The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) closed out the month of October on a positive note, reflecting a surge in investor confidence driven by favorable policies and a robust earnings season. The listing of 190 million units of shares by a Group at N244.88 per share further added N46.527 billion to the market capitalization of NGX, boosting liquidity and wealth creation opportunities in the Nigerian capital market.
The NGX All-Share Index marked a significant 4.3% appreciation, closing October at 69,236.19 index points and recording an impressive year-to-date (YTD) return of 35.09% growth.
Despite lingering concerns about rising inflation, interest rate hikes, elevated exchange rates, and apprehension surrounding the 2023 general elections, investor confidence remained strong, leading to increased buying activity in the market.
Several factors contributed to this positive sentiment among investors, with favorable policies introduced by President Bola Tinubu’s new administration playing a pivotal role. These policies included the removal of fuel subsidies, streamlining of exchange rates, and the floating of the naira. Investors strategically positioned themselves to take advantage of the recent record earnings reported by quoted firms.
Market Performance Overview:
At the beginning of October, the All-Share Index, which measures the performance of Nigerian stocks, stood at 66,382.14 index points. By the end of the month on October 31, it had surged to 69,236.19 points, representing a gain of 2,854.05 basis points or 4.3%.
Market data analyzed by RateCaptain revealed that NGX, with a market capitalization of N36.331 trillion at the start of the trading year, closed October with a market capitalization of N38.038 trillion. This signifies a substantial month-to-date gain of about N1.707 trillion.
Insights from Market Analysts:
Market analysts offered their perspectives on the robust performance of the Nigerian equities market. Mr. David Adonri, the Executive Vice Chairman of Hicap Securities Limited, noted that the ongoing earnings season was a significant factor driving demand for shares. He emphasized that investors were optimistic about dividends, even amid the political uncertainties surrounding the upcoming elections.
Mr. Olatunde Amolegbe, Managing Director of Arthur Steven Asset Management Limited, pointed out a notable demographic shift in the NGX, with an increasing presence of local institutions and retail investors compared to foreign portfolio investors. This shift has contributed to reduced volatility in stock prices, as local investors tend to have more faith in the local market.
Amolegbe also highlighted the expectation that government policies would attract foreign investment, serving as a primary trigger for the stock market rally. Additionally, he noted that some of these policies might lead to a short-term increase in inflation, a factor historically associated with rising stock prices.
As the first half of the year draws to a close, portfolio rebalancing by fund and asset managers is expected to further drive the stock rally, as they adjust their portfolios every quarter and half-year.
In conclusion, despite economic challenges and political uncertainties, the Nigerian equities market experienced a prosperous October, underpinned by investor confidence, favorable policies, and strong earnings, suggesting a positive outlook for the months ahead.