Nigeria stocks tumble after Buhari’s deecision on re-election

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    LAGOS, April 9 (Reuters) – Nigerian stocks dropped to a three-month low after President Muhammadu Buhari said he would seek re-election in 2019, ending months of speculation about his future after bouts of ill health.

    The stock market, which opened on a losing streak after Lafarge Africa announced a surprise 2017 loss, worsened its decline. The equity market fell near 40,000 points.

    Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed on Monday he will seek another term in elections next year, ending months of speculation about his future after bouts of ill health.

    The 75-year-old said he would seek his party’s presidential ticket to contest elections in February 2019 during a closed door meeting of the national executive committee of his All Progressives Congress (APC) party. He flew to Britain for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May a few hours later.

    The announcement by Buhari, a northern Muslim who became the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent at the ballot box, was widely expected although stocks on the Nigerian market fell 1.01 percent on Monday to a three-month low.

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    “It takes away the concern of an open race which would have fuelled uncertainty,” said a Lagos-based equity sales analyst.

    The bond market shrugged off the announcement with the 10-year benchmark debt unchanged at 13.64 percent from its previous session after one trade on Wednesday, traders said.

    Buhari took office in May 2015 after vowing to improve security and crackdown on endemic corruption, but Africa’s top oil producer fell into its first recession in 25 years in 2016, largely caused by low crude prices and militant attacks in the Niger Delta, and its recovery remains fragile.

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