NSE All-Share Index Sheds 1.02% as Market Sustains Bear Run

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Goddy Egene

The stock market sustained its bearish run yesterday as 36 stocks, including bellwethers, recorded price losses while only eight stocks appreciated.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index dipped by 1.02 per cent to close at 31,313.36, while market capitalisation shed N120.6 billion to close at N11.7 trillion.

Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said in the absence of a positive catalysts, as well as the still tense polity, investors should trade cautiously in the short term.

“However, stable macroeconomic fundamentals and compelling valuation remain supportive of recovery in the mid-to-long term,” they said.

The bears were dominated by bellwethers such as Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, GTBank Plc and Double One Plc. However, International Breweries Plc led the losers’ table with 9.9 per cent, trailed by A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc with 8.8 per cent. Jiaz Bank Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc went down by 8.6 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.

Despite the fact that shareholders of Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc have approved the merger of both banks, theirs share prices have remained volatile at the stock market. Diamond Bank Plc declined by 1.6 per cent yesterday, while Access Bank shed 0.8 per cent.

Going by the target of both banks, the merger would be concluded soon while the new enlarged entity would be begin to operate from April 11, 2019.

The Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, had told shareholders last week that with the final merger of both banks and the status of the resulting entity as ‘the largest bank in Africa’s largest economy,’ this greatly bolsters the bank’s brand, opening doors of opportunity both in local and international markets.

“The resulting entity which will maintain the brand name Access Bank, but with Diamond Bank colors, will have more than 29 million customers, 13 million of which are mobile customers. The bank would be a continental force with presence in 12 countries, 3,100 ATMS and nearly 32, 000 Point of Sale. As a continental financial force, it is set to attract more opportunities such as trade finance from international partners seeking multinational lenders with local intelligence,” Wigwe added.

Meanwhile, Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 7.6 per cent, trailed by UACN Property Development Company Plc with 7.1 per cent. Laferge Africa Plc garnered 4.0 per cent. The cement manufacturing firm recently succeeded in raising N89.2 billion via a rights issue.