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NSE Performance Update and outlook for Q4’14 and Q1’15

The outlook for Nigerian Stock Market in Q4’14 remains blurred as the bearish trend gained tempo at the end of Q3’14, starting the month of October into Q4’14 with active sell-down. In the last three quarters, we have seen mixed and unimpressive performance trend in the market as YTD remains in negative zone with falling enthusiasm

Analysis revealed that most of the sell activities have been majorly towards medium and penny stocks in most active sub-sectors, precisely Banking, Insurance and Consumer Goods sub-sectors. On the other hand, further analysis revealed the Oil & Gas and Industrial stocks to have recorded improved patronage despite the active negative sentiments on the bourse.

On quarterly review, extensive analysis suggested that Q1'14 remained the worst hit quarter so far with -6.25% loss where the key benchmark indices plunged to year-low of 37,136.60bpts on March 19th 2014 . However, Q2’14 closed bullish with +9.64% gain while Q3'14 experienced renewed bearish sentiments to close in red zone by -3.00%.

Some of the factors that put investors bargain appetite under pressure could not be distant from the fact that the earnings across board have not been fantastic coupled with unimpressive low dividend yields while only few quoted firms sustained growth in top-line and bottom-line as against mixed performance outlook recorded by the majority.

Also, the business environment appeared more challenging than ever, particularly the banking sub-sector are battling with stiffen monetary policies as CBN ends free-lunch on both public and private funds with tight monetary stance. This seems to have created a hole in the core streams of income/revenue of most banks. Both net interest margin and profit margin have badly hit as analysis had revealed.

Consequently, this has made few banks to shore up their operating capital through right issues, Eurobonds and the likes. More banks are likely to approach market soon to raise fresh capital in order to compete effectively. This may usher in another round of induced banking consolidation or recapitalization any time soon as competition would obviously get tougher

In addition, the face of our economy is not suggesting friendly trend as inflation figures are climbing the ladder in the face of falling oil price. The recent inflation figure closed at 8.50% for the month of August, against 8.30% recorded in July 2014. Also, the oil price is now at 4-yrs low, suggesting more pressure on Nigerian economy ahead year 2015.

Price Performance Analysis

Stock performance analysis revealed active sell down tendency towards penny stocks largely in the small and medium cap categories. This further buttressed our position “that the huge money that chased lot of penny stocks in the previous year are bent on finding an exit point any available opportunity” stated in one of market update article tilled NSE on bearish trend, fear of unknown may trigger panic

Technical Point of View

Technically, the Nigerian Stock Market is currently in a bearish mode, trading below its short, mid-long and long term moving averages with RSI below 30. This technically reveals the depressed posture of the key benchmark indices in an oversold region.

Possible Outlook in Q4'14 and Q1’15

Going by historical pattern, the market may close Q4’14 bullish as we expect value investors and long term investors to take strategic positions for end of the year rewards and benefits. This has always been the pattern in the last four years. The usual strategic patronages have always helped in cushion the effect of huge and active portfolio rebalancing and re-shuffling that hit market around this period.

However, considering the growing investors’ apathy and strong cautious trading atmosphere as we move closer to election period, the investors’ risk appetite may weaken further, which may depress the key benchmark indices into new-low zone as already in an oversold region.

Also, the steady and continued decline in local investors’ portfolio would adversely impact the market performance at the end of Q4’14. The YTD domestic investors portfolio as august 2014 declined to 42.59% against 44.94% recorded as July 2014.

Also, the on-going recapitalization of market operators may continue to exact pressure on the market as proprietary trading appeared weakened at the moment. There are strong indications that market operators are likely to continue to sell-down assets to raise funds for the on-going recapitalization.

Nevertheless, we expect mixed sentiments in Q1’15 as Q4’14 would have rub-off effect. We expect the outcome of general election to be a game-changer but not with great impact as we strongly believed that market would have discounted whatever the outcome before then. We don’t expect much surprise from lending rate as regards to MPR. The CBN planned to maintain status quo till after general election in 2015.

Some Negative Factors that drove negative sentiments

  • Unimpressive earnings reports across board
  • Low dividend yields across board
  • Lack of positive news
  • Tight Monetary policies
  • Low liquidity and high lending rates
  • On-going recapitalization of market operators which have increased sell pressure
  • Low floats
  • Attractive yield in fixed income
  • Inactive of market-marking

Some Positive Factors on NSE

  • Increased primary market activities (right issues and IPOs)
  • Growing number of mergers and acquisitions
  • Improved corporate governance
  • Improved compliance and transparency

NSE & Its Peers

The Nigerian market has not fared very well so far this year when compared to other major exchanges across the globe. This is largely because of growing investors’ apathy and economic imbalance coupled with cautious trading ahead of a potentially volatile political space come 2015

On a final note, we are of the opinion that The next few months on the NSE may witnessed increased distribution, value stocks with strong fundamentals would always survive the bearish trend with minimal loss, and recover faster than other stocks with weak fundamentals.

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