Investors gain N104.22bn as Airtel, MTN Nigeria, 15 others push equities market high


By Kayode Tokede

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) equities market on Thursday closed on a positive note with a gain of 0.83 per cent to extend the previous day positive sentiment to two consecutive trading days, following value appreciation on Airtel Africa, MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN) and 15 other stocks.

In summary, the All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 199.80 basis points, representing a growth of 0.83 per cent to close at 24,330.06 basis points from 24,130.26 basis points it opened for trading.

Also, investors gained N104.22 billion as market capitalisation advanced to N12.692 trillion.

Sector performances were skewed towards the negative as Consumer Goods (-0.53 per cent) and Oil & Gas (-0.27per cent) printed negative. While Banking (+1.01 per cent) closed in the green, the Industrial sector closed flat.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Airtel Africa, Presco, MTNN, Guaranty Trust Bank and Cadbury Nigeria.

Analysts at InvestmentOne research said, “The equities market closed up today on the back of the gains recorded in the Banking sector and Telco names.

“While we believe the recent risk-off sentiment could continue to weigh in on equities market, we opine that this may be one of the best periods to start picking some of the quality names with a medium to long term investment horizon.”

Also, analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected the local bourse to close the week negative following possible profit-taking activities.

Consequently, the market breadth closed on a positive note, recorded 17 gainers as against 16 losers. Ikeja Hotel recorded the highest price gain of 9.80 per cent to close at N1.12, per share. Presco followed with a gain 9.28 per cent to close at N4,.45, while Cadbury Nigeria rose by 7.41 per cent to close N7.25, per share.

Courteville Business Solutions went up by five per cent to close at 21 kobo, while Honeywell Flour Mill appreciated by 4.35 per cent to close at 96 kobo, per share. On the other hand, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) led the losers’ chart by 9.17 per cent, to close at N1.98, per share. Unity Bank followed with a decline of 8.16 per cent to close at 45 kobo, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) declined by 7.45 per cent to close at N4.35, per share.

Fidson Healthcare lost 7.02 per cent to close at N2.65, while Associated Bus Company shed six per cent to close at 47 kobo, per share.

The total volume of trade decreased by 0.4 per cent to 207.42 million units valued at N1.70 billion, and traded in 3,323 deals. Transactions in the shares of Sterling Bank topped the activity chart with 60.0.84 million shares