Equities Market Opens Week Bearish on Continuing Sell Pressure

The Nigerian equities market commenced the week on negative note wednesday as investors continued to sell to meet cash needs in this festive period. Although there has been sell pressure, following profit taking by investors, the market closed higher last week on bargain hunting.

However, when trading resumed yesterday after the Christmas and Boxing Day holiday on Monday and Tuesday respectively, it ended on a negative note. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 1.64 per cent to close at 37,889.57, while market capitalisation shed N225.1 billion to close lower at N13.48 trillion.

A total of 22 stocks depreciated compared with 14 stocks that appreciated. Analysts at Meristem Securities Limited attributed the bearish trading to decline in the share price of Dangote Cement Plc among other highly capitalised stocks.

“The market closed down following the N9.50 price loss on Dangote Cement Plc, which dragged the market. We, however, note the strong selling pressures on other heavyweight counters as even the NSE 30 which tracks the most capitalised stocks and accounted for 87.90 per cent of today’s market value, closed down by 1.31 per cent with a breadth of 0.21x. We expect this downbeat mood to be upturned by the end of the week,” they said.

But the highest price losers in percentage terms was Okomu Oil Palm Plc with 5.0 per cent, trailed by Omoluabi Microfinance Bank Plc and Presco Plc with 4.8 per cent apiece. McNichols appreciated by 4.7 per cent, while Nigerian Breweries Plc shed 4.2 per cent.

Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Dangote Cement Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc went down by 4.1 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 3.5 per cent in that order.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated(ETI) was also among the price losers, shedding 2.8 per cent. The Togo-based holding company of the pan-African Ecobank Group, last week announced the closing of a $ 200 million 5- 7 year syndicated debt facility with FMO, the Dutch development bank.

Commenting on the loan facility, Ecobank Group Chief Executive Officer, Ade Ayeyemi, said: ” “ETI is pleased to conclude this financing arrangement with FMO, who have been able to bring a significant number of players to the financing table. The transaction will greatly enhance our capacity to serve our SME clients, who continue to be a very important market segment for us.”

Chief Executive Officer at FMO, Jürgen Rigterink, said: “FMO is proud to have arranged this successful syndicated loan agreement for our long-standing partner Ecobank Group. Through this investment we support small and medium-sized enterprises in some of the most under-banked countries in Africa. Although SMEs in these countries provide the majority of jobs, their access to finance remains limited. We are really happy to bring new investors to these markets and help to spur economic growth where it is needed most.”

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