By Olawunmi Ashafa
Afrinvest West Africa, a wealth advisory firm, has outlined the investment outlook for 2023 and how investors can explore the opportunities and guide against threats expected in the new year.
Speaking during the investor parley held on Wednesday in Lagos with the theme: ‘Soft or Hard Landing’, Group Managing Director, Afrinvest West Africa, Mr. Ike Chioke, said the event was to engage with clients on the 2023 outlook from the investment perspective.
Chioke said that issues around inflationary trends, COVID-19, commodity prices, Russia and Ukraine war, among others, were key considerations in investing in the new year but investors have to be guided to explore opportunities presented by key events around the world.
“These happenings have made investment experts come together to look at investment perspective for next year.
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“So, this forum is just to engage with clients, asset managers, pension funds managers, mutual funds managers to engage and compare notes,” he said.
According to Chioke, the interaction is to give advice on how Nigerians need to be well-positioned for the market come 2023.
“We are saying is it going to be a hard landing or soft landing? In either scenario, investors need to be ready and decide when to enter the market and when to exit,” he said.
Chioke explained that whichever way the financial market turns out to be, one could still have good returns and make some profit for the year.
“So, 2022 is pretty much done, we are looking at 2023 and what it portends for investors.
“I think that from our perspective from the forex point of view, we still have a complex exchange rate policy in our view, with multiple windows through which investors can access dollars,” he said.
Chief Business Officer, Optimus by Afrinvest, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, said that a high-interest rate environment presents opportunities to investors.
According to Ebo, the high-interest rate may present a negative position to the borrower, but from the investor’s perspective, it means higher returns.
He noted that it would also reduce the negative results that most investors suffer as a result of higher inflation.
“We know where the interest rate was in the early part of this year, but we see that that gap is reducing.
“The negative real return on investment is reducing. So, we believe that from the fixed income angle, risk-free investment such as the treasury bills presents opportunities,” he noted.
Ebo said such instruments would present higher returns to investors and remain safe because the government would not default on its obligation.
“We believe that investors are safe in investing in government instruments and blue chip commercial papers.
“From the equity’s perspective, there are still a lot of volatilities, so there is that negative relationship between the fixed income and the equities which is normal.
“The equities become less attractive when the fixed income interest rate is going up,” he disclosed.
Ebo said investors could also look at it from a dividend yield perspective which is the return on investment.
He said that for investors that go through the conservative approach, dividend yields have increased to an average of about 12 to 15 percent for the stock as a result of the decline in prices.
“When you look at the financial performance of the companies, if they sustain last year’s dividend relative to the current price, the yield will be close to 15 percent. So, that’s another opportunity that investors can explore,” he said.
Encouraging more people to invest their funds, Ebo said that inflation is real, and reduces people’s purchasing power.
“So even if the interest or the return you’re getting on your investment is not as much as inflation, doing nothing will make you worse off. “By investing, you are likely to reduce the impact of inflation on your savings and investments,” he said.
Also, the Managing Director, of Afrinvest Consulting, Mr. Abiodun Keripe, said the event was to intimidate market participants, both at the buy and sale sides, with some of the trends in 2022 and provide insight and perception about 2023.
Keripe said that investors needed to know how to allocate portfolios, strategize and plan for the investment climate in 2023.
He said the platform was to tell the average Nigerian to be very cautious, particularly as the nation would be going into an election year where there would be some sort of elevation in uncertainties.
Keripe said that investment decision-making could be influenced by so many variables, hence the need for investors to be cautious about how to invest. He said although inflation is running far ahead of returns, that should not deter investment.
“Assuming you are able to make an investment where you earn between 10 to 20 percent, what that means is you have been able to cut down your actual cost of living by 10 percent.
“In real terms, your exposure to inflation is moderated by the extra income from investing, which is more important than you just taking inflation 100 percent,” he added.
Also speaking, the Chief Investment Officer, of Afrinvest Asset Management Ltd., Mr. Robert Omotunde, said that diversifying portfolio from a currency perspective is a critical strategy that investors need, especially in an environment where inflation is hyper.
On hyperinflation within countries, such a move, he said would enable investors to beat inflation and make good returns on investments.
“Although, there are laws within the country that prevent dollarisation of the economy to avoid putting pressure on the local currency, for investors with dollar inflows, such investment is advisable.
“It makes sense to take advantage of dollar investment opportunities for investors with dollar inflows. There are a number of portfolios or opportunities that you can take in different asset classes,” he said.