Investors lose over N601bn as SEC pledges to protect market confidence

INVESTORS lost over N601 billion this week as negative sentiments persisted and caused the total market capitalisation and All-Share Index (ASI) to fall by 2.08 per cent apiece.

Amid the sentiments and other concerns, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) assured investors it would protect their confidence in the Nigerian capital market.

The Director-General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda, who briefed journalists on Thursday April 13, on the outcome of the first quarter Capital Market Committee meeting (CMC), said, “Protection of investors is the central mandate of the Commission, and when the Commission protects investors, we do not discriminate between minority and majority shareholders.”

The ICIR can report that Oando Plc’s decision to delist from the NGX and the crises rocking the management of Seplat Energy Plc are recent concerns in the market.

At the close of the week’s trading session, the overall market value, which opened on Tuesday, April 11, at N28.87 trillion, dropped to N28.27 trillion on Friday, April 14, while the ASI fell to 51,893.94 basis points (bps) after it opened at 52,994.13bps.

Notable stocks that drove the market down on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) were Airtel Africa, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals.

Airtel’s share price fell by N133.10 to close at N1,198.00, Hallmark dropped by 13.64 per cent or 0.09k to close at 0.57k, and Neimeth lost 10.34 per cent or 0.15k to close at N1.30.

The ICIR reported that the Nigerian stock market closed in the first week of April in red as market value dropped by N674.53 billion. This brought the total loss to approximately N1.28 trillion in the two weeks of trading sessions.

The ICIR also reported that investors lost over N856 billion in March after the total market value fell below the N30 trillion mark.

At the close of the week’s trading session on Friday, April 14, a total turnover of 2.824 billion shares worth N10.964 billion in 15,686 deals was traded, compared to a total of 1.054 billion shares valued at N10.050 billion that exchanged hands in 16,155 deals in the previous week.

The conglomerates industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.797 billion shares valued at N2.495 billion traded in 931 deals, and contributed 63.65 per cent and 22.76 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively.

The financial services industry followed with 590.745 million shares worth N5.615 billion in 7,869 deals, while the ICT industry returned a turnover of 313.737 million shares worth N1.213 billion in 1,340 deals.

Buying and selling interest in expectations for the pending 2022 audited financial statement and first quarter 2023 results were the reasons experts highlighted for the negative performance in stocks in the week under review.

“As market volatility remains, investors sought for safer investment haven as a hedge against inflation in the face of attractive fixed income yields,” analysts at Cowry Asset Management said.



    Sell pressure in some of the small, mid and large capitalised stocks contributed to the negative performance.

    While the year-to-date return declined to 1.25 per cent from 3.40 per cent, sector performance was largely on the decline across the indices tracked.

    The banking index fell by 6.28bps to close at 448.23bps, the insurance index dropped by 3.19bps to close at 181.40bps, while industrial index also dropped by 9.93bps to close 2,455.43bps.

    While the consumer goods index gained 0.34bps to close at 698.37bps, the oil and gas index closed flat.

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