Investors Gain N56 Billion as Market Sustains Bullish Trend

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Trading at the stock market resumed on a positive note monday as the bulls sustained their hold on the market. Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 0.58 per cent to close at 27,812.06. Similarly, the market capitalisation added N55.5billion to close higher at N9.55 trillion.

The market had rebounded last week on bargaining hunting and reactions to the impressive results declared by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc for the half year ended June 30, 2016.

And monday’s bullish session was partly influenced by continued positive sentiments by investors in the banking stocks. The NSE Banking Index appreciated by 1.28 per cent, lifted by gains recorded by Access Bank (+4.6 per cent) and GTBank (+1.58 per cent).

Apart from recording improved performance both banks announced interim dividend of 25 kobo apiece for H1.

GTBank grew its profit before tax (PBT) by 45 per cent from N63.1 billion to N91.38 billion, while Access Bank Plc’s PBT rose by 28 per cent from N39 billion to N50 billion.

Commenting on the results, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of GTBank Segun Agbaje, said: “Going into the year, we knew it would be a challenging year and we prepared for it by focusing on effective management of the balance sheet and adapting our business model to changing market variables. The quality of our past decisions enabled us navigate the challenges that persisted in the business environment most of the half year period.”

On his part, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said: the performance continues to be resilient in the face of a challenging macro-economic environment, which has been further exacerbated by double-digit inflation, amidst an untimely devaluation.

“The results underscore our continued ability to grow sustainably whilst effectively adapting to a challenging operating landscape.”

He explained that during the period, the bank grew its retail market share, leveraging innovation and technology to create lifestyle products and enhance customer experience.

“This growth has led to significant increase in our transaction volumes and fee-related income. In addition, our cost of funds dropped by 170 basis points year on year reduction, reflecting the increase in our low cost funding base.