Nigeria’s All-Share Index dropped the most in more than three years on speculation that foreign investors exited the world’s fifth-best rally this year on concerns that global stimulus measures may ease.
The index of Africa’s biggest oil producer and largest stock market after South Africa retreated 3.9 percent to 37,406.67 at the close in Lagos, the commercial capital, its biggest decline since March 2010. The measure fell to the world’s eighth-best performer, as 55 stocks fell, 14 rose and 137 were unchanged. Before today the index had risen 39 percent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Emerging markets from Brazil to India took steps to stem an outflow of capital on concerns developed nations are close to ending an era of unprecedented liquidity. The moves follow the Bank of Japan’s decision this week to refrain from adding stimulus and Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s May 22 statement that the U.S. Federal Reserve could scale back asset buying if it’s confident of sustained economic growth.
“The Nigerian market is responding to a global trend,” Pabina Yinkere, an equity analyst at Lagos-based Vetiva Capital Management Ltd., said by telephone today. “Many foreign and local investors want to cash out before a drastic fall hits the market.”
Nigerian Breweries Plc, the West African nation’s second largest company making up 11 percent of the index, fell for a fourth day, down 7.4 percent to 157.5 naira. Nestle Nigeria Plc, the third largest, slid 3.7 percent to 962.95 naira
“The foreign guys have just seen that Nigerian has been very, very rewarding to them over the past few months” and “they want to realize their gains,” Jude Fejokwu, managing director of Thaddeus Investment Advisors & Research Ltd., said by phone today from Lagos. “When they pull out it shakes the market and they’ve put in a lot of money.”
Foreign investors accounted for 43 percent of trades in March and 61 percent in all of 2012, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Net foreign inflows into Nigerian equities amounted to 29.3 billion naira ($182 million) in March, compared with 93.8 billion naira in 2012, according to the bourse’s figures.