Nigerian Stocks Drop Most in 12 Weeks as Buhari Delays Cabinet

Nigerian equities tumbled the most since April 8 as Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office at the end of May, delayed naming his cabinet.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index declined for the first time in two days to wipe out this week’s advance as three shares fell for every one that gained. The gauge has dropped 8.2 percent since reaching its 2015 peak on April 2, the day after Buhari was declared the election winner.

Buhari, 72, who defeated Goodluck Jonathan in March elections, postponed naming his cabinet until September to drive out corruption before appointed ministers arrive to take their posts. The delay will disappoint investors expecting tighter fiscal policy, a devaluation of the local currency and a greater focus on tax collection after a drop in oil prices hammered Nigeria’s finances, Alan Cameron, an economist at Exotix Partners Ltd., said by phone from London.

“Investors are dissuaded by the fact that the present government have not given a direction for the economy,” David Adonri, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Lambeth Trust and Investment Co. Ltd., said by phone. “There is very low demand for equities. People are not buying, forcing stocks to sell lower.”

The index dropped 2 percent to 32,797.89 as of 2:15 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital. Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc led losers, falling 7.9 percent, while Evans Medical Plc, dropped 5 percent to the lowest since February 2013. Seplat Petroleum Development Co. rose 4.1 percent to the highest since May 21.

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