This Day (Lagos)

1 February 2013

Nigeria: Index Rises 13 Percent, Capitalisation Adds N1.2 Trillion in January

The equities market closed January, on a highly bullish and reassuring note as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) returned a record 13.4 per cent to close at 31,853.19 thursday.

This is a significant surge compared to a sluggish growth of 0.7 per cent posted in the corresponding period of 2012. Although last year had started on a sluggish note, it ended with a growth of 34.5 per cent, the highest yearly performance since the downturn hit the market in 2008.

The ASI, which had opened 2013 at 28,078.81, closed at 31,853.19 Thursday. Similarly, market capitalisation appreciated by N1.217 trillion within the first month, rising from N8.974 trillion to N10.191 trillion. This time last year, the market could only boast of N46 billion appreciation in market capitalisation. Market operators said that with the 13.4 per cent growth in January, another positive rally is expected at the end of the current year.

"With earnings season around the corner and renewed investor confidence in the market due to efforts to ensure more information disclosure, improved corporate governance and safety of investments, the market will witness more upswing, intermittent profit taking notwithstanding," a stockbroker, Mr. Mike Ezeh said.

Year-on-year, the market has soared by 52 per cent with the ASI rising from 20,875.83 last January to close at 31,853.19 yesterday.

The Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, while speaking on the outlook of the market for 2013 recently, had said investors should expect another rally.

He said: "The Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN's) efforts to achieve single-digit inflation and a lower monetary policy rate (MPR) should have a positive impact on the equities market. As investor confidence measures implemented by the NSE mature, we expect that a growth trend similar to that experienced in fourth quarter (Q4) 2012 will extend into 2013."

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