Assessing the Volatility and the Reliability of the Nigerian Stock Market

Kimiko G. Judith

Nigeria and its financial sectors have long been viewed as an avenue of intense risk. Foreign investors and Nigerians in Diaspora previously shield away from investing in these sectors and the economy for fear of losing their money due to government upheaval by virtue of coups, sanctions, political witch-hunting or other measures. With the on-goings in the Nigerian stock exchange and the amount of profit taking being witnessed at humongous rates, some investors were too tempted to let such great opportunities pass them by and they poured in heavy amounts of money into the Nigerian Stock Exchange with fingers crossed and anticipating losses while praying for profits.

African Petroleum a company in the oil and gas sector of Nigeria’s economy was one of such companies invested in. The company had a rich history but its recent times had been marred by political tussles, the CEO of the company was rumored to be a front for a former Nigeria’s Vice President who was not in rather good terms with his President and yet investors could not resist making investments into the company due to its presence in the profitable oil and gas sector of Nigeria’s economy and the attendant benefits of being in that sector.

Political games ensued as the company was accused of owing debts to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and by guise of recovering such debts majority shares were forcefully transferred to the state and the CEO of the company and his cohorts were ousted. Investors were perturbed but the company’s share prices were placed on a technical suspension preventing any panic sales that is, selling the company shares at a higher or lower price. Confusion ensued as nail-biting investors pondered what to do next.

When the technical suspension was lifted, the prices only rose higher and higher. Investors with the company who had entered still with baited breath watched as the prices went even further. Further political intrigues ensued when a businessman known to be the favorite of the sitting President and a major dealer of downstream petroleum products waged a bid for the majority shares of the company ( now held by NNPC) versus another businessman who was known to have a long standing relationship with the company.

Problems ensured in court with the former winning the case amid further series of technical suspensions. At the end of the intrigues investors who held onto shares they had purchased at less than 100 Naira were quickly rewarded by a share price that rallied to around 300 Naira. So much for the instability myth. Investors who would have entered into African Petroleum shares at 6.2 million naira earlier would be rewarded with shares in excess of a value of 30 million months later.

Having get over the initial crises now, the company is about to expand it operational coast by way of issuing public offer at the rate of N250 per share.

This stock is strongly recommended as a must buy for any profit seeking investor.

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