Stock Market Starts Q2 with 1.6% Decline



The Nigerian stock market recorded a decline in the first week of the second quarter(Q2) as investors’ negative sentiments persisted. Having closed the first quarter(Q1) with a growth of  8.5 per cent, the market opened Q2 with decline last week with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index 1.6 per cent. The negative performance stemmed from   sell offs in some bellwether stocks.

Specifically, the NSE ASI closed lower at 40,841.14, while market capitalisation shed N239.6 billion to be at N14.8 trillion last week.  Performance across sectors, was equally bearish led by the NSE Oil & Gas Index  2.8 per cent, trailed by  the NSE  Industrial Goods Index went down by 2.1 per cent.  The NSE Banking Index lost 1.3 per cent. Similarly, sell pressures in drove the  NSE Consumer Goods Index  and  NSE Insurance Index  down 1.1 per cent  and 0.1 per cent respectively.

Daily Performance         

The equity market opened on Tuesday, which was the first trading of the  Q2 on  a negative note  as the NSE ASI   depreciated by 1.56 per cent  to close at 40,855.64, while   market capitalisation shed N234.4 billion to close lower at N14.76 trillion.  The depreciation recorded in the share prices of GTBank, Dangote Cement, FBN Holdings, Nigerian Breweries, and Lafarge Africa were mainly responsible for the loss recorded in the index.

The performance on Tuesday dragged the year-to-date (YTD) growth to  dropped  6.8 per cent.  But the level of  activity level improved as volume and value traded rose 34.8 per cent and 68.8 per cent to 364.8 million shares and N6.3 billion respectively. Zenith Bank Plc (88.2 million shares), Transcorp  (60.0 million shares) and Sterling Bank Plc  (40.5 million shares ) led the top traded stocks by volume chart while Zenith Bank  (N2.6 billion), Nigerian Breweries Plc IGERIAN BREWERIES (N1.2 billion) and Nestle Nigeria  (N0.6 billion) were the top traded stocks by value.

In terms of sectoral  performance,  the five indices declined, led by the NSE  Industrial Goods Index with 3.4 per cent. The  NSE Consumer Goods  Index followed with 0.6 per cent decline, while the NSE Oil & Gas  Index shed 0.5 per cent. Similarly, the NSE Banking Index slid 0.4 per cent, just as the NSE Insurance Index closed 0.1 per cent lower.

The market maintained the downward trend, shedding 0.26 per cent to be at 40,749.86, pulling the YTD growth to 6.6 per cent.  The bearish performance can be attributed to sell pressures in Zenith Bank , Dangote Flour  Mills Plc,  ETI, Fllour Mills of Nigeria Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Transcorp Plc and UAC of Nigeria Plc.

UACN, which is a leading conglomerate, recorded a decline of 83 per cent for the year ended December 31, 2017. But the directors recommended a dividend of 65 kobo per share despite the profit fall.

The audited results of UACN showed that revenue   of N89.178 billion, down   by eight per cent from N82.572 billion. Operating profit fell by 19 per cent to N7.031 billion, from N8.639 billion. However, net finance cost soared by 218 per cent from N1.361 billion to N4.324 billion in 2017.

The surge in the cost of finance was fueled by high interest charges paid on bank borrowings. UACN paid N5.984 billion on charges on loans and overdraft from banks.  Profit before tax stood at N3.246 billion, showing a decline of  61 per cent from N8.368 billion, while profit after tax  fell by 83 per cent to N962 million in 2017 compared with N5.666 billion in 2016.

 However, the   equities market rebounded on Thursday as the NSE  ASI   appreciated by 0.31 per cent to close  at 40,875.69. Similarly, market capitalisation added N45.5 billion to close at N14.77 trillion.

The appreciation recorded in the share prices of ETI, Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank, UBA, and Access Bank, were mainly responsible for the positive performance. Also, activity level improved as volume and value traded increased by 23.5 per cent and 13.3 per cent respectively to 495.6 million shares and N7.7 billion.

Prestige Assurance Plc led the price gainers with 9.3 per cent, followed by LASACO Assurance Plc. Transcorp Plc, May & Baker Nigeria Plc and Eterna Plc appreciated by 4.8 per cent, 4.6 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively.

Conversely, Glaxosmithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc led the price losers with 9.6 per cent, trailed by Jaiz Bank Plc with 8.1 per cent. Japual Oil, International Breweries Plc and NPF Microfinance Bank Plc shed 7.5 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 4.7 per cent in that order.

In terms sectoral Sector performance four closed positively led by the NSE  Industrial Goods Index with  0.6 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index trailed, closing 0.4 per cent  higher, while  the  NSE Banking Index went up by  0.3 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by  0.1 per cent.

The market could not sustain the positive performance of the previous day on Friday  as the bears returned. This pushed the market to close the week on a negative performance.


Market Turnover

Just like the previous week when the market opened for four days, trading last week as also for four days due to public holiday to celebrate Easter Monday.  A total of of 1.765 billion shares worth N26.562 billion were traded in  20,265 deals last week, compared with 2.328 billion shares valued at N28.827 billion in 25,530 deals the previous week.

The Financial Services Industry led the activity chart with 1.468 billion shares

valued at N18.707 billion traded in 12,850 deals,  thus contributing 83.18 per cent  and 70.43 per cent  to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerates Industry trailed with 127.882 million shares worth N623.871 million in 971 deals. The third place was occupied by Consumer Goods with a turnover of 69.868 million shares worth N6.189 billion in 2,930deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely – Zenith I Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and

United Bank for Africa Plc accounted for 543.758 million shares worth N9.739billion in 3,533 deals, contributing 30.81 per cent  and 36.66 per cent  to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.


Price Gainers and Losers

The bears were in total control as 53 equities depreciated in price, higher than 40 equities of the previous week, while on 19  equities appreciated in price during the week, lower than 40 of the previous week.  Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc led the price losers with 23.7 per cent, trailed by Unity Bank Plc  with 17.2 per cent. Jaiz Bank Plc shed 16.1 per cent, just as Glaxosmithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc and Wema Bank Plc with 14.7 per cent and 14.1  per cent respectively.

Other top price losers included: Dangote Flour Mills Plc (13.4 per cent); Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc (13.0 per cent); Unity Kapital Assurance Plc (11.5 per cent); Sterling Bank Plc (9.7 per cent) and International Breweries Plc (9.6 per cent).

On the positive side, LASACO Assurance Plc led the price gainers with 21.2 per cent, trailed by May & Baker Nigeria Plc with a gain of 14.3 per cent. Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc chalked up 12.3 per cent, just as UNIC Diversified Holdings Plc garnered 11.1 per cent.

Other top price gainers are: AIICO Insurance Plc (9.6 per cent); African Alliance Insurance Company Plc (9.1 per cent); Unilever Nigeria Plc (8.7 per cent); Access Bank Plc (8.6 per cent); Caverton and Prestige Assurance Plc(4.4 per cent apiece).