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Jio Financial Services, Championed by Ambani, Faces Initial Selling Pressure on Trading Premiere




Jio Financial Services Ltd., the newly established subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd., encountered a modest decline in its much-anticipated trading debut, primarily attributed to passive-fund trackers engaging in selling activity.

On Monday, Jio Financial’s stock experienced a dip to as low as 248.90 rupees ($3), marking a departure from its opening price of 265 rupees on the local BSE Ltd. exchange. The company’s shares were initially priced at 261.85 rupees each during a special hour-long trading session last month, placing a valuation of approximately $20 billion on the enterprise.

Following its listing, Jio Financial enters a segment where the buying and selling of shares necessitate the mandatory delivery of shares over a span of 10 trading sessions.

The observed selling pressure on Jio Financial, previously a constituent of India’s vital benchmark indices, anticipates its probable removal from indexes such as the Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 after three days of trading. Passive funds are estimated to have offloaded holdings worth up to $465 million, according to Abhilash Pagaria, an analyst at Nuvama Wealth Management.

Abhay Agarwal, a fund manager at Piper Serica Advisors Pvt and also a shareholder in Reliance, noted, “There are ETFs and index funds who have had to sell shares, they have no choice as the stock will be removed from the index soon.”

Despite this selling pressure, market analysts remain optimistic about Jio Financial’s prospects, attributing its potential success to its synergies with Reliance’s extensive footprint in digital and retail sectors.

This positioning could potentially elevate Jio Financial to a prominent position among India’s leading non-banking finance entities, aligning with Mukesh Ambani’s vision to establish a conglomerate akin to China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

In a statement, Ambani mentioned that Reliance offered one share of Jio Financial for each share held by the parent company’s investors. This strategic move aims to unlock value for shareholders and involve them in a new growth platform, as outlined in Reliance’s recent annual report.

K.V. Kamath, the non-executive chairman of Jio Financial, speaking during the listing ceremony, emphasized the company’s intentions to become a comprehensive financial services provider.

Kamath said, “We intend to be a full-service financial sector player and are already working on products.”

He also noted that being slightly delayed to the market provides the advantage of leveraging existing technological advancements.

Notably, Jio Financial boasts an asset-backed balance sheet, a robust credit rating, and significant support from its founders, positioning it to secure funding at more favorable rates. This is particularly pertinent following HDFC Bank Ltd.’s merger with the country’s primary mortgage lender earlier this year, as highlighted by Prakhar Sharma, a Mumbai-based analyst at Jefferies.

For further updates and insights into the dynamic Indian economic landscape, stay tuned for the forthcoming India Edition newsletter by Menaka Doshi – a weekly insider’s guide to the driving forces behind the emerging economic powerhouse and the prominent personalities and enterprises contributing to its ascent.

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Nigerian Exchange Limited

Bearish Sentiment Persists: Investors Lose N112 Billion on NGX



Nigerian Exchange Limited - Investors King

A somber week for Nigerian investors continued as sustained bearish trading on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Thursday resulted in a loss of N112 billion.

This marked the fourth consecutive day of declines following a N242 billion hit on Monday and a N126 billion loss on Tuesday. Wednesday provided no respite due to a public holiday.

The primary catalyst behind this downturn was the market’s reaction to the Senate’s confirmation of Yemi Cardoso as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which added to the prevailing downbeat sentiment.

By the close of trading on Thursday, the NGX All-Share Index had dipped by 0.31% to settle at 66,448.63 points, while market capitalization stood at N36.367 trillion.

The bearish trend also led to subdued market activity with total deals decreasing by 2.74% to 6,826 trades. Trading volume and value depreciated by 24.78% and 24.67%, respectively, with 273.80 million units exchanged for N3.41 billion.

Among the top value losers were Vitafoam (-9.92%), FTNCocoa (-9.88%), Oando (-9.84%), John Holt (-9.39%), and United Capital (-7.20%).

In contrast, the insurance sector emerged as the biggest winner, posting a 0.83% increase, while the banking and consumer goods sectors recorded losses of 1.01% and 0.68%, respectively.

Accesscorp led in trading volume on Thursday, with 45.87 million units valued at N710.63 million, followed by Zenith Bank with 21.12 million units worth N657.22 million. Unity Bank, United Bank for Africa, and Transcorp also featured among the top five traded stocks.

