The stock market continued its bearish trend as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell 0.78 per cent to close lower at 30,400.28 yesterday.
Similarly, the market capitalisation shed N89 billion to close at N11.3 trillion, following losses by 24 equities as against the gain by only 14 stocks.
Although notable stocks such as Nestle Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Forte Oil Plc were among the losers, NEM Insurance Plc and Resort Savings and Loans Plc led the bears with 10 per cent apiece.
MRS Oil Nigeria Plc and UAC of Nigeria Plc went down by 9.9 per cent, just as Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Ikeja Hotel Plc shed 9.8 per cent 9.0 per cent in that order among others.
Commenting on the market performance, analysts at Cordros Capital Limited reiterated their negative outlook for the market in the short to medium term, amidst political concerns ahead of the 2019 elections, and the absence of a positive market trigger.
“However, positive macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of recovery in the long term,” they said.
Meanwhile, Diamond Bank Plc returning to its gaining streak after a short period of profit taking by investors. The stock led the price gainers with 10 per cent. Also, WAPIC Insurance Plc went up by 10 per cent, just as A.G Leventis Plc added 7.4 per cent.
Diamond Bank Plc has become investors’ toast since the announcement of its merger with Access Bank Plc.
Some market analysts said the deal favours Diamond Bank and investors having buying the shares as way of entering Access Bank Plc, which shares are higher in price.
The Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, had the combination with Access Bank would create one of Africa’s leading financial institutions.
He said: “There is clear strategic rationale for the proposed merger and strong complementarities between the two institutions. While Diamond Bank has pioneered Nigeria’s largest technology led retail banking platform, Access Bank is one of Nigeria’s leading full-service commercial banks. Consolidation in the Nigerian banking industry is an inevitable, natural progression in a sector where the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 banks has been widening and scale has become critical; where technology will disrupt the traditional business model while enabling broader financial inclusion.
The board of Diamond Bank believes that the proposed combination of the two operations provides an exciting prospect for all stakeholders in both businesses and will create a financial institution with the scale, strength and expertise to capitalise on the significant opportunities in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa more broadly.”