The sustained bullish trend that has characterized the Nigerian Stock market since the beginning of the year continued as the All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 0.31 per cent to close on Thursday at 40,490.85, while market capitalisation added N65.7 billion to close at N21.2 trillion.
At the stock market, investors staked N7.51 billion on 2.13 billion shares in 4,558 deals as the bulls continued to dominate trading. The value of trading soared by 755 per cent compared to 249.545 million shares exchanged for N2.184 billion in 6,090 deals on Wednesday with Champion Breweries Plc the most traded stock by volume and value at 1.91 billion shares and N4.95 billion respectively.
The gain was bolstered by buying interest in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. In all, 27 stocks appreciated, while 14 depreciated.
On the gainers chart, FTN Cocoa Processors Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc and Seplat led the price gainers with 10 per cent apiece, while Japaul Gold & Ventures Plc trailed with 9.8 per cent, just as Champion Breweries Plc and NEM Insurance Plc gained 9.4 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively.
Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc appreciated by 4.3 per cent as investors continued to respond to a dividend declared for the year ended September 30, 2020. The company recommended a dividend of six kobo per share after posting a profit after tax of N212.476 million for 2020.
The pharmaceutical firm recorded a turnover of N2.839 billion for the year ended September 30, 2020, up from N2.371 billion the previous year. Gross profit rose from N1.295 billion to N1.509 billion. Marketing and distribution expenses rose from N377 million to N505 million, while administrative expenses rose from N375 million to N452 million. As a result, the company ended with profit after tax of N212.476 million as against N220 million in 2019.
Meanwhile, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc led the price losers with 9.0 per cent, trailed by Courtville Business Solutions Plc with 8.7 per cent. LASACO Assurance Plc shed 7.8 per cent, while Unilever Nigeria Plc shed 6.4 per cent. Sterling Bank Plc and NAHCO Plc depreciated by 4.3 per cent and 4.2 per cent in that order.
Chams Plc and Regency Insurance Plc lost 4.1 per cent apiece, just as Guinness Nigeria Plc and AXA Mansard Insurance Plc shed 4.0 per cent and 3.2 per cent in that order.
In terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Oil & Gas Index led gainers with 5.7 per cent, while the NSE Consumer Goods Index and NSE Banking Index went up by 0.8 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.
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