Foreign investors withdrew $4.5bn from Stock Market in 2014 – NSE
Foreign investors sold off Nigerian stocks valued at N846.5 billion ($4.5 billion) last year, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) data showed on Monday.
This was 65 per cent more than in 2013 as decline in oil prices and the naira currency depressed sentiment.
Reuters reported that with an Islamist insurgency raging in the country’s north and political risk added to the mix in the rum-up to national elections later this month, the exodus has extended into 2015.
Nigeria’s main share index, which was up 1.1 per cent on Monday, has fallen 14.7 per cent so far this year. It shed 16 per cent in 2014.
Top decliners this year include Dangote Cement, which accounts for a third of market capitalisation, down 22 per cent, and Transcorp down 13 per cent.
Foreign investors increased the pace of stock market outflows from September, selling out of the relatively liquid banking, consumer and oil sectors as the price of Brent crude, the benchmark against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, slumped. The Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and chief oil exporter.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has regularly intervened to try to prop up the naira.
Meanwhile, the naira firmed 1. 5 percent yesterday as it was lifted by central bank intervention and dollar sales from multinational oil company Shell, dealers said.
The currency, which opened at N188.70 to the dollar, firmed to N185.60, following the dollar sale. The central bank asked commercial lenders to bid for $500,000, in a move to support the naira while Shell sold an undisclosed amount of dollars, dealers said.