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US, China stocks gains, dollar weaker as Democrats win House

By News Desk,

Wall Street stock futures and Asian shares held earlier gains on Wednesday after Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives, boosting the party’s ability to block President Donald Trump’s political and economic agenda.

The Democrats’ House win creates a clear hurdle for Republicans to easily pass legislation through both chambers of Congress, clouding the outlook for some of Trump’s key economic proposals.

In Asian trade, major broadcasters projected the Democrats would wrest House control, while the Republicans were seen retaining the Senate.

While both outcomes were broadly in line with market expectations, a reason markets did not sell off, the prospect of political gridlock creates some uncertainty for investors. The dollar weakened against most of its major counterparts.

In equities markets, U.S. S&P500 futures ESc1 rose 0.3 percent, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent and Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.2 percent

“It has clearly become difficult for Republicans to pass additional tax hikes or amendments to Dodd-Frank regulations (on financial institutions) for instance,” said Tomoaki Shishido, fixed income analyst at Nomura Securities.

Investor sentiment had been volatile in Asian trade with stocks and the dollar swinging on the Republicans’ fluctuating prospects of retaining the House.

While a split Congress would put a brake on Trump’s agenda, such as tax cuts or deregulation, some investors think the Democrats may agree to more spending.

“There are still areas with compromise for spending, so even with a split government I expect more fiscal stimulus ahead. There is some possibility for compromise on infrastructure spending as well,” said Steve Friedman, New York-based senior economist at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

“If there is additional fiscal stimulus, it suggests that fiscal policy is more of a tailwind for U.S. growth and it should, all things equal, be supportive for stocks.”

On the other hand, many investors also expect Trump to continue to take a hard line on tariffs, which he can impose without Congressional approval. That keeps alive worries about a trade war between China and the United States.

Trump’s massive tax cut, enacted in December, and a spending agreement reached in February have helped lift the U.S. economy, but they have also widened U.S. federal budget deficit.

As a result, Treasury supply has been growing, pushing U.S. bond yields higher.

The election results pushed down the 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield about 2 basis points to 3.193 percent, off its seven-year high of 3.261 percent touched a month ago. But the debt market also remains under pressure from this week’s record volumes of longer-dated government debt supply.

Oil prices were soft after a 2 percent fall the previous day, with U.S. crude futures hitting an eight-month low as Washington granted sanction waivers to top buyers of Iranian oil and as Iran said it has so far been able to sell as much oil as it needs to.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures traded 0.5 percent lower at $61.91 a barrel having hit a low of $61.31 on Tuesday, the weakest price since March 16.

In the currency market, the dollar dipped on the U.S. election results. Against the yen, it was 0.2 percent lower at 113.23, reversing earlier gains to one-month high of 113.82 yen.

The euro rose 0.3 percent to $1.1467 and the British pound gained 0.3 percent to $1.3140, hitting a three-week high.

Sterling extended gains made the previous day on hopes of a Brexit deal breakthrough after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said “Thumbs Up” on his way out of a cabinet meeting.

That helped sterling recover losses following remarks from a senior member of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party earlier that it looked like Britain would exit the EU without a deal.

China open to talk trade with US – VP

By News Desk, with Agency Report,

A top deputy to Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing remained ready to discuss a trade solution with the U.S., but cautioned that the country wouldn’t again be “bullied and oppressed” by foreign powers.

Vice President Wang Qishan — one of China’s best-known economic reformers — told Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Singapore that trade was still the “anchor and propeller of China-U.S. relations.” Wang prefaced his support for talks — a refrain Chinese leaders have repeated for months — with a warning about the dangers of “right-leaning populism” and “unilateralism.”

“The Chinese side is ready to have discussions with the U.S. on issues of mutual concern and work for a solution on trade acceptable to both sides,” Wang told the crowd of more than 400 business and political leaders Tuesday. “China will stay calm and sober-minded and embrace greater openness to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.”

Still, Wang — a long-time friend of Xi’s — said that China had been “bullied and oppressed by imperialist powers” and must “blaze its own trail.”

