Nigerian Stocks in Favor as Investors Escape Negative Yields

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(Bloomberg) --

Nigerian stocks resumed gains Tuesday as investors sought more attractive options than the negative real yield on the country’s short-term debt.

The benchmark stock index climbed 0.4% as of 10:47 a.m. in Lagos, leaving it on track for its best month since May. The gauge has risen in the past two weeks, snapping seven weeks of declines. Gains in banking stocks have been particularly pronounced, with the sector index up 15% in November, the most since January 2018.

Nigerian Stocks in Favor as Investors Escape Negative Yields

One-year Treasury bills last week fell to the lowest since April 2016, selling at 10%, below Nigeria’s inflation rate of 11.6%. The drop in short-term debt yields and a central bank’s ban on all but local and foreign banks from participating in its Open Market Operations are helping to fuel the rally in Lagos equities, said Mathias Althoff, a money manager at Stockholm-based Tundra Fonder AB.

“We’ve seen a sharp move downwards in T-bill yields and most of the maturities now offer negative real yields with inflation above 11%,” Althoff said in emailed comments. “It’s quite natural that some of that money will reallocate into the stock market.”

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