Economic Report: Foreign Investors Repatriate $5Bn Dividend in 6 Months — CBN

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Foreign firms repatriated $5.86bn from the Nigerian economy between October 2022 and March 2023, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In its ‘Economic Report, First Quarter 2023,’ the apex bank disclosed that higher dividend payments to non-residents further widened the deficit in its primary income account. It stated that this deficit widened to $2.69bn in Q1, 2023 from $2.26bn in Q4 2022.

According to the CBN, the primary income account covers the compensation of employees and investment income.

In its Quarterly Statistical Bulletin (Volume 11, Number 3, September 2022), it said, “The investment income component refers to accrued income on existing foreign financial assets and liabilities. This income may be profits, interest, dividends, and royalties received by or paid to direct and portfolio investors. It may also be interest and commitment charges on loans (Other Investment Income).”

Dividend payments to foreign investors amounted to $5.13bn in the six months under review.

Giving a breakdown of payments, the bank stated, “The deficit in the primary income account widened by 18.7 per cent to $2.69bn in 2023Q1, due, primarily to the 34.9 per cent increase in investment income payments, which amounted to $3.09bn, from $2.77bn in 2022Q4.

“Income on direct investment in the form of dividends rose by 12.1 per cent to $2.71bn, relative to $2.42bn in 2022Q4. Similarly, interest payments on portfolio investments rose to $0.09bn, from $0.05bn in 2022Q4.

Interest earnings on reserve assets increased by 35.7 per cent to $0.20bn, from $0.15bn in 2022Q4. Conversely, interest payments on loans declined by 0.7 per cent to $0.30bn.

“The compensation of employees’ account maintained a surplus position, increasing by 6.2 per cent to $0.06bn, relative to the level in 2022Q4.”

According to a 2019 report, gotten from the CBN’s website, titled, ‘Current Account Balance and Economic Growth in Nigeria: An Empirical Investigation,’ the primary income account has been in deficit due to increased debt service payments and remittances of dividends, income, and profits by foreign-owned companies.

It stated that the outflow from the account was undermining the productivity of the real sector as foreign exchange resources which ought to have been used to develop the economy were being used to service external debt.

It added, “In addition, the profit, which ought to have been ploughed back to generate increased economic activities, is being remitted to overseas countries by foreign-owned companies in Nigeria.”

The report further noted that the net deficit in the income account has declined in recent years due to lower outpayments of dividends and distributed branch profit and other interest payments.


Source: nigeriacommunicationsweek

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