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Nigeria Stock Index Retreats Most in Two Weeks, Led by Banks

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Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s main market gauge fell for a third day, declining the most in almost two weeks, led by banks.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index lost 222.87, or 1.1 percent, its biggest drop since Nov. 23, to 19,740.50 by the close at 4 p.m. in Lagos today. The bourse extended trading by one and a half hours because of delays caused by problems with the data system, it said in an e-emailed statement.

“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 has lost 20 percent this year, breaking eight straight years of gains. The Bloomberg Banking Index, which tracks the performance of the 10 most-capitalized lenders in Nigeria, has lost 32 percent this year.

Ecobank Nigeria Plc led the decliners today, falling by the maximum daily limit of 5 percent to 1.90 naira, and taking its loss this year to 47 percent. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Nigeria’s biggest lender by market value, lost 4.9 percent to 13.50 naira.

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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