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Equities rebound with N163b gain


Equities rebound with N163b gainNigerian equities rode on the back of renewed bargain-hunting to a major recovery yesterday, rallying N163 billion gains in its second positive closing in eight trading sessions. With increased demand for shares, average value index rose by 1.21 per cent.

The breather came as President Muhammadu Buhari submitted the names of ministerial nominees to the National Assembly. The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday also decided to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), the benchmark interest rate, at 13.5 per cent.

Aggregate market value of all quoted equities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose from its opening value of N13.553 trillion to close at N13.716 trillion, representing a net capital gain of N163 billion. The All Share Index (ASI)- the common value-based index that tracks share prices, rallied from its opening index of 27,808.69 points to close at 28,144.87 points. The rally reduced the negative average return to -10.45 per cent.

With 21 gainers to 15 losers, most sectoral indices also closed on the upside. The NSE Industrial Goods Index recorded the highest gain of 3.91 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index followed with a gain of 1.66 per cent while the NSE Banking Index appreciated by 0.46 per cent. On the downside, the NSE Oil & Gas Index dropped by 0.66 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index dipped by 0.18 per cent.

NSE’s highest-priced stock, Nestle Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N67 to close at N1,327. Dangote Cement, NSE’s most capitalised stock, followed with a gain of N4 to close at N174. Lafarge Africa rose by N1.30 to close at N14.40. MTN Nigeria Communications appreciated by N1 to close at N127. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria and Cadbury Nigeria added 55 kobo each to close at N12.55 and N11.35 respectively. Union Bank of Nigeria rose by 40 kobo to close at N6.85. UAC of Nigeria chalked up 30 kobo to close at N5.90. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco) rose by 22 kobo to close at N2.57 while Stanbic IBTC Holdings garnered 10 kobo to close at N38.10 per share.

On the negative side, Forte Oil led the losers with a drop of N2 to close at N18.15. International Breweries declined by N1.50 to close at N13.80. Dangote Sugar Refinery declined by 45 kobo to close at N10.80. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria dropped by 30 kobo to close at N8. United Bank for Africa (UBA) lost 25 kobo to close at N5.70. Africa Prudential dipped by 20 kobo to close at N3.50 while Ikeja Hotel dropped by 12 kobo to close at N1.34 per share.

Total turnover stood at 135.18 million shares valued at N2.09 billion in 3,358 deals. Guaranty Trust Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 15.65 million shares valued at N453.43 million. Zenith Bank followed with a turnover of 12.57 million shares worth N232.73 million while Lafarge Africa placed third with 12.16 million shares valued at N172.8 million.

Market analysts, however, remained cautious. “We expect bearish performance to dominate activities in the market, although we see opportunity for bargain hunting,” Afrinvest Securities stated.

Analysts at Cordros Securities maintained their conservative outlook for the equities market in the short to medium term, citing the absence of any catalysts to drive positive market returns.

Most analysts agreed that the stock market had been weakened by macroeconomic uncertainties due to the emerging political situation.

Managing Director, Network Capital, Mr Oluropo Dada, said political risk was a major factor noting that early determination of the presidential election result at the tribunal and appointment of ministers will further create legitimacy for the government and give clearer direction to foreign investors who are major drivers of the market.

Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Limited, Mallam Kasimu Garba Kurfi said early release of the ministers’ list could clear the macroeconomic uncertainties about who will lead the economic agenda of the government.

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