Wang was speaking the day after Xi pledged at a Shanghai trade expo to further open his country’s markets, while taking a few veiled swipes at U.S. counterpart Donald Trump. The rare speech by Wang comes amid an effort by top Communist Party leaders to reassure global investors spooked by the U.S.-China trade war and a deepening slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

‘Dig In Their Heels’

While Trump has asked cabinet officials outline the terms of a possible deal with Xi, Bloomberg News reported Friday, Chinese officials have given no indication they are ready to meet key U.S. demands, such as halting forced technology transfers or rolling back support for state-owned enterprises. On Monday, Trump told a campaign rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that he still believed he and Xi could settle the dispute.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent Tuesday, trimming last week’s rally. The yuan weakened as much as 0.16 percent to 6.9240 per dollar in offshore trading after its best week since March.

“We’re going to see these two sides continue to dig in their heels — both sides still think they have the upper hand,” Scott Kennedy, deputy director of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told Bloomberg Television. “For President Trump, even though he’s signaling that it’s possible they want a deal, there’s actually no monster benefit to him economically or politically. So I think they’ll continue to do this dance and all of us will continue to watch.”

Diplomatic Talks

Even as the U.S. and China spar over everything from tariffs to American support for the democratically run island of Taiwan, the two sides have sought to preserve broader ties. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced Monday that they would host their Chinese counterparts Friday in Washington for a regular diplomatic and security dialogue.

Wang was introduced Tuesday by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP. The company owns both Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Media Group, which organized the New Economy Forum.

‘Rising Populism’

The Chinese vice president, who was making his third overseas trip since assuming the government’s No. 2 post in March, used the speech to express concerns about growing populist sentiment. He said the trend, along with rapid technological advances and global demographic shifts, demanded a new approach to global governance.

“We are facing the challenge of rising populism and unilateralism,” Wang said. “Such rapid changes have split some countries and societies. The polarization of right-leaning populism has manifested itself in political demands, which has led to unilateral policies against globalization and seriously affected the international political ecosystem.”

Wang, who last year retired from China’s supreme Politburo Standing Committee, has been called on to handle some of China’s most difficult tasks over the years. From 2012 to 2017, he oversaw Xi’s unprecedented crackdown on corruption, which ensnared more than 1.5 million officials including the country’s former top general and ex-domestic security chief.

‘Trumpian Rhetoric and Disaster’

Wang also helped set up China’s first investment bank with Morgan Stanley in the 1990s. He maintains close ties with prominent Wall Street figures, including former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, another NEF attendee. He has also played a more diplomatic role, receiving foreign dignitaries, including Stephen Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist.

Peter Mandelson, a former U.K. trade representative in Brussels and chairman of Global Counsel, told an NEF panel discussion on trade Tuesday that China must take a more active role, if it wanted to preserve global governance bodies such as the World Trade Organization.

“China has to do very, very much more than it is in taking the initiative and exercising that responsibility in stepping up to the plate in helping everyone else lead a reform process in the WTO,” Mandelson said. “If we don’t see China doing that, then you are going to see more Trumpian rhetoric and disaster.”

CBN pumps $337m, Chinese Yuan into FOREX market

By Business Desk,

In another round of intervention, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Friday, injected over 337 million dollars in the Inter-Bank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market.

The CBN also intervened to the tune of 53.44 million Chinese Yuan in the Spot and Short tenured forwards of the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

The CBN spokesman, Mr Isaac Okorafor, in a statement in Abuja said that the move was in furtherance of the bank’s commitment to ensuring adequate liquidity and stability in the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

The Bank had on Tuesday injected 210 million dollars in the Inter-Bank foreign exchange market.

Meanwhile, the Naira maintained its steady rate against major currencies around the globe, exchanging for N362 to a dollar in the Bureau De Change segment of the market on Friday.

UBA hits gross earning of N374b

By Business Desk,

The United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its unaudited 2018 Third Quarter Financial Results with impressive growth in Gross Earnings of N374.8 billion.

The performance represents a 12.3 per cent increase when compared to N333.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

According to the bank’s report filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) UBA’s net operations improved 1.7 per cent year-on-year to N227.7 billion, when compared to N224 billion achieved in the similar period of 2017.

