Equities Attract N20bn Investment Despite Bearish Trend

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Goddy Egene
The equities market attracted a total of N19.272 billion invested in 2.342 billion in 20,173 deals last week amidst the continuing bearish trend that led to a negative close for the seventh consecutive week.

The value of investment was lower than the N23.541 billion staked on 1.675 billion shares in 21,732 deals the previous week.

The persistent weak sentiments made the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) to depreciate by 0.69 per cent to close at 38,382.39, while market capitalisation close lower at N20.082 trillion.

Consequently, the year-to-date decline printed at 4.7 per cent.
Analysts said they expect the bearish trend to continue this week as investors await the outcome of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which begins today.
“We expect investors’ attention to be focused on the outcome of the MPC meeting as they seek clarity on the direction of yields in the fixed income market.

“We expect the choppy trading pattern that played out last week to persist in this week, as investors continue to cherry-pick dividend-paying stocks and at the same time remain cautious about leaving gains in the market. “Notwithstanding, we advise investors to take positions in only fundamentally justified stocks as the unimpressive macro story remains a significant headwind for corporate earnings,” analysts at Cordros Securities said.

Meanwhile, a breakdown of the performance showed that investors’ preference remained high on banking stocks as the Financial Services Industry led the activity chart with 1.888 billion shares valued at N12.446billion traded in 12,019deals.

The sector, thus contributed 80.6 per cent and 64.58 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Natural Resources Industry followed with 201.260 million shares worth N41.295 million in 27deals. The third place was Conglomerates Goods Industry, with a turnover of 62.053 million shares worth N65.672 million in 612 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely: Unity Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust BankPlc and Multiverse Mining and Exploration Plc accounted for 1.471billion shares worth N7.114billion in 2,317 deals.
A total of 33 equities appreciated lower 35 equities in the previous week, while 25 equities depreciated in price, lower than 38 equities in the previous week.

Eterna Plc led the price gainers with 20.7 per cent, trailed by Northern Nigerian Flour Mills Plc with 9.7 per cent. Unity Bank Plc appreciated by 9.0 per cent, just as Smart Products Nigeria Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc chalked up 8.3 per cent and 7.6 per cent in that order. Berger Paints Nigeria Plc garnered 7.4 per cent. NASCON Allied Industries Plc, United Capital Plc and Vitafoam Nigeria Plc gained 6.4 per cent, 6.2 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.

Conversely, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc led the price losers with 14.8 per cent, followed by Africa Prudential Plc with a decline of 10.1 per cent. NCR Nigeria Plc shed 9.7 per cent, while Linkage Assurance Plc and LASACO Assurance Plc went down by 9.0 per cent and 6.9 per cent in that order.

Other top price gainers included: Associated Bus Company Plc (6.6 per cent); BUA Cement Plc (6.4 per cent); Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc (5.8 per cent); Nigerian Breweries Plc (5.3 per cent) and Dangote Sugar refinery Plc (5.2 per cent).