Market downturn: expert tasks SEC, NSE on effective regulations to strengthen investors’ confidence

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…As Customs seize rice, used tyres, other goods worth N65m***

A capital market expert, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, on Monday urged Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to ensure effective regulations to strengthen investors’ confidence in the equities.

Uwaleke, Head of Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University Keffi, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

The expert, who was reacting to persistent downtrend in the equities market, said that effective regulations and zero-tolerance for infractions would enhance investors’ confidence in the equities market being troubled by political uncertainties.

Uwaleke, however, called on investors to recognise that the stock market, like every other market was prone to business cycles of booms and bursts or ups and down.

He encouraged investors not to panic and sell down, but be patient and wait for the market to rebound possibly after the elections in 2019.

“Political uncertainty is one of the reasons for the bearish trend as many of the quoted companies have good fundamentals.

“As a matter of fact, this is the time to buy undervalued stocks,” Uwaleke said.

He urged key operators like stock brokers and registrars to ensure that they played by the rules of the game, by providing honest advice to their clients to help them to cushion the present storm.

NAN reports that a total turnover of 1.45 billion shares worth N15.26 billion was exchanged by investors in 16,682 deals last week.

This was in contrast with a turnover of a total of 1.38 billion shares valued at

N15.15 billion traded in 14,033 deals in the previous week.

The Financial Services Industry led the week’s activity chart with 1.22 billion shares valued at N9.48 billion traded in 10,520 deals.

Consequently, the sector contributed 83.94 per cent and 62.11 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Conglomerates Industry came second with 92.19 million shares worth N452.95 million achieved in 719 deals.

The third place was the Consumer Goods Industry with a turnover of 76.57 million shares worth N3.71 billion in 2,471 deals.

Diamond Bank led the gainers’ table in percentage terms, gaining 20 per cent or 24k to close at N1.44 per share.

Law Union and Rock Insurance followed with a gain of 16 per cent or 8k to close at 58k per share.

Fidelity Bank gained 10.58 per cent or 20k to close at N2.09 per share.

Consequently, the NSE All-Share Index rose by 65.64 points or 0.20 per cent to close at 32,907.33 against 32,841.69 posted in the previous week.

Also, the market capitalisation which opened at N11.989 trillion grew by N25 billion to close at N12.014 trillion.

Conversely, Mcnichols recorded the highest loss in percentage terms, shedding 30.51 per cent or 18k to close at 41 per share.

Lafarge Africa trailed with a loss of 13.10 per cent or N2.75 to close at N18.25, while Beta Glass declined by 11.54 per cent or N8.10 to close at N62.10 per share.

In the meantime, the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C,’ Owerri, Imo State, says it has intercepted and seized 563 bales of second hand clothing, 2,000 bags of imported rice and used tyres worth Duty Paid Value of N65,133,253.

Briefing journalists at Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Area Command of the Unit on Monday, the Customs Area Controller, Mr. Kayode Olusemire, said that the seven trailers conveying the contraband were intercepted by men of the unit along Enugu axis, following a tip-off.

He said, “The smugglers and their agents were at our men’s duty post moving up and down and communicating. However, there came a tip-off and our men at the post seized their mobile phones, while they ran away.

“It was in the process that the information was gathered and the trailers were intercepted.”

It was gathered that the seven trailers were not seized in a day. It was, however, disclosed that the first two trailers were stopped along the Port Harcourt axis on one day, while three others were arrested on Aba axis on different days, among others.

The customs boss said that three arrests had been made, but that the suspects had been granted administrative bail, in line with rules guiding the establishment.

The prosecution on the seizures, he said, would be in court in no distant time, after which the items would be moved to Internally Displaced Person’s camps.

On used tyres, the Comptroller noted that they were seized about seven months ago before he assumed office on August 15, 2018.
“However, security report indicated that both the new and used tyres were seized because the new ones were used to carefully conceal the used ones in order to beat the Zone ‘C’ officers and men on the road.”

Additional report from Punch