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Investors lose N6b in Nigeria equity market

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… Refineries lost N377b in three years – NNPC

DESPITE positive breadth of 20 gainers against seven losers, equity market of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed red with a marginal decline of 0.05 per cent yesterday.

This is coming against backdrop of remote trading by stockbrokers on the floor of the local bourse among measures taken by NSE to contain COVID-19 spread.

The reversal of previous day gains followed profit-taking by shares traded by blue chip companies in communication, oil and gas industries and five other stocks as gains in banking, consumer and industrial goods sectors failed to sustain Tuesday’s gain.

Consequently, year-to-date loss of NSE All-Share Index (ASI) increased to 19.05 per cent as predicted by analysts that the bulls would record short-lived gains in COVID-19 cases and sustained low crude oil prices.

ASI decreased by 11.68 absolute points, representing a dip of 0.05 per cent to close at 21,729.48 points while overall market capitalisation size shed N6.09 billion, representing a dip of 0.05 per cent to close at N11.32 trillion.

Market activity was weak as volume and value of stocks traded tanked by 29.27 per cent and 37.25 per cent to 0.23 billion units and N2.24 billion respectively.

The nation’s ailing refineries lost a total of N376.56bn in the last three years, data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation showed.

The trading deficit (loss) recorded by the refineries rose by 12.43 per cent to N148.97 billion in 2019, compared to 2018.

Meanwhile, Nigerian petroleum refineries posted a loss of N132.50 billion in 2018, up from N95.09 billion in 2017.

The refineries are located in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri with a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day.  But each of them has continued to operate well below maximum capacity.

A statement released by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report gave the figures, adding the N13.56 billion was lost in December 2019.

Further breakdown shows that they lost N8.36 billion in January; N10.26bilion in February; N16.04billion in March; N11.44 billion in April; N13.63 billion in May and N17.42 billion in June while the plants recorded a loss of N13.84 billion in July; N13.21billion in August; N7.07 billion in September; N11.72 billion in October; and N12.52 billion in November.

Although Kaduna refinery lost N58.97 billion and Warri refinery lost N45.18 billion with Kaduna refinery losing N44.75 billion, NNPC had planned to rehabilitate the refineries and attain a minimum of 90 per cent capacity utilisation under President Muhammadu Buhari’s first tenure.

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