By Dipo Olowookere
Though the Nigerian All-Share Index (ASI) is still miles below record highs set in early 2008, a 43 percent rally in 2017 has helped to close the gap, a report released on Wednesday by CNN Money has disclosed.
With this performance this year, the Nigerian stock market made it to the top five global stock markets of 2017.
Argentina, Turkey, Hong Kong, and the United States were the other stock markets that made it to the top five this year.
The Argentine market rose this year by 73 percent, Turkey increased by 43 percent, same with Nigeria, while Hong Kong grew by 35 percent, the United States stock market appreciated by 25 percent.
According to the report, the Nigerian index suffered mightily in 2015 and 2016 as low oil prices, militant attacks, currency troubles, elections and Ebola hit investor sentiment.
But oil prices have moved higher, the central bank has made it easier to swap currencies and the economy has snapped out of recession, explained Zin Bekkali, founder and CEO of Silk Invest.
Many analysts are optimistic that stocks could keep rising in 2018.
“If you look at where we stand today, the [Nigerian] market is still one of the cheapest markets on the planet,” said Bekkali, in the report.
However, the report said the Qatari stock market emerged the biggest loser this year, tumbling by 19 percent amid a spat with its neighbours: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Their decision to cut diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar in June took the region by surprise.
The nations accused Qatar of funding terrorism, a charge it denies. Efforts to restore ties have so far failed.
Qatar has found workaround strategies and different trade routes to get by, said Shearing.
“A lot of the initial economic disruption has faded,” he said. “It doesn’t look like [this] will be resolved quickly, but it doesn’t look like it’s doing vast damage to Qatar’s economy,” the report noted.
CNN Money also said in the report that the US stocks were front and centre as investors bet on strong economic growth, solid corporate earnings and hopes that President Trump would roll back regulations. Trump also boosted markets with a big corporate tax cut.
The Dow Jones industrial average shot up by 25 percent, the S&P 500 surged by 20 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index outshined them with all with a stunning 29 percent gain.
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