Nigeria’s economy may reach about $400 billion by the end of the decade and could overtake South Africa by 2025, economist at Morgan Stanley said in a research note.
Bloomberg quoted the international research and investment firm to have predicted that Nigeria will probably expand 8.4 percent in 2011 and 8.5 percent in 2012. Morgan Stanley’s economists: Andrea Masia and Michael Kafe, where quoted to have made the projections in Johannesburg.
The also forecast that the naira may strengthen to N153 against the dollar by the end of the year and reach N150 by the end of 2012.
Morgan Stanley also recommended that investors buy shares in Guinness Nigeria Plc, Nestle Foods Nigeria Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
In a related development, FBN Capital Limited has also predicted that the country’s foreign reserves may rise 24 percent to the highest due to the creation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund tighten spending.
Reserves had fallen 14 percent to $32.3 billion as of June 24 compared with a year earlier. Bonny Light oil has added 38 percent over the same period.
Bloomberg quoted the London- based Head of Macroeconomic and Fixed-Income Research at FBN, Gregory Kronsten to have said: “Our feeling is that in the second half of 2011, reserves will pick up, perhaps to $40 billion, as the new government opts for modest fiscal tightening and foreign investors respond positively to the reform agenda. A transparent sovereign wealth fund would address market concerns over how the nation’s oil revenues are managed.”
He noted that the nation’s external reserves may not have risen because foreign-currency “demand at auction is robust and has not cooled since the elections in April.
Demand at the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) bi weekly auctions reached a post-election high of $499 million on May 16 and was at $476 million on June 22. The apex bank has been defending the naira, keeping it within 3 percent above or below 150 per dollar marginal rate at foreign-exchange auctions in a bid to curb inflation