Cryptocurrency ban: Experts optimistic of stock market rebound

 Capital Market experts on Monday expressed optimism that the ban on cryptocurrencies by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would likely trigger enhanced activities in the nation’s stock market.

They said this an interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, while speaking on projections for stock market this week.

It will be recalled that the apex bank in a press statement on Feb. 7 directed the Deposit Money Banks and other financial institutions to desist from transacting in and with entities dealing in cryptocurrencies.

Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., said the ban would trigger flow of funds to the equities market in search of higher returns.

Omordion said the development would support market rebound as earnings season for 2020 financial result would start trickling in.

“The ban on cryptocurrency will trigger circular flow of funds searching for a better return as the equity market today is ahead of year-on-year headline inflation.

“The market is expected to rebound in the new week on earnings season kicking off with early fliers that will come with dividend report.

“We advise that you target dividend-paying stocks and fundamentally sound companies with growth prospect in 2021, especially given the low interest rates regime and sustained oil price rally that have so far supported the economy and equity market,” he said.

Also speaking, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, President, Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria, said the ban would boost investors’ confidence in the equity market.

Uwaleke urged the CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to come up with a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency  asset trading in Nigeria.

“Given that cryptos have come to stay, the CBN and the SEC should come up with a regulatory framework for crypto asset trading in Nigeria.

“Given the weighty nature of the directive, I want to believe that the CBN must have consulted relevant stakeholders including the Bankers Committee before taking the decision.

“I am inclined to believe that it was well thought through and not a unilateral decision.

The fact is that what the CBN could see in a squatting position, many cannot see standing.

“So, I think the directive should be seen in the light of this fact that the CBN may have information which may not be available to the public,” Uwaleke said.

He recalled that not too long ago at some point, China, widely seen as the home of cryptocurrencies, had to ban trading in bitcoins.

Meanwhile, the NSE All-Share Index last week dropped 703.57 basis points or 1.66 per cent to close at 41,709.09 from 42,412.66 achieved in the corresponding week.

Also, the market capitalisation which opened at N22.186 trillion lost N367 billion to close at N21.819 trillion.

However, a total turnover of 2.77 billion shares worth N29.68 billion were exchanged by investors in 31,380 deals last week.

This was in contrast with 2.57 billion shares valued at N27.88 billion transacted in 31,466 deals in the corresponding week.