UBA’s operating expenses increased by 2.3 per cent to N149.1 billion, compared to N145 billion recorded in the same period of last year.

The bank posted a Profit Before Tax of N79.1 billion whilst Profit After Tax stood at N61.7 billion.

Local media reports noted that the profit performance puts the bank’s annualized return on average equity at 16 per cent and 20 per cent at pre-tax and post-tax profit level respectively.

The report added that the bank continues to maintain a very strong balance sheet, with total assets of N4.51 trillion, an impressive 10.8 per cent year-to-date rise over the N4.07 trillion total asset recorded as at December 2017.

The report stated that the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said: “We achieved a number of strategic imperatives during the quarter and committed more investments in the future of the business – building a solid foundation for a sustainable and superior return to our shareholders.”

Uzoka said that he was pleased that the Bank’s Virtual Banking Chatbot, Leo, which debuted on Facebook earlier in the year, was successfully launched on WhatsApp during the quarter.

“This new channel offering, which enables our customers to fulfill their banking transactions through simple chat commands, is another premier initiative in our suite. The early pay-offs are quite compelling – recent customer acquisitions and broader transaction volume growth are exciting leading indicators that reinforce our confidence in these novel channels,” he said.

Flour Mill, Presco record loss as market indicators drop by 0.08% at NSE

By Business Desk,

The Market indices of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dropped marginally on Tuesday by 0.08 per cent, reversing the previous day’s gain.

The All-Share Index dipped by 27.26 points or 0.08 per cent to close at 32,417.70 compared with 32,444.96 achieved on Monday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation, which opened at N11.844 trillion, shed  0.08 per cent to close lower at N11.834 trillion against N11.844 trillion on Monday.

Unilever recorded the highest price loss of N3 to close at N42 per share.

International Breweries trailed with a loss of N2 to close at N30.50, while Nigerian Breweries also lost N2 to close at N88 per share.

Northern Nigeria Flour Mills declined by 60k to close at N5.90, while Presco dropped 35k to close at N53 per share.

Conversely, Nestle led the price gainers’ table with a gain of N5 to close at N1,405 per share.

Okomu Oil Palm followed with a gain of N2.60 to close at N75.80, while CAP gained N1.55 to close at N30 per share.

Cadbury added 65k to close at N10.30, while Guaranty Trust Bank grew by 45k to close at N37 per share.

The volume of shares traded grew by 189.29 per cent in spite of the drop posted by the market indicators.

Consequently, investors exchanged 349.53 million shares worth N1.46 billion in 2,832 deals.

This was in contrast to the 120.82 million shares valued at N1.34 billion achieved in 2,662 deals on Monday.

Royal Exchange Assurance dominated trading activities, accounting for 231.65 million shares worth N48.65 million.

FCMB Group followed with 26.22 million shares valued at N44.61 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank traded 12.29 million shares worth N450.19 million.

Fidelity Bank exchanged 11.37 million shares valued at N20.64 million, while Zenith International Bank sold 6.63 million shares worth N144.89 million.

Insurance stocks top losers’ table in September

By Business Desk,

The recapitalisation exercise recently announced by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) took a toll on insurance stocks in September with majority of them recording price depreciation.

Data obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos showed that insurance equities dominated the losers’ table with Universal Insurance emerging the worst performing stock.

Universal Insurance emerged the worst performing stock in September in percentage terms with a loss of 42.50 per cent to close at 23k per share.

It was trailed by AXA Mansard Insurance with 23.53 per cent to close at N1.95, while Cornerstone Insurance dipped 20 per cent to close at 22k per share.

Flour Mills shed 19.35 per cent to close at N20, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) lost 18.12 per cent to close at N25.30 per cent.

Other top losers were Lafarge Africa, Niger Insurance, Royal Exchange Assurance, Japaul Oil and NAHCO.

Consequently, the All-Share Index during the period shed 2,082.08 points or 5.97 per cent to close at 32,766.37 compared with 34,848.45 achieved in August.

