By Goddy Egene
The stock market sustained its bullish trend yesterday as buying interest in bellwethers such as Dangote Cement Plc, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc drove indicators to new highs.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) rose 0.83 per cent to close at 26,831.76 per cent, while market capitalisation added N116.7 billion to close at N14.039 trillion.
In all, 20 stocks appreciated in price compared with eight stocks that depreciated. The market has remained bullish since last week as investors shifted attention to equities market following a cut in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Market analysts had anticipated a sustenance of the positive performance in stock market going forward.
“We expect the market might continue to benefit as domestic investors seek alpha-yielding opportunities in the face of increasingly negative real returns in the fixed income market. However, we advise investors to trade in only fundamentally justified stocks as the weak macro environment remains a significant headwind for listed companies,” analysts at Cordros Research said.
In line with analysts’ expectations, the market has remained positive since the beginning of the week. The sustained bear run has reduced the year-to-date decline to 0.02 per cent.
The price gainers were led by Total Nigeria Plc with 10 per cent, trailed by Eterna Plc with 9.6 per cent. UAC of Nigeria Plc chalked up 9.4 per cent, while WAPIC Insurance Plc, Jaiz Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc garnered 5.7 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively.
Sterling Bank Plc recently got the approval-in principle of CBN to operate as holding company (HoldCo).
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, explained that the new structure to yield improved prospects for individual business growth and enhanced corporate governance, which serve to promote a consistent culture across the group and quality of service to customers, thereby facilitating sustainability of earnings.
“Going into the HoldCO structure, our desire is to entrench our business model premised on impact capitalism where we believe that private sector capital and market-based tools will offer the best types of solutions to Nigeria’s most pressing social and environmental challenges,” Suleiman stated.