Nigerian stocks fell the most in more than five months on Monday as the All Share Index dropped by -2.69% following the 11th hour postponement of the country’s February 16 presidential election by a week. The one-week postponement by INEC, just a few hours before voting was scheduled to start on Saturday morning, rattled investors. The stock benchmark dropped 2.5 percent, the biggest fall since 12 September, 2018 with Dangote Cement, the largest company on the bourse, losing 3.6 percent. The ASI gained 0.12% on Friday to close at 32,453.69 with the market capitalisation gaining ₦14.0 billion to close at ₦12.2 trillion.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has ordered its members to reduce price of petrol in order to ease some burden on travellers during the rescheduled elections in the country. The IPMAN said its members should cut the price from ₦145 per litre to ₦140. The National President of the association, Chinedu Okworonkwo gave the instruction in a statement issued through the Chairman, IPMAN Kano state chapter, Bashir Dan-Malam following following Saturday’s last-minute postponement of presidential and National Assembly elections by INEC. The marketers are expected to comply with the directive from February 20 to February 25.
Some foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers of mobile phones have abandoned plans to establish factories in Nigeria citing the challenge of entry barriers into the market. Makers of major mobile phone brands like Tecno, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, and Blackberry had in the past indicated interest in establishing production plants, having experienced market acceptability for their products and having growth prospects in the country. The Punch also reported that the market shares of some of the OEMs had deteriorated due to the emergence of cheaper phone brands. In a Euromonitor data, mobile phone brands owned by Transsion Holdings, maker of Tecno, Itel and Infinix, have the highest market share in the country. The 2018 report indicated that Tecno, Itel and Infinix had 41 percent, 25.8 percent and 8.5 percent market share respectively. Nokia ranks third in the Nigerian market with 8.7 percent market share while Samsung devices are the fifth fast-selling brand with 7.6 percent market share, according to the data.
Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves have dropped to $42.86 billion, the lowest level in two months, according to the latest data from the CBN. The country’s reserves dropped by $314 million in two weeks to $42.86 billion as at February 14 2019 as against $43.174 billion recorded in January. The reserves had risen to a high of $47.865 billion on May 10, 2018, but plunged to $41.523 billion on November 22. They stood at $42.877 billion as at December 13. Recent history suggests that election cycles are associated with decreased external reserves and increased forex demand, as there was a sharp 24 percent decline in external reserves between January 2010 and May 2011 and a 30 percent decline between January 2014 and May 2015.