The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rose to a two-month high Wednesday, as investors’ expectation for impressive third quarter (Q3) results of companies in 2013 continued to define the direction of the equities market.
High demand pushed the ASI by 0.96 per cent to close at 37,259.65 while market capitalisation added N113 billion to close at N11.868 trillion. Year-to-date, the market has recorded a growth of 32.7 per cent. The ASI last hit this level in August when it traded around 38,000 points before hovering above 35,000 and 36,000 points.
However, the market gauge rose to a two-month high on renewed demand by investors. The Q3 financial results of many companies are due for release and bargain hunters have been taking position ahead of the release of the numbers.
Specifically, all eyes are on the banking sector as investors await the impact of the new rule by the Central Bank of Nigeria on Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) on public sector funds in banks, on their performance. The CRR was increased to 50 per cent in July and became effective in August. Although some analysts said it may be early days yet for the real impact of the policy to be seen in the performance of the banks, some investors are eager to see results from the banking sector for Q3.
Consequently, the banking sector was upbeat with eight stocks appreciating in value. Wema Bank and Zenith Bank appreciated by 9.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively; being the highest gains in the sector.
Although the volume of trading remained relatively low, the value of transactions declined 19.74 per cent. Investors traded 288 million shares worth N2.383 billion in 4482 deals, compared with 283.71 million shares valued at N2.96 billion exchanged in 4,277 deals the previous day.
The volume of transactions were dominated by financial services counters, while the banking, industrial and consumer goods stocks featured on the top 10 trades by value accounting for 73.41 per cent of turnover for the day.