Stocks Rally to Best 6-Day Gain Since 1998 as Locals Buy

Benchmark stock index rallied in its best six-day gain since 1998 as local investors sought bargains following the gauge’s fall to an almost two-year low.
The Nigeria Stock Exchange All Share Index advanced 1.8 per cent, extending its advance since December 18 to 21 per cent. 
Dangote Cement Plc, the bourse’s largest company, climbed to its highest level in more than a month, while Nestle Nigeria Plc rose five per cent.
Foreign investors sold Nigerian stocks as the price of crude dropped into a bear market and on concern that measures the country’s central bank put in place to stem capital outflows will hinder their ability to sell investments in Africa’s top oil producer. The lower stock prices are buying opportunities for domestic investors, according to Abiola Rasaq, a research analyst at Lagos-based Associated Discount House Ltd.
“The bargain hunting is done largely by the local investors who see opportunities to buy into these stocks,” he said by phone today. “Foreign investors are being very careful because they are not clear about what regulations may come up.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria said earlier this month that lenders must clear positions daily after previously being allowed a net-open position of 1 percent of shareholder funds. It also ordered dollars bought from banks by foreign-currency dealers to be used within 48 hours or sold back to the regulator.
Trading in the naira on the interbank market was limited today due to the central bank policies, said Rasaq. The currency recorded four trades since 10 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was down 1.5 per cent to N184.75 per dollar.
Dangote Cement rose 3.7 per cent to N203.98, the fifth day of gains. Nestle Nigeria advanced to N976.73, the highest in almost eight weeks.

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