Stock Market: New Pricing Rule Favours Domestic Investors—Experts

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By Dipo Olowookere

The recently introduced pricing methodology by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has been described by experts as a tool that has favoured domestic investors by increased their participation in the stock market.

According to the Head of Banking and Finance Department at the Nasarawa State University Keffi, Dr Uche Uwaleke, has given local investors the opportunity to be more involved in the capital market because they can now pull volume with penny stocks trading below the former 50 kobo per share threshold.

“Unlike foreign investors who show more interest in high-cap stocks, a good number of domestic investors take positions in penny stocks given their affordability,” Mr Uwaleke told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) n Lagos.

The university don was reacting to the price depreciation posted by many penny stocks last month which had Consolidated Hallmark emerging the worst performing stock in percentage terms.

The stock opened trading in February at 50k, but lost 48 percent to close for the month at 26k per share, due to exchange new pricing method.

Mr Uwaleke said the new pricing methodology led to losses posted by most penny stocks.

“It is the new pricing methodology that has injected liquidity into those penny stocks which allowed their prices to fall below 50k,” he said.

The lecturer further said the new method was aimed at improving liquidity, narrowing spreads and ensuring that all price-improving transactions had impact.

He said that the new rule would effectively remove the previous rule which placed minimum allowable price for any stock to trade at its nominal value, irrespective of the market forces.

According to him, it specifies that stock prices will be determined by market forces of demand and supply, as prices can fall below the initial price.

On his part, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer of InvestData Ltd, also attributed the development to the new pricing rule.

Omordion added that the losses posted by some second tier banking stocks were due to profit-taking following rally posted at the beginning of the year.

Data obtained from the NSE showed that Unic Diversified Holdings, another penny stock, came second last month after dropping by 47.83 percent to close at 24k per share against opening price of 46k.

Courtville Business Solutions dipped 46 percent to close at 27k against 50k, while Multiverse Resources lost 37.5 percent to close the month at 30k per share compared with the opening price of 48k.

Other top losers were Skye Bank, which dipped by 34.01 percent to close at 97k against N1.47k in January, while Wema Bank lost 32.65 percent, having closed at 99k in contrast with N1.47k.

Diamond Bank dropped 26.10 percent to close at N2.35k against N3.18k, while Unitykap lost 26 percent to close at 37k against the opening price of 50k.

Lasaco Insurance declined by 21.43 percent to close at 33k against 43k in January, while Royal Exchange lost 21.43 percent to close at 33k per share against 42k opening price.

Conversely, Linkage Assurance was the best performing stock in percentage terms, appreciating by 24.64 percent to close at 86k per share against the opening price of 69k.

Unity Bank trailed with a growth of 17.11 percent to close at N1.78k in contrast with N1.52k in January, while NEM Insurance rose by 16.02 percent to close at N2.10k per share against N1.81k.

Other top gainers were Beta Glass, 15.64 percent; Unilever,15.06 percent; CCNN, 11.27 percent; Transnation Express, 11.11 percent; Prestige Assurance, 10.87 percent; GSK, 10.53 percent; and AIICO Insurance, 10.29 percent.

During the month, the NSE All-Share Index lost 1,013.11 points or 2.28 percent to close at 43,330.54 against 44,343.65 achieved in January.

Also, the market capitalisation which opened at N15.895 trillion shed N146 billion or 2.18 percent to close the month at N15.549 trillion.

The volume of shares traded dipped by 44.96 percent as investors bought and sold 11.95 billion shares worth N106. 08 billion achieved in 112,255 deals.

This was in contrast with January turnover of 21.71 billion shares valued at N197.22 billion traded in 168.649 deals.

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