The equities market recorded its second positive performance for the month of August as the bulls remained in control. This followed bargain hunting by investors in value stocks, a development that made the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index to close 0.50 per cent higher at 36,905.06. Market capitalisation added N64.3 billion to close at N12.7 trillion.
This implies that the market has gained 2.96 per cent in August and 37.32 per cent from January to yesterday. A total of 31 stocks appreciated yesterday, while 18 depreciated.
C & I Leasing Plc led the price gainers, chalking up 10 per cent as investors continued to react to the positive results reported by the company for the half year ended June 30, 2017.
The company grew its profit after tax by 298 per cent to N580 million in 2017, from N145.4 million in 2016. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Andrew Otike-Odibi attributed the improved financial performance to the strength in the diversity of its business.
â€œOur three business lines namely, Marine, Fleet management and Outsourcing are gaining strength in their different markets with each contributing positively to the overall performance of the business. This is not without the difficulties faced in the operating environment with rising financing and operating costs coupled with continuous pressure on turnover. We remain focused on sustaining delivery of superior customer service and continued diversification of earnings, to take advantage of growth opportunities in the markets and business segments we operate in,â€ Otike-Odibi said.
Lafarge Africa Plc trailed as the second highest price gainer, rising by 5.0 per cent, just as Guinness Nigeria Plc went up by 4.9 per cent. Skye Bank Plc and Caverton Offshore Services Group Plc appreciated by 4.6 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively.
Other top price gainers were Jaiz Bank Plc (4.3 per cent); Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (4.2 per cent) and United Capital Plc(3.9 per cent).
Conversely, Okomu Oil Palm Plc led the price losers with 5.0 per cent, trailed by Continental Reinsurance Plc that depreciated by 4.9 per cent. Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Aviation Company Plc shed 4.8 per cent apiece among others.
In terms of sectoral performance, three sectors appreciated, while two depreciated. The NSE Industrial Goods Index led the gainers with 1.93 per cent following investor interests in Lafarge Africa and Cement Company of Northern stocks. The NSE Consumer Goods Index followed with 1.63 per cent, while the NSE Banking Index appreciated by 0.49 per cent.
On the flipside, the NSE Oil and Gas Index dominated, falling 2.43per cent due to sell-off in Seplat, while the NSE Insurance Index shed 0.49 per cent.