“A Borderline Failed State”
Nigeria “is caught in a macro hurricane,” famed short seller James Chanos told the annual Sohn Investment Conference last week. With currency reserves running low, the country could have “a big problem” within a few years, he said. Calling the country “a borderline failed state,” Chanos added that he was shorting South African assets, in part because of their exposure to Nigeria.
Almost booted out of the MSCI Frontier Markets
In the year that Nigerians elected a new president, oil prices collapsed by at least 30 percent. This week, Nigeria’s stock market staged a relief rally after the closely watched MSCI Frontier Markets Index decided to keep the country in the benchmark, after warning last month that Nigeria was at risk of being booted from the index.
“Outlook remains Grim”
Still, the outlook for Africa’s largest economy remains grim. The extremist group Boko Haram has created significant political and security challenges for the embattled government of Muhammadu Buhari, and raise risks that could hit oil production.
“Nigeria is in trouble,” Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins, told CNBC in an interview. Amid double-digit inflation, Nigeria’s foreign reserves are dwindling as the government races to shore up a swooning currency, the Naira.
In our view, while the present situation is challenging, this report is overly pessimistic, we will love to hear your thoughts.