No. 149: 3AMReads: Cheap Black Market Naira | Kana TV’s Winning Ethiopia | Safaricom’s Not About That Breakup Life

Black Market Naira Trading Cheaper Than Official Naira

Nigeria’s currency situation has been a mess of late, and I’m blaming it on Billions (read my thoughts in Issue No. 24). Sure enough, hedge funds are sniffing around for a deal. This week has felt like something of a perfect storm for Nigeria with telecoms having to cut back on their broadband coverage due to forex restrictions on equipment imports to go along with a particularly rough decline in power generation. And President Buhari is out of the country for who knows how long. Sheesh.

Kana TV Has Ethiopians Watching More TV
Kana TV is gaining market share in Ethiopia, bringing hip entertainment content to a media landscape that heretofore had been relatively drab. As Ethiopia eases restrictions over various sectors it will be interesting to see how brands like Kana innovate and push the boundaries in appealing to their customers. 

Safaricom Doesn’t Plan on Letting Regulators Split Up Company 

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore has committed the company to fighting any efforts by Kenyan regulators to break up the country’s largest company by market value, separating the mammoth Mpesa business from the rest of the company. That would mess with the company’s future plans to develop an e-commerce platform and content distribution business. Mpesa would play a huge role in monetizing such offerings. Definitely stay tuned to what happens here.  

No. 53: Nigerians Feel Good About Their Well Being?

PWBISo, personal well-being in Nigeria is trending upward, according to data compiled by NOIPolls. December produced the highest results for the year – a month when the naira stumbled significantly, the Nigerian Stock Exchange went for a wild ride, and Boko Haram deadliness persisted.More than anything, I think this displays the resiliency of this country’s people. President Jonathan’s team must be pleased to see these results with elections approaching next month.

Here, you can see the dive the naira took in December.

Source: Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg

Here is Nigeria’s All Share Index for 2014. You can see the ride the market went for in the month as foreign investors sold off and local investors filled the void.

Source: Nigerian Stock Exchange
Source: Nigerian Stock Exchange

Here is a tweet Ian Bremmer sent out on the fatalities by Boko Haram.