More bargain hunting by investors stocks further lifted the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index by 1.01 per cent yesterday, to close at 27,629.66. The market had appreciated by 1.09 per cent the previous day before consolidating further gains.
Buying interest in MTN Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and Dangote Cement Plc among others contributed to the performance, which saw the market capitalisation adding N134 billion to close at N13.4 trillion.
In all, 22 stocks appreciated wile 13 depreciated. Eterna Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc trailed with 9.4 per cent. WAPIC Insurance Plc went up by 8.8 per cent, just as Jaiz Bank Plc chalked up 5.4 per cent.
Zenith Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, which recently released their half year results and announced a dividend of 30 kobo each where among the price gainers. Zenith Bank appreciated by 2.8 per cent, while GTBank Plc garnered 1.8 per cent.
Both banks put smiles on the faces of their shareholders by recommending interim dividends following improved profit after tax (PAT).
Zenith Bank reported gross earnings of N331.6 billion, a marginal increase of 2.9 per cent compared with N322.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2018. Net interest income fell from N154 billion to N142.5 billion, while credit impairment charges rose by 48.2 per cent from N9.3 billion to N13.7 billion. The bank ended the period with a profit before tax of N111.7 billion, up by four per cent compared with N107.4 billion, while PAT grew faster by 8.7 per cent to N88.9 billion, from N81.7 billion in 2018.
On its part, GTBank posted gross earnings of N221.9 billion in 2019, down by 2.1 per cent compared with N226.6 billion in the corresponding period of 2018. The bank reported a profit before tax (PBT) of N115.8billion, representing a growth of 5.6 per cent over N109.6billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018, while PAT rose by 3.7 per cent to N99.1 billion, from N95.9 billion in 2018. The bank’s loan book grew by 1.0 from N1.262 trillion recorded as at December 2018 to N1.274 trillion in June 2019 while customer deposits increased by 6.3 per cent to N2.418 trillion from N2.274trillion in December 2018.
According to the Managing Director of GTBank Plc, Segun Agbaje they have delivered a good result in spite of a challenging market, characterised by varying degrees of uncertainty and a rapidly changing competitive landscape.