The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange appreciated by N64bn at the close of trading on the Exchange’s floor on Thursday with Unity Bank Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and Total Nigeria Plc emerging as the top gainers.
The market recorded 18 gainers and 17 laggards at the close of trading.
The NSE market capitalisation appreciated to N9.370tn from N9.306tn recorded on Wednesday, while the All-Share Index also rose to 27,284.83 basis points from 27,098.18 basis points.
A total of 182.676 million worth N1.58bn exchanged hands in 3,631 deals.
The shares of Unity Bank Plc appreciated by N0.10 (9.09 per cent) to close at N1.20 from N1.10, while those of Nestle rose by N68 (8.98 per cent) to close at N825 from N757.
Total’s share price also gained N8.26 (4.99 per cent) to close at N173.63 from N165.37, while that of NEM Insurance Company Nigeria Plc closed at N0.92 from N0.88, gaining N0.04 (4.55 per cent).
Other gainers were DN Meyer Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Continental Reinsurance Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Access bank Plc, Berger Paints and Products Nigeria Plc, United Capital Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Custodian and Allied Plc, among others.
On the other hand, Redstar Express Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc and AG Leventis Nigeria Plc emerged as the top losers.
Redstar Express share price depreciated by N0.21 (4.99 per cent) to close at N4.00 from N4.21, while that of Cadbury fell to N18.51 from N19.48, losing N0.97 (4.98 per cent).
Honeywell shares also slid by N0.05 (2.94 per cent) to close at N1.65 from N1.70, while those of AG Leventis depreciated by N0.02 (2.17 per cent) to close at N0.90 from N0.92.
Other losers were Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, FCMB Group Plc, Oando Plc, Nascon Allied Industries Plc, among others.
NSE, on Wednesday, also organised the Nigerian Capital Market Sustainability Reporting Seminar. It was a joint initiative of the NSE, Global Reporting Initiative and Ernst and Young.
Speaking at the forum, the Chief executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said traditionally, stock exchanges have become the nexus for the interaction between investors, companies, policymakers and regulators, adding that Exchanges had played a crucial role in building transparent, regulated markets and promoting best practice in financial and corporate governance disclosure among listed companies.
He said, “Today, Exchanges are also well suited to help with the 21st century sustainable development challenge as they are uniquely placed to facilitate action as regards sustainable business, with a variety of measures at their disposal. These include listing requirements related to sustainability reporting, voluntary initiatives, guidance documents and training for both companies and investors, and sustainable investment products such as indexes that focus on Environment, Social and Governance issues.
“There is a recognised need for enhanced levels of corporate transparency on ESG issues, and as an Exchange we are well positioned to encourage and even require listed companies to produce better sustainability reports that are issued consistently and with comparable information.”
He said currently, a range of capital market stakeholders were increasingly recognising the need for more widespread and consistent ESG disclosure, and were looking to policymakers and regulators for potential solutions. With more than a decade of voluntary initiatives and thousands of large companies producing ESG reports, he noted that there is an increased focus on efforts to ensure that improved sustainability performance spreads down from leading companies to the majority who are yet to adopt ESG disclosure practices.
“At the NSE, we have a number of motivational factors for the promotion of sustainability reporting initiatives. Firstly, we understand that transparency builds trust which is a critical ingredient to a well-functioning market and economy. Secondly, It has been proven that strong ESG performance attracts