Foreign investors pulled $4.5 bln from Nigeria's stock market in 2014


This is what the stock exchange data showed on Monday, 65 per cent more than in 2013 as falls in oil prices and the naira currency depressed sentiment.

With an Islamist insurgency raging in the country’s north and political risk added to the mix in the rum-up to national elections later this month, the exodus has extended into 2015.

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Nigeria’s main share index, which was up 1.1 per cent on Monday, has fallen 14.7 per cent so far this year. It shed 16 per cent in 2014.

Top decliners this year include Dangote Cement, which accounts for a third of market capitalisation, down 22 per cent, and Transcorp down 13 per cent.

Foreign investors increased the pace of stock market outflows from September, selling out of the relatively liquid banking, consumer and oil sectors as the price of Brent crude, the benchmark against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, slumped.

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Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and chief oil exporter.

Its central bank has regularly intervened to try to prop up the naira, doing so on Monday when the currency fell to 190.50 to the dollar.

Nigeria’s foreign reserves dropped to 34 billion dollars by January 28, down 20 per cent from a year ago.