Also, the market capitalisation which opened at N12.722 trillion lost N760.12 billion or 5.97 per cent to close at N11. 962 trillion.

On the other hand, Union Diagnostic was the best performing stock in percentage terms during the period under review with a growth of 30.77 per cent to close at 34k per share.

UACN Property came second with 24.20 per cent to close at N1.95, while C & I Leasing increased by 20.80 per cent to close at N3.02 per cent.

Other top gainers were Unity Bank, Regency Alliance Insurance, First Aluminum, Sterling Bank, Veritas Kapital Assurance, Neimeth and AIICO Insurance.

In all, the volume of shares traded dropped by 23.15 per cent as investors bought and sold 4.15 billion shares worth N 65. 10 billion in 62,693 deals.

This was against a turnover of 5.40 billion shares valued at N66.92 billion traded in 68,906 deals in August.

Commenting on the performance of the market, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella of the Economics department, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, told NAN that the insurance recapitalisation exercise contributed to the losses recorded by some insurance stocks.

Tella said the market was largely bearish and was caused by the withdrawal of funds from foreign sources.

“The portfolio investment is more often than not dominated by foreign investors who react easily to world prices and withdraw or inject fund at will.

“There is the need to encourage more local investors, particularly corporate investors like multinationals in telecommunication and hospitality subsectors through some incentives.

“This also has a way of deepening the market, building confidence and making the market more active,” he said.

Tella said trading activities would likely be bullish in the current month when compared with September on macroeconomic stability and full implementation of the 2018 budget.

Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd. said the peaceful conduct of primary election by the major political parties would likely boost foreign investors’ confidence.

Kurfi expressed optimism that the peaceful conduct of primaries would enable foreign investors to predict the direction of 2019 general elections.

Also speaking, Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd. , attributed the development to increased sell-off caused by heightening political risk ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Omordion said the political risk seemed outside the control of traders and regulators which made investors to tarry.

He added that the tardiness in the implementation of the 2018 capital budget contributed to the loss posted by the market during the review period.

According to him, mixed economic data released within the period by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) contributed to the development.

Omordion said the recent decline in the inflation rate to 11.23 per cent in August from 11.14 achieved in July, after 18 consecutive months of steady decline signaled a rise in the price of food items.

NSE suspends Skye bank trading

By Business Desk,

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday officially notified the investing public that Skye Bank Plc shares would be suspended from trading on Sept. 24.

The exchange gave the notice in Lagos in a statement by Olumide Orojimi, Head, Corporate Communications and Godstime Iwenekhai Head, Listings Regulations.

NSE said that the action was taken following the revoking of the operating licence of the bank by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The exchange said that the decision was pursuant to the “Rules on Suspension of Trading in Listed Securities, Rulebook of The Exchange (Issuers’ Rules).”

It stated that further developments would be communicated as appropriate in due course.

CBN after revoking the bank’s licence transferred its assets and liabilities to a newly licensed bridge bank called Polaris Bank.

Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, said at a news conference in Lagos that the decision was due to failure of its shareholders to recapitalise the bank.

Emefiele, however, said that the purpose of the CBN’s intervention in Skye Bank on July 4, 2016 had been achieved.

He said that the focus of the action then was to save depositors’ funds and to ensure that the bank continued as a growing concern, being a systemically important bank.

“Part of our intention was also to stem the imminent job losses to staff if a liquidation option had been adopted.

“These objectives have been fully achieved and the bank has been able to meet customer obligations, having curtailed the liquidity haemorrhage and restored depositor confidence.

Indeed, the bank’s performance has improved considerably compared to the pre-July 2016 era”, he said.

Emefiele said that the result of its examinations and forensic audit of the bank showed that the bank required urgent recapitalisation.

According to him, the bank can no longer continue to live on borrowed times with indefinite liquidity support from the CBN.

“As a responsible and responsive regulator and in consultation with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), we have decided to establish a bridge bank, Polaris Bank, to assume the assets and liabilities of Skye bank.

“The strategy is for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to capitalise the bridge bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON,” Emefiele said.

