Oscar Onyema,CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange

The Nigerian Stock Market continues to sustain the momentum it ended 2017 as its All Share Index hits 40,362.97 points on Tuesday, the highest it has attained since October 10, 2014 when it got to 40.444.39 point as investors take positions for full-year results, which many are optimistic would be positive.

Foreign portfolio investors have shown renewed confidence in the bourse since April last year after Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the investors’ and Exporters’ Foreign Exchange Window, otherwise called Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX) Window, propelling the stock market to appreciate 3,416.05 per cent year-on-year.

Positive sentiment from investors pushed the equities market up 1.29 per cent on Tuesday as market capitalization reached record N14.36 trillion high. The bourse which was dragged down to four year low of 23,501.87 point on February 5, 2016 by acute forex scarcity that hit the country due oil price crashed from $117 in May 2008 to $27 per barrel in February last year, has  grown 5.54 per cent year-to-date.

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Source:NSE/Bloomberg/Business Hallmark

“Investors are taking positions ahead of full-year numbers and dividends that will be declared and under that we have positive macroeconomic outlook. Almost all the economic aggregates are looking upward, these are the drivers the current bullish trend in the market,” explained Andrew Esene, research analyst, Futureview Financial Services Ltd told Business Hallmark in a telephone interview. He stated that the Nigerian economy is looking good for corporates to do well.

Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Dangote Cement and Guinness Nigeria Plc, were the three top advancers, gaining N10 to N660, N3.24 to N237.50 and N2 to N102 respectively in Tuesday trading, while Nestle which lost -N50 to close at N1,450, Glaxosmith -N0.30 to N21.80 and NAHCO –N0.21 to N4.29 topped the losers table.

Investors exchanged 219,651,811 Diamond Bank’s stocks, valued at N441.24 billion, making it the most traded shares, followed by Transcrop and FCMB, which traded 139,920,761 and 74,624,973 equities worth N25492 billion and N154.71 billion respectively.

The Nigerian Stock market was one of the best performed exchanges in the world in 2017, underpinned by increased in oil price, which rose to two year high of $69.24 per barrel on Tuesday and the country’s economy recovery from six quarters of recession.