By Goddy Egene
The equities market witnessed further growth yesterday as buying interest in bellwether stocks continued. Gains by Airtel Africa Plc, Dangote Cement Plc and Zenith Bank Plc boosted the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) by 2.1 per cent to close higher at 36,239.62. Similarly, market capitalisation added N390.2 billion to be at N18.9 trillion.
All the sectoral indices appreciated led by the NSE Insurance Index by 2.4 per cent, trailed by the NSE Industrial Index that grew by 1.3 per cent. The NSE Banking Index went up by 1.1 per cent while the NSE Oil & Gas Index gained 0.6 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index added 0.2 per cent.
A total of 29 stocks gained compared to 17 that depreciated. Airtel Africa Plc led price gainers with 10 per cent, trailed by Ardova Plc with 9.9 per cent as some investors reacted to the news of the petroleum products marketing firm launching fully solar powered filling stations across the country. The first one was launched in Lagos last week and the Chief Executive Officer, AP Plc, Olumide Adesoun, said the wholly solar powered station is an indication of their mission to champion the transition to clean energy in Nigeria.
“I am certain that customers who come to this station and every other AP service station will notice that we had more than a facelift, we built future ready stations that are a pleasure to be in for customers while we provide excellent service in catering to their needs.”
According to him, their goal with the newly rebranded AP stations is to take their customer experience to a whole new level by offering them a one-stop-hub tailored to satisfy their energy needs, while progressively adding other energy products beyond conventional fuels.
“ We will continue to add interesting products and services that are certain to delight our customers. We are highly committed to becoming Nigeria’s leading provider of clean energy. With our Oniru station, we are providing a glimpse of the direction in which we are headed,” he said.
Market operators said this is positive development that is capable of increasing the firm’s market share and eventually lead to more value creation for shareholders.
Meanwhile, Omatek Ventures Plc and Coronation Insurance Plc led the price gainer’s chart with 9.0 per cent apiece. Champion Breweries Plc shed 8.9 per cent, just as University Press Plc lost 7.2 per cent.