LAGOS Dec 31 Nigerian stocks rose
to a 32-month high on Monday, ending the year up 34 percent in
the index's best performance since 2007, led by growth in the
consumer goods and banking sectors which is expected to continue
Africa's second biggest economy and top oil producer is
growing in popularity as an investment destination, offering the
promise of high economic growth and a consumer market of 160
million people. Its sovereign debt has soared since JP Morgan
added it to its emerging market bond index this year.
"With continued interest in financials and consumer goods,
we expect the market to extend gains into the New Year,"
analysts at Vetiva Capital, said in a note, adding that banks
will lead the charge in 2013.
Nigeria's naira currency closed flat at 156.20 to
the U.S. dollar but gained 1.8 percent over the year, supported
by forex inflows from foreign investment into the local debt
market and the central bank's tight monetary policy.
Stocks rose 0.76 percent on Monday to cross a 28,000 point
psychological level and closed the year at 28,079 points, a
level last seen in April 2010, to become the second best
performing index in sub-Saharan Africa after Uganda.
This year's performance was supported by a stable naira, a
flurry of strong earnings results and a new market-making
system, attracting foreign investors and local fund managers
back to equities, analysts and stockbrokers say.
The index of Nigeria's top-10 consumer goods stocks
ended up 41.3 percent to become the best performing
sector while banking stocks finished up 21 percent.
Nigerian stocks recovered after falling 16 percent last year
but the market is still less than half the value it was prior to
the 2008 collapse, which wiped off 60 percent of stock values
and coincided with a banking crisis. The index rose 70 percent
Nigeria trade closed after a half day ahead of the New
(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Oludare Mayowa; Editing by
Joe Brock, Ron Askew)