All-Share Index Sheds 0.21% as Airtel Shares Decline 24 Hours after Listing

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Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya

Goddy Egene

A day after the cross border secondary listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the shares of Airtel Africa Plc suffered a decline wednesday, indicating weak demand for the stock.

The shares were listed at N363 per ordinary share on the main board of the exchange on Tuesday and they rose to N399.30. However, the share price fell 9.9 per cent yesterday to close at N359.40 per share. Market analysts said the stock may continue to suffer some level of volatility before stabilising.

The Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, had expressed delight at the listing of the telco on the main board of the exchange.

“This is an exciting time for Airtel Africa in the 14 countries it operates in and an important milestone in our development as a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Africa,” he said.

Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said: “Nigeria is a great place for business and Airtel Africa remains committed to building a leadership position here. Investors have been interested to hear our story, and importantly they have been interested enough to invest in our business and are now ready to share the future with us.”

The price decline by Airtel Africa Plc, Forte Oil Plc, Dangote Cement Plc among 14 other losers led to a depreciation of 0.21 per cent in the NSE All-Share Index to close at 29,256.60, while market capitalisation shed N123.9 billion.

In all, 17 stocks lost value led by Fort Oil Plc with 10 per cent, trailed by Airtel that shed 9.9 per cent, while Conoil Plc went down by 9.9 as well.

On the positive side, 15 stocks appreciated led by NPF Microfinance Bank Plc with 9.7 per cent, trailed by Union Bank of Nigeria Plc with 9.4 per cent. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc on Monday denied report of acquisition talks with Access Bank Plc.

In notification to the NSE, the Company Secretary of Union Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Somuyiwa Sonubi said: “Our attention has been drawn to a blog post on pageone.ng site, posting that Access Bank Plc is in talks to acquire Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. As the post itself states, the unfounded report is based on mere rumours and speculations. The NSE, other regulators and members of the public are advised to disregard the publication in its entirety.”