Ruth Olurounbi and William Clowes
Mon, 27 February 2023 at 9:43 pm GMT
(Bloomberg) — Nigeria’s ruling party candidate took an early lead in the West African nation’s presidential elections as results from Saturday’s vote trickled in.All Progressives Congress candidate Bola Tinubu won in six states, the Independent National Electoral Commission said on Monday. Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party secured four states, it said.
In a major upset, outsider Peter Obi of the Labour Party secured the most support in Lagos state, the country’s commercial center where Tinubu has for decades been the most powerful politician. Obi also won two other states, INEC said.
Nigerian Bonds Rally as Tinubu Leads (Feb. 27, 7:17 p.m.)
Nigerian bonds are posting some of the best gains in emerging markets as investors bet that Tinubu, who’s taken an early lead in the nation’s presidential election tally, will offer reforms to pull Africa’s largest economy out of a fiscal mess.
Five of the West African nation’s dollar bonds ranked among the 10 best performers on Monday in a Bloomberg index of 71 emerging and frontier nations. The country’s sovereign risk premium narrowed the most this year on Monday, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. data. The equity benchmark in Lagos rose to an eight-month high.
Nigeria’s bond due 2047 rose 1.8 cents on the dollar to 68.8, cutting its yield by 33 basis points to 11.5%.
Delay in Release of Results Saps Trust in Election (Feb. 27, 4:04 p.m.)
Severe delays by Nigerian authorities in releasing results from the country’s hotly contested presidential election is feeding suspicion that the process is being mismanaged.
The Feb. 25 vote saw the INEC use an electronic tallying process nationally for the first time, a change that was designed to boost shaky public trust in the integrity of the West African nation’s democracy. Instead, the lengthy delays in publishing results from the nearly 177,000 polling units online risks sapping confidence that the election will be free and fair.
Nigerian Eurobonds Gain for a Third Day (Feb. 27, 1:44 p.m.)
Nigeria’s dollar bonds gained for a third day, with the yield on 2032 securities falling 48 basis points to 11.94% by 2:06 p.m. in Abuja, the capital. The premium investors demand to hold the country’s dollar debt rather than US Treasuries has narrowed 42 basis points since Wednesday to 723, the lowest in a month.
The naira weakened 0.2% to 461.43 a dollar on the official market. It traded at 765 naira to the greenback on the parallel market, down from 760 naira over the weekend, Umar Salisu, a bureau de change operator who tracks the data in Lagos, said by phone.
System Glitches (Feb. 25, 9:56 a.m.)
The Independent National Electoral Commission said glitches in a new electronic system used to verify citizens’ identities and in the transmission of ballot counts from polling stations won’t have any impact on the results it’s collating.
“The commission wishes to assure Nigerians that the challenges are not due to any intrusion or sabotage of our systems,” the Independent National Electoral Commission said in a statement. “Results cannot be tampered with and any discrepancy between them and the physical results used in collation will be thoroughly investigated and remediated.”
Jittery Parties (Feb. 26, 5:28 p.m.)
Opposition parties urged the electoral commission to immediately release results from the vote to reduce the chances of the outcome being compromised.
Polling stations were supposed to transmit the counts as soon as they were tallied, but the electoral commission had published results from less than a quarter of them by 4 p.m. local time. Officials in some areas, including one south of the capital Abuja, uploaded notes saying the “election was declared not contested,” following attacks by criminals.
–With assistance from Robert Brand, Emele Onu and Mike Cohen.