Gains by bellwethers such as MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and FBN Holdings Plc helped to sustain the positive performance at the stock market yesterday as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 0.10 per cent. The NSE ASI closed higher at 25,407.96, while market capitalisation added N12.8 billion to be at N13.3 trillion.
At the close of trading, 18 stocks appreciated led by Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc with 9.7 per cent, trailed by Presco Plc with 9.0 per cent. Japaul went up by 8.3 per cent, while LASACO Assurance Plc garnered 8.0 per cent.
However, gains by MTN, ETI and FBN Holdings boosted the positive performance.
FBN Holdings the previous day announced the conclusion of its divestment of its 65 per cent equity in FBN Insurance Limited to Salam (PTY) Limited, which used to hold 35 per cent stake in the insurance firm.
“The boards of directors of FBN Holdings and Sanlam Emerging Markets(Proprietary) wish to announce the completion of the sale and transfer of FBN Holdings’ 65 per cent shareholding in FBN Insurance Limited to Sanlam. This effectively confers full ownership of FBN Insurance and its subsidiary, FBN General Insurance Limited on Sanlam forthwith, following receipt of all relevant regulatory approvals,” the group said.
Commenting on the divestment, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc, UK Eke, said “The divestment is in line with the group’s medium to long term strategic objectives. This will ultimately improve our shareholders’ wellbeing and deliver greater value to all the stakeholders. Over the years we have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership and we will continue to cooperate with them in the future. Sanlam exercised its pre-emptive right to acquire the remaining shareholding of FBNI and in line with our partnership philosophy that underpins our business model, we will introduce local shareholding at an appropriate time in the future.”
Also commenting, Chief Executive Officer, Sanlam Emerging Markets (Proprietary) Limited, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Heinie Werth, said: “This transaction is evidence of our belief and confidence in the value and future of the business, as well as the skilled management team and staff. Moreover, we are committed to Nigeria and view it as a key market on the continent.”
Meanwhile, activity level was mixed as volume traded fell 8.5 per cent to 353.3 million shares while value traded rose 16.1 per cent to N7.0 billion. The most active stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (50.3 million shares), Nigerian Breweries Plc (45.9 million shares), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (42.4 million shares) while Dangote Cement Plc (N2.1 billion), Nigerian Breweries Plc (N2.0 billion) and GTBank (N1.1 billion) led by value.