Investors Stake N9.8bn on 926m Shares as All-Share Index Falls 0.72%

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By Goddy Egene

Trading at the stock market fell last week after an impressive performance in the first week of May.

Specifically, the volume and value of trading fell while the main index, declined 0.72 per cent compared with a growth of 4.4 per cent the previous week.

Specifically, investors traded 926.418 million shares worth N9.768 billion in 20,910 deals, down from 1.662 billion shares valued at N18.205 billion that exchanged hands in 28,791 deals the previous week.

Also, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index and market capitalisation both depreciated by 0.72 per cent to close at 23,871.33 and N12.441 trillion respectively. Market analysts said the low performance was due to profit taking by investors after most of the stocks gained significantly the previous week.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the stock market has remained active, delivering value to investors. Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), urged listed companies to continue to make adequate disclosures on the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses for investors to make necessary investment decisions.

SEC said in a circular that, “While we continue to monitor the evolvement of the pandemic and its impact on the capital market, all regulated entities are reminded to make adequate disclosures and report on how the pandemic is impacting operations and discharge of services to investors and other stakeholders.

“We also wish to assure investors that while efforts are on-going to ensure that capital market services remain accessible, the commission’s priority is the protection of investors.”

The SEC also stated that following the federal government’s partial easing of the lockdown measures introduced to minimise the spread of Covid-19 across Nigeria, the commission has reopened its head office in Abuja.

However, due to the need to protect its stakeholders and members of staff, the commission issued some guidelines among which is that stakeholders are strongly advised to use our various e-channels to communicate and interact with the commission and that physical visits should only be considered as a last resort.

Other guidelines issued by the SEC are that all meetings and events will be convened electronically until further notice; all filings shall continue to be received electronically; all visitors will be subjected to temperature checks and hand sanitization before gaining access to the commission’s building; and also visitors are expected to wear facemasks and abide by social distancing rules while present in the commission’s facility.

The commission stated that personal visits are not allowed at this time adding that visitors would be expected to state their purpose and identify themselves at the entrance.

Market turnover

A look that the Financial Services industry remained the most active, recording 676.072 million shares valued at N5.053 billion traded in 10,753 deals. Thus contributing 72.98 per cent and 51.73 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerates industry followed with 71.117 million shares worth N399.502 million in 445 deals, while the third place was occupied by the Consumer Goods industry, with a turnover of 48.835 million shares worth N1.569 billion in 3,497 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely, FBN Holdings Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank Plc, accounted for 335.075 million shares worth N4.061 billion in 4,885 deals, contributing 36.17 per cent and 41.58 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

In terms of exchange traded products, a total of 146,484 units valued at N7.397 million were traded last week in 13 deals, compared with a total of 17,476 valued at N1.502 million transacted two weeks ago in 10 deals.

Similarly, the bonds market recorded a total of 7,878 units valued at N9.070 million traded in 12 deals, compared with a total of 2,438 units valued at N2.594 million transacted in six deals two weeks ago.

Top price gainers and losers

Meanwhile, 32 equities appreciated in price during the week, lower than 39 equities in the previous week, while 28 equities depreciated in price, higher than 22 equities in the previous week.

NPF Microfinance Bank Plc led the price gainers with 50.8 per cent, trailed by Unilever Nigeria Plc and May & Baker Nigeria Plc with 20.9 per cent apiece. MCNichols Plc chalked up 19.0 per cent, just as Eterna Plc went up by 18.9 per cent.

Fidson Healthcare Plc and Glaxosmithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc appreciated by 14.9 per cent and 13.3 per cent in that order. Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc chalked up 12.8 per cent. Also, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc added 12.5 per cent as investors reacted positively to the six months results released last week.

The unaudited results for the half year ended March 31, 2020, showed a turnover of N1.165 billion, up from N976 million in the corresponding period of 2019. Profit after tax soared by939 per cent from N5.447 million to N56.596 million in 2020.

The Managing Director of Nemeith, Matthew Azoji had assured shareholders of improved performance.

According to him, Neimeth’s medium term strategic plan aims at building on the enviable pedigree of the six decades old company unto a new era of greater achievements for all stakeholders.

“Our strategic plan is to reposition the company to play greater roles in the healthcare industry, deliver better returns on investment to shareholders and greater benefits to all other stakeholders,” Azoji said.

He said the company would continue its deliberate strategy of cost management to ensure that top-line gains translate into improvement in returns to shareholders.

Azoji said the strategic direction for 2020-2024, is to initiate bold and gradual expansion initiatives that would see the company increasing market share in the healthcare industry.

He said the five-year strategic plan would guide the company’s vigorous expansion programme, which include the upgrade of the company’s factory at Oregun, Lagos State, development of new manufacturing facilities and expansion of the company’s marketing drive to Sub-Saharan Africa.

The MD said part of the new strategic focus of the company is to partner with local and international brand owners in the area of contract manufacturing.

Conversely, UACN Property Development Company Plc led the price losers with 13.0 per cent, trailed by CAP Plc with 9.8 per cent. Arbico Plc shed 9.7 per cent, while Custodian Investment Plc went down by 9.5 per cent.

Afromedia Plc lost 8.8 per cent, just as Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc dipped by 8.5 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively. NEM Insurance Plc, Linkage Assurance Plc and Champion Breweries Plc shed 7.4 per cent, 6.8 per cent and 6.1 per cent in that order.