He, however, assured all depositors that under the arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services shall continue in the new bank on Sept. 24.

The CBN governor said the arrangement was to enable customers to transact their businesses seamlessly.

He said that all customers of Skye Bank shall be automatic customers of the new bank and their accounts and records duly purchased by Polaris Bank.

NDIC has sold Polaris Bank to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) with the mandate to stabilise the bank as well as return it to profitability for the purpose of selling it to interested Investors.

Consequently, AMCON will inject N786 billion into Polaris Bank to bring it’s net value to zero.

How investors lost N687bn in Nigerian Stock Exchange

By News Desk,

The free fall of equities persisted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in the month of August with investors net worth depreciating further by 5.86 per cent.

Data obtained from the exchange showed that the All-Share Index during the period shed 2,169.33 points or 5.86 per cent to close at 34,848.45 against 37,017.78 in July.

Also, the market capitalisation, in spite of the listing of Notore Chemical Industries, lost N687 billion or 5.12 per cent to close at N12.722 trillion compared with N13.409 trillion achieved in July.

Speaking on the market performance, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, said the capital market performed poorly in the month of August.

Tella said the poor performance was caused by both local and international activities.

“Locally, the economy was not performing due to late budget passage and late implementation in an economy that is public sector driven.

“On the international scene, there were large capital outflow from the markets as foreign investors were moving money out for investment elsewhere,” Tella said.

He said the implementation of the budget in this quarter would likely assist in stabilising the market.

Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd. attributed the poor performance to the political environment ahead of the next year’s general elections in the midst of dwindling macro- economic indices.

Omordion said the delayed implementation of the 2018 budget impacted negatively on the capital market and the economy in general.

He said the volatility experienced so far in the second half of the year was a reflection of the negative factors against the market, amidst capital flight.

According to him, the exit of foreign investors resulted to dwindling foreign reserve.

Omordion urged investors and analysts to interpret the recent scorecards from first-tier banking stocks and other stocks to reposition their portfolios ahead of third quarter.

He advised the Federal Government to evolve policies that would drive recovery and influence the market positively.

An analysis of the price movement table during the period showed that Ikeja Hotel emerged the worst performing stock in percentage terms.

The stock during the period lost 27.48 per cent to close at N2.27 per share against N3.13 achieved in July.

Other top losers’ were Law Union and Rock Insurance, GSK, Skye Bank, Forte Oil, Royal Exchange, Universal Insurance, CAP, Continental Reinsurance and Berger Paints.

Conversely, Niger Insurance was the best performing stock in percentage terms with a growth of 69.23 per cent to close at 44k against 26k in July.

It was trailed by Portland Paints, Newest ASL, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals, AIICO Insurance, NEM Insurance, Eterna Oil, Hallmark Insurance, Transcorp and May & Baker.

A turnover of 5.40 billion shares valued at N66.92 billion were exchanged by investors in 68,906 deals during the period under review.
This represented a decrease of 19.52 per cent compared with a turnover of 6.71 billion shares worth N 73. 04 billion transacted in 84,963 deals in July.
An analysis of the activity chart indicated that the Financial Services Sector emerged the most active with an exchange 2.52 billion shares, valued N19.38 billion in 21,121 deals.
It was trailed by the Services Sector with 209.97 million shares worth N1.31 billion in 2,157 deals.
Consumer Goods sector came third with a turnover of 258.95 million shares valued at N14.02 billion in 11,252 deals.

e4, others top Ecobank Fintech competition

By Business Desk,

e4, technology company, is one of the top 11 finalists in the Ecobank Fintech Challenge for its new Virtual Identity product, a competition designed to further develop Africa as one of the most innovative continents.

The competition is also aimed at identifying innovative solutions that address African-centric issues within the financial services sector.

According to a McKinsey Report, Africa’s banking landscape is amongst the most exciting in the world and is the second-fastest-growing and second most profitable of any global region.

Andrea Tucker, Research and Development Head, e4, says that the Ecobank Fintech Challenge is necessary in these continuously evolving and competitive times.

“It’s time for financial institutions to consider alternative solutions to address the challenges within their environments.’’

