Local investors are taking advantage of the incredibly low prices of stocks in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, to increase their investments following the prolonged downward movement in equity valuation since the advent of the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic on the Nigeria’s economy.
Data on domestic and foreign portfolio participation in the NSE equity market shows that domestic investors committed N374.98 billion in the market at the end of the first quarter of the year (Q1’20), representing an increase of 89 percent compared to N198.39 billion in the previous quarter in 2019.
This also represents 59.82 percent contribution to total investment (N626.87 billion) pooled in the first quarter of the year and 32.8 percent higher than N251.87 billion invested by foreign investors. Research analysts and securities dealers, attributed the development to search for a viable investment option by local investors.
They explained that local investors are increasingly pitching their tent in equities market due to the attractive dividend yield in the market coupled with low yield environment in the fixed income market. They observed that the development is good for the local bourse, saying that it would restore credibility and stability to the market, which was hitherto marred by volatility occasioned by the activities of foreign investors.
“It is a good thing that domestic interest is building in the market; it is really positive. This is what we have been clamouring for, where the local investors will be the drivers of the market. What we, typically, see is that domestic investors follow the investment pattern of the foreign investors whereby if we see that they are buying, we will buy and if we find out they are selling, we will sell.
“Domestic investors are not driving the market and that is why sometimes, you see that some stocks are trading at crazy multiples where they shouldn’t be. Now, that we are seeing a lot of domestic participation, that will bring some sort of credibility and relative stability in the market,” said Jerry Nnebue, a research analyst at Cardinalstone, a Lagos-based investment banking firm.
He, however, said that the overall macroeconomic framework and environment mute the excitement that comes from increased domestic participation. Domestic vs foreign participation Analysis of the domestic and foreign portfolio participation in equity for the period, showed an increasing participation by both institutional and retail domestic investors amidst increased withdrawal by foreign investors.
Within the period, domestic retail investors upped their stakes by 74.8 percent to N171.45 billion from N98.1 billion in Q1’2019. Also, domestic institutional investors increased their stake by 103 percent to N203.53 billion in Q1’20 from N100.29 billion in Q1’19.
On a month-on-month basis, total domestic investors improved by 72 percent to N132.69 billion in March compared to N77.16 billion in February, 2020. Domestic retail investors’ participation rose by 104 percent to N60.23 billion in March from N29.56 billion in February, while domestic institutional investors’ participation increased by 52.2 percent to N72.46 billion from N47.6 billion in February.
Frontpage April 15, 2021