Investors Stake N3.9bn on Shares Despite 0.59% Index Decline

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Goddy Egene

Investors staked N3.887 billion on 243.717 million shares in 3,449 deals yesterday, showing an increase of 116 per cent compared with N1.799 billion in invested in 217.132 million shares the previous day. The high value of trading was recording despite a continued bearish trading that saw the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fall further.

Specifically, the NSE ASI went down by 0.59 per cent to close at 28,042.80 following selloffs in bellwethers. The persistent decline has worsened the month-to-date and year-to-date losses to 6.42 per cent and 10.78 per cent in that other.

Bellwethers such as Dangote Cement Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc were among the 26 price losers for the day. However, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc booked the highest decline of 9.7 per cent, trailed by Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc with 9.6 per cent.

Demand for NAHCO remains low despite the assurance given to investors and market operators by the company of a brighter future prospects. The Managing Director of NAHCO, Mrs. Olatokunbo Fagbemi, recently told the capital market community that the firm would grow its profit significantly in 2019 and beyond so as to deliver improved returns to shareholders.

According to her, new investments in ground support equipment, strategic investments in infrastructure and human capital development and improving operational efficiency at the airports would drive considerable growths this year and the years ahead.

She outlined that the company would achieve a turnover of N13.27 billion in 2019 as against N9.88 billion in 2018 while profit before tax is expected to rise from N503 million in 2018 to N2.13 billion in 2019. Profit after tax is projected to rise to N1.81 billion.

However, the weak demand for stocks has not allowed investors to react positively to these disclosures by the company.

Unity Bank Plc was also among the price losers yesterday, shedding 9.2 per cent, while AXAMansard Insurance Plc and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc went down by 8.3 per cent and 7.0 per cent in that order. FCMB Group Plc and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc dipped by 4.3 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.

On the other hand, eight stocks escaped the rampaging bulls led by A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc with 10 per cent. Chams Plc garnered 8.0 per cent, while Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc and Courtville Business Solutions Plc chalked up 5.0 per cent and 3.3 per cent in that order.