• Monday, February 26, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Stocks lose over N480bn as investors switch to T-bills on higher yields

Mixed sentiments trial stocks despite positive start to new week

Nigeria stock market took a dip of 0.86 percent on Thursday as investors started to rotate funds in search of higher yields on Treasury Bills (T-Bills).

Listed stocks value dropped by about N481billion at the close of trading on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold record N1.8 trillion worth of Treasury Bills at an auction on Wednesday, nearly two times the N1 trillion on offer.

That was the highest amount of cash raised through T-Bills in a single auction since the CBN started tracking data.

Analysts had ahead of Thursday’s stock trading noted that with low-risk assets providing more attractive yields, investors will reprice dividend yield upwards, thereby leading to a correction in the short term in the equities market.

At the Primary Market Auction (PMA), T-Bills totalling N1trillion (N200billion, N200billion and N600billion across the 91-day, 182-day, and 364-day instruments, respectively) were offered.

The yield on the one-year Nigerian Treasury Bill jumped to 23.4 percent at the auction Wednesday in what could be a game changer for attracting foreign portfolio investors into the country.

The current yield when matched with the latest inflation rate of 28.92 percent lowers the negative real return on the one-year T-Bill to 5.52 percent as against the previous negative return of 16.68 percent.

While expecting a mixed trading after Wednesday’s flat close, Lagos-based Vetiva research analysts noted that stock investors remain on the sidelines given the bearish sentiment in the market.

Stocks that led the decliners league include NASCON which dropped from N65 to N58.50, after shedding N6.50 or 10 percent, followed Eterna which decreased from N22.10 to N19.90, down by N2.20 or 9.95percent and Sterling Financial Holdings Company which dipped by 59kobo or 10percent, from N5.90 to N5.31.

The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) All-Share Index (ASI) and Market Capitalisation stood lower from preceding day’s 102,106.31 points and N55.871trillion respectively to 101,227.42 point and N55.390trillion.