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Index falls by 0.61% as election fears weigh in


L-R; President Muhammadu Buhari in a handshake with the Director of NSEZOM, Mr Femi Edun. Others are President of Afreximbank, Dr Benedict Oramah and Managing Director Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan after the signing of agreements between Afreximbank, BOI and NSIA with Nigeria Special Economic Zones Investment Company (NSEZCOM) held at the Council Chambers, State House in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. FEN 8, 2019

Low liquidity and tense political environment coupled, with the incessant violence witnessed in some states last week, heightened investors’ apprehension, as manifested at the end of last week’s transactions. 
Consequently, indices at the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) plunged by 0.61%.
The mixed reaction that trailed market performance during the week showed that investors were cautious ahead of Saturday’s rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections.
Investors have, and will continue to price in the possibility of emergence of either of the two leading candidates- incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar into the market.
It is however, expected that the release of the election’s results will further see market induced adjustment of prices, depending on the outcome.
Accordingly, the NSE’s All-Share Index and market capitalisation depreciated by 0.61% each, to close the week at 32,515.52 points and N12.126 trillion respectively. 
Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of the NSE ASem, NSE Banking, NSE Insurance, NSE-AFR Bank Value and NSE Oil/Gas, which rose by 0.96 per cent , 0.68 per cent, 0.02 per cent  0.95 per cent and 0.13 per cent respectively. 
Consequently, a turnover of 1.481 billion shares worth N17.647 billion was recorded in  20,449 deals  by investors on the floor of the exchange lower than  a total of 2.834 billion units valued at N28.138 billion that changed hands in 28,739 deals during the preceding week.  
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), last week, announced its audited results for the year ended December 31, 2018, with a 94 per cent growth in Profit After Tax (PAT) of ₦20.6 billion in 2018, compared to ₦10.6 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2017. 
The group’s turnover grew by 30 per cent to ₦104.2 billion while Profit Before Tax (PBT) increased to ₦22.4 billion from ₦12.3 billion in 2017, depicting an 82 per cent year on year growth.
The company attributed the improved performance to increased revenue generation from the power and hospitality segments of the group. In addition, the company’s efforts to cut down on loss from Forex arising from financing activities by 30 per cent year-on-year
Meanwhile operators have urged government to  make political positions less attractive and more of service to the nation, than a platform for becoming billionaires overnight to reduce election violence to the barest minimum.
Specifically, a chartered stockbroker and Chief Executive Officer of Sofunix Investment Limited, Sola Oni, stressed the need for government to work towards a credible and peaceful polls for the growth of the capital market and the economy.
“To reduce election violence and grow the market and economy on a susatianble basis, there is a need to review Nigeria’s political culture.
“Many Nigerians take to politics without defined means of livelihood. This makes them desperate to use foul means to clinch power. For instance, why can’t we operate part time legislatures? Why must every governor have over bloated advisers? 
“There are laws on electoral violence. But in Nigeria, there is a gulf between pronouncement and implementation. The laws must be enforced.The whole world is going digital in everything, Nigeria is ripe enough for e-voting. 
“An Information Technology company like Chams Plc has capacity to drive e-voting as it has done it for the Institute of Chartered Àccountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and many others. Electronic voting reduces cost, stress and less vulnerable to fraud. It will nip in the board, all forms of sponsored thugery.”
The Chief Executive officer of Highcap securities, David Adonri, said: “To remedy election violence and sustain market growth, government must to arrest the culprits and prosecute them for various offenses committed.
“Whether it is election or any other crime, nobody should be above the law. Those who also threaten to unleash violence notwithstanding how justified their cause may be should be dealt with by the law.”

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