Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cheap stocks, no buyers

This could be investors best chance to put money in the stock market. This mean investors who still have some money to spare despite the present financial crisis can take advantage of this opportunity because stocks may never be this cheap again
A lot of people had waited for stocks to be this cheap but they did not envisaged that money would be this hard to get. There is no doubt that the fall of the Nigerian stock market caught a lot of investors by surprise and they had lost trillions in wealth.
Now, many of them may have to postpone their retirement dreams. Others may have to go back to work because their investments are no longer enough to get them through retirement. 
Market watchers submitted that last week’s trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) would definitely pass as one of the worst weeks of the troubled season as the bottom got knocked off the market and stock prices went on a free-fall. 
The massive price decline suffered by many stocks saw the NSE All-share Index dropping by a staggering 11.5 percent. Market capitalization dipped by the same margin, losing some N0.69 trillion in the process.
Jude Uzouwulu, a stock analyst, observed that “It was another dark week for investors whose hard-earned savings, locked in stocks, has been rapidly turning worthless, at least on paper. While long-term recovery is expected, it certainly offers no comfort to see the current values vaporize, as has proved the case”. 
He stressed that the immediate problem is straightforward since the demand for stocks has virtually collapsed. 
“As cash-strapped and frightened investors fret to sell, and with no serious buyers available for any sizeble mop-up, the price fall has been unrestrained. Even writing about it has become distressing”, he said.
Meanwhile, stakeholders have stepped up their campaign for government intervention in the market. According to Tunde Balogun, chief financial officer of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company plc (NAHCo), the problem in the market was compounded by banks’ concerted efforts to recover all margin facilities in the market. He urged the Federal Government needs to intervene by taking a summary of all margin loans in the market and work out a bail option for the banks in this regard.
‘Since the margin loans in the market has caused liquidity challenge to the banks, government should take a summary of all the exposed margin loans and decide on what the bail out sum should be. This I believe would move the market forward,” he said.

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