Forte Oil, Okomu, NEM lead N66bn equities’ gain

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Stanley Opara

The Nigerian equities market, on Monday, appreciated by N66bn as Forte Oil Plc, Okomu Oil Palm Plc and NEM Insurance Nigeria Plc emerged as the top three gainers.

A total of 336,335 million shares valued at N30.023bn were traded in 3,778 deals.

Forte Oil shares rose to N47.97 from N44.10, gaining N3.87 (8.78 per cent); Okomu Oil shares closed at N67.99 from N65, soaring by N2.99 (4.6 per cent); while NEM shares appreciated by N0.06 (4.44 per cent) to close at N1.41 from N1.35.

The Nigerian equities market opened the week on a positive note as the All-Share Index rose by 0.5 per cent to settle at 37,312.28 points, implying a year-to-date return of 38.8 per cent. Accordingly, investors gained N66bn as the market capitalisation of listed stocks settled at N12.9tn.

In the same vein, activity level improved at the start of the week as volume and value traded surged 91.9 per cent and 1034.6 per cent to 336.3 million units and N30bn respectively. The surge in activity is attributable to a cross deal of 128.5 million shares of Dangote Cement Plc at N210/share in a deal valued at N27bn.

Sector performance was mixed as three of the five indices closed the day’s trading session in the red.

The industrial goods index was the biggest gainer, up by 2.1 per cent due to buying interest in Dangote Cement. Similarly, the oil/gas index followed, appreciating 0.9 per cent on the back of gains in Forte Oil.

On the contrary, the banking index shed the most, down by 1.6 per cent as investors’ booked profit in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, United Bank of Africa Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, which declined respectively by three per cent, 1.6 per cent and 0.6 per cent.

In the same vein, the consumer goods and insurance indices closed lower, down by 1.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively due to losses in Nigeria Breweries Plc and Custodian and Allied Plc, which declined respectively by 3.4 per cent and 4.6 per cent.  Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth retreated as C & I Leasing Plc, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc and Vitafoam Nigeria Plc led the losers’ table, declining by 4.8 per cent, 4.8 per cent and 4.7 per cent, respectively.

Commenting on the performance, analysts at Afrinvest Securities Plc said, “While we attribute Monday’s positive performance to price appreciation in market bellwether – Dangote Cement, we re-iterate our medium term positive outlook on the stock market given the recent rally in global oil prices.”

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