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MTN, Vitafoam, 10 others push stock market higher


The nation’s stock market extended its gaining streak on Wednesday to the fifth straight day on the back of price appreciation recorded by MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and 11 other firms.

The All Share Index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange increased by 3.07 per cent to 31,145.15 basis points from 30,218.14 bps on Tuesday while the market capitalisation of listed equities surged to N13.717tn from N13.309tn.

MTN Nigeria led the gainers as its share price appreciated by 9.98 per cent to N144.85.

Vitafoam Nigeria Plc followed, with an increase of 9.82 per cent to close at N3.87 per share.

Dangote Cement Plc, Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc and University Press Plc rose by 9.73 per cent, 8.11 per cent and 5.88 per cent to N203, N0.40 and N1.80 per share respectively.

Other gainers were GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, Unity Bank Plc, UAC of Nigeria Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Custodian Investments Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc and Conoil Plc.

Twenty-seven companies recorded price depreciation on Wednesday, with Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc leading the pack as it shed 9.09 per cent to close at N0.40 per share.

Other losers were Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, Courteville Business Solutions and Nestle Nigeria Plc.

Ecobank declined by 8.50 per cent to close at N9.15 per share, while Japaul Oil and Maritime Services dipped by 8.33 per cent to close at N0.22 per share.

Courteville Business Solutions fell by eight per cent to close at N0.23, while Nestle Nigeria depreciated by 7.69 per cent to close at N1,320 per share.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities said the bullish performance made the year-to-date loss to improve to -0.9 per cent from the -3.9 per cent recorded in the previous session.

They, however, noted that activity level was mixed as volume traded declined by 12.2 per cent to 294.4 million units and value traded advanced 1.7 per cent to N17.5bn.

The analysts said, “MTN Nigeria (93.7 million units), Zenith Bank Plc (29.5 million units) and United Bank for Africa Plc(22.4 million units) were the most traded stocks by volume while MTN Nigeria (N13.6bn), Dangote Cement (N1.7bn) and Zenith (N566.4m) led top traded stocks by value.

“Performance across sectors was largely bearish as four of five indices under our coverage trended southwards. The consumer goods index led decliners, down 3.6 per cent on account of sell-offs in Nestle (-7.7 per cent) and Nigerian Breweries Plc (-0.7 per cent).”

The banking index shed 2.7 per cent due to price depreciation in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc(-2.6 per cent)and Zenith Bank(-2.6 per cent) while the insurance and oil and gas indices dipped by 0.5 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively following losses in Law Union (-9.1 per cent) and Oando Plc(-2.2 per cent).

On the flip side, the industrial goods index emerged the lone gainer, up 1.1 per cent driven by bargain hunting in Dangote Cement (+9.7 per cent).

The analysts said, “Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio), weakened to 0.4x from 0.8x recorded in the previous trading session as 12 stocks advanced against 27 decliners.

“Despite the weak investor sentiment, we expect the rally in MTN Nigeria and renewed interest in Dangote Cement to continue to buoy market performance in the near term.”

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