Market Sheds N1.4tr in Three Days as Investors Dump Shares


Goddy Egene

The stock market plunged for the third day running yesterday as investors continued to dump shares following panic over the effects of the Coronavirus and declining global crude oil prices.

The stock market has depreciated by a whopping N1.4 trillion in the last three days with the market capitalisation falling from N13.695 trillion to N12.284 trillion yesterday, while the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell from 26,279.61 to 23,572.75. Out of the N1.4 trillion, N425 billion was lost yesterday, while the previous day accounted for the highest decline of N656 billion.

The NSE All-Share Index shed 3.4 per cent yesterday, bringing the year-to-date(YTD) to 12.2 per cent. Bellwethers such as Dangote Cement Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and Zenith Bank Plc were among the 20 price losers.

Although the unprecedented bearish trend in the past three days is sending more panic among some investors, the Chairman of Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Oyinyechukwu Ezeagu said the trend was not limited to Nigeria.

“The effect of the coronavirus is gradually affecting trading all over the world and whatever happens elsewhere reflects in our market. The centre of it all is China and being a major world power both in productive and consumption capacities, any ill wind affecting China would naturally cause a big sneezing to the rest of world,” he said.

At the close of trading, 20 stocks depreciated while 16 appreciated. The bears were led by two bellwethers, Dangote Cement Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc that shed 10 per cent apiece.

Nestle Nigeria for the first time in recent years, fell below N1,000 threshold, falling from N1,017 to N915.30 per share. The company recently announced profit after tax (PAT) of N45.651 billion for 2019 financial year, from N43.008 billion and declined a final dividend of N45 per share. In all, the shareholders are to receive a total dividend of N70 per share, having paid an interim dividend of N25 per share.

Despite the plunge in prices, activity level surged as volume and value traded rose 134 per cent and 319.4 per cent to 1.4 billion shares and N17.6 billion respectively. The most actively traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank Plc (412.4 million shares), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (385.2 million shares) and FBN Holdings Plc (303 million shares) while GTBank Plc (N7.2 billion), Zenith Bank Plc (N5.1 billion) and Nestle Nigeria (N1.8 billion) led by value.