WAPIC Insurance, Others Gain Despite Bearish Trading

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By Goddy Egene

Investors in WAPIC Insurance Plc, Cutix Plc, Morison Industries Plc and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, had a good outing at the stock market last week despite the persistent bearish trading.

The negative impact of the coronavirus and weak crude oil prices sent the market to record low since the beginning of March following huge losses by stocks.

However, the losses moderated two weeks ago when the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (NSE ASI) fell by 2.35 per cent. The NSE ASI recorded a lower decline of 1.52 per cent to close at 21,861.78 while market capitalisation printed at N11.393 trillion.

Despite the losses, shares of WAPIC, Morison and Neimeth among others fetched gains for their investors. For instance, while WAPIC appreciated by 23.8 per cent, Cutix Plc went up by 20.3 per cent. Morison and Neimeth garnered 20 per cent apiece.

According to analysts at Cordros Capital, despite pocket of gains, weak sentiments continued to dominate the domestic market. The weak performance has made the NSE ASI to record a year-to-date decline of 18.6 per cent. In terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Consumer Goods Index recorded the highest decline of 8.1 per cent. It was followed by the NSE Oil and Gas Index with 2.2 per cent, while the NSE Industrial Goods Index shed 0.5 per cent.
However, the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Banking Index appreciated, gaining 3.3 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively.

Commenting on the market performance analysts at Cordros Capital said: “In our view, the trend witnessed this week is likely to persist, as weakening market sentiment in the face of the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic and the weakness across global markets are expected to pressure market returns. Nonetheless, we advise investors to take positions in fundamentally justified stocks.”

Trading at the stock market went fully remote last Wednesday as the NSE closed all its floors as part of the efforts to curtail the spread of theCOVID-19.

Explaining the decision to close the trading floors, the Chief Exchange Officer of the NSE, Oscar Onyema, said remote trading would continue while its staff would be available through all its digital platforms to provide support.

“Over three weeks ago, we activated precautionary health measures across our offices where we screened visitors with thermometers, provided sanitisers and minimised access into our premises. Further to this and with the significant growth in new cases, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, we have activated a 30-day remote working plan for our employees excluding essential staff.

“In order to give our dealing members enough notice, effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020 all our trading floors will be temporarily closed, although remote trading will continue and NSE staff will be available through all our digital platforms to provide support. We regret any inconvenience this may cause in the discharge of your business activities, but we must act in the best interest of all stakeholders at this time,” Onyema said.

The NSE boss noted that in line with their robust Business Continuity Management framework, they would like to reassure stakeholders that they have put in place measures to ensure their operations and trading activities continue seamlessly throughout this period.

He said: “As an exchange, we will ensure that all relevant information continues to flow into the market to ensure the pricing of risk assets remains transparent and reliable across asset classes to allow investors to value their portfolios and make informed investment decisions under these volatile conditions. Dealing members are, therefore, encouraged to continue to trade remotely via our electronic platforms such as FIX protocol and XNET, and reach out to their Compliance Officer if any support is required. Please note that we will provide manual support to members without remote access during this period. Issuers who have any business to conduct with The Exchange can reach out to their Relationship Manager for guidance. You should continue to submit all regulatory filings via Issuers’ Portal (X-Issuer).

As The exchange embraces social distancing as prescribed by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), we have further engaged with the federal government on issues of annual general meetings, maturing financial instruments, financial reporting, to mention a few and appropriate updates will be provided in due course.”
Onyema said all physical meetings within and outside their office premises had been suspended until further notice.

“We have instructed our employees to leverage technological tools to conduct meetings virtually. We assure you that our virtual lines of communication will remain open to engage with you and attend to your needs. We understand that these are trying times, but we are committed to ensuring we do not experience any disruptions to our operations. As we navigate this new reality, we encourage you to follow our various communication channels as we continue to share relevant updates,” he said.

Market turnover

Meanwhile, investors traded 1.452 billion shares worth N14.918 billion in 21,828 deals in contrast to a total of 2.804 billion shares valued at N32.559 billion that exchanged hands in 31,715 deals the previous week. But the Financial Services industry led the activity chart with 1.224 billion shares valued at N10.590 billion traded in 14,944 deals, thus contributing 84.3 per cent and 70.9 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerates followed with 50.261 million shares worth N61.457 million in 442 deals. The third place was the Consumer Goods industry, with a turnover of 47.276 million shares worth N2.509 billion in 2,225 deals.

Also, trading in the top three equities: Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc accounted for 713.795 million shares worth N8.610 billion in 8,608 deals. They contributed 49.18 per cent and 57.7 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

ETPs In the exchange traded products, a total of 20 units valued at N130.90 were traded in two deals, compared with a total of 15,121 units valued at N87.766 million transacted in seven deals the previous week.

Top price gainers and losers

The price move chart showed that 34 equities appreciated lower than 35 in the previous week as against 30 equities that depreciated in price, which is higher than 27 equities in the previous week.

Apart from WAPIC, Morison, Cutix and Neimeth that were among the top gainers, CAP Pl c also went up by 18.9 per cent. NEM Insurance Plc chalked up 18.8 per cent, while Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services Plc gained 18.1 per cent. Honeywell Flour Mills Plc appreciated by 18.0 per cent, just as Jaiz Bank Plc and Transcorp Plc added 17.7 per cent and 15 per cent in that order.

Conversely, Nigerian Breweries Plc led the price losers, shedding 15 per cent, trailed by African Prudential Plc with 11.1 per cent. Total Nigeria Plc, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, and Nestle Nigeria Plc dipped 10 per cent each.

Other top price losers included: Conoil Plc (9.9 per cent); Unilever Nigeria Plc (9.8 per cent); NASCON Allied Industries Plc (9.5 per cent); C & I Leasing Plc (9.4 per cent).