24 stocks appreciate, Wema Bank grows earnings by 25.17%

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Stanley Opara

The Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation rose to N11.550tn from N11.523tn at the close of trading on Wednesday after 24 stocks gained and lost apiece.

The bourse’s All-Share Index advanced by 0.23 per cent at the close of the trading, bringing the year-to-date return to 24.71 per cent.

A total of 331.430 million shares valued at N3.244bn exchanged hands in 4,055 deals.

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc emerged as the outperformer, after advancing by 8.76 per cent to close at N1.49. The shares of Skye Bank Plc, Oando Plc, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc also appreciated by five per cent, five per cent, 4.99 per cent and 4.92 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Wema Bank Plc’s gross earnings grew by 25.17 per cent for the 2017 half-year, driven by a 25.84 per cent and 21.92 per cent appreciation in interest and non-interest income. Its year-on-year profit before tax also grew by 10 per cent.

Commenting on the result, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Segun Oloketuyi, said, “In the first half of the year, the bank operated in an uncertain and challenging domestic economic environment.

“While we recorded notable improvements in the second quarter of the year, especially around foreign currency management, the execution of fiscal policies and the continued tight monetary policy impacted on consumers’ disposable income and invariably on banking sector performance.”

On the bank’s growth plan and capital raising, its Chief Finance Officer, Tunde Mabawonku, said, “We are also closely watching interest rates in the money market and relevant government policies to determine the timing of the second tranche of our debt-capital issue, to further boost our ability to grow our franchise.”

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