Stock Market Recovers Further on Continuing Bargain Hunting

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Goddy Egene

The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) climbed back to N11.144 trillion yesterday while the NSE All-Share Index rose further by 1.47 per cent to close at 21,384.03 following sustained bullish trading. The market, which hit a record low on Monday, recovered on Tuesday due to bargain hunting by investors who are taking advantage of low valuation of the most of the stocks.

The positive performance continued yesterday as 24 stocks recorded gains compared with 12 stocks that depreciated. As a result, the market capitalisation added N162 billion to close at 11.144 trillion while year-to-date gain moderated to 20.3 per cent.

Bellwethers such as Nestle Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc were the major drivers of the growth recorded. However, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and UBA led the price gainers with 9.7 per cent apiece. Cadbury Nigeria Plc trailed with a gain of 9.5 per cent, just as LASACO Assurance Plc and Sterling Bank Plc chalked up 9.5 per cent and 9.0 per cent in that order. Oando Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and Glaxosmithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc went up by 9.0 per cent, 8.5 per cent and 8.0 per cent respectively.

FBN Holdings Plc was also among the price gainers as investors continued to react to the results of the bank recently released. A look at the performance showed that FBN Holdings Plc posted gross earnings of N627 billion in 2019, showing an increase of 6.7 per cent compared with N587.4 billion in 2018.Net interest income moved from N285.3 billion to N290.2 billion, while non-interest income rose from N132 billion to N159.2 billion. Impairment charges fell 41.5 per cent to N51.1 billion from N87.5 billion, while operating expenses rose 18.3 per cent to N314.7 billion from N266 billion. As result, profit before tax (PBT) grew by 30.9 per cent to N83.6 billion in 2019, from N63.9 billion in 2018, while profit after tax (PAT) rose 26.5 per cent to N73.7 billion compared with N58.2 billion. Earnings per share grew from 161 kobo to 195 kobo, out which the board recommended that 38 kobo be paid as dividend to the shareholders.

Meanwhile, activity level at the market dipped as volume and value traded declined 9.1 per cent and 3.8 per cent to 314.9 million shares and N5.0 billion respectively. The most active stocks by volume were FBN Holdings (56 million shares), UBA (37.8 million shares) and Lafarge Africa Plc (35 million shares.