By Goddy Egene
Investors staked N2.677 billion on 177.396 million shares in 4.103 deals yesterday.
This represented a decline compared with the N4.206 billion invested in 220.857 million shares in 4,192 deals.
Also, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) depreciated marginally by 0.04 per cent to close at 38,706.13, just as market capitalisation shed N7.7 billion to N20.3 trillion.
The most traded stocks by volume were Guaranty Trust Bank Plc(34.2 million shares), Zenith Bank Plc (28.5 million shares) and United Bank for Africa Plc (17.7 million shares) while GTBank (N957.8 million), Zenith Bank Plc (N572.1 million) and Seplat (N265.6 million) led by value.
Profit taking in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc Guaranty Trust Bank Plc led to the marginal depreciation. However, NCR Nigeria Plc led the price gainers’ chart with 9.7 per cent, trailed by Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc with 9.0 per cent.
Vitafoam Nigeria Plc went down by 5.1 per cent, while AXA Mansard Insurance Plc went down by 5.0 per cent. NEM Insurance Plc and NAHCO Plc dipped by 4.5 apiece.
On the positive side, Coronation Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 9.9 per cent, followed by Oando Plc with 9.6 per cent. Unity Bank Plc and Livestock Feeds Plc shed 9.0 per cent and 2.6 per cent.
Zenith Bank Plc, which paid a final dividend of N2.70 per share on Tuesday was also among the price gainers. Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc had on Tuesday approved the N94.19 billion dividend paid the year ended December 31, 2020 and commended the board and management of the bank for the improved financial results and dividend payment , which translated to N3.00 per share.
The shareholders were highly exited that despite a challenging macroeconomic environment exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic, Zenith Bank Plc posted profit before tax (PBT) of N255.9 billion in 2020 and profit after tax of N231 billion.
Some analysts had said Zenith Bank’s performance was above their expectperformance. According to them, they had had expected that the combination of a slowdown in business activities due to the pandemic and continual sterilisation of funds by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would result in weak income generation.
“However, the bank was resilient during the period, with this positive performance ultimately propelled by the strong balance sheet management and much-reduced tax expense,” they said.
Meanwhile, in terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Banking Index declined by 1.0 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.