The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) hit a new high yesterday as the Bulls returned to the stock market following successful take-off of the flexible foreign market.
The ASI, which fell by 1.63 per cent the precious day, appreciated by 2.27 per cent to close at 29,422.71 yesterday. This is the highest point the ASI reached so far this year.
Similarly, market capitalisation added N224.2 billion to close at N10.1 trillion.
The appreciation recorded in the share prices of Dangote Cement, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, UBA and GTBank were mainly responsible for the gain recorded in the ASI.
Zenith Bank rose by 4.6 per cent, while GTBank and Dangote Cement appreciated by 3.1 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.
A total of 37 stocks appreciated as against 10 that depreciated. Also, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded rose 28.0 per cent and 201.4 per cent to 533.3 million units and N6.8 billion respectively.
Sectoral performance showed that the NSE Banking Index lead with 3.5 per cent on the back of gains by Zenith and GTBank. In the same vein, the NSE Industrial Goods Index advanced 3.1 per cent lifted by gains recorded by Lafarge Africa Plc(2.8 per cent) and Dangote Cement ( 2.8 per cent).
The NSE Consumer Goods Index went up by 1. 6 per cent, while the NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 1.4 per cent, just as the NSE Oil and Gas Index grew by 0.4 per cent.
Analysts have said the new forex policy will attract inflow of foreign portfolio investments (FPIs).They also added that it would impact positively on corporate earnings of many companies.
“We expect companies with U.S Dollar receivables to benefit from this development. Meanwhile, companies with Naira receivables but with dollar denominated financial obligations without any hedging strategy in place will record exchange rate losses. Some of the companies operating in the power sector may fall into this category. They may require additional bailout very soon if they have to improve power generation and distribution in the country. In addition, the impact of this may be transferred to the banking sector in the form of increase in the non-performing loans.
But the opening of the foreign exchange inter-bank market and the futures market will create additional activities in the inter-bank market, with banks earning additional income. This will also promote trade finance businesses,” analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank said.
They added that introduction of the forex Futures market should reduce the frontloading of forex and consequently in the spot market.
“In addition, we believe the market structure that the CBN announced was well thought out and investors will have confidence in the system to manage their exchange rate risks. On the supply side, we note that it would increase the supply of forex from FPIs and FDIs,” they said.