Capital inflow into Nigeria rose almost sixfold in the first quarter compared to a year ago, following last year’s liberalisation of the currency for foreign investors and steps to tighten liquidity to attract offshore funds. Figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed capital inflow had hit $6.3 billion in the quarter, dominated by offshore portfolio investors buying local shares and bonds rather than foreign direct investment. Capital imports have been growing especially as economic activity gains pace after Nigeria emerged from a recession last year. They rose for the fourth straight quarter since the second quarter of 2017.
The bureau said that the value of capital imported in the quarter recorded an increase of 594.03 per cent, year-on-year and a 17.11 per cent growth over the figure reported in the previous quarter. It further said that the quarter saw a continuous growth in total Capital Importation into the country, making it the fourth consecutive quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2017. The report, however, stated that the increase in capital inflow in the quarter under review was driven mainly by Portfolio Investment.
According to NBS Portfolio investment grew from $3.477.53 million in the previous quarter to $4.565.09 million dollars. The report said the amount recorded by Portfolio investment accounted for 72.42 per cent of the total Capital Importation during the quarter. According to the report, capital Importation is made up of three main investment types: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Portfolio Investment and Other Investments. It said since the second quarter of 2017, Portfolio Investment had been expanding faster than the other two categories.
It added that Portfolio Investment was the largest component of the capital imported in the first quarter of 2018 at 35 per cent of total capital imported. According to the report, Foreign Direct Investment and Other Investment accounted for 3.91 per cent and 23.67 per cent of total Capital Importation into the country in the quarter under review. In the first quarter, the bureau reported that FDI stood at 246.62 million dollars, falling by 34.83 per cent from the figure reported in the previous quarter, and growing by 16.67 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
It said that Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria was still weak when compared to Portfolio Investment and Other Investment, representing only 3.9 per cent of total capital imported. The report noted that Equity Investment, a sub-category under FDI contributed 246.61 million dollars or 99.9 per cent of FDI during the quarter, while Other Capital under FDI contributed less than 0.001 per cent.
Meanwhile, the report stated that Portfolio Investment remained the largest component of total capital inflow into Nigeria in the first quarter of 2018. It said total value of Portfolio Investment was 4.565.1 million dollars, which was 1,355.66 per cent growth compared to first quarter, 2017 and 31.27 per cent growth compared to the figure reported in fourth quarter, 2017. The report, however, stated that the strong growth of Portfolio Investment was mainly due to the increase in Money Market Instruments which recorded a figure of 3.527.60 million dollars. This, according to the report, accounted for 77.27 per cent of total Portfolio Investments in the first quarter.