In a recap of the character of the stock market in the closing days of 2008, a market expert has revealed that the sudden but short burst of upward price movement witnessed in the banking sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in December, 2008 may not be unconnected with the efforts of some banks with December year end.

“The matter is simple enough, by December, 2008, prices of many banking stocks had fallen by more than 100 per cent of the prices at the same time in 2007. This naturally affects their capitalization as it would reflect in the financial reports, it was later we realized that some of these banks deliberately pushed liquidity towards targeted stocks, especially their own, to boost the price movement which would also reflect an impressive capitalization position in the financial report to impress their shareholders and other stakeholders,” the market expert said.

“But then, it would seem as if the short gains on some of these stocks confused some retail investors that fell prey to this manipulation. They thought the hitherto falling market prices had bottomed out (the prices of stocks have reached the lowest possible price) but they were wrong. The upward swing was artificial and they bought into it only to be held in that position as prices continued to crash,” the expert confided.