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Nigeria ETF Climbs Ahead of the General Election

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

The Nigeria country-specific ETF stood out Friday, climbing on heavy volume trades ahead of the general election that could produce positive economic results regardless of the outcome.

The Global X Nigeria Index ETF (NGE) was up 2.6% Friday, trading on over four times its averaged daily volume. NGE has gained 4.3% over the past week and 7.9% over the past month.

Nigeria has been luring back foreign investors, despite the risks of the upcoming election season. International investors have been picking up one-year Nigerian Treasuries, yielding 15%, which helped strengthen the Nigerian naira currency, Reuters reported.

On Thursday, the Nigerian central bank auctioned 321 billion naira of bills, or more than it had offered, in an attempt to bring back foreign investors whom fled the market at the start of the cycle of interest rate hikes in United States, which weakened the naira.

“There’s liquidity on the market,” one trader told Reuters. “We have traded as low as 360.80 naira this week. Foreign investors are coming in. I don’t think they are as concerned with the elections or the premium on yield is good enough.”

Nigeria will hold its presidential election on February 16.

Some observers argued that investors have been buying Nigerian bonds partly to offset lower yields abroad, notably after the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted at a dovish stance on rates this year. Additionally, some watchers assumed there would be limited policy changes in Nigeria if incumbent Muhammadu Buhari wins re-election.

“If the incumbent wins, status quo could remain and if the main opposition wins ... they sound more pro-market so investors have nothing to lose,” another trader told Reuters.

The main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar stated he would consider an amnesty for corruption suspects, privatize state-owned oil company NNPC and float the naira currency to entice foreign investors back to the country.

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