The persistent bearish sentiment highlights the need for investors to closely monitor the evolving market dynamics and economic policies, as uncertainty continues to cloud the Nigerian financial landscape.

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Drastic Decline in FGN Bond Listings Raises Concerns Over Government Borrowing



Bonds- Investors King

Data from the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has shown that the value of listed Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds on the exchange experienced a decline of 99.9% in the eight months ending on August 31, 2023.

Plummeting from N1.6 trillion recorded during the corresponding period in 2022 to a mere N148.2 billion.

The stark contrast in FGN Bond listings between the two years has raised eyebrows and prompted experts to delve into the implications of this significant shift.

Analysis of NGX data revealed that the bonds listed this year primarily consisted of the FGN Savings Bond and Sukuk, whereas the previous year featured a combination of both Federal Government Bonds and Savings Bonds.

Among the listings, the FGN Sukuk stood out with the highest recorded value of N130 billion for the period under review.

Analysts have identified several factors contributing to the stark decline in FGN Bond listings.

David Adonri, an analyst and Vice Executive Chairman at HighCap Securities Limited, commented on this development, and said, “The reduction of FGN Bond listing could be an indication that the government borrowed less in the domestic market, and its implication is that it could affect liquidity in the secondary market.”

He continued, “The decline could also be that the FGN Bonds were not listed on the Exchange during the period under review as only the Savings Bonds were captured as well as Sukuk.”

Adonri highlighted concerns about the country’s debt profile, both domestically and internationally, saying, “Both externally and internally, the immediate past government had taken more debt. This is increasing the risk of sovereign default and economic nightmares.” He also noted the adverse effects on the real sector, explaining that “the borrowing has now reached the alarming point of crowding out the productive real sector.”

Tajudeen Olayinka, an Investment Banker and Stockbroker, echoed similar sentiments, saying, “If there was an increase in debt listings in the market, it brings about increased liquidity and trading activities in the market, but the drop in the eight-month period could be largely as a result of higher yields in other competing instruments.”

Olayinka also speculated that “the drop in the FGN Bond listing could also be that there was less borrowing by the government in the primary market so not much to offer for listing in the secondary market.”

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Stock Market

NGX Chairman Urges Federal Government to Boost Listings Attractiveness



Nigerian Exchange Group- Investors King

The Chairman of NGX GROUP, Dr. Umaru Kwairanga, has made a fervent appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria, urging them to spearhead legislative adjustments and reforms aimed at enhancing the appeal of listings on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

This call comes against the backdrop of a recent wave of delistings from the NGX, which has raised concerns about the competitiveness of the Nigerian capital market.

Dr. Kwairanga made this significant statement during the prestigious Closing Bell ceremony held at NASDAQ in New York.

The event was jointly organized by the United States Chamber of Commerce, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX GROUP), and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).

The ceremony was a highlight of the NGX Roadshow, generously supported by Stanbic IBTC, CardinalStone Partners, and Chapel Hill Denham.

During his address, Dr. Kwairanga also extended an invitation to the U.S. business community to explore greater partnership opportunities with Nigeria.

He emphasized that these partnerships could be pivotal in ushering in a new era of prosperity for both nations.

Highlighting the urgency of the situation, Dr. Kwairanga underlined the need for comprehensive reforms within the Nigerian capital market.

He stated, “The capital market is in need of reforms that can unlock increased prosperity for the Nigerian economy.”

These reforms, he suggested, should encompass a wide range of areas, including the pension sector and amendments to government free zones, to facilitate easier access to the capital market through listings.

One of the most notable developments Dr. Kwairanga pointed out was the recent removal of fuel subsidies and the liberalization of the foreign exchange market in Nigeria. He credited these moves for boosting confidence in the capital market, leading to remarkable results.

According to him, “The Nigerian Exchange Limited’s All-Share Index has surged by 29.04% since President Bola Tinubu’s inauguration.”

This call for reform and enhanced attractiveness of listings on the NGX echoes the concerns of market stakeholders who have seen several companies opt for delisting in recent times.

Dr. Kwairanga’s plea for government action is seen as a positive step towards revitalizing the Nigerian capital market and ensuring that it remains a competitive destination for investors.

As Nigeria continues to position itself as a key player in the global economic landscape, the appeal for legislative adjustments and reforms, as articulated by Dr. Kwairanga, could be a pivotal moment in shaping the future of the nation’s capital market.

Investors and stakeholders alike will be keenly watching for any developments in response to this call to action.

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