The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) rose further by 1.10 per cent to close at 34,225.22 as the market sustained its positive momentum yesterday. The market capitalisation gained N199.5 billion to close at N18.4 trillion.
The bulls had returned to the market on Monday with a gain of 1.73 per cent after losing out the bears the previous week due to profit taking.
However, the gains were sustained yesterday as 28 stocks appreciated compared with 14 stocks that depreciated. LASACO Assurance Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent while AXA Mansard Insurance Plc gained 9.3 per cent to occupy the second position. FTN Cocoa Processors Plc and Japaul Gold garnered 8.3 per cent and 8.0 per cent respectively.
Lafarge Africa Plc chalked up 7.1 per cent just as Portland Paints and Products Nigeria(PPPN) Plc went up by 6.3 per cent.
The shares of PPPN have maintained a steady growth since October when it was disclosed that the company would merge with Chemical and Allied Products (CAP) Plc.
According to companies, the decision to pursue the merger is driven by the strategic objectives of the boards to drive growth and expansion within the Nigerian and African markets.
The Managing Director of PPPN, Bolarin Okunowo, said: “In recent months, the board and management of Portland Paints have evaluated various strategic options with a view to positioning our company to capture emerging growth opportunities. CAP’s business is complementary to ours, and both companies will be better able to serve our respective customers by coming together. I believe the combination of Portland Paints and CAP will yield significant benefits for all of our stakeholders.”
Market analysts said some investors have been buying into PPPN ahead of the planned merger, believing that it is cheaper to go into the merger through the company.
The merger will involve the transfer of all PPPN’s assets, liabilities and business undertakings including real property and intellectual property rights to CAP. In consideration for the transfer, CAP is offering shareholders of PPPN a choice to receive N2.90 cash every PPPN share held or one new ordinary share of CAP, credited as fully-paid up for every eight PPPN shares held.
Meanwhile, Vanleer Containers led the price losers with 9.8 per cent, trailed by Redstar Express Plc with a decline of 9.7 per cent. Unity Bank Plc shed 8.8 per cent just as Omatek Ventures Plc with 8.3 per cent. Jaiz Bank Plc went down by 8.0 per cent, just as UACN Property Development Company Plc dipped by 7.0 per cent.