…As equity gains hit N1.7trn in 8 days
From Uche Usim, Abuja
Local and offshore investors and economic analysts have commended the Federal Government’s efforts at reviving and sustaining Nigeria’s economic growth as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week continued its record breaking performance with total market capitalisation rising by N437 billion, thus extending investors gain to N1.7 trillion in the first eight trading days of the year.
The stakeholders, who said the nation’s economy has benefited from good work of the current economic management team headed by Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo, said the Federal Government has been deploying a mixture of fiscal and monetary policies to put the economy on the path of sustainable growth.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market has continued to react to the positive market fundamentals and improving macroeconomic outlook since the beginning of the year.
Last week, the All Share Index(ASI) of the exchange recorded a distinction of 10.21 per cent week-on-week (WoW) and has a year-to-date gain of 12.17 per cent. Recall that the Nigerian stock market recorded a growth of 42.30 per cent in 2017. Also, in the World Bank’s latest rankings on Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria released in October 2017, the country moved up 24 places to 145.
The performance has been attributed to improved flexibility with regards to administrative structure of the FX market, particularly the introduction of the Investors’ & Exporters’ Window, which marked a turning point in FX market stability and investors’ perception of the Nigerian market. Sentiment was further bolstered by resilient corporate earnings, recovery in the oil market and improved domestic oil production which moderated the risk profile of the Nigerian economy.
Quoting World Bank January 2018 report on Global Economic Prospects, Cordros report on the weekly economic and market report said, “Nigeria is forecasted to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2018, supported by improved commodity prices, investments, trade, and expectation that oil reserves will continue to recover and reforms will lift non-oil sector growth.
“It is safe to expect improved growth from both oil, supported by increased domestic production and price; and non-oil sectors bolstered by sustained FX stability, likely reforms, and strengthening consumer and business confidence.”
The Managing Director of HighCap Securities Limited, Mr. David Adonri said, “the economy is improving and since the stocks market all over the world is the barometer of the economy, the improvements have been seen in the market activities.”
He also noted that the international confidence in Nigeria is the outcome of the positive World Bank report on Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria, saying that Nigeria has been rated as one of the improved economies in the world.
He noted that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and other reforms, including Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), which deployed innovative approaches, has improved the economy.
The managing director of APT Securities and Funds Limited, Mallam Kurifi Garuba, added that Nigerian capital market remains a sweet and attractive spot for both foreign and local investors.
He added that although performance in the past year had been hampered by FX challenges, saying that the improvements that have been witnessed since the introduction of better FX management policies suggest that the market still has potential to attain new heights.
While the chief operating officer of InvestData Consulting Limited, Mr. Ambrose Omordion said that since May 2015, government has embarked on intensive policy reforms and initiatives to align the industrial sector with stakeholders driven implementation process, specific deliverables, measurable outcomes and key performance indicators.
The president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Nike Akande at a forum recently said the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report on Nigeria, was a delightful news for the OPS and the government. She said that the report had shown that the short to medium term outlook for the Nigerian economy was much better than what it was this time last year.
The LCCI president traced the country’s economic improvement on the outcome of the series of new policy initiatives, engagements and consultations with key stakeholders and some positive developments in the external sector. “We appreciate the setting up of the PEBEC under the chairmanship of the vice president.
“We applaud the recent executive orders taken by the administration to enhance the country’s investment climate and improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.”
Akande noted that the reforms of the current administration, especially the Executive Orders on Ease of Doing Business in the country, were good for economic recovery.