NSE gains N259bn as MPC retains interest rate, other parameters

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By Kayode Tokede

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday extended growth by N259 billion following interest in Airtel Africa, just as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5 per cent.

Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened at N21.494 trillion rose by N259 billion to close at N21.753 trillion.

The MPC, at the 277th edition of its meeting which ended on Tuesday, had unanimously voted to retain the MPR and other key parameters at their prevailing  rates.

The MPR is the interest rate at which the Central Bank of Nigeria lends to commercial banks.

Apart from retaining MPR at 11.5 per cent, the MPC retained the asymmetric corridor around the MPR at +100/-700bps, Cash Reserves Ratio at 27.5 per cent, while liquidity ratio was also retained at 30.0 per cent.

However, Sector performances were mixed today with the Consumer Goods (+0.54per cent) and Industrial (+0.25 per cent) sectors closing in the green, while the Oil & Gas (-5.31 per cent) and Banking (-0.14 per cent) sectors closed negatively.

The market gain at the nation’s bourse was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are Airtel Africa, Flour Mills, Lafarge Africa, MTN Nigeria Communications and Fidson Healthcare.

Market breadth was positive with 32 gainers, relative to 19 losers. R.T.Briscoe led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms with 10 per cent to close at 22k per share.

Champion Breweries followed with 9.81 per cent to close at N2.35, while Universal Insurance rose by 9.52 per cent to close at 23k per share.

African Alliance Insurance garnered 9.09 per cent to close at 24k, while Fidson Healthcare appreciated by 8.60 per cent to close at N5.05 per share.

Conversely, John Holt dominated the losers’ chart in percentage terms, losing 10 per cent to close at 45k per share.

Japaul Gold and Ventures trailed with 9.30 per cent to close at 78k, while Seplat lost 9.26 per cent to close at N490 per share.

Academy Press dipped 9.09 per cent to close at 40k, while Niger Insurance shed 7.41 per cent to close at 25k per share.

Transactions in the shares of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) topped the activity chart with 45.931 million shares valued at N50.597 million.

AXA Mansard Insurance followed with 34.73 million shares worth N48.64 million, while Japaul Gold and Ventures traded 29.44 million shares valued at N23.04 million.

Soverign Trust Insurance traded 26.44 million shares valued at N7.30 million, while Lasaco Assurance transacted 25.78 million shares worth N10.70 million.

In all, the total volume of trades increased by 40.43 per cent to 467.89 million units valued at N5.57 billion exchanged in 5,990 deals.

This was in contrast with 333.09 million shares worth N2.64 billion achieved in 5,640 deals on Monday.

According to analysts at InvestmentOne Research, “The equities market closed up today due to the gains recorded in the Industrial and Consumer Goods sectors.

“Going forward, we expect investor’s sentiments to be swayed by the search for real positive returns amidst a low interest-rate environment. Nonetheless, we reiterate that this may be a great period to pick up some quality names with a medium to long-term investment horizon.”