Global Financial Crisis and Nigerian Stock Market Volatility

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Department of Business Administration,
Nasarawa State University, Keffi – Nasarawa State.
Tel. +2348029445391, +2348064851648.

Paper presented at the National Conference on “Managing the challenges of Global Financial Crisis in Developing Economies” organised by the Faculty of Administration, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nasarawa State – Nigeria held between March 9 – 11, 2010.

The current global financial crisis is no longer news but a reality. Our policy makers in the country have been proven wrong based on their argument that the country was insulated. Some of the sectors that have felt the heat of the crisis are the banking sector and the stock market. In the stock market, investors lost trillions of naira due the downward fall in the prices of stock. Based on this, the study assesses the extent of the stock market volatility in the period preceding the crisis and the period of the crisis. Using the All Share Index, the returns for various months were computed, descriptive statistics of the returns was calculated and the volatility of the market was estimated using the standard deviation. It was found that the stock market is highly volatile in the period of the financial crisis than the period preceding it. The recommendation is that the depth of instruments in the stock market should be varied in terms of fixed securities than equity instruments.

The global economic crisis, which first emerged as a financial crisis in one country, has now fully installed itself with no bottom yet in sight. The world economy is in a deep recession, and the danger of falling into a deflationary trap cannot be dismissed for many important countries (UNCTAD, 2009). The recent global economic crisis was a result of economic and political events in the United States. What started with amended federal policy and poor mortgage lending practices, resulted in a world-wide economic meltdown that spread like a virus (Beck, 2008). The US sub-prime mortgage market triggered the crisis as a result of credit crunch within this market. Most countries around the world have approached this ‘tsunami’ pragmatically with emergency funding support for relevant sectors, so as to mitigate the impact of the crisis on economies as well as avoiding the entire collapse of the international financial system (Ajakaiye & Fakiyesi, 2009). Despite these supports by various governments in the form bailout, it does not stop some countries to go into recession, because of large decline in their wealth, manifesting itself in falling productive capacity, growth, employment and welfare.

At first, the direct impact of the financial crisis on the African economies was limited as African countries has weak integration with the global economy and most commercial banks in the region refrained from investing in the troubled assets from the US and other part of the world (Adamu, 2008). This is why most commentators argue that Africa is so far insulated from the direct effects of the financial crisis at least in the short-run. But now, this is not the case as the rate of unemployment and liquidity squeeze is becoming unbearable. In Nigeria, like other African developing countries, the initial response to the crisis was rather meek, as if our policy makers do not understand the gravity of the crisis. While the developed countries were busy trying to bailout their economy in order to mitigate the effects of the crisis, our leaders were hiding under the shadow of insulation.

The most visible sector being hit by this crisis in the Nigerian economy is the capital market. The Nigerian Stock Exchange, the flagship of Nigeria’s capital market has witnessed unprecedented turbulence since April, 2008. First, the downward slide of the stocks on the market dominated by the banking sector made experts restive and regulatory...
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