All-Share Index Sheds 0.24% as Market Opens Week on Bearish Note

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Goddy Egene

Trading at the stock market remained bearish as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 0.24 per cent to close at 30,798.76 on the first day of the last month of the year.

The market shed 4.9 per cent last month on persistent bear run in the market. And as trading resumed yesterday, the market declined further following price losers by bellwether stocks.

Although there were 19 gainers and 14 losers, the presence of Dangote Cement Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, PZ Cussons Plc and Access Bank Plc among the losers’ led to the decline recorded.

Continental Reinsurance Plc, which garnered 33 per cent last week, led the price losers yesterday on profit taking by investors. The stock went down by 10 per cent from N2.00 to N1.80. Continental Reinsurance African Investments Limited (CRe Investments), which is the parent firm of Continental Reinsurance (CRe Nigeria)Plc, had proposed to buy all the outstanding shares of CRe Nigeria. According to company, CRe Investments is making this offer in order to initiate a much needed restructuring exercise for CRe Nigeria, with a view to consolidating the CRe Nigeria’s operations and repositioning it for enhanced competitiveness in the global insurance market. This development attracted more demand for the shares reinsurance firm last week.

However, profit taking has set in causing to record the highest price loss yesterday. MRS Oil Nigeria Plc and AXA Mansard Insurance Plc trailed with 9.9 per cent respectively.

PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc and LASACO Assurance Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Caverton Offshore Services Group Plc shed 9.5 per cent, 6.6 per cent, 4.1 per cent and 3.6 per cent in that order.

On the positive side, Jaiz Bank Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, trailed by Diamond Bank Plc with 9.2 per cent. Learn Africa Plc chalked up 8.6 per cent, while FCMB Group Plc and Sterling Bank Plc garnered 7.5 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, activity level improved as volume and value traded rose by 0.1 per cent and 13.6 per cent respectively to close at 249.7 million shares and N2.7 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume in today’s session were FCMB (103.5 million shares), FBN Holdings Plc (22.1 million shares) and UBA (20.3 million shares ) while the top traded stocks by value were Dangote Cement Plc (N674.7 million), GTBank (N609.5 million), and Zenith Bank Plc (N453.6 million).