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Challenges Of Nigerian Capital Market In 2009

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In the annals of the Nigerian Capital Market, year 2009 will remain indelible due to its dismal performance. The banking reforms, global financial meltdown, change of leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) policies and counter policies within and outside the market inter alia are some of the factors that would make 2009 not to be forgotten in a hurry by many investors and even market operators. These factors made the market to remain on a free-fall during the year under review.

For investors in the market, it was an unpalatable year as by mid December 2009, average year-to-date return at the market stood at a negative of 35 per cent, an extension of the average drop of 46 per cent recorded in 2008.

This implies that an average investor with portfolio spread across the market recorded more than 35 percent loss in its market value during the period. And for those that invested in financial stocks had an average of more than 44 percent; those in the insurance were the worst hit with an average loss of about 64 percent while petroleum stocks generally lost some 61 percent.

A look at the activities in the market showed that within 11- month period ended November 30, 2009 it recorded a turnover value of N638.11 billion as against N2.33 trillion recorded in the comparable period of 2008 indicating a drop of N1.7 trillion or 73 percent.

During the same period, the market turned over a total volume of 95.3 billion units of shares compared with a turnover of 183.45 billion units of shares traded in the corresponding period of 2009. This represents 48 percent decrease in the market turnover during the review period.

The two key indicators for corporate market performance, the all share index and aggregate market capitalisation were also in tailspin. The benchmark index, all share index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 20,795.49 basis points as at December 11, 2009 compared with an opening of 31,446.96 basis points at the beginning of the year indicating a drop of 33.86 per cent.

Also, the aggregate market capitalisation of listed equities which opened trading for the review year at N6.957 trillion fell to N4.990 trillion as at December 11, 2009 indicating a drop of 28.77 percent.

Indeed, the year, 2009 was a bad bargain for investors at the capital market as return on investment (ROI) which come in form of dividend dropped by 65 per cent from N280 billion out in 2008 to N98 billion so far.

The sweeping banking reforms exercise by the CBN, according to market analysts has been the main cause of the prolonged dominance of the bears as it has worsened liquidity crunch and hightened tension in the market.

Many investors as a result took solace in the bond market with minimal risk. In addition to this is the full disclosure policy by the CBN which mandates banks to make public their exposure to toxic loans and assets and make adequate provision for their repayment.

Most of the banks declared losses as the loan provision took toll on their performance while only a hand full made marginal profit.

Analysis of the market performance before the banking reforms revealed that in the first quarter, the market fell by 34 percent as the market indicators, all share index closed trading at 19,851.89 points on March 30, 2009 compared with an opening points of 31,450.78 basis points while the market capitalisation dropped from an opening figure of N6.96 trillion to N4.48 trillion.

There was a turn of event in the second quarter as the market indicators tilted northward with the market capitalisation surging by 33.71 percent to close at N5.99 trillion even as the bench mark index grew by 32.23 percent to close at 26,249.28 basis points.

The indices moved southwards in the third quarter as the market capitalisation declined by 14.36 percent to finish at N5.13 trillion while the all share index went down by 15.94 percent to close at 22,065.00 basis points.

From the fourth quarter to November 30, the market capitalisation decreased 2.57 per cent to close at N4.99 trillion while the index stood at 21,010.29 basis points representing a drop of 4.78 percent.

Ironically, many emerging and advanced stock markets world wide have taken the path of recovery as many have recorded double-digit positive year-to-date returns.

In United States of America for instance the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a positive year-to-date return of about 19 percent according to reports. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index recorded 22 percent while the Nasdaq gained 39 percent.

The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 index posted more than 18 percent bench mark return while the CAC 40 index, a major gauge of the French market had 18 percent return.

Others are Germany’s DAX Index, 19 percent, South Africa’s YSE All – Share Index 25 percent, Japan’s NIKKEI 225 Index, 11 percent and India’s BSE 30 Index with a shooping bench mark return of 78 percent.

In spite of the many weaknesses, there is silver linings for the market. But this can only be manifest when a concrete step is taken towards the reality of the take-off of market markets, the new rules on share buy back, reduction in costs of transactions, comprehensive periodic reporting requirements, publication of periodic forecasts of quoted companies, a strict regulatory surveillance by both NSE and SEC among others that would reinforce investors confidence in the market.

The delisting of inactive companies from the Exchange by the NSE will go a long way to help the market and the introduction of rules to check the inefficiencies in the primary market especially in private placement.

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Nembe Oil Spill From Aiteo Facility Worst I’ve Seen – Diri

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The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Wednesday returned from visiting the oil spill site in Nembe Local Government Area of the state, describing it as the worst he had seen in his lifetime.
The OML 29 Well 1 platform, which is operated by Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil firm, Aiteo Exploration and Production Company Limited, has been spilling crude unabated into the Santa Barbara River for about one month.
An estimated two million barrels of crude has reportedly been spilled into the river, polluting the flora and fauna of the area, the governor’s spokesperson Dan Alabrah, said.
The Minister of State of Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, had said the scene of the spill was like a war zone.
Overwhelmed by the spill, Aiteo hired Halliburton’s Boots and Coots to “kill the well” by injecting cement into it. It bought the well from the Royal Dutch Shell in 2015.
As at Wednesday, the Bayelsa government said the spill that began November 5 was still ongoing.
Governor Diri said the continuous spillage has further endangered the lives of people of Nembe, Bayelsa and indeed the Niger Delta.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Alabrah, the governor, who expressed shock over the quantity of crude that has been spilled into the environment, called on the Federal Government and operators of the oil field to immediately take action to stop it.
According to him, the prolonged oil spill into the water and air had an immediate and long term effect on the health of the inhabitants.
While assuring the people that appropriate measures would be taken to seek redress, he noted that the quest by oil firms to make money would not be at the expense of the lives of the people.
Describing fishing as the source of livelihood of the people of the area, Mr Diri noted that just as there are grazing routes, Bayelsa State has fishing routes and must be protected.
His words: “Today happens to be a very dark day for me. What we have seen, I believe, is worse than what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. In all my life, I have not seen such magnitude of oil spillage.
“Our people are endangered. Our people’s source of livelihood is endangered. I empathise and sympathise with the people of Nembe on behalf of the government and people of Bayelsa State.
The Bayelsa governor also decried the exclusion of indigenes of host communities in the running of the oil industry, saying that if indigenes were part of the operations of the oil field, they would have looked for ways to address the problem.
To ameliorate the suffering of the people, the governor directed the State Emergency Management Agency and Ministry of Health to immediately provide relief materials and healthcare services to the people.
Earlier, the chairman of Nembe Local Government Area, Hon. West Alalibo, and member representing Nembe Constituency 2 in the State House of Assembly, Edward Brigidi, appreciated the governor for embarking on an on-the-spot assessment visit to the site.

