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2011: Stakeholders count losses from the capital market

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Image: NSE




Operators in the Nigerian capital market will for long remember 2011 as a year the Nigerian Stock Exchange recorded persistent share price losses.

Specifically, at the close of 2011, the All-Share Index had depreciated to around 20,722.43 from the opening figure of 24,770.52 at the beginning of the year. The market capitalisation also lost about N1.65 trillion during the year.

According to News Agency of Nigeria, some stakeholders attributed the situation to some challenges, like inadequacy of the regulatory framework, which they said eroded investor confidence in the market.

The operators said that these challenges were also due to constant review of the interest rates, nationalisation of three commercial banks and unguarded pronouncements by the regulators, which caused further panic in the market.

Chief Executive Officer of Maxifunds Investment and Securities Limited, Okechukwu Unegbu, said that the market performed below expectations of operators in 2011.

Unegbu said that many operators and investors recorded losses as a result of the poor performance of the market and urged the regulators to urgently address the crisis of confidence and illiquidity rocking the market.

He said that the problem started during the global financial crisis in 2008 and the regulators had failed to address the problem like in other countries.

Chief Executive Officer, Pilot Finance Limited, Seyi Osunkeye, also described the performance of the market in 2011 as dismal.

He said that the market operators were disappointed at the turn of events in 2011 since a 50 per cent market growth had earlier been predicted for the year.

Osunkeye attributed the decline in the market performance to the banking sector reforms, increase in interest rates that caused movement of funds to money market instruments and liquidity crunch.

President of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie, said that the market recorded the lowest performance in the last eight years.

Okezie said that the reforms of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission completely eroded investor confidence in the market.

He said that the market performed badly in spite of strong fundamentals of some quoted companies, adding that many equities were selling below their real value.

He pointed out that some investors had developed apathy after losing billions of naira in three nationalised banks of Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB.

President, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Timothy Adesiyan, said that many shareholders learnt their lessons in 2011.

Adesiyan said that he was bitter about the erosion of value of investments in the market, adding that investors would no longer rush to invest in the market.

He said also that current developments would not encourage old and potential investors to invest in the market.

The operators explained that the delisting by the NSE council of some companies created wrong impression among investors about the true state of health of the capital market.

The number of listed companies dropped from 217 in December 2010 to 201 in 2011.

The challenges gave credence to reasons offered by the Nigerian Bottling Company, United Nigerian Textile Mills and Nampak Nigeria to seek voluntary exit from the market.

In the bid to restore investor confidence in the market, the interim management of the NSE was disbanded while a new helmsman, Oscar Onyema, was appointed on April 4, 2011.

The new chief executive officer took some initiatives to restore investor confidence and enhance liquidity in the market.

Some of the initiatives included market segmentation, introduction of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and introduction of market makers.

Others were the introduction of new securities lending, revised listing requirements to attract new companies, revised share buy-back policy and investors clinics.

While introducing these initiatives, the NSE said that they were to serve as the pillars for long- term growth of the market.

Some of the long- term growth objectives of the market, as highlighted by Onyema, included achievement of one trillion dollar market capitalisation by 2016 and introduction of new products like options and futures.

Despite of the current challenges, the market still remains a viable tool for economic development.

However, Federal Government has been urged to hasten the forbearance stimulus being packaged for stockbrokers as a way of reviving the ailing market.

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Updated 7 Years ago

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