Shares of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc Tuesday rose to five-month high as investors reacted favourably to the listing of the commercial banking business on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The shares jumped by 9.8 per cent, the highest percentage appreciation for the day, from N4.68 to close at N5.14. The last time UBA shares traded above N5 was October 2012.
Following the restructuring of the UBA into four stand-alone firms- UBA Plc, UBA Capital Plc, Afriland Properties Plc and African prudential Registrars, the shares of the commercial banking business arm were re-listed on the Nigerian bourse last Monday.
UBA Capital, the non-commercial banking and capital market businesses of UBA and Africa Prudential Registrars, which acquired UBA’s share registration business, will be listed as separate companies next tomorrow.
Market operators believe the new structure will enable UBA to focus on its core competence, which is commercial banking, hence the renewed demand for the shares.
Speaking at the Extra-ordinary General Meeting last December where shareholders approved the new structure, Chairman of the bank, Israel Ogbue, said the structure would enhance UBA’s corporate governance practices ensure the protection of shareholder value.
Meanwhile, the positive trend at the equities market continued yesterday with the NSE All-Share Index gaining 0.36 per cent to close at 29,089.51. Market capitalisation of equities added N33 billion to close at N9.297 trillion.
Apart from UBA that surged 9.8 per cent, UACN Property Development Company Plc also rose by 9.6 per cent to close at N13.22, while National Salt Company of Nigeria Plc appreciated by 9.1 per cent to close at N8.74 per share.
In all, 34 equities recorded price gains compared with 23 that shed vale. Investors traded 529.790 million shares worth N3.706 billion traded in 6,857 deals.
The financial services sector led the activity chart with 398.826 million shares valued at N2.775 billion in 4,3540 deals, dominated by banking sub-sector, which accounted for 305.182 million shares worth N2.271 billion traded in 3,093 deals.