NSE All-Share Index Falls 1.27% as Market Opens on Bearish Note

Goddy Egene

The Nigerian stock market shed 1.27 per cent yesterday, following losses by banking stocks.

Besides, the depreciation was recorded despite the visit of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The minister was on the floor of the exchange and assured market operators of federal government’s plans to come up with more tax incentives that would attract more investments to the market.

However, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell by 1.27 per cent to close at 27,041.03, while market capitalisation shed N181.1 billion to be at N14.1 trillion. According to analysts at Cordros Capital, the decline followed sell-off banking tickers, “amidst expectations of increasing regulatory headwinds, following news surrounding recent statements attributed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the Banker’s Committee meeting last week.”

The NSE Banking Index fell 4.7 per cent as Zenith Bank Plc that reported its audited financial performance for 2019, announcing a final dividend of N2.50 per share last Friday, depreciated yesterday.

According to the results of the financial institution, it posted gross earnings rising to N662.3 billion, showing an increase of five per cent from N630.3 billion reported in 2018.

The bank explained that the growth was driven by the 29 per cent increase in non-interest income from N179.9 billion in 2018 to N231.1 billion in 2019. Fees on electronic products continues to grow significantly with a 108 per cent jump from N20.4 billion in 2018 to N42.5 billion in 2019.

Profit before tax increased by five per cent growing from N232 billion to N243 billion in the current year, arising from top-line growth and continued focus on cost optimisation strategies Similarly, profit after tax (PAT) rose from N193 billion to N208.8 billion, achieving the feat as the first Nigerian Bank to cross the N200 billion mark.

And in demonstration of its commitment to its shareholders, the bank has proposed final dividend pay-out of N2.50 per share, bringing the total dividend to N2.80 per share.

Meanwhile, activity level advanced as volume and value traded rose 1.8 per cent and 31.4 per cent to 429.0 million shares and N7.3 billion respectively. The most active stocks by volume were GTBank (117.1 million shares), FBN Holdings Plc (60.1 million shares) and Zenith Bank Plc (56.2 million shares) while GTBank Plc (N4.8 billion), Zenith Bank Plc (N1.1 billion) and FBN Holdings (N329.5m) led by value.

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