The Nigerian Exchange Limited’s benchmark index crossed the 100,000 basis point mark, setting a new all-time high record on Wednesday.
At the close of trading, the All-Share Index of the local bourse gained 2,954.14 points or 2.99 per cent to close at a new high of 101,571.11.
The ASI closed 2023 at 74,773.77, posting a 35.83 per cent year-to-date return.
Speaking at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria January forum in Lagos with the theme, ‘Review of 2023 Market Performance and Outlook for 2024’, the Managing Director of Arthur Steven Asset Management Limited, Tunde Amolegbe, predicted that the ASI might see up to 35 per cent gain in 2024.
Many analysts had projected a pullback in the market, though some of them believed that the outlook for the year remained cautiously optimistic.
Analysts expected the full benefits of some government reforms to kick in this year.
The domestic market YTD gain has surpassed inflationary levels in the country, outperforming other indices in the African, European and Middle Eastern markets are tracked by Bloomberg.
The market capitalisation also rose by 2.99 per cent to N55.583tn on Wednesday, another milestone for the market.
A financial expert, Olaide Baanu, reacting to the development said, “The NGX-ASI has set a new all-time record by exceeding 100,000 basis points in the Nigerian stock market’s performance. It is important to note that the stock market reflects economic conditions and growth prospects, meaning that this recent milestone indicates confidence and optimism in the economy.
“Impressive performance was largely due to price increases in bellwether stocks such as Dangote Cement, BUA Cement, BUA Foods, MTN Nigeria, and the financial services sector. However, now that the market index has hit this milestone, we may see fund managers and investors rebalancing their portfolios and taking profits.”
The immediate past National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Dr Anthony Omojola, said, “Hurrah! Our stock market has come on top! Many of us are happy that this is happening during our lifetime. If as a developing economy, Nigeria can achieve this height, I’m sure by the time our economy transforms and we are developed, we will be one of the countries to be well respected and reckoned within the world.
“As we crossed the 100,000 basis point, I want to see more of our companies with good fundamentals to justify their new prices and be able to sustain them in the medium to long-term in their payment of dividends as the ultimate return on investments.
“I want the government to step up the processes of ease of doing business so that more companies can grow and enjoy higher prices like others and not just a few companies that have been overpriced now because some people showed interest in them.”
The market’s bullish run entered the 10th trading day.
The total value of stocks traded by investors was N8.04tn, a 51 per cent drop from the previous day.
Indigenous conglomerate, Transnational Corporation Plc, was the most liquid stock on NGX as investors exchanged N1.6tn worth of its stock in 1,207 deals on Wednesday.
BUA Cement, Dangote Cement, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank also formed part of the top five traded stocks by volume.
The equity market performance also coincides with the change in management at the Nigerian Exchange Group, with the appointment of Temi Popoola as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, and Jude Chiemeka as Acting CEO of NGX, its operating exchange subsidiary.