The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema Wednesday attributed the growth recorded in the stock market in 2013 to strong corporate earnings by blue chip companies, increased portfolio investments and tight regulatory oversight aided by strong enforcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the NSE. The Nigerian stock surpassed its 2012 performance by 12 per cent rising by 47 per cent, a performance that beat analysts' projections. Reviewing the performance of 2013 at the press conference in Lagos , Onyema said apart from the NSE ASI closing the year with its strongest performance since 2008, almost all NSE indices topped their performance pre-global financial meltdown. "Compared to other global indices the NSE ASI gained 47.19 per cent in 2013. More impressively, the NSE Oil/Gas Index soared 122.26 per cent, the newly-introduced NSE Industrial Index grew 81.43 per cent, and the NSE Lotus Islamic Index rose 61.84 per cent. "The NSE 30 Index appreciated 42.75 per cent, the NSE Banking Index added 31.86 per cent to its 2012 value, and the NSE Consumer Goods and NSE Insurance Indices both expanded by 31.14 per cent and 29.01 per cent, respectively. The NSE ASeM Index was the only index to buck the trend, shaving 0.24 per cent off its 2012 value," he said. Looking forward, Onyema said the NSE is bullish on the market in 2014: "Projections for the Nigerian capital market are largely positive for the coming year in spite of our concerns about Nigeria's political, currency and interest rate risks. We expect Nigeria to be a key beneficiary of the MSCI 2013 annual market classification review, which will see Qatar and UAE (together accounting for 30 per cent), transition from the MSCI Frontier Markets Index to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Cautiously, we will watch for the effects as Nigeria's weight in the MSCI Frontier Markets Index shifts from the current 13.8 per cent to 19.7 per cent, making it the second largest market in the index,"Onyema said.
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