Equities Market Falls Further as Bears Consolidate Hold

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Goddy Egene

The bears consolidated their hold on the market as trading opened for the week yesterday pushing the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index further down by 0.22 per cent to close at 26,390.08. Market capitalisation shed N28.5 billion to close at N12.853 trillion.

The market, which has been on free-fall dipped by 0.32 per cent last week and when it was expected that bargain hunting may set in, bears consolidated their control of the market. Hence, the negative close on the first day of the week.

Fifteen stocks depreciated dominated by financial services stocks. NEM Insurance Plc led the price losers with 9.5 per cent, followed by WAPIC Insurance Plc with 8.5 per cent.

Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc shed 7.5 per cent, just as Omoluabi Mortgage Bank Plc depreciated by 5.2 per cent. United Capital Plc, which announced its nine months results last Friday went down by 1.9 per cent.

The investment bank reported a revenue of N5.323 billion and profit after tax (PAT)of N2.763 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared with N5.969 billion and N3.082 billion respectively in 2018.

Commenting on the results, the Group Chief Executive Officer of United Capital Plc, Mr. Peter Ashade, said while the business environment in 2019 has been quite challenging compared to what was obtained in 2018, United Capital had been able to consistently deliver an improvement in its numbers as evidenced in the growth in revenue and profit.

He said on the back of improving group performance, “we would continue to push further our cost-efficiency narrative why strategically focusing on improving our top and bottom lines in order to deliver superior returns to shareholders’ year end.”

Meanwhile, May & Baker Nigeria Plc led the nine price gainers, rising by 9.5 per cent, trailed by Cornerstone Insurance Plc with 9.3 per cent. Transnationwide Express Plc and Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc appreciated by 9.1 per cent each.

Chams Plc, LASACO Assurance Plc and AIICO Insurance Plc, and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated chalked up 4.3 per cent, 3.5 per cent, 1.5 per cent and 1.4 per cent in that order.

Activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell 20.8 per cent and 72.8 per cent to 245.9 million units and N1.4 billion respectively.