Year-to-date Market Decline Worsens to 10.3% on Continuing Bearish Run

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Goddy Egene

The Nigerian equities market sustained its bearish run with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) declining 0.49 per cent to close at 28,200.88, while market capitalisation shed N68.3 billion to close at N13.7 trillion.

With the continued bearish trading, the market has recorded a year-to-date decline of 10.28 per cent as at yesterday. A total of 32 stocks depreciated compared with 10 that appreciated.

Market operators attributed the negative performance to lack of policy direction by the federal government following non-appointment of ministers to drive the economy among other factors.

CAP Plc and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc led the price losers with 10 per cent. Okomu Oil Palm Plc and Forte Oil Plc dipped by 9.9 per cent apiece.

Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN)Plc went down by 9.8 per cent despite the company’s declaration of 120 kobo dividend for the year ended March 31, 2019.

FMN ended the year with a revenue of N527.4 billion compared with N542.7 billion in 2018. Given the challenging operating environment in Apapa, where the company is located, selling and distribution expenses rose 32 per cent from N6.180 billion to N8.166 billion, while administrative expenses remained at N19.424 billion, compared with N19.423 billion in 2018.

Although the company reduced its financing cost by 30 per cent from N32.7 billion to N22.9 billion, it posted profit before tax of N10.2 billion as against N16.5 billion in 2018.

Commenting on the result, Group Managing Director, FMN Plc, Paul Gbededo, said: “We have made substantial progress this year, even in the face of an adverse and challenging business environment. Our growth and efficiency initiatives across our various functions and businesses have started to show anticipated gains as we continue to focus on organic sales growth and position the business for continuous profitability.”

Cadbury Nigeria Plc and Conoil Plc were also among the price losers, shedding 9.6 per cent and 9.5 per cent in that order. On the positive side, Redstar Express Plc led the price gainers with 9.8 per cent, trailed by LASACO Assurance Plc with 9.6 per cent. NEM Insurance Plc chalked up 4.0 per cent, just as Nestle Nigeria Plc appreciated by 1.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 23.7 per cent to 216.7 million shares while value traded declined 16.1 per cent to N1.8 billion. The most traded stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (46.8 million shares), Courtville Business Solutions Plc (46.7 million shares) and United Bank for Africa Plc (24.1 million shares) while by value, Stanbic Holdings Plc (N389.3 million), FBN Holdings Plc (N266.2 million) and Dangote Cement Plc (N223.7 million) were the most traded stocks.