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Nigerian Equities Hit All-Time N15.78tr High

Nigerian equities scored a double yesterday as sustained scramble for quoted shares ballooned the aggregate market value of all quoted equities to N15.783 trillion, the highest in the 57 years of trading at the stock market.

The All Share Index (ASI)-the benchmark index that tracks share prices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), also rallied to its nine-year high at 44,054.72 points. The ASI had hit 66,000 points at the height of the unprecedented stock bubble in 2008.

The NSE was established as Lagos Stock Exchange in 1960 but it started formal trading in 1961. The NSE began trading with 19 securities; there are more than 160 quoted companies now.

With nearly three gainers to every loser, bullish trend gathered momentum as the management of the NSE yesterday unfolded its strategic plan for the new business year. The ASI recorded a day-on-day increase of 2.17 per cent to close at 44,054.72 points as against its opening index of 43,119.00 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also rose from its opening value of N15.447 trillion to close at N15.783 trillion, representing a net capital gain of N336 billion.

With this, the average year-to-date return jumped to 15.2 per cent, equivalent to net capital gain of about N2.17 trillion so far this year.

At a review of 2017 and preview of 2018 yesterday at the NSE, Chief Executive Officer Mr Oscar Onyema said the outlook for the Nigerian capital market is encouraging.

”Indeed, to some extent, political activities and currency movements will have some effect on the market, but we expect that such impacts will be short lived and the performance of the underlying business activities will ultimately determine market performance,” Onyema said.

He added that the NSE was on track to become a more agile and flexible demutualised securities exchange.

“We are hopeful that the Demutualization Bill will be signed into law in 2018, and are working assiduously with our advisers to fine-tune outstanding aspects of the demutualization project as well as providing clarity and transparency on the process via regular engagement with all our valued stakeholders,” Onyema said.

In 2018, Onyema said the NSE will launch Exchange Traded Derivative instruments and continue to engage with the government on privatization and listing of state owned enterprises in collaboration with the private sector.

The Exchange will also maintain its role as an advocate for the adoption and implementation of market friendly policies.

According to him, in keeping with its objective of taking a vigorous and adaptive approach to strategy execution, the NSE re-assessed its strategic agenda in the light of changing dynamics in both the operating environment and the global exchange landscape against the backdrop of the fourth industrial revolution. This culminated in a new corporate strategy for the 2018 – 2021 period.

“Our efforts will be geared at satisfying our customers, boosting our domestic retail segment, and enhancing our organisation for a demutualized structure,” Onyema said.



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