The Nigerian equities market has shed 1.41 per cent in the first two trading days of 2017r as some investors lock in profits while others await government’s economic policy direction for year.
The market was highly bullish in the last weeks of the 2016 on the back of activities of bargain hunters who swooped on highly discounted stocks. However, the year-end gains were not enough to reverse the losses recorded earlier in the year. Consequently, the market closed 2016 with a decline of 6.17 per cent.
But as the New Year commenced, investors have been taking profits and this has dragged the market down by 1.41 per cent in two days. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (NSE) ASI went down by 0.46 per cent yesterday to close at 26,495.04. Similarly, market capitalization shed N41.9 billion to close at N9.1 trillion. A total of 17 stocks declined while 14 stocks appreciated.
Commenting on the performance, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: “The performance can be ascribed to profit taking activities on some counters that rallied towards the close of the prior year. For the rest of the week, we expect a continuation of today’s trend, hence, we posit that the market may close the week on a negative note.”
Ashaka Cement Plc, which is on the process of being delisted, led the price losers with 4.9 per cent, followed by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc with 4.5 per cent, just as Diamond Bank Plc declined by 4.4 per cent. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and Oando Plc shed 4.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively.
On the positive side, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc led the price gainers with an appreciation of 4.9 per cent. Livestock Feeds Plc and UACN Property Development Company Plc garnered 4.7 per cent apiece.
The Managing Director of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi early this week unfolded new strategic focus for optimum operation under recession and assured the shareholdersof payment of dividend for the 2016 financial year.
Adeniyi expressed optimism that his company’s board and management had learnt how to operate profitably under recession.
He therefore, commended the shareholders for their support and understanding in the year under review.
“Our shareholders are our pride. We have an obligation to work very hard to ensure that they are rewarded. We have consistently paid dividend. We shall pay dividend for 2016 despite the recession. We have always sustained our culture of shareholder value and we shall continue to appreciate our shareholders’ advice on how to move the company forward,” Adeniyi said.