Investors Gain N22bn as Stock Market Trading Resumes Bullish

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Investors gained N22.2billion at the stock market yesterday as the trading resumed on bullish note after two days holiday. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rose by 0.23 per cent to close at 27,642.13, while market capitalisation added N22.2 billion to be at N9.5 trillion.

The performance trimmed the year-to-date decline to 3.49 per cent. The positive close was propelled by price gains recorded by Dangote Cement Plc, Stanbic IBTC, Unilever, Lafarge Africa and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc among others.

However, Conoil Plc led the overall price gainers’ chart as investors continued to react to the impressive 2015 full year results of the petroleum products marketing firm.

The stock appreciated by 10.1 per cent to close at N26.21 per share, trailed by Unilever Nigeria Plc with 4.9 per cent. Conoil Plc posted a growth of over 176 per cent in profit after tax to N2.308 billion for 2015, up from N834 million in 2014. Based on the improved bottom-line, the directors recommended a dividend of 300 kobo per share, up from 100 kobo in 2014.

Conoil attributed the improved performance to efficient management of resources, effective cost control policy, as well as reaping from its huge investment in the expansion and upgrade of its facilities.

“For us, the downstream sector remains fundamentally attractive and viable today and the future. With our clarity of direction and focus, our company’s long-term success is assured. We will sustain this improved performance and vigorously pursue our aspiration to remain the nation’s leading petroleum products marketer and one of the most profitable quoted companies,” the company said.

Apart from Conoil Plc and Unilver, African Prudential Registrars Plc also gained 4.8 per cent, while Unity Bank Plc and Champion Breweries Plc went up by 2.9 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively.

In all, 15 stocks appreciated, compared with 19 stocks that depreciated. Diamond Bank Plc led the price losers with 5.8 per cent, followed by Sterling Bank Plc with 4.9 per cent.
In terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Industrial Goods Index led with 0.5 per cent, trailed by the NSE Consumer Goods Index with a gain of 0.3 per cent just as the NSE Oil and Gas Index inched up marginally rose 0.01 per cent.

Conversely, the NSE Banking Sector Index closed negative, down 0.7 per cent, while the NSE Insurance Index shed 0.4 per cent.