*As investors gain N8.19trn in 2020
By Nkiruka Nnorom
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has recorded its best performance in the last eight years on the back of the positive sentiment that swept through the market to record 50.02 percent returns as the year 2020 ended yesterday (December 31, 2020).
Also, investors recorded N8.19 trillion gains following the renewed interest, especially by local investors.
Specifically, the market, which opened the year at 26,842.07 points, rode steadily on some positive policy initiatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to curtail the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and accelerate the economy, to close the year at 40,270.72 points.
Also, the market capitalisation, which opened at N12.969 trillion, rose to N21.157 trillion, indicating 63.14 percent growth during the year.
CBN had during the year, cut the base monetary policy rate twice by 200 basis points from 12.5 percent to 11. 5 percent in a bid to boost lending, discourage savings and drive growth to counter the effect of Covid-19 on the economy, while also keeping rates low in the fixed income market.
Additionally, excess liquidity resulting from CBN’s Open Market Operation (OMO) restriction, the hunt for double-digit yields and depressed pricing, helped to rekindle local interests in the equities market in 2020.
Vanguard’s analysis showed that it posted its best monthly gain in November 2020, up 14.8 percent Month-on-Month (M/M), its highest M/M return since the January 2018 rally when the market posted 15.9 percent returns.
The stock market, according to analysts, witnessed the historic month on two fronts buoyed by increased system liquidity in the past month as daily Open Buy Back (OBB) and Over Night (OVN) rates remained low amid buoyant system liquidity.