Mr Patrick Ajudua, National Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, NDSA in this interview spoke on the stock market performance in 2018 and the outlook for 2019 and some of the things that government should do top attract foreign investors. Excerpts:
By Perter Egwuatu
HOW do you see the performance of the stock market in 2018?
The stock market performed poorly in the year 2018 as investors lost close to N2 trillion worth of their investment. This was mainly caused by political tension, uncertainty and jittery of foreign investors that dominates the market, leading to capital flight. Also, governments’ activities and insecurity in the country also played their parts to bring the market to a bearish situation.
What is your expectation of the stock market this year?
We as shareholders are expecting that the market will bounce back once the polity is stable. Once, we as a country get it politically right, it is our hope that the market will correct itself. There are many opportunities in the market but the fiscal and monetary policies are also not helping matter. The listed companies’ performance depends on the macroeconomic environment. So we expect the government to churn out policies that will be productive to the economy and the market in particular.
Do you thick companies can still declare dividend to shareholders for the 2018 financial year given the performance of the economy?
We believe that companies will declare profits though it might not be as high as expected. Most companies that have dividend policy will still declare dividend. We expect the economy to pick up after the first quarter. The political atmosphere will basically determine the direction of the economy as foreign investors are seriously waiting to come back to the country.
What is your take on illegal capital market operators and your advice to investors?
Investors who patronize them are doing so as a result of greed and what I regard as difficult economic circumstance we have found ourselves in this country. Some investors also patronize them because they still see them as only means of survival and in fact short cut to survival and according them the only means of meeting the financial obligations as a result of economic problems.
But we are saying that it is better we hold on for the sake of tomorrow. My advice is that once bitten twice shy. They should desist from patronizing them rather they should patronize those operators who are incorporated in Nigeria and registered with the regulators. It is only way that the perpetrators of this act could be sued for breach of trust and contractually failure.