Investors in the nation’s stock market lost N196bn on Monday as equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange declined following the sudden postponement of the general elections.

Financial experts and capital market operators had on Sunday predicted that the stock market would react negatively to the postponement of the elections.

They said the decision would rattle investors, though the postponement marked the third consecutive time that elections would be shifted in the country.

As of 12:02pm on Monday, the stock market had fallen by 1.92 per cent, by 2:00pm it fell further by 2.53 per cent, but as of the close of the trading, the losses moderated to a 1.61 per cent decline.

The All Share Index shed 525.13 basis points to close at 32,190.07 bps on Monday, while the market capitalisation of equities dropped from N12.2tn on Friday to N12.004tn on Monday.

A total of 233.424 million shares worth N3.363bn exchanged hands in 4,134 deals.

A former Chief Executive Officer, African Finance Corporation, Andrew Alli, in an emailed response to questions from Bloomberg, said the personal costs of the delayed elections would be high.

He said, “But as long as it doesn’t portend some major election dispute after the voting, I don’t think the ultimate effect will be that major.”

Performance across sectors was largely bearish as all sectors closed in the red.

The banking sector was the biggest loser, down by 3.21 per cent, while the oil and gas sector was the second biggest loser with a 2.92 per cent decline.

The consumer goods sector lost 1.54 per cent, while the industrial and insurance sectors declined by 1.16 per cent and 1.13 per cent respectively on the back of sell-offs.

At the end of trading on Monday, 12 gainers emerged, while 37 emerged losers.

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