5 December 2012

Nigeria: FG's Forbearance Fails to Lift Stock Market Significantly

The N22.6 billion forbearance granted highly indebted dealing members of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) did not have a significant impact on the stock market Tuesday as activities on the Exchange decreased today by 5 per cent.

This happened despite growth in market indices as investors bought 239.440 million shares worth N1.884 billion in 4,009 deals compared to 252.58 million units of shares worth N2.014 billion exchanged in 3,506 deals before the announcement.

The capital market community, led by the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) and leading dealing members of the NSE, had while reacting to the development, said the move was the necessary step needed to take the capital market to where it was in 2008.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had at a media briefing in Abuja on Monday announced the Federal Government decision to grant waiver to 84 hugely-indebted stockbroking firms.

Okonjo-Iweala said the move became necessary following the debt hang-over in the capital market.

However, the twin indicators rose marginally by 0.01 per cent. While the market capitalisation of listed equities rose by N596 million to close at N8.428 trillion, the All-Share Index (ASI) went up by 1.86 basis points or 0.01 per cent to close at 26,382.54 from 26,380.68 points on Monday.

Meanwhile, the banking sector of the Financial Services sector remained the most active in terms of the number of shares sold. It led the equities sector with a turnover of 116.74 million shares worth N833.76 million made in 1,705 deals.

The volume of shares sold in the banking sector was largely driven by the activity in the shares of United Bank for Africa plc, Unity Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc. Trading on the shares of the four banks accounted for 62.3 million ordinary shares or 53.3 per cent of the subsectors turnover.

The insurance sector also of the Financial Services Sector boosted by the activity in the shares of NEM Insurance Company Nigeria plc and Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc trailed with a turnover of 12.21 million ordinary shares valued at N7.4 million made in 114 deals.

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