The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) lost N416 billion in five trading days due to exit of foreign investors following delay in 2018 budget passage.
Market statistics obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) showed that the market capitalisation which opened trading on May 21 at N14.660 trillion shed N416 billion or 2.84 per cent to close trading on May 25 at N14.244 trillion.
Similarly, the All-Share Index within the period dipped 1,148.83 or 2.84 per cent to close trading on 39,323.62 compared with 40,472.45 it opened for the week.
Commenting on the persistent market lull, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun attributed the development, in an interview to uncertainties in the economy which affected foreign investors confidence.
Tella said the negative trend in the stock market in the last two weeks arose from the lack of money in the economy.
He said that investors were taking profits to get cash for spending which led to selling pressure.
Tella said that delay in the passage of the budget affected foreign investors’ confidence in the nation’s economy.
He explained that the delay witnessed in the passage of the budget affected government spending, noting that our economy was public-sector driven.
“So, when government starts spending on infrastructure, communication, and other sectors that will impact on production, foreign investments in both direct and portfolio will start returning,” Tella said.
According to him, things will change as soon as the budget is fully approved for implementation and confidence returns to the economy.
The economist said that the fluctuation would likely continue in the next four to five weeks.
Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd. , said that foreign portfolio investors that positioned the market in mid 2017 were exiting their positions ahead of the upcoming general elections.
Omordion said that they were running for safety as the political risk surrounding the coming 2019 elections were already playing out.
He called on investors to invest for long-term or go for stocks with good fundamentals to minimise loss.
Mr Sola Oni, Stockbroker and the Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix Investment and Communications said that Nigeria still remained a good investment destination for any investor regardless of any challenge.
Oni said that investors must appreciate the fact that the stock market moves in a circle all over the world.
He said that investors were at liberty to realise profit anytime the market was upswing, adding that, profit taking leads to bearish trend.