Tucker says that the Ecobank Fintech Challenge is a great platform for e4 to showcase its innovative technology to a pan-African banking giant.

“We are excited about a potential opportunity to partner with Ecobank as part of a collaboration to share knowledge and insights of the state of Fintech in Africa.”

Virtual Identity provides a video-conferencing tool, enabling two people to communicate via a web browser or mobile app for the purposes of completing a virtual KYC process in order to verify a new or existing client’s identity.

“This exciting technology assists by providing banks with an opportunity to better service previously under-serviced or geographically remote clients.

“Bank customers with a smartphone are now able to call their bank to verify their identity as opposed to travelling to the nearest branch to do this in person,” says Tucker.

She says that by collaborating with these start-ups, Ecobank can focus on becoming more engaged with their customers, increasing customer loyalty and making it easier for customers to bank with them.

“By being more transparent and open to the challenges that regulatory and compliance requirements place onto their customers, Ecobank will improve its services and the banking life of its customers.

“This will shape the future of banking in Africa. Banks need to ensure that they ride the wave of innovation and digitisation for the benefit of all Africans.

Rapid developments in banking services and financial inclusion are key for accelerating the movement of Africans into the middle class and driving economic growth.”

Digital transformation continues to change the world and the way we live and do business.

Fintech remains one of the fastest growing and innovative industries.

“This is more relevant in Africa than on any other continent, as technological advancements can result in more benefit than anywhere else,” says Tucker.

Political uncertainty cause N2.49 trn loss in 7 months – Stocks Analyst

By Business Desk,

Investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) lost N2.49 trillion or 15.64 per cent between January and July, a development experts attribute to the political uncertainty in the country.

The financial experts who spoke said the political uncertainty had taken its toll on the bourse.

Data obtained from the exchange revealed that the market capitalisation which closed at N15.895 trillion in January declined to N13.409 trillion in July.

Similarly, the All-Share Index lost 7,325.87 points or 16.52 per cent during the period under review, closing at 37,017.78 in July compared with 44,343.65 in January.

Prof. Uche Uwaleke, Head of Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University Keffi, said that the performance of the market was dismal and eroded the growth recorded in January.

Uwaleke said the market had remained bearish despite the oil price recovery, stable exchange rate, retreating inflation and even improved company fundamentals.

He, however, attributed the development to heightening political tension, insecurity from herdsmen and economic uncertainties from the delay in budget implementation.

Uwaleke added that the spike in interest rates in the United States of America and to some extent the US-China trade war combined to swing the attention of foreign investors to US markets.

Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, said the bearish trend was caused by movements of interest rates in the United States which resulted in withdrawal of money from the market by foreign investors.

“The seeming sustainability of the downward trend is caused by fear of local investors that they might be losing large amounts of money if they don’t sell off their securities now,” Tella said.

Okechukwu Unegbu, former President, Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said security issues and the social environment were responsible for the negative sentiments in the capital market.

Unegbu said foreign investors had pulled out their funds from the nation’s market, especially portfolio investors.

He said the real investment that impact positively on the economy was foreign direct investment in the productive sector not ‘hot money investment’ in the stock market.

Unegbu said government must encourage local investors to invest in the market by creating an enabling environment.

He added that politicians should stop their daily political altercations in the media, which he said was fueling fears among investors.

Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., said the performance of the capital market had remained negative from February to date.

Kurfi said the initial gains of January of about 17 per cent had been completed eroded by July.

He said the market for about seven weeks now had experienced a loss of one per cent per a week or even more.

Kurfi attributed the trend to the exit of foreign investors and the institutional investors, and that the market witnessed a lot of sell pressure.

He also said the Pension Funds Administration failed to invest due to political risks.

“We hope to see revised trends probably after primary elections when the foreign investors are likely to review the prospective candidates and take decision,” Kurfi said.

However, the volume of shares traded between January and July rose by 56.16 per cent with an exchange of 82.58 billion shares valued at N871.71 billion in 742,014 deals.

This was in contrast with a turnover of 52.88 billion shares worth N565.83 billion transacted in 539,315 in the comparative period of 2017.