Nigeria stocks at 2-year high, as recession eases

Features & Reports

Nigerian stocks rose to a fresh two-year high on Monday, lifted by gains in cement and banking shares extending a rally which started last month, traders said.

The main index climbed 0.96 percent to cross 34,000 points, a level it last reached in May 2015.

Index provider MSCI this month increased Nigeria’s weight on its frontier index to 7.9 percent from 6.5 percent, meaning that funds tracking it would buy shares to replicate the new weight, analysts say.

In April the central bank allowed investors to trade the naira at market rates, lifting a currency control for them, to help boost confidence as Nigeria grapples with a currency crisis and a recession brought on by low oil prices.

Share in Dangote Cement, which accounts for a third of the market capitalisation, climbed 2.44 percent to lift the index. Skyebank rose 8 percent, followed by pan-African banking group, ETI which increased by 7.12 percent.

Nigeria’s top 10 banking index has gained 51.2 percent so far. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Chijioke Ohuocha and Pritha Sarkar)


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