Equities Market Remains Upbeat on Gains by Bellwethers

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Goddy Egene

The Nigerian stock market sustained its bullish performance yesterday as bellwethers recorded further price rally. Owing to this, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 0.36 per cent to close at 30,989.60, while market capitalisation added N43.2 billion to close at N11.6 trillion. More price gainers were recorded in the market standing at 27, compared with 21 of the previous day. Bellwethers such as Dangote Cement Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc were among the price gainers.

However, Learn Africa Plc led the price gainers with 9.9 per cent, followed by Ikeja Hotel Plc with 9.8 per cent. Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc chalked up 9.0 per cent, while AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and Royal Exchange Plc garnered 7.5 per cent and 6.9 per cent respectively.

Access Bank Plc gained 6.1 per cent as investors continued to buy into the bank that is expected to be leading retail financial institution in Africa after its merger with Diamond Bank Plc.

The Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe had said the combination of the two businesses would create the largest retail bank in Africa by customer base and a very significant player in the Nigerian market.

“This is a huge step towards the delivery of our goal to bring the power of banking to millions of people across Nigeria and an exciting transaction for Access Bank and Diamond Bank’s customers, staff and shareholders,” he said.

Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc was also among the price gainers, chalking up 6.0 per cent, while NPF Microfinance Bank Plc closed 5.3 per cent higher.

Conversely, 20 stocks depreciated led by Medview Airline Plc with 9.7 per cent. Resort Savings and Loans Plc trailed with 9.0 per cent, while Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc went down by 8.8 per cent apiece.

Fidson Healthcare Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc shed 5.0 per cent and 4.7 per cent in that order among others.

Meanwhile, activity level was mixed as value traded rose 6.0 per cent to N3.1 billion while volume of trading fell by 28.7 per cent to 268.3 million shares.

The top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N806.5 million), GTBank (N411.5 million ), and Seplat (N280.4 million), while Zenith Bank (36.5 million shares), UBA (31.6 million shares) and FBN Holdings (29.0 million shares ) were the top traded stocks by volume.