Dangote Cement, Airtel, 12 Others Contributed N47.34tn to NGX Market Cap in January

Kayode Tokede

As the Nigerian stock market continue to sustain its positive rally in 2024, it has emerged that only 14 companies out of over 150 listed firms on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) contributed about 85.52 per cent or N47.34 trillion to the market capitalisation in January. 

Most of these stocks appreciated significantly in January to push the overall market capitalisation to N55.358 trillion as of January 31, 2024.

The 14 companies are: Dangote Cement Plc, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Seplat Energy Plc BUA Foods Plc, Airtel Africa Plc, Geregu Power Plc, BUA Cement Plc, and Transcorp Hotels Plc

Others include: Nestle Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Access Holdings Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Zenith Bank Plc.

THISDAY had reported that the market capitalisation appreciated by N14.44 trillion in January on the backdrop of investors’ sentiment, despite rising insecurity, inflation, among other macro economic challenges, and global uncertainty.

In January 2024, the stock market witnessed an unprecedented rally and buying interest, especially in the industrial goods sub-sector, which has continued to trigger massive bargain hunting in large company shares, most especially Dangote Cement.

This has pushed the key performance indices and stimulated activities in the market, a development that has led to the rating of the stock market as the best performing in the world.

The stock market has recorded an upward trajectory since the entry of the new administration led by President Bola Tinubu, and it is due to the proactive implementation of reforms such as the removal of fuel subsidy and the liberalization of the foreign exchange market.

Foreign investors and High Network Investors have continued to take positions in these 15 stocks amid Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) foreign exchange policies as their prices in the past was undervalued on the bourse.

Amid significant increase in overall market capitalisation, Dangote Cement, among others have seen stock price hitting 52-week high and surpassed Airtel Africa and MTN Nigeria.

Dangote Cement’s stock price in January appreciated by N443.10 per share or 138.51 per cent to close January 31, 2024 at N763 per share from N319.90 per share it opened for trading this year.

The cement maker’s market capitalisation gained N7.55trillion in one month to close at N13trillion as of January 31, 2024.

It implies that Dangote Cement’s market capitalisation higher than all listed banks on the NGX.

The positive momentum of Dangote Cements’ stock price commenced when it was announced to the capital market community that Nigeria’s billionaire investor, Mr. Femi Otedola has acquired some stake in the cement company.

Otedola in a statement said the recent acquisition of shares in Dangote Cement a strategic investment underscores his confidence in Dangote Cement’s potential to generate foreign exchange for the country and his dedication to supporting businesses that contribute to Nigeria’s economic resilience.

Otedola’s investment aligns with his vision of long-term wealth preservation and the belief that shareholders should be the primary beneficiaries of a company’s success.

According to the billionaire investor, “Dangote Cement’s unique position with two export terminals offers a substantial opportunity to earn foreign exchange, crucial for Nigeria’s economy. This, along with the company’s pan-African presence, makes it an ideal investment choice.”

Following Dangote Cement was Airtel Africa with N7.5trillion in market capitalisation as the telecommunication saw its stock price gaining 5.99 per cent to N2,000 per share from N1,887.00 per share it closed for trading in 2023.

Further findings by THISDAY revealed that BUA Cement outshines MTN Nigeria Communication in market capitalisation, following a 90.72 per cent growth in its stock price to N185.00 per share.

BUA Cement closed January with N6.26 trillion in market capitalisation, while MTN Nigeria’s market capitalisation stood at N5.899 trillion.

Others with market capitalisation above N1trillion include, BUA Foods, N4.89 trillion; Seplat Energy, N1.81 trillion; Geregu Power, N1.42 trillion, GTCO, N1.09 trillion and Zenith Bank, N1.1 trillion.

The Professor of Capital Market, Nasarawa State University Keffi, Prof. Uche Uwaleke had expressed that the Nigerian capital market is over-concentrated with the attendant ‘keyman’ risks, part of what is major barriers to the market development.

“This is demonstrated by the fact that only seven out of 155 listed companies account for over 60per cent of equities market capitalization,” he said.

He noted that the over 150 issuers base is relatively small.

“Many eligible companies including multinational companies particularly in the telecom and oil and gas sectors remain unlisted.

“Out of the over 4 million companies registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission as at 2020, only 155 companies on NGX, and less than 50 on NASD and nine on the NGX Growth Board,” he said.

He, however, recommended that privatized government enterprises are to be listed on the NGX for the capital market to develop and support the nation’s development.

While investor sentiment suggests that the Nigerian stock market’s recent peak is not a mere flash in the pan, capital market analysts stress the importance of on going stability, security, and continued economic reforms. The historic high of the Nigerian stock market has created ripples in the global financial arena, with investors keenly observing the performance of these 14 companies.

The Executive Vice Chairman, of Highcap Securities Limited, Mr. David Adonri expressed that Dangote Cement, Airtel Africa and MTN Nigeria are the largest companies by market capitalisation on the NGX and that if these companies record one per cent gain, it will affect the direction of the stock market.

He stated that investors were in the earning season and that what investors would get from dividends is one of the factors that drove the demand for shares in the market during the third quarter. 

He noted that the stock market is defying current political uncertainties because investors are futuristic that the prospect for a yield environment is bright. 

According to him, “Optimists also see strength in the market from the perspective of corporate fundamentals which remain strong despite macroeconomic frailties and assault from misfired public policies.”

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