Equities Market Gains N105bn as Investors React Positively to Corporate Earnings

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Goddy Egene

The Nigerian equities market opened the week on a bullish note as investors continued to react positively to nine month corporate earnings being released by companies.

Gains by 17 stocks, including market leader, Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, lifted the market capitalisation by N105 billion to N12.119 trillion.

The NSE All-Share Index appreciated by 0.88 per cent to close higher at 33,196.07, thus moderating the year-to-date decline to 13.2 per cent. Although the market recorded 17 price gainers and losers apiece, bellwethers among the price gainers influenced the positive close for the day.

However, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, trailed by LASACO Assurance Plc with 6.6 per cent. Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc chalked up 6.5 per cent, while WAPIC Insurance Plc garnered 4.7 per cent.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc last week reported a jump of 54 per cent and 59 per cent in profit before tax (PBT) and profit after tax (PAT) respectively for the nine months ended September 30, 2018. Specifically, PBT increased to N70.380 billion, from N45.650 billion, while PAT grew faster from N37.672 to N59.75 billion.

Market operators said the price gain posted by Stanbic IBTC showed investors’ bullish response to the positive results.

Similarly, GTBank Plc appreciated by 4.0 per cent, just as Transcorp Plc, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc and Sterling Bank Plc garnered 3.9 per cent, 3.4 per cent and 3.3 per cent in that order.

Forte Oil Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc were also among the price gainers, rising by 2.8 per cent, 1.8 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.

Conversely, Unity Bank Plc led the price losers with 10 per cent, trailed by Diamond Bank Plc with 9.7 per cent. Royal Exchange Plc shed 9.0 per cent, just as AIICO Insurance Plc and Meyer Plc went down by 8.8 per cent each.

Meanwhile, activity level was mixed as volume traded fell by 46.3 per cent to 150.0 million shares m units while value traded rose 46.7 per cent to N2.9 billion indicating investors’ interest in bellwethers. Zenith Bank Plc (28.4 million shares), GTBank (28.3 million shares) and FCMB Holdings Plc (15.4 million shares) were the top traded stocks by volume while GTBank (N1.1 billion), Zenith Bank(N0.7 billion) and Dangote Cement (N0.5 billion) led by value.