Stock Market Attracts N15.5bn Investment in 1.381bn Shares

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Goddy Egene
The stock market attracted N15.504 billion worth of investment staked on 1.381 billion shares in 14,528 deals last week, up from the N14.628 billion invested in 1.044 shares in 14,974 deals the previous week.

However, the bears maintained their hold on the market pulling the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index down by marginal 0.003 per cent. This was, however, an improvement from the 1.19 per cent decline recorded the previous week.

Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited saw the level of activity and volatility being sustained over the final days of the year, with some pockets of gains expected, saying fund and portfolio managers have realigned their portfolios prior to the start of 2020.

But considering the performance of the sectoral indicators last week, the bulls may take over the market this week. Three of the sectors tracked appreciated compared with two that declined. The NSE Consumer Goods Index led with 1.3 per cent appreciation, trailed by the NSE Insurance Index with 1.0 per cent. The NSE Banking Index gained 0.8 per cent. Conversely, the NSE Oil & Gas Index shed 0.7 per cent, just as the NSE Industrial Goods Index fell by 0.5 per cent.

It was mixed fortunes for investors in Greif Nigeria Plc and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc last week. While shareholders of Greif Nigeria are preparing for the delisting of the company from the NSE, those of Seplat are celebrating the acquisition of Eland Oil & Gas Plc.

The board of Greif Nigeria, a company that manufactures and markets steel drums and plastic containers, said it met on December 12, 2019 and decided to exit the exchange.
According to the company, the board resolved to convene an extraordinary general meeting of the company for Thursday, 23rd January, 2020 to get the approval of the shareholders to sell its land and buildings in Apapa, Lagos and delist the shares from the NSE.

The company had early in the year said it was suspending its operations for now in the country. According to the Chairman of the company, Mr Adedayo Olowoniyi the company worked assiduously to overcome the challenging business environment, but still had issues with cost-recovery through several price increases in the market, despite adopting cost reduction measures and driving efficient methods.
“The trends that have started mid 2018 still continues in the first (fiscal) quarter of 2019.

As a result of increased competition and a stagnant market for steel drums, we do not see an improvement happening in the near future. Greif Nigeria has been operating well below operating costs, even below direct material costs, and sees no signs of improved market conditions. Therefore, we have decided to stop operations with immediate effect. The coming months we will investigate on if and/or how we can continue with Greif Nigeria,” he said.
On the positive side, Seplat last week announced the conclusion of the acquisition of Eland Oil & Gas Plc.

Commenting on the acquisition, Chief Executive Officer, Seplat, Austin Avuru said:“We are delighted to successfully complete the acquisition of Eland, which further enhances Seplat’s footprint in Nigeria and provides opportunities for enhanced scale, diversification and growth. We welcome our new colleagues and Nigerian partners as we look forward to working together in this exciting phase of our development.”

Seplat paid about £382 million for the acquisition Eland. Avuru had said Eland was an excellent fit with Seplat and the combination should achieve for them growth and increased profitability, creating value for their shareholders, employees and other stakeholders while offering an attractive upfront premium to Eland Shareholders.

“The acquisition, made possible by our robust operational platform and headroom in our capital structure, is in line with a key part of our established strategy which is to pursue opportunities in the onshore and offshore areas of Nigeria that offer near term production with cash flow and reserves potential,” he said.

Market turnover
Meanwhile, an analysis of the market turnover last showed that the Financial Services industry remained the most traded, recording 1.019 billion shares valued at N11.814 billion traded in 8,275 deals, thus contributing 73.8 per cent and 76.2 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Healthcare industry followed with 170.905 million shares worth N49.097 million in 281 deals. The third place was Conglomerates industry with a turnover of 83.560 million shares worth N205.786 million in 736 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely, Access Bank Plc, Union Diagnostics and Clinical Services Plc and Zenith Bank Plc accounted for 687.097 million shares worth N6.510 billion in 2,964 deals, contributing 49.7 per cent and 41.9 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

In terms of exchange traded funds (ETFs), a total of 11,839 units valued at N8.568 million were traded last week in 21 deals, compared with a total of 211,474 units valued at N2.379 million transacted the previous week in 22 deals.
A total of 4,990 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N5.541 million were traded in eight deals, compared with a total of 7,300 units valued at N8.073 million transacted two weeks in four deals

Top price gainers and losers
Meanwhile, the price movement chat showed 33 equities that appreciated in price last week, higher than 18 equities in the previous week, while 25 equities depreciated in price, lower than 44 equities in the previous week. A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc led the price with 28.2 per cent, trailed by Chams Plc with 20 per cent. Royal Exchange Plc appreciated by 11.5 per cent, just as Nigerian Breweries Plc and Ikeja Hotel Plc gained 9.8 per cent.

Unilever Nigeria Plc and Presco Plc chalked up 9.4 per cent and 9.2 per cent in that order, while WAPIC Insurance Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc garnered 9.0 per cent and 8.6 per cent respectively. LASACO Assurance Plc ended the week with 8.0 per cent.

Conversely, Cornerstone Insurance Plc led the price losers’ table with 36.3 per cent followed by UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust with 23.6 per cent. UACN Property Development Company Plc shed 16 per cent, just as NASCON Allied Industries Plc and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc declined by 13.6 per cent.

University Press Plc went down by 11.3 per cent just as Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc shed 10.9 per cent. Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, B.O.C Gases Plc and Arbico Plc lost 9.9 per cent, 9.8 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively.