Despite buying interest in some bluechip, the dwindling economic fortunes triggered by the rising cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria have continued to depress transactions on the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE ).
Specifically, at the close of trading last week, the NSE All-Share Index and market capitalisation depreciated by 1.41% to close the week at 22,599.38 and N11.778 trillion respectively.
Analysts believed that in the midst of the oscillating trend, divergence market performance and economic situation, the smart money would continue to push prices up and down, as investors review the emerging 2019 full-year and 2020 quarterly earnings reports.
According to them, this is typical of a recovering market and should not result in any form of panic selling.
Precisely, the chief executive officer of Investdata consulting, Ambrose Omordion said:”.This should rather offer an opportunity for intelligent investors and traders who missed out in the earlier recovery moves to take advantage of any correction for realigning their portfolios.”
He pointed out that high dividend yield would continue to attract buying interests, while more audited corporate earnings hit the market going forward.
“This is despite the likely continuation of selloffs, with investors buying to increase their positions in undervalued stocks ahead of dividend declaration and Q1 number.
“This is also against the backdrop of the fact that the capital wave in the financial market may persist in the midst of relatively low-interest rates,” he added.
A turnover of 1.195 billion shares worth N13.979 billion was recorded in 20,591 deals by investors on the floor of the exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.495 billion shares valued at N12.894 billion that was exchanged in 20,982 deals during the preceding week.
The financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 965.571 million shares valued at N7.811 billion traded in 11,710 deals; thus contributing 80.79 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
Meanwhile, over the weekend Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, a member of the Standard Bank Group, has urged Nigerians to maintain a strong mental attitude, which is a major prerequisite for overcoming the global pandemic.
In a live video podcast on YouTube sponsored by Stanbic IBTC, the “Blue Talk Show”, a medical expert with the firm, Dr Sylvanus Jatto, said the lockdown offers us as a nation, the opportunity to reevaluate and restructure our daily routines, goals, and expectations.
To relieve the psychological and mental concerns associated with the lockdown, he advised Nigerians to deliberately create a routine that enables them to go through what they have been doing before the lockdown and this routine could be spaced, to allow mental and physical relaxation.
As a prerequisite for good mental health, he also advised Nigerians to exercise while staying at home and maintain a positive mindset, because this pandemic is but for a while.
Dr. Jatto, advised Nigerians to maintain a strong connection with their loved ones, even employers should consistently maintain communication with their employees, reassuring them of their commitment to their wellbeing.
He further advised citizens to limit the amount of information being consumed especially from the social media space, as this information could affect them negatively.
On the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Jatto cautioned Nigerians to be financially prudent. “During this period, Nigerians must be financially frugal in their spending, with much emphasis on priority rather than impulsive spending, to build resilience in this tough time,” he said.
On the home front, he urged parents and guardians to relieve anxiety in the home by avoiding domestic violence and chaos. He tasked parents and custodians to spend quality time with their children and wards, teaching them all they need to know about the pandemic and instilling family values in them.
On measures taken as a corporate organisation to protect the lives of its staff, Dr. Jatto said: “Stanbic IBTC has a mobile application which connects all staff of the organisation. Once logged in with the necessary details, the application provides regular updates on current happenings within the organisation and information on the coronavirus pandemic.
We also have an employee assistance programme which provides employees with a “Safe Space” where all staff can talk to a professional therapist without being judged and/or criticized. A toll-free number which offers 24hour counselling, for staff to reach out to concerning medical assistance or advice.”
Jatto encouraged Nigerians to continue to adhere to the approved safety guidelines while commending the efforts of health workers who have committed their time, knowledge and lives to ensure a COVID-19-free-Nigeria.