Shareholders of quoted firms on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange recorded a gain of N28bn during the first two weeks of lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the country.
Market watchers had speculated that the announcement by the Federal Government ordering restriction of movements in Lagos, Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for a period of first 14 days would dampen investors’ sentiment.
During the 14 days, the market opened for eight trading days as the Federal Government declared Friday, April 10 (Good Friday) and Monday, April 13 public holidays for the Easter period.
Checks by our correspondent showed that activities on the NSE which opened the trading at N11.12tn in market capitalisation and 21,330.79 in index at the beginning of trading on March 31 closed at N11.14tn and 21,384.03 index points on April 13, hence made a cumulative gain of about N28bn.
Also, the All-Share Index grew by 53.24 basis points or 0.25 per cent. The index measures the performance of the stock market and reflects how prices of stocks have moved, which in turn determines how much investors made as gains or losses.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, financial markets, particularly the capital markets around the world have seen levels of volatility that are only comparable to the global financial crisis of 2007/2008.
To maintain the integrity of the market and in order for it to continue to stimulate economic growth, the NSE activated its business continuity plan on March 23.
Through the activation, the exchange has continued trading during normal hours and days by providing remote trading access for dealing member firms through FIX Protocol and Virtual Private Network platforms.
The acting DG SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, speaking on how the lockdown had affected the capital market on Wednesday said, “We are happy with the way the capital market is going; we have released about three circulars concerning the action against the COVID-19. One of them was to tell the entire capital market operators who we regulate to give us report on their Business Continuity Plan and processes.”
She added that the market had been trading as everyone had activated their BCPs.