• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria stocks fall in world’s worst week on poll jitters

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Nigerian stocks fell the most in the world last week as investors spurned Africa’s largest crude producer with political tensions rising five weeks before a key vote and as oil prices continued to slide, reports Bloomberg.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index fell 0.9 percent by the close to extend its five-day decline to 13 percent, the most among 93 global indexes tracked by Bloomberg. The naira depreciated 1.4 percent to 181.50 per dollar and Brent crude dropped to $50.40 a barrel for a weekly retreat of 11 percent.
The 55 percent decline since the end of June in crude, Nigeria’s biggest export, uncertainty over the outcome of the February 14 election and rising attacks by Islamist militants are pushing investors out of Africa’s biggest economy. President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling People’s Democratic Party are facing a challenge from a merger of Nigeria’s biggest opposition parties, while Boko Haram has attacked the North East town of Baga twice in the past week.
“The risks around Nigeria have increased,” Joseph Rohm, a fund manager who helps oversee Investec Asset Management’s $2 billion Africa fund, said by phone from Cape Town. “It’s a combination of uncertainty ahead of the election, increased violence in the North East driven by Boko Haram, and a collapse in oil prices.”
Dangote Cement Plc, which makes up about a quarter of the all-share gauge’s value, fell 5 percent to N158.65, more than any other stock. Nestle Nigeria Plc dropped 4.8 percent to N855.