DG, NSE, Oscar Onyema
Stock market indicators hit a six-month high Wednesday as investors’ positive sentiments remained high following impressive corporate earnings and plans to install a new trading platform in the market.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-share Index rose by 0.34 to close at 21,970.21, while market capitalisation climbed to N7.007 trillion.
The last time the two indicators were at this level was August 26, 2011.
Equities have maintained a steady growth in the past six days amid apprehension that profit takers may move in. The bulls completely overwhelmed the bears during yesterday’s trading with 28 price gainers compared with only 12 price losers.
Okomu Oil Palm Plc led the price gainers with N1.30 to close at N33 per share, trailed by Conoil Plc with a gain of N1.10 to be at N23.10 per share.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc and NCR Nigeria Plc chalked up N1.00, N0.95, N0.91 and N0.79 respectively.
Conversely, Guinness Nigeria Plc led the price losers with N0.54 to close at N237.01 per share. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc trailed with a loss of N0.25 to close at N4.75 per share. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, AvonCrowncaps Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc shed N0.20, N0.20 and N0.19 in that order.
Market turnover stood at 307.822 million shares valued at N3.034 billion exchanged in 4,475 deals, compared with 439.717 million shares worth N3.921 billion traded in 5,052 deals the previous day.
Some market operators said the confirmation that the new trading platform being acquired by the NSE would become operational in the second quarter (Q2) of 2013 was received with excitement in the market.
“The issue of the new trading platform has been on for some time now. It is a good development to note that the contract has been signed and the platform would go live in Q2 of 2013,” a senior stockbroker said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema had last Tuesday said the new trading platform would enable the exchange had the fastest trading engine in Africa and investors, through their stockbrokers, would have real-time access to market prices, their portfolios and be enabled to execute market orders in near real-time from anywhere and on a wide-range of devices including smart phones.
According to him, the new system will improve transparency and provide efficient price discovery in the market, among other benefits.
He stressed that investors in the market would benefit significantly from the system upgrade as it would afford them the opportunity to diversify their investment portfolio.