Bears Return as Weak Earnings Dampen Investors’ Appetite



By Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuogie

The Nigerian equities market returned to the negative territory last week after a positive performance the previous week. The market had appreciated by 1.47 per cent the preceding week on bargain hunting by investors.

While  it was expected that the bulls will consolidate on their hold, the bears returned   and forced the market  close lower last week.

Specifically, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell by 2.09 per cent to close at 27,425.86, while market capitalisation shed N200.60 billion to be at N9.42 trillion.

Analyst at Cordros Capital Limited said the unimpressive performance stemmed from investors reactions to  the stream of weak corporate earnings that hit the market  the past two weeks.

“Compounding this, the increasing attractiveness of fixed income securities – amid a bleak macroeconomic outlook – further dampened sentiments.  We expect the market to remain pressured, particularly in the absence of positive catalysts on the horizon. Nonetheless, we sense that investors — short-term players especially — are highly likely to take advantage of attractive share prices (at current level) in the coming week” they said.

All  other sectoral  indices finished lower during the review  week, with the exception of the NSE ASeM Index which closed flat. The NSE Banking Index recorded the highest loss, shedding 4.51 per cent following losses in Zenith Bank (-5.20 per cent), Guaranty Trust Bank (-3.91 per cent) and FBN Holdings Plc  (-3.23 per cent).  The NSE  Consumer Goods Index  followed with a decline of 2.72 per cent due to depreciation suffered by Nigerian Breweries Plc(-3.59 per cent), Nestle Nigeria  (-3.53 per cent) among others. The NSE Industrial Goods Index shed 3.39 per cent while the  NSE Oil & Gas  closed the week 1.83 per cent lower.  The NSE Insurance Index shed 1.81 per cent following losses by AIICO Insurance Plc (-8.11 per cent); Continental  Reinsurance Plc (-6.54 per cent) and NEM Insurance Plc (-3.41 per cent).

Daily   Performance Summary

Trading in the market was bearish for four days out of the five  days.  It was down 0.6 per cent on Monday, 0.2 per cent on Tuesday, 0.5 per cent on Wednesday. However, it appreciated by 0.2 per cent on Thursday before closing on Friday 1.17 per cent decline. The market had opened   last Monday a negative note, as a number of half-year company results recorded below par performances. The NSE ASI depreciated by 0.60 per cent to close at 27,843 points. The depreciation recorded in the share prices of Transcorp, Zenith Bank, Guinness, Nigerian Breweries and FBN Holdings were mainly responsible for the loss recorded in the negative performance. Similarly, the market capitalisation depreciated by 0.60 per cent to close at N9.56 trillion. The total value of stocks traded on that day stood at N4.75 billion, while volume was 331.69 million exchanged in 4,114 deals. The three most actively traded stocks were: UBA (101.36 million shares), FCMB Group Plc (56.75 million) and GTBank (52.26 million.

The bearish sentiments persisted on Tuesday as the benchmark index closed 0.04 per cent lower at  24,639.39 points. Similarly, market capitalisation declined by N3.41 billion to N8.48 trillion. The Banking (-1.08 per cent) and Insurance (-0.20 percent) indices were weighed upon by losses in GTBank (-0.82 per cent), FBN Holding (-1.49 per cent), AXA Mansard Insurance (-3.26 per cent) and Continental Reinsurance Plc (-4.67 per cent) respectively. The Consumer Goods (-1.21per cent) per cent and Industrial Goods (-1.78 per cent) indices also declined, following losses in Nestle Nigeria (-2.54 per cent) and Lafarge Africa Plc (-4.99 per cent) respectively.

The equity market sustained its losing streak on persisting investors’ apathy. The NSE ASI depreciated by 0.52 per cent to close at 27,687.80 points. The depreciation recorded in the share prices of GT Bank, Lafarge Africa, UBA, Nigerian Breweries and Zenith Bank partly  led to  the decline  in ASI.  The total value of stocks traded on the floors was N2.34 billion, down by 25.66 per cent  from N3.15 billion  recorded the previous day, while  the  total volume of stocks traded was 301.15 million shares in  3,681 deals. All sector indices trended southwards with the  NSE  Oil & Gas Index depreciating  the most with  2.2 per cent on account of sell-offs in Seplat  (-9.8 per cent). Similarly, the Industrial Goods and Banking indices fell 1.5 per cent and 1.0 per cent on the back of losses in Lafarge Africa (-3.9 per cent) and Zenith Bank (-2.1 per cent) in that order. In the same vein, the Insurance and Consumer Goods indices closed in the red, down 0.9 per cent  and 0.2 per cent respectively.

However, the market rebounded on Thursday, halting  a  three-day bearish trend  following a bargain hunting in Total (+8.1 per cent), Stanbic IBTC Holdings  (+4.2 per cent) and Nigerian Breweries Plc (+1.9 per cent) drove the  NSE ASI  0.2 per cent higher, to settle at 27,751.34 points. Similarly, market capitalisation added  N21.8 billion to close at N9.5 trillion. But that positive performance could not be sustained on Friday as the NSE ASI fell by 1.17 per cent to close at 27,425.86, while market capitalisation ended the week at N9.42 trillion.



Market turnover

In terms of turnover, investors traded 1.185 billion shares worth N13.033 billion in 18,548 deals last week, compared with 1.867 billion shares valued at N16.330 billion that exchanged hands  the previous week in 21,584 deals.

As usual, the   Financial Services Industry led the activity chart with 882.909 million shares valued at N6.532 billion traded in 10,186 deals, thus contributing 74.49 per cent and 50.12 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerates Industry followed with 89.432 million shares worth N159.459 million in 890 deals. The third place was occupied by the Consumer Goods Industry with a turnover of 75.383 million shares worth N2.120 billion in 3,635 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely – United Bank for Africa Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc accounted for 394.778 million shares worth N3.857 billion in 2,866 deals, contributing 33.31 per cent and 29.59 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. Also traded during the week were a total of 11,383 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N128,168.98 executed in 48 deals, compared with a total of 57,510 units valued at N439,941.91 transacted  in the previous  week in 32 deals.

Also, a total of 340 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N370,066.80 were traded in 1 deal compared to a total of 5,749 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N5. 513 million transacted  the preceding week in  seven deals.



Gainers and losers

A total of 22 equities appreciated in price last week lower than 35 equities of the previous week, while 40 equities depreciated higher than 31 equities of the previous week. Total Nigeria Plc led the gainers, appreciating by 33.3 per cent, trailed by Airline Services and Logistics Plc with a growth of  22.9 per cent. Eterna Plc added 14.5 per cent, while Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc appreciated by 10.2 per cent. Other top price gainers included :MRS Oil Nigeria Plc(10.1 per cent); Cutix Plc (9.3 per cent);  Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (8.8 per cent); Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc(7.5 per cent); Livestock Feeds Plc (5.4 per cent) PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc (5.1 per cent).

Conversely, Seplat   recorded the highest price depreciation of 18.5 per cent, trailed by Fidelity Bank Plc with 14.6 per cent).  Diamond Bank Plc and Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc  dipped by 13.8 per cent and 9.6 per cent  respectively.

Other top price losers included: FCMB Group Plc (9.2 per cent); Lafarge Africa Plc (8.6 per cent); African Prudential Registrars Plc (8.2 per cent); AIICO Insurance Plc ( 8.1 per cent); Transnationwide Express Plc (7.5 per cent) and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc (7.2 per cent).