By Kayode Tokede
Performance on the equities market of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Wednesday closed positive, largely driven by gains in Airtel Africa and 19 others.
Consequently, the NGX All Share Index (ASI) increased by 271.84 basis points, representing a growth of 0.69 per cent to close at 39,448.46 basis points. Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N141 billion to close at N20.553 trillion.
In addition, the equities market performance Month-to-Date increased to +2.3per cent, while the Year-to-Date loss moderated to –two per cent.
The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Airtel Africa, Northern Nigeria Flour Mills (NNFM), Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals and Livestock Feeds.
Across our sectoral coverage, the Industrial Goods (-1.8 per cent), Insurance (-0.7per cent) and Banking (-0.1 per cent) indices declined, the Oil and gas (+1.0 per cent) index gained, while the Consumer Goods index closed flat.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said “We expect the bullish performance to be sustained in the next trading session, as investors continue to trade on company specific fundamentals.”
As measured by market breadth, market sentiment was positive, as 20 stocks gained, relative to 15 losers.
Pharma Deko recorded the highest price gain of 9.17 per cent, to close at N1.19, per share. Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals followed with a gain 8.61 per cent to close at N1.64, while Ikeja Hotel appreciated by 7.69 per cent to close at N1.40, per share.
Livestock Feeds went up by 6.84 per cent to close at N2.03, while Linkage Assurance appreciated by 6.78 per cent to close at 63 kobo, per share. On the other hand, FTN Cocoa Processors led the losers’ chart by 8.89 per cent to close at 41 kobo, per share.
Wema Bank followed with a decline of 7.32 per cent to close at 76 kobo, while May and Baker Nigeria lost 6.38 per cent to close at N4.40, per share.
Mutual Benefits Assurance shed 5.56 per cent to close at 34 kobo, while Veritas Kapital Assurance depreciated by 4.17 per cent to close at 23 kobo, respectively.
The total volume of trades declined by 61.8 per cent to 181.42 million units, valued at N2.08 billion, and exchanged in 3,599 deals. Transactions in the shares of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) topped the activity chart with 20.488 million shares valued at N19.342 million. ETI followed with 17.542 million shares worth N97.995 million, while FCMB Group traded 15.311 million shares valued at N48.209 million.
Sterling Bank traded 14.137 million shares valued at N22.239 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) transacted 10.939 million shares worth N83.386 million.
According to analysts at Investment One research, “The equities market closed up today due to the gains recorded in the Banking and Consumer Goods sectors.
“Going forward, we expect investor’s sentiments to be swayed by the search for real positive returns and developments in the interest rate space.
“We reiterate that this may be a great period to pick up some quality names with a medium to long-term investment horizon.”