INTERNATIONAL – Foreign investors sold off Nigerian stocks valued at 642.65 billion naira (R29bn) last year, stock exchange data showed, 48 percent more than in 2017 as worries over weak growth amidst lower oil prices depressed sentiment.
Risk aversion triggered by interest rate rises in the United States reversed capital flows to frontier markets including Nigeria, coupled with mounting political risk in the run-up to elections next month, accelerated losses for the stock market.
The exchange put the value of transactions by foreign investors at 1.219 trillion naira last year, compared with 1.208 trillion naira at the end of 2017.
Stock exchange chief executive Oscar Onyema has said market sentiment in the first half of 2019 would be driven by oil prices and election risk. But government spending to boost recovery following a 2016 recession could lift stocks by the second half.
The main index, which was flat on Tuesday, has fallen 2 percent so far this year. It shed 17.81 percent in 2018 after a strong rally the previous year.