Market Gains 5.4% as Investors Stake N20bn on Shares

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Goddy Egene
The stock market ended last week on another positive note as the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) rose 5.4 per cent to close at 38,800.01, while market capitalisation closed at N20.279 trillion.

Also, investors’ sustained interest was reflected in the value of trading as they staked a total of N40.311 billion on 2.756 billion shares in 17,459 deals, up from the N17.647 billion invested in 1.893 billion shares valued at N17.647 billion 20,660 deals the previous week.

The market witnessed an unprecedented growth last week due to Santa Claus rally, which has been attributed to preparations for year-end among institutional investors. The high demand had pushed the market capitalisation above the N20 trillion last Wednesday before market profit taking set on Thursday.

The market was shut on Friday and today for Christmas Holiday. Trading will resume tomorrow and analysts believe the market remains the best place for positive returns on investments.

“As the year draws to a close, we expect yield-seeking investors to take positions in stocks with attractive dividend yields, in the face of increasingly negative real returns in the fixed income market. However, we advise investors to take positions in only fundamentally justified stocks as the weak macro environment remains a significant headwind for corporate earnings,” analysts at Cordros Research said.

Meanwhile, the Financial Services Industry closed as the most active with 2.106 billion shares valued at N19.454 billion traded in 8,327deals, thus contributing 76.4 per cent and 48.3 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Consumer Goods Industry followed with 182.099 million shares worth N4.392 billion in 2,485 deals. The third place was Industrial Goods Industry, with a turnover of 145.808million shares worth N10.632billion in 2,587deals. Trading in the top three equities namely: Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and AXA Mansard Insurance Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 1.439 billion shares worth N13.881 billion in 2,972 deals.

The price movement chart showed that 35 equities appreciated in price during the week, lower than 53 equities in the previous week, while 18 equities depreciated in price higher than 17 equities in the previous week.

FTN Cocoa Processors Plc led the price gainers with 43.5 per cent, trailed by Japaul Gold & Ventures Plc with 41.1 per cent. B..O.C Gases Plc chalked up 20.8 per cent, just as Dangote Cement Plc and Oando Plc went up by 16.9 per cent and 15.9 per cent in that order.

Other top price gainers included: AxaMansard Insurance Plc (14.1 per cent); Cutix Plc (13.7 per cent); LASACO Assurance Plc (13.3 per cent); Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc (11.4 per cent) and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (10.8 per cent).

Conversely, Trans-Nationwide Express Plc led the price losers with 9.2 per cent. John Holt Plc trailed with 8.9 per cent, while Champion Breweries Plc shed 7.8 per cent. International Breweries Plc lost 5.9 per cent, just as Ardova Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc dipped by 5.2 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively.

Other top price losers included: Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc (4.1 per cent); May & Baker Nigeria Plc (3.9 per cent); Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc (3.3 per cent) and Jaiz Bank Plc (3.2 per cent.