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UPDATE 1-Nigerian index falls to 2-1/2-month low on weak economy
November 16, 2015 / 4:37 PM / in 2 years

UPDATE 1-Nigerian index falls to 2-1/2-month low on weak economy

(Adds details, analyst comment)

By Oludare Mayowa and Chijioke Ohuocha

LAGOS, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Nigerian shares fell to a two-and-half-month low on Monday as the poor outlook for Africa’s biggest economy dragged down the relatively liquid banking and consumer goods sectors.

The naira has weakened with sagging oil prices, which have hurt the economy and government revenues, and the five-month wait for President Muhammadu Buhari to form a cabinet after his poll victory has added to the strains.

The stock market, which has the second-biggest weighting after Kuwait on the MSCI frontier market index , shed 1.07 percent on Monday to 28,532 points, a level last reached in August. The index is down 17.7 percent this year.

“The sell pressure is majorly investors’ reaction to weaker macroeconomic fundamentals which have depressed earnings across a broad spectrum ranging from consumer goods to banks,” said Ayodeji Ebo, head of research at Afrinvest.

Share dealing on the bourse has declined this year as foreign investors, worried about currency risks, stay on the sidelines. Share dealing in September fell to 129.92 billion naira, down 75.2 percent from year ago.

The index of Nigeria’s top 10 banking stocks shed 3.39 percent on Monday. Stanbic IBTC, the Nigerian unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank, lost the most, falling 4.98 percent. Zenith Bank shed 4.82 percent while Dangote Flour Mills fell 4.74 percent.

“Right now, the Nigerian market still appears over-valued as it trades at a higher price to earnings multiple of 13.4 times compared to MSCI Frontier Index of 4.8 times,” Afrinvest Ebo said.

Analysts say new central bank rules on loss provision may hurt dividend payouts as lenders prepare to adopt stricter international requirements.

Other decliners include Flour Mills Nigeria down 3.14 percent, Guaranty Trust Bank down 3.72 percent and United Bank for Africa down 3.7 percent. (Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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