7 things you need to know before the opening bell across African markets

Nigerian equities market closed on a negative note on Thursday as All-Share Index depreciated by 0.39% to close at 29,553.12basis points as against 1.85% depreciation recorded previously. 

Nigeria stock market used to illustrate this story

Its Year-to-Date (YTD) returns currently stands at -5.97%. 

Here is what you need to know.

1. Nigeria to raise N3 trillion notes. Nigerian government has appointed commercial banks for the promissory notes. The notes will be used to settle a backlog of state obligations.

The finance minister, Zainab Ahmed said it would help revive an economy that has faced low growth since emerging from its first recession in 25 years in 2017. It is currently awaiting parliament deliberation. 

2. Brent crude oil tops $70 for the first time since November - Brent oil price, international market price, where Nigeria and other nations trade, rose to $70 per barrel for the first time in nearly five months.  

This is on the expectations of tight global supply outweighed pressure from rising U.S. production and less robust global demand indicators.

Global benchmark Brent has gained 30% in 2019 so far.

3. Nigeria’s total debt now N24.38tn - Patience Oniha, director-general, Debt Management Office (DMO), says the total public debt of Nigeria as at Dec. 31, 2018, is N24.38 trillion.

4. Oando Plc has sold its interest in Axxela Limited. Oando PLC, Nigeria’s leading indigenous energy group listed on both the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges, on Thursday announced that it has divested its residual 25% interest in Axxela Limited (held through Glover Gas & Power B.V.) to Helios Investment Partners, a leading private equity firm with a focus on investments in Africa. 

The total purchase price for the transaction was $41,5 million, thereby optimising value from non-core business activity of the Group. The net proceeds of the transaction will be applied in partially prepaying the Group’s Medium-Term Loan (MTL). The acquisition by Helios was effected through HIP GLOVER S.à.r.l, a special purpose vehicle incorporated by Helios, which in 2016 had acquired the initial 75% interest in Axxela for $115.8 million .

5. Kenya's economy to grow by 6.3%. President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Thursday that Kenya’s economy should grow by 6.3% in 2019 with execution of the Big Four Agenda, and sustained macroeconomic stability.

7. Ghana's debt to GDP soar. Ghana opposition party says country's debt to GDP is at 58%, countering Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia's statement on 48%. 

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