89.81 percent of industry total. Their liquidity ratios ranged from 17.65 to 24 percent as at May 31, 2009, while regulatory minimum ratio is 25 percent. The Dynamics of Nigeria's Capital Market and Challenges of the Emergent Downturn The Nigerian capital market is acknowledged as one of the most dynamic in Africa. Activities in the market, particularly in the past couple of decades, have raised the market as an attraction for portfolio investors around the world. The nation's capital market is centered on one stock market, the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), which was established in 1961 with 19 securities listed for trading. There are currently about 300 listed securities, valued at US$50billion in early 2008 (prior to the market downturn in the Nigerian capital market). Nigeria has the third-largest stock exchange by market capitalization on the African continent, behind South Africa and Egypt (Ologunde, et al., 2006.7). However, the global financial crisis caught up with the nation's capital market in 2008, sending equity prices into a downward spiral. By January 2009, equity values have fallen precipitously to 22,340 points, with a market capitalization of N4.998 trillion. The turmoil associated with the NSE continued unabated and by March, 2009, index of equities had declined to 21,893 points, with a market capitalization of N4.836 trillion US$3.29 billion. The negative trend reveals the severity of the market downturn, as the all share index lost a total share of 67 percent, while market capitalization lost 62 percent of its value between March 2008 and March 2009 (Ajakaiye and Fakiyesi, 2009.7). Figure 4 shows the trend in Nigeria's capital market from 2002 to early 2009.The data show a precipitous fall in the prices of shares on the NSE since March, 2008, from which it is yet to recover. Figure 4: Market Trends in Nigeria Stock Exchange, 2002-2009 Sources: NSE (2002-2007) and www.fsdhsecurities. com
Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 2(6):497-503 (ISSN:2141-7024)
Indications are however that tumbling prices on the NSE slowed down by the end of the second quarter, 2009. Total market capitalization of the 295 listed equities actually rose by 22.2 percent to N8.8 trillion or US$50.99 billion from the preceding quarter's level. The upswing is attributable to the price gains recorded by highly capitalized stocks. The listed equities accounted for N6.1 trillion (US$40.15 billion) or 69.6 percent of the total market capitalization. The NSE All-share index, which opened at 19,851.89 in April, closed at 26.861.55 in June, representing an increase of 35.5 percent over the level in the preceding quarter. However, relative to the closing value of 31,450.78 on December, 31, 2008, the relative fall in the NSE All-share-Index stood at 14.6 percent (CBN, 2009.6; Okeke, 2009.7). However, on 31st December, 2009, the All-Share Index closed lower for the year, at 10, 623.61 points, down from 31, 450.78 points at which it closed on 31st December, 2008, while market capitalization dropped by N1.97 trillion or US$11.34 billion, from N6.957 trillion or US$14.73 billion in 2008 to N4. 989 trillion or US$13.39 billion in 2009. (Fakiyesi and Oyinlola, 2009.5). RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION The recommendations presented in this section are aimed at creating instruments at two levels i.e. Nigeria and the global community, which are taken in turn. Recommendations to policymakers in Nigeria are as follows: Deepen Financial Sector Reform: Although financial sector reforms have emerged in Nigeria since the mid-1980s, when policy makers decided to deregulate the sector, the industry continues to be plagued by incessant instability and the threat of systemic collapse. Institutional failure has been blamed for this development. Consequently, policy markers need to deepen institutional mechanisms aimed at providing an enabling environment for the money and capital markets. Sustain Economic Reforms: Despite successive economic reform initiatives undertaken by different Nigerian administrations since the 1980s, the economy is yet to be transformed. It is sustained by crude oil exports, which marginalizes the real sector. Consequently, policy makers should embark upon concerted policy measures aimed at diversifying the economy away from reliance on the petroleum sector, which has marginalized the real sectors. Rehabilitate Social and Physical Infrastructure: The state of infrastructure in Nigeria leaves much to the desired. Most infrastructures, including roads, electricity, water supply, etc are in moribund state and
need to be rehabilitated. Therefore, there is urgent need to rehabilitate the power infrastructure aimed at up scaling capacity for electricity generation, transmission and distribution across the nation. Embrace Poverty Reduction Strategies: In view of the poverty profile of Nigeria, which has assumed an endemic dimension in the past couple of decades, there is urgent need to deepen the nation's anti-poverty agenda. Therefore, government's anti-poverty initiatives should be more focused, targeting specific categories of the population that are vulnerable: unemployed, aged, women, handicapped and infirmed. CONCLUSION The global economic crisis has shaken economic activities in both industrialized and developing economies, in a development that is acknowledged as the severest since the Great Depression. The emergent crisis has undermined economic growth, trade, investment and credit, creating a deep concern in the global community. While indications now point to recovery of some industrial economies, most developing economies continue to suffer social and economic consequences of the global turmoil. Lowincome countries, which rely on primary commodities as the major source of government revenue, are at the core of the global economic crisis. In the case of Nigeria, dwindling oil prices has undermined government's fiscal capacity to deliver critical social services, with serious consequences for the nation's development agenda. REFERENCES Ajakaiye, O. and T. Fakiyesi (2009): Global Financial Crisis Discussion Series. Paper 8: Nigeria. Overseas Development Institute. London. Ayogu, M. and Emenuga, C. (2008): "Central Bank Experience and monetary policy in Nigeria" in: Financial Systems and Monetary Policy in Africa (Ncube, M.ed) African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi. Becker, L., Chammard, M., Hussien, Z., Kotsuji, Y. and N. Quagraine (2008): Nigeria Financial Services cluster analysis and Recommendations. Submitted for the Macroeconomics of Competitiveness: Firms, Clusters and Economic Development. May 2nd. Bureau of Federal Statistics (BFS) (2006): The Poverty profile of Nigeria, 2004. Abuja. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (2009). Economic Report for the Second Quarter of 2009. Research Department. Abuja.
Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 2(6):497-503 (ISSN:2141-7024)
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (2000): The Changing Structure of the Nigerian economy and Implications for development research Department. Abuja. Congressional Research Service (CRS) (2009): The Global Financial Crisis. Analysis and Policy Implications. United States Congress. Washington, D.C.
Ologunde, A., Elumilade, D. and T. Ashaolu (2006): Stock Market Capitalization and Interest Rates in Nigeria: A time series analysis. International Research Journal of Finance and Economics. Issue 4. Euro-Journals Publishing. Okeke, M. (2009): Economy: In search for New Paradigm Persists. Zenith Economic Quarterly. Volume 4, No. 3, July. Lagos.
Fakiyesi, T. and M. Oyinlola (2009): "The Impact and Transmission Human right watch (HRW): The price of Oil: corporate responsibility and Human Rights Violations in Nigeria's Oil Producing Communities. New York. Igbatayo, S. (2009). "Mitigating The Social and economic Effects of the Global Economic Downturn: Lessons for African Economies". Proceedings of an International Conference, themed :Rethinking African Economic Policy in light of the Global economic and Financial crisis, organized by AERC. 6-8 December. Nairobi. Ikhide, S. and A. Alawode (2001): Financial sector reforms, Macroeconomic Instability and the order to Africa Economic Research Consortium, (AERC) Research Paper 112. November. Nairobi. International Labour Organization (ILO) (2009): The Financial and economic Crisis: A Decent Work response. Geneva.
Sanusi, L. (2009): Recent Developments in Nigeria's CBhannkienlsg osfeGctloorb. aAl ePcorensosmRicelaenadseFCinBanNc.ia1l4cthrisAisugounstth, e Nigeria Economy". Pro Abuja. Soludo, C. (2008): Nigeria's Financial System Strategy 2020 Plan. Proceedings of the Financial System strategy 2020 International Conference. June 18. Abuja. United Nations (2009): Conference on the World Financial and economic crisis and its Impact on Development Draft outcome document 24-26 June, 2009. New York.(Nanto, D., ed). Washington, D.C. United United Nations (2009a): Reports of the President of the United Nations General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial system. September. New York. World Bank (2009b): Global Monitoring report. A Development Emergency. Washington, D.C.
Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS) 2(6):497-503 (ISSN:2141-7024)
Table 1: Summary of World Output (Annual percentage change)
World Output Advanced Economies of which United States Euro Area Japan Canada United Kingdom Other advanced Countries Emerging markets and other developing countries Emerging markets other developing countries Africa of which sub-Saharan Africa Central and Eastern Europe Communicate of Independent States Developing Asia South Asia East Asia Middle East Western Hemisphere Memorandum Items China India Source: IMF Database
2002 2.8 1.6 1.6 0.9 0.3 2.9 2.1 3.9 4.8 4.6 7.5 6.5 7.3 4.4 5.2 6.9 4.4 7.9 3.8 0.6 9.1 4.6
2003 3.6 1.9 2.5 0.8 1.4 1.9 2.8 2.5 6.3 6.3 6.2 5.7 5.4 4.9 7.8 8.2 6.5 8.8 7.0 2.2 10.0 6.9
2004 4.9 3.2 3.6 2.2 2.7 3.1 2.8 4.8 7.5 7.5 7.4 6.7 7.1 7.3 8.2 8.6 7.6 9.0 6.0 6.0 10.1 7.9
2005 4.5 2.6 2.9 1.7 1.9 2.9 2.1 4.0 7.1 7.1 7.6 5.8 6.2 6.0 6.7 9.0 8.7 9.2 5.8 4.7 10.4 9.2
2006 5.1 3.0 2.8 2.9 2.0 3.1 2.8 4.6
2007 5.2 2.7 2.0 2.7 2.4 2.7 3.0 4.7
2008 3.2 0.9 1.1 0.9 -0.6 0.5 0.7 1.6 6.1 6.1 6.5 5.7 5.5 2.9 5.5 7.7 7.0 8.0 5.9 4.2 9.0 7.3
2009 -1.3 -3.8 -2.8 -4.2 -6.2 -2.5 -4.1 -1.4 1.6 1.5 3.2 2.0 1.7 -3.7 -5.1 4.8 4.3 5.1 2.5 -1.5 6.5 4.5
2010 1.9 0.0 0.0 -0.4 0.5 1.2 -0.4 0.6 4.0 3.9 4.7 3.9 3.8 0.8 1.2 6.1 5.3 6.4 3.5 1.6 7.5 5.6

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