NSE Index Falls to 7-Month Low on Continuing Bear Run

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The Nigerian equities market yesterday extended losses for the eight consecutive trading, driving the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index to a 7-month low. The NSE ASI fell by 0.15 per cent to close at 25,461.34, increasing the month-to-date and year-to-date decline to 6.46 per cent and 11.47 per cent respectively.

Yesterday’s decline resulted from heavy sell offs across oil and gas sector. Specifically, Forte Oil Plc fell by 9.7 per cent, while Total Nigeria Plc went down by 5.0 per cent. In all, 17 stocks declined compared with 11 stocks that appreciated. Forte Oil Plc led, declining by 9.7 per cent to close at N74.62.

The sell-off in Forte Oil Plc came after the company successfully raised N9 billion bond under its N50 billion bond issuance programme. The company said the funds would be used to refinance existing short term commercial bank loan obligations and to finance the retail outlet expansion of the company.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Forte Oil, Mr. Akin Akinfemiwa had said: “With the raising of this initial capital which has been fully underwritten shows the confidence the investing public has in Forte Oil Plc as an investment of choice. This bond programme being the first in the downstream sector, is testament to Forte’s position within the downstream sector and allows the company to actualise the vision of the Board to continue to provide value to its shareholders regardless of the economic climate.”

Apart from Forte Oil that led the price losers’ table, Livestock Feeds Plc trailed with 5.0 per cent, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc shed 4.8 per cent. NASCON Allied Industries Plc depreciated by 4.7 per cent.

In terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Oil & Gas Index led with 2.5 per cent due to the losses by Forte Oil Plc and Total Nigeria. Also, the NSE Consumer Goods Index marginally lost 0.02 per cent on account of weak appetite in PZ Cussons Nigeria (-3.3 per cent) and Dangote Cement Plc (-1.6 per cent). On the positive side, the NSE Banking Index rebounded, gaining 0.05 per cent on the back of bargain hunting in Access Bank Plc (+0.5 per cent), Zenith Bank (+0.4 per cent) and GTBank (+0.3 per cent).