The Nigerian stock market yesterday recorded the first gain this week, after declining for three days as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index appreciated by 0.17 per cent to close at 27,568.91. Similarly, market capitalisation added N23.9 billion to close at N14.4 trillion as investors embarked on bargain hunting.
A total of 19 stocks appreciated while 10 depreciated. However, activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 37.2 per cent to 485 million shares, while value traded fell 28.6 per cent to N3.6 billion. The most active stocks by volume were Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc (200 million shares), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (56.3 million shares) and Zenith Bank Plc (36.7 million shares) while GTBank (N1.6 billion), Zenith Bank Plc (N713.9 million) and United Bank for Africa Plc (N247.5 million) led by value.
In terms of price gainers, AIICO Insurance Plc and Ikeja Hotel Plc led table with 10 per cent apiece. United Capital Plc, which announced a dividend of 50 kobo on Wednesday closdd as the third highest price gainer, chalking up 9.9 per cent. The stock had led the price gainers’ table the previous day as investors reacted positively to the improved results for the 2019 financial year.
Meanwhile, United Capital Plc, posted a revenue of N8.598 billion in 2019, compared with N9.26 billion in 2018. Profit after tax (PAT) rose by 15 per cent from N4.34 billion to N4.97 billion in 2019. Shareholders’ funds grew to N19.59 billion, from N15.83 billion in 2018. Based on the performance, the board of directors recommended a dividend of N3 billion, that translates into 50 kobo per share.
Commenting on the results, Group Chief Executive Officer of United Capital, Mr. Peter Ashade said: “In spite of the challenging operating environment that was experienced in 2019, United Capital Plc group have been able to consistently improve in its performance recording a 15 per cent increase in PAT and earnings per share. This increase was driven majorly by the growth in our net interest margin, fees and commission as well as an efficient tax management strategy. We expect an appreciable growth in our revenue as we roll out our various strategic initiatives for the year 2020.”
In a related development, Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc led the price losers with 10 per cent, trailed by Champion Breweries Plc with 9.2 per cent. Jaiz Bank Plc and Oando Plc shed 7.3 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively among others.