Nigerian equities continued to ride on the back of positive sentiments that trailed a N136.3 billion dividend announcement by Dangote Cement, extending the gaining momentum to the fifth consecutive trading session with a gain of N192 billion on Wednesday.
With 21 advancers to 15 decliners, aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose to N8.736 trillion as against its opening value of N8.544 trillion, representing a gain of N192 billion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based common-share index that tracks prices of all quoted equities appreciated from 24,838.31 points to close at 25,396.83 points, indicating a day-on-day gain of 2.25 per cent.
“The impressive full year 2015 earnings and dividend declaration of Dangote Cement Plc continue to excite investors leading to a strong appreciation in the share price,” FSDH Securities stated.
The dividend rally has seen investors seeking to lock in into stocks with prospects of high dividend yields. Analysts at Cowry Asset Management said there were cross-sectoral bargain-hunting for dividend stocks, referring to increased demand for quoted equities as turnover value rose by 49 per cent.
“Although we expect the rally to give way to some profit-taking in the immediate trading session, we believe sentiment over the short term will continue to have a bullish bias as full year results continue to trickle in,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s most capitalised quoted company, on Tuesday announced a total cash dividend of N136.3 billion, representing a dividend per share of N8 for the 2015 business year, 33.3 per cent above N6 paid for the 2014 business year. This triggered a rally on the cement company’s share and further widened the bullish sentiments at the stock market.
Dangote Cement again led the rally on Wednesday with a gain of N11.17 to close at N160. Zenith Bank followed with a gain of 55 kobo to close at N11.63. Nigerian Breweries rose by 48 kobo to close at N102. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated rallied 43 kobo to close at N18.01 while Lafarge Africa added 35 kobo to close at N82.
Average year-to-date return at the stock market improved to -11.33 per cent. Total turnover stood at 275.08 million shares worth N1.64 billion in 3,344 deals. United Bank for Africa (UBA) was the most active stock with a turnover of 40.41 million shares valued at N120.2 million. UBA had on Tuesday announced a smooth transition in its top management with the appointment of deputy group managing director, Kennedy Uzoka, as the replacement for outgoing chief executive, Phillips Oduoza.
On the negative side, Forte Oil continued its weight-shedding with a loss of N15.43 to close at N293.23. Total Nigeria followed with a loss of N7.25 to close at N137.75. Unilever Nigeria dropped by N1 to close at N27. International Breweries lost 97 kobo to close at N18.53 while Stanbic IBTC Holdings declined by 45 kobo to close at N14.15 per share.
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