Panic sell off continued on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday with the market capitalisation shedding N656 billion in what an expert attributed to fear of naira devaluation.
Specifically, the market capitalisation, which opened at N13.365 trillion, lost N656 billion or 4.91 per cent to close at N12.709 trillion, the highest daily loss in four years.
Also, the All-Share Index dipped 1,258.88 or 4.91 per cent dropping to 24,388.66 compared with 25,647.54 achieved on Monday.
Thus, the Month-to-Date and Year-to-Date losses increased to -7.0 per cent and -9.1 per cent respectively.
Malam Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Limited, attributed the development to panic selling by foreign investors due to fear of naira devaluation.
Kurfi stated that news of COVID-19 led to crash in global oil prices, which triggered share dumping in global markets.
He added that a 10 per cent loss by MTN Nigeria Communications, which controlled 15 per cent of the total market capitalisation, contributed to the huge loss by market indices.
Kurfi, however, expressed optimism that the current recovery in the price of crude oil, which rose by nine per cent, would likely reflect in the prices of stocks in the days to come.
Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, Inve stData Limited, said the nation’s stock market losses were beyond coronavirus and oil price crash impact considering the pattern of decline since Cash Reserve Ratio was adjusted up in January.
“The dwindling confidence and low liquidity in equity segment, despite the impressive high dividend yields, showed that something is wrong with the companies, corporate governance and the economy,” Omordion said.
He stated that inconsistency in economic policies contributed to the lull in the economy.
“For discerning and intelligent investors, this is purely transfer of wealth for those that will take stage by stage positioning ahead of dividend qualification dates,” Omordion added.
On likely naira devaluation, Omordion said it would not be immediate because the apex bank recently issued future foreign exchange at FMDQ to ensure stable exchange rate for foreign direct and portfolio investors.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited stated that “As oil prices struggle to trend upward amid no respite for the COVID-19 outbreak, we expect sentiment to remain bearish in the next trading session.”
Market breadth closed negative, with three gainers and 33 losers.
Dangote Sugar Refinery, Fidelity Bank, NASCON Allied Industries, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and MTN Nigeria led the losers’ chart with 10 per cent loss each, to close at N9.90, N1.62, N11.70, N28.35 and N103.50, per share, respectively.
Union Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank, International Breweries and CAP followed with a decline of 9.93 per cent each to close at N6.35, N33.10, N19.95, N6.35 and N19.95 per share respectively.
Lafarge Africa declined by 9.89 to close at N12.30, while Oando shed 9.88 per cent to close at N2.19 per share.
Conversely, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals led the gainers’ table in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent to close at 44k per share.
Honeywell Flour Mill followed with 3.45 per cent to close at 90k, while NEM Insurance increased by 1.16 per cent to close N1.75 per share.
However, the total volume of shares sold increased by 220.3 per cent as investors bought and sold 594.55 million shares valued N4.21 billion exchanged in 4,010 deals.
This was against 185.65 million shares worth N1.83 billion achieved in 2,690 deals on Monday.
Transactions in the shares of United Bank for Africa topped the activity chart with 166.42 million shares valued N942.73 million.
FBN Holdings followed with 163.96 million shares worth N724.83 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank traded 54.52 million shares valued N1.09 billion.
Fidelity Bank accounted for 31.93 million shares valued at N51.73 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 30.09 million shares worth N392.62 million