The Nigerian equities market reopened on Tuesday with voluminous transactions on low-priced financial services stocks as year-end portfolio rebalancing trades saw a shift from high-cap stocks to mid and low-cap stocks.
As investors anticipate year-end earnings and dividend yields, low-priced banking and insurance stocks dominated the trading activities. There also appeared to be acknowledgement of the future of the oil majors in ongoing liberalization of the Nigerian downstream oil sector as high-cap petroleum companies led the gainers’ list.
Sterling Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 528.685 million shares valued at N914.63 million in 17 deals. The turnover on Sterling Bank represented 1.8 per cent of the bank’s total outstanding shares. Wema Bank followed on the activity chart with a turnover of 111.75 million shares worth N96.49 million in 32 deals. Equity Assurance placed third with a turnover of 100.2 million shares worth N50.1 million in two deals. AIICO Insurance recorded a turnover of 83.65 million shares valued at N76.12 million in four deals while Fidelity Bank recorded a turnover of 63.86 million shares worth N94.15 million in 39 deals.
Altogether, financial services stock recorded a turnover of 1.15 billion shares worth N2.26 billion in 1,103 deals. These represented 88.5 per cent and 63.5 per cent of aggregate turnover volume and value respectively. Total turnover stood at 1.30 billion shares worth N3.56 billion in 2,460 deals.
With 29 losers to 23 gainers, the overall market position was further suppressed by the shift from high-cap stocks-which largely determine market trend. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped by N37 billion from its opening value of N9.239 trillion to close at N9.202 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the value-based index that tracks prices of all quoted equities, also slipped from 26,871.24 points to close at 26,763.24 points, representing a decline of 0.40 per cent.
The decline yesterday pushed the average year-to-date return to – 22.78 per cent.
Nestle Nigeria, the highest-priced stock, led the losers with a loss of N9.02 to close at N790.98. Lafarge Africa followed with a drop of N4.30 to close at N92.50. Unilever Nigeria dropped by N2.25 to close at N43.25. Guinness Nigeria declined by N2.10 to close at N120.40. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria lost N1.75 to close at N33.25. Conoil dropped by N1.30 to close at N24.74. PZ Cussons Nigeria dropped by N1.20 to close at N25.70. Nigerian Breweries slipped by 72 kobo to close at N115. Guaranty Trust Bank declined by 65 kobo to close at N18.21 while Dangote Cement dropped by 40 kobo to close at N151.90 per share.
On the positive side, Forte Oil led the contrarian stocks with a gain of N28.35 to close at N315. Mobil Oil Nigeria followed with a gain of N7 to close at N150. Total Nigeria rose by N2.01 to close at N147. Julius Berger Nigeria gathered N1.32 to close at N43. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria chalked up 84 kobo to close at N9.15 while Zenith Bank added 35 kobo to close at N14.20 per share.
“We believe that the bearish sentiment witnessed so far in the year may likely be sustained in the remaining two trading days. However, we do not rule out the likelihood a last minute jump on the 31st of December as traders close their books for the year,” Afrinvest Securities, a Lagos-based broker-dealer on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) stated.
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