Bloomberg News

Nigeria’s Index Heads to Biggest Decline in a Month

December 06, 2011

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s main market gauge fell a third day and headed to the biggest decline in more than a month on weakened demand, Vetiva Capital Management said.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index lost 298.71, or 1.5 percent, its biggest intraday decline since Nov. 2, to 19,664.66 by 2:12 p.m. in Lagos.

“Demand is weak,” Abiola Razaq, an analyst with Lagos- based Vetiva, said today by phone. Most traders “are reviewing their portfolios” at year-end and slowing down on investments, he said.

Nigeria’s benchmark equity index climbed for eight straight years, gaining 75 percent through 2007 before plunging amid a debt crisis triggered largely by loans to equity speculators. The index is down 21 percent this year after advancing 19 percent in 2010.

The Bloomberg Banking Index, which tracks the performance of the 10 most-capitalized lenders in Nigeria, has lost 33.7 percent this year.

United Bank for Africa Plc led the losers today, falling by 4.8 percent to 2.38 naira, taking its loss this year to 68 percent. First City Monument Bank Plc lost 4.8 percent to 3.60 naira and traded at 3.63 naira by 2:16 p.m., increasing its decline this year to 52 percent.

--Editors: Dulue Mbachu, Linda Shen

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Nwanma in Lagos at vnwanma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net


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