Investors gain N1.38tr on equities in Q1

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) will commence work on its $3 billion (N1.08 trillion) refinery by the second quarter of 2018.

Its National President, Chinedu Okoronkwo, said the body has conducted visibility studies to determine the cost of the refineries, the topography of the land earmarked for the project in Itobe and Abbe in Kogi and Bayelsa state, respectively.

He added that plans are in top gear to move to site to site and start preliminary work on the project.

Speaking with The Nation at the weekend, Okoronkwo said IPMAN has concluded arrangements to speed up the process of building the refinery in order to help solve the fuel scarcity in the country.

He said efforts to start building the refineries were marred by internal crises, adding however, that with the resolution of the issue, work will start by the middle of August this year.

Okoronkwo said: “Our $3 billion refinery project would soon commence. We are discussing with our investors and technical partners.

“The project, which was situated in Kogi and Bayelsa ought to have commenced, but was delayed by the leadership tussle rocking the association.

“But now that it has been resolved, we will commence work soon. We are pursuing it very strongly because we believe in the success of the refinery.”

The IPMAN chief said the body was waiting for government’s approvals, and that as soon as it gets the approval, work would start.

He said the body acquired over 1,000 hectares of land in 2014 with a view to building a refinery with a capacity of 200,000 barrels of petrol per day, adding that the refinery would go a long way in improving supply of fuel in the country.

“The country has suffered capital flight due to importation of petroleum products into the country. The cost of exporting crude oil and bringing back the refined products will be reduced, once the refinery begins operation. All we are asking from government is the license to help us start the project fully,’’ Okoronkwo said.

He urged the Federal Government to invest more in modular refineries as a way to end fuel scarcity.

He said modular refineries could help address shortfalls in fuel supply pending when additional refineries will come on stream.

“They (modular refineries) will also boost the country’s revenue and address frequent fuel scarcity usually experienced during the yuletide seasons. Our expectation this year is for government to invest more in modular nvestors in Nigerian equities ended the first quarter (Q1) of this year with a net capital gain of N1.38 trillion, sustaining the upswing that had seen quoted equities with net capital gain of N4.36 trillion in 2017. A strong start in January and February helped the market to moderate a running downtrend in March and sustained the positive quarter-on-quarter performance of the Nigerian equities market.

Nigeria’s sovereign equities index-the All Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), indicated average year-to-date return of 8.53 per cent for Nigerian equities in the first quarter, implying that an average investor has earned some 8.53 per cent nominal return on investment over the past three months.

The Q1 performance places Nigerian equities on the trajectory to sustain the bullishness that dominated transactions in 2017 and in line with double-digit return projections by many reputable investment firms. Nigerian equities closed 2017 with full-year average return of 42.30 per cent, ranking within the top 10 best-performing equities across the world. Aggregate market value of quoted equities closed 2017 with net capital appreciation of N4.36 trillion.

Aggregate market value of all quoted equities closed the first quarter of 2018 at N14.993 trillion as against its year’s opening value of N13.609 trillion, representing a net increase of N1.384 trillion or 10.17 per cent. The ASI also rose from its 2018’s opening index of 38,243.19 points to close the first quarter at 41,504.51 points, representing average gain of 8.53 per cent. The difference between the ASI and aggregate market value was due to shares’ supplementary listings.

Nigerian equities had in January this year hit all-time high market capitalisation of N15.3 trillion while the ASI had risen to 43,041.54 points, its highest index points since October 2008. The market, however, showed a slowdown in March with average month-on-month decline of 4.21 per cent. The downtrend in March was due largely to profit-taking transactions as investors turned to monetise accrued capital gains.

Sectoral analysis showed that most investors in Nigerian equities ended Q1 with positive returns. Investors in industrial goods and banking stocks were ahead of other investors. The NSE Industrial Goods Index recorded the highest quarter-on-quarter return of 10.96 per cent. The NSE Banking Index followed with a return of 9.49 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index rallied average gain of 8.41 per cent. The NSE Oil and Gas Index appreciated by 4.90 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index posted a modest return of 0.21 per cent. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised companies at the stock market, posted a three-month return of 7.30 per cent.

With the Q1 performance, investors have earned net capital gains of N5.744 trillion over the past 15 months. With this, Nigerian equities have technically recovered what they had lost in a three-year period between 2014 and 2016. Investors lost N1.75 trillion in 2014 and followed this with another loss of N1.63 trillion in 2015 and N604 billion in 2016.

Most pundits expected the Nigerian equities to record double-digit returns in 2018. In its ‘Economic and Financial Outlook 2018-2022’ report, FSDH Merchant Bank Group stated that Nigerian equities have potential to generate average return of 27.43 per cent in 2018. Analysts expected the overall macro-economic performance to continue to improve, strengthening sectoral growths and returns.

FBNQuest Capital Limited, the investment banking subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, predicted that the Nigerian equities market would sustain a bullish run for the second consecutive year with a double digit return of 25 per cent in 2018.

Capital Bancorp noted that several performance boosters could see Nigerian equities ending the year with average return of 25 per cent.

Presenting its special outlook report tagged: “Nigeria in 2018: Looking Beyond the Surface, Cordros Capital outlined a positive outlook for the economy and the equities market, noting that average return at the equities market could range between a modest return of between 10 and 15 per cent and a bullish performance as high as 40 per cent.

Nation