Stock market lost N207bn in February

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 Stanley Opara

The equities market depreciated by N207bn in the month of February this year, as the Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation closed downwards at N8.765tn.The NSE capitalisation as of January 31, 2016 was N8.972tn.

The All-Share Index of the Exchange also dropped to 25,329.08 basis points in February from 26,036.24 basis points recorded in the close of trading in January.

As of the close of trading on Tuesday, 444.504 million shares valued at N3.648bn were traded in 3,336 deals.

The NSE All Share Index closed negative on Tueday, declining by 0.17 per cent when compared with Monday’s performance.  This pegs the year-to-date return at -5.75 per cent.

The volume and value of transactions both advanced by 74.49 per cent and 43.70 per cent, respectively. The equities market recorded 15 gainers, while 12 stocks declined in value.

UACN Plc outperformed all counters, advancing by five per cent to close at N13.65. The ticker was followed by Okomu Oil Palm Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Air Services and Logistics Plc and Total Nigeria Plc, which appreciated by 4.98 per cent, 4.88 per cent, 4.73 per cent and 3.66 per cent, accordingly.

On the other hand, Forte Oil Plc recorded the highest decline of five per cent to close at N47.69. Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc and FCMB Group Plc also recorded declines, recording share price declines of 4.76 per cent, 4.17 per cent, 3.90 per cent and 3.15 per cent, respectively.

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Sector performance as measured by the NSE sector indices showed all sectors (save for the NSE food/beverage index which dropped by 1.37 per cent) closed in the positive territory. The NSE oil/gas, banking and insurance indices advanced by 0.21 per cent, 0.22 per cent and 0.27 per cent, respectively. The NSE industrial index traded flat.

Dangote Cement Plc recently released its 2016 financial year result which showed that the group grew revenue by 25.09 per cent, while profit before tax declined by 3.91 per cent.

On the back of the tax savings of N5.70bn, its profit after tax advanced by 2.92 per cent. The company proposed a final dividend of N8.50 per share, which implies a dividend yield of 5.03 per cent based on Tuesday’s closing price of N168.99.

“We do not expect the current market mood to persist for much longer as we envisage slightly improved sentiments upon the release of some 2016 financial scorecards,” analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said in a post.

At the close of the trading session, the open buy-back rate remained pegged at 12.67 per cent while the overnight rates declined by 0.58 per cent to settle the average money market rate at 13.25 per cent.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria is scheduled to hold a Treasury bills primary auction on March 1, 2017. Treasury bills worth N310.23bn will mature, while an equal amount will be issued. The CBN is expected to auction N26.14bn, N62.00bn and N222.08bn in the 91-day, 182-day, and 364-day instruments respectively.

Bullish activities were recorded in the Treasury bills space as yields pared across all tenors to settle the average yield at 15.83 per cent. The one-month and three-month instruments recorded significant declines of 1.09 per cent and 1.39 per cent, respectively, while the six-month declined slightly by 0.28 per cent.

There were mixed sentiments in the Treasury bonds space as there was only a very marginal 0.07 per cent decline in the average bond yield, which settled at 16.61 per cent.

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