Investors’ Renewed Appetite for Banking Stocks Lift NSE’s Index by 0.7%

Following investors’ renewed interest in some blue-chip stocks, especially in the banking sub-sector; the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) reversed previous day’s loss, with key indices gaining 0.7 per cent.

Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the All-share index (ASI) gained 208.49 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.68 per cent to close at 31,007.25 points. Similarly, market capitalisation rose by N76 billion to close at N11.320 trillion.

The improved performance was occasioned by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Zenith Bank and FBN Holdings.

Analysts at APT Securities and Funds Limited said: “we expect the renewed interest in key sectors and a number of large caps to drive gains in the next trading session.”

The Chief Research Officer of Investdata Consulting, Ambrose Omordion said; “We expect sustained bargain hunting and portfolio repositioning for year-end to shape performance of the market ahead of Santa Claus rally, as number of companies hitting new 52-week low are on the increased to reflect undervalue state of the market.

“The ongoing volatility will persist as Q3 numbers assist investors and fund managers re-balance their portfolios, while watching the political space and ahead of the expected Q3 GDP and full year company earnings position. These are likely to drive prices north, or south, while determining market direction before or after Presidential Election.

“Investors should review their positions in line with their investment goals, strength of the company numbers and act as events unfold in the global and domestic environment.”

Market breadth was positive, with 24 gainers versus 14 losers. AXA Mansard Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 9.89 per cent, to close at N2 per share. Diamond Bank followed with a gain of 9.86 per cent to close at 78 kobo, while UPL gained by 7.50 per cent to close at N2.15 per share.

UBA went up by 6.67 per cent to close at N8, while Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services appreciated by 4.17 per cent to close at 25 kobo per share.

On the other hand, Linkage Assurance led the losers’ chart by 9.68 per cent, to close at 56 kobo, while Veritas Kapital Assurance followed with a loss of 9.09 per cent to close at 20 kobo, per share.

May and Baker Nigeria and Mutual Benefit Assurance depreciated by eight per cent, each to close at N2.30 and 23 kobo, respectively, while Regency Alliance Insurance declined by 4.76 per cent to close at 20 kobo, per share.

Total volume traded depreciated by 20.50 per cent to 198.54 million shares, worth N2.12 billion, and traded in 2,802 deals. Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 63.92 million shares worth N479.3 million.

Access Bank followed with account of 23.15 million shares valued at N172.94 million, while Ecobank Transnational Company (ETI) traded 16.47 million shares cost N263.56 million.

FCMB Groups traded 11.85 million shares valued at N18.45 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank sold 11.6 million shares worth N407.28 million.

By Helen Oji

The Guardian Newspaper December 5th, 2018

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