By NKIRUKA NNOROM
Foreign portfolio investors will continue to dominate transactions in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, in the second half of the year, said Cowry Asset Management Limited in its latest review of the global and Nigerian economy.
In its 2014 H1 Review & Outlook for H2, the company said the positive disposition towards the Nigeria equities market by foreign investors would be made possible due to attractiveness of the Exchange over other emerging markets
Statistics from the NSE for the four months to April, 2014 showed that local investors’ participation dropped to 26 percent in comparison to 75.25 percent contribution made by their foreign counterparts within the same period.
Compared to the same period in 2013, the statistics showed that local investors’ participation fell from 35.52 percent, while foreign participation rose from 64.48 percent to their current positions.
The data indicated that out of N184.43 billion transactions posted during the period, foreign investment inflow into the Exchange through Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) accounted for N138.78 billion (about $0.89 billion) in April 2014, up 54.8 percent from N89.67 billion in January 2014.
On the other hand, total domestic transactions stood at N45.64 billion, as against N67.73 billion total transaction in the same period in 2013.
“The local bourse remained attractive as transactions bourse was dominated by foreign portfolio investors who, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, accounted for 62.89 percent despite quantitative easing in the United States and economic recoveries in other advanced economies. Also, retail investors took the back seat to institutional investors,” the company said in the report.
Continuing, the Cowry Asset Management team said, “The local bourse faced its share of challenges, particularly in the first quarter that led to investors’ adopting a cautious approach to investing.
“Some of these hitches included the initial reactions of investors to the ouster of former CBN boss, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by the presidency as his exit created uncertainties over sustainability of his laudable monetary policy reforms.
“Other challenges included uncertainties over the ability of commercial banks to respond profitably and robustly to the sharp increase in public sector cash reserve ratio requirement from 50 percent to 75 percent.”
Finally, the tapering of quantitative easing in the U.S., with the likely attractiveness of foreign fixed income investments and possible capital flight of foreign portfolio investors was another source of concern, the report added.