Nigerian equities sustained their upswing yesterday as announcement of dividend of N136.3 billion by Dangote Cement Plc roused the Nigerian stock market to another positive closing.
The benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI)-a value-based index that tracks prices of all quoted equities, rose by 1.09 per cent to close at 24,838.31 points as against its opening index of 24,570.73 points.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose by N92 billion from N8.452 trillion to close at N8.544 trillion. Dangote Cement, which controls almost one-third of total market capitalization of quoted companies, recorded the highest gain of N7.08 to close at N148.83 per share.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities said although Dangote Cement’s results slightly underperformed analysts’ estimates, the board’s decision to increase dividend payout to N8 per share from N6 in 2014 drove investors optimism towards the stock, which boosted the overall market situation at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
“We expect that market activities will continue to be influenced by earnings releases in the short term. We anticipate further bullish sentiment in stocks with rich historical dividend as investors’ position ahead of more corporate actions,” Afrinvest Securities stated in post-trading review.
With 20 gainers to 15 losers, the positive sentiments at the stock market widened on Tuesday. The NSE Industrial Goods Index gained 1.2 per cent. The NSE Banking Index improved by 1.1 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index appreciated by 0.2 per cent.
Investors appeared to be increasingly focused on dividend-paying stocks. Seplat Petroleum Development Company, which had indicated that earnings may rise, recorded the second-highest gain of N3.30 to close at N352.30. Mobil Oil Nigeria followed with a gain of N2.98 to close at N159.95. PZ Cussons Nigeria rose by N1.09 to close at N22.99 while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated added 83 kobo to close at N17.58 per share.
Total turnover stood at 159.73 million shares valued at N1.10 billion in 3,085 deals.
On the other hand, Forte Oil led the losers with a loss of N33.34 to close at N308.66. Lafarge Africa dropped by N2.87 to close at N81.65. Unilever Nigeria lost N1 to close at N28 while Conoil declined by 87 kobo to close at N16.56 per share.
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