Market cap gains N107bn amid gains by blue chips


By Joshua Elekwachi, Abuja

The bulls continued to dominate trading on the nation’s bourse with the market capitalisation appreciating further by N107 billion on Thursday, amid gains by blue chips.

Specifically, the market capitalisation inched higher by N107 billion or 0.79 per cent to close at N13.581 trillion from N13.474 trillion achieved on Wednesday.

Also, the All-Share Index grew by 204.12 basis points or 0.79 per cent to close at 25,987.14 against 25,783.02 recorded on Wednesday.

Sector performances were broadly positive today as the Consumer Goods (+2.09 per cent), Banking (+1.59 per cent) and Industrial (+0.86 per cent) sectors all closed in the green, while the Oil & Gas sector (-0.18 per cent) closed negatively.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, among which are; Nigerian Breweries, Mobil, Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa and Guaranty Trust Bank.

Market sentiment closed positive with 25 stocks in contrast with seven losers.

Nigerian Breweries led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent to close at N47.85 per share.

Union Diagnostics with eight per cent to close at 27k, while Royal Exchange rose by 7.41 per cent to close at 29k per share.

Lafarge Africa garnered 6.82 per cent to close at N14.10, while C & I Leasing appreciated by 6.33 per cent to close at N4.20 per share.

On the other hand, Ardova dominated the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 9.65 per cent to close at N10.30 per share.

DAAR Communications followed with 9.09 per cent to close at 30k, while Red Star Express lost 7.69 per cent to close at N3 per share.

Wapic Insurance shed 7.69 per cent to close at 36k, while Unilever Nigeria depreciated by 5.56 per cent to close at N13.60 per share.

However, the volume of shares traded decreased by 13.24 per cent as investors bought and sold 359.31 million shares worth N3.87 billion in 3,576 deals.

This was against a total of 414.16 million shares valued at N6.28 billion exchanged in 3,793 deals on Wednesday.

Sterling Bank topped the activity chart with an exchange of 71.89 million shares valued at N83.41 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank sold 51.73 million shares worth N1.35 billion, while Zenith Bank traded 44.54 million shares valued at N759.12 million.

Fidelity Bank accounted for 37.05 million shares worth N67.02 million, while Flour Mills transacted 29.42 million shares valued at N588.34 million.

Analysts at United Capital Plc said that the market was reacting to the monetary policy action.

“As expected, interest for equities improved and reactions at the bond market also mirrored expectations. We expect to see continuous flow of funds into the equities markets, especially from local investors.

“The banking names remain our preferred pick given the impressive H1, 2020 results as well as the increasingly cheap cost of deposits, which should keep profit margin buoyant,” they said.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said “We expect the market to close the week in the green as investors continue to buy low-priced stocks.”

“The equities market closed up today on the back of the gains recorded in most sectors. Going forward, we expect investor’s sentiments to be tepid in the absence major news flows that may sway the direction of the market. Nonetheless, we reiterate that this may be a great period to pick up some quality names with a medium to long term investment horizon,” analysts at InvestmentOne research explained.