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‘Emerging Challenges May Frustrate Dev Of Gas Resources’

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Although the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is expected to unlock gas potential in Nigeria, especially the current 206 trillion standard cubic feet proven reserves, stakeholders Wednesday said the goals might remain elusive.
Investment to unlock the series of the opportunities outlined by the country according to the stakeholders, may remain a daunting task amidst heavy levies on the sector, domestic gas pricing challenges as well as lack of necessary technology and skills set.
Coming as the price of natural gas Wednesday, tumbled further to $4.4 per MMBtu after rising close to $7, the stakeholders at the 10th Practical Nigerian Content Forum stated that without the right environment, Nigeria may miss out of the window of opportunities available through the energy transition phase.
The Senate Chairman, Local Content, Teslim Folarin at the event also insisted that the cross-sectorial local bill in the National Assembly would make existing executive orders on patronage of Nigeria goods and services a law across sectors of the economy, stressing that it won’t however scrap the NOGIC Act.
With the current high price of cooking gas, the inadequacies of gas to power plants, the experts noted that data challenges, legal framework, lack of collaboration, weak research and development, lack of technology, imposition of taxes on the gas value chain lay heavy siege to the country’s aspirations in the gas revolution.
Group Executive Director, Gas and Power at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, Abdulkadir Ahmed, insisted that declining funding for fossil fuels would create challenges for existing gas resources in the country, stressing that the sector must devise a means to fund projects and also produce more with cost.
Ahmed was also concerned about the infrastructure that transports and ensures utilisation of gas, adding that a transparent and market-driven pricing remained sacrosanct.
“We can not make progress without a market-driven and transparent gas price. No one will put in money if they have no feasibility of how they will recover their cost. There won’t be any gas to process if we do not invest in upstream activities,” he said.
Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Gas, Ed Ubong stated that there was a need to build local capacity for gas and ensure that the resources are used to spur industrial development.
According to him, there was a need to support indigenous companies to thrive, adding that the gas space remained a key avenue to grow local content.
A Governing Council Member at Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mina Oforiokuma said with progress being made by countries like Mozambique, Nigeria needs to learn and move fast to address bottlenecks.
Speaking on the expansion of local content across sectors, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote noted that the government may consider a local content department across ministries to develop.
Wabote said: “That’s the only way you can get benefit out of the implementation because what people forget is that NCDMB is like a department within the ministry of petroleum resources saddled with the responsibility of driving local content within the oil and gas industry and controlled by the Ministry in the same way.”
Senator Folarin noted that the government remained concerned about the development of indigenous companies, adding that the move would address inefficiencies, in the long run reduce cost of projects and build strong local companies that can compete globally.
He revealed that some of the key sectors that would be primarily targeted are power, ICT, manufacturing, agriculture and others.

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PHCCIMA Boss Lists Core Service Areas

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The 62nd President of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industries and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Sir Mike Elechi said his administration shall have member oriented,  inclusive programmes and opportunities as its hallmark and guiding principles.
Elechi said this during his investiture as the PHCCIMA President in Port Harcourt during the week.
He also listed  consolidation of growth, peace, unity,  increased scope of programme dispensation and internally generated revenue as part of his core mandate to be delivered to the people.
He said that these would be achieved within the confines of PHCCIMA’s constitution and that of the Country.
The President who was  a  permanent secretary before his retirement,  pointed out that the choice of the key areas was as a result of deep reflection and wide consultation with relevant stakeholders in the society.
He said that his administration would reintroduce the monthly PHCCIMA meeting, develope a calendar of member oriented programmes and opportunities as well as trade mission travels and access for the benefit of its members.
On the issue of increased scope of programme dispensation and internally generated revenue, he said that  it would be realised by creating an atmosphere of welcome and corporate opportunity.
“Another way out among others, was engagement of various governments both state and local, with business strategies especially non oil businesses”, he said.
In his address, the Chairman of the occasion,  Chief Ferdinand Anabrabra, urged those that are yet to be registered with PHCCIMA to hurry and do so in order to meet up with the current speed of the organisation.
Anabrabra, anchored his point on the passion that the new President and his team have for the body, which will definitely pay off.
Also speaking, the former President of Nigerian Bar Association ( NBA), Hon Onueze C.J . Okocha,  said that Elechi’s whealt of experience would  enable him  do the expected.
”As a career Civil Servant and a successful businessman cum Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the Vintage Farm and Products in ElelIkwerre Local Government of the state, his administration would be successful.
The Tide gathered that the Elechi-led PHCCIMA executive would elapse in the next three years.

By: King Onunwor

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