Investors Stake N26bn on 4.3bn Shares despite Profit-taking


Goddy Egene
Investors staked N25.989 billion on 4.288 billion shares in 32,849 deals at the stock market last week.
In terms of volume, the performance showed an improvement but a decline in value terms when compared to the N32.725 billion invested in 3.447 billion shares the previous week.

However, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell 0.42 per cent to close at 41,001.99 as a result of profit-taking in bellwethers.

Similarly, market capitalisation went down by 0.38 per cent to close at N21.449 trillion
The market declined in four of the five trading sessions. Although the downturn in the market was seen across board, the decline in banking stocks such as FBN Holding Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Access Bank Plc combined with profit-booking on Dangote Cement Plc to depress the NSE ASI by 0.42 per cent. Consequently, the year-to-date moderated to 1.8 per cent.

According to analysts at Greenwich Merchant Bank Research, investors would continue to err on the side of caution in the early sessions of the new week, as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) holds its first meeting of 2021 to set the country’s interest rate policy.

“In our view, the MPC will maintain status-quo with Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.50 per cent) cautious of the uptrend in inflation rate, and threats of the COVID-19 pandemic, now in its second wave, to the fragile macroeconomic space.
“As the week progresses, we anticipate that bullish sentiment will gain momentum in the equities market, securing a positive weekly close by Friday, as selloffs on top counters created headroom for upward price swings,” they said.
Also commenting, analysts at Cordros Securities Research said they expect investors’ attention to be centered on the outcome of the first MPC meeting of the year.

“We believe consensus expectation for a hold decision if confirmed will engender positive market performance as investors cherry-pick stocks with attractive dividend yields amid negative real returns in the fixed income market. However, we advise investors to take positions in only fundamentally justified stocks as the fragility of the macroeconomic environment remains a significant headwind for corporate earnings,” they said.

Meanwhile, the Financial Services Industry led the activity chart with 2.607 billion shares valued at N12.454 billion traded in 15,128 deals, thus contributing 60.8 per cent and 47.9 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerates Industry trailed with 813.813 million shares worth N1.561 billion in 2,417 deals, while the third place was Oil and Gas Industry, with a turnover of 212.126 million shares worth N821.978 million in 2,726 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely: Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, Living Trust Mortgage Bank Plc and Japaul Gold and Ventures Plc accounted for 1.582 billion shares worth N1.564 billion in 2,726 deals.
The price movement chat showed that 53 equities appreciated lower than 60 equities in the previous week, while 29 equities depreciated higher than 19 equities in the previous week.

Champion Breweries Plc led the price gainers with 44.4 per cent trailed by Trans-nationwide Express Plc with 37.5 per cent. NCR(Nigeria) Plc garnered 32.2 per cent, just as Linkage Assurance Plc went up by 30.4 per cent. Northern Nigeria Flour Mills Plc chalked up 30.6 per cent, just as Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc and BOC Gases Plc appreciated by 26.9 per cent and 20.7 per cent respectively among others.