NSE All-Share Index Rises 0.31% as Equities Market Opens Positively

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Goddy Egene

A total 22 stocks appreciated to lift the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) by 0.31 per cent to close at 29,710.56 as the market opened for the week on a positive note. Although Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc led the price gainers’ table, appreciation in the shares of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc boosted the performance for the day.

MTN Nigeria, which is the second most capitalised stock on the exchange, has been attracting high demand by investors since last week following the news that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had transferred the resolution of allegation of tax indebtedness against MTN to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Custom Service.

The AGF had in September 2018, accused MTN Nigeria of two separate revenue indebtedness to the tune of N242,244,452,215.97 and $1,283,610,357.86, an allegation the firm vehemently refuted and subsequently went to court to challenge. But the minister had handed off the matter after holding on to it for 17 months.

Expressing satisfaction at the development, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman said: “We are very pleased with the decision of the AGF and we commend him for his wisdom. We maintain our dedication to building and maintaining cordial relationships with all regulatory authorities in Nigeria and remain fully committed to meeting our fiscal responsibilities and contributing to the social and economic development of Nigeria.”

The stock appreciated from N126.60 to N128.30 per share yesterday. However, Law Union & Rock posted the highest rise of 10 per cent, trailed by Total Nigeria Plc with 9.3 per cent, while Cadbury Nigeria Plc chalked up 8.5 per cent. Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc garnered 6.8 per cent, just as Jaiz Bank Plc, WAPIC Insurance Plc and Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc gained 6.1 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 5.0 per cent in that order.

Conversely, NCR Nigeria Plc led the price losers’ with 9.8 per cent, trailed by Nestle Nigeria Plc that appreciated by 6.1 per cent. Unity Bank Plc and Oando Plc shed 5.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent in that order, just as Courtville Business Solutions Plc and Chams Plc went down by 4.1 per cent and 3.0 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, activity level was mixed as volume traded fell 17.9 per cent to 266.9 million shares while value traded rose 17.7 per cent to N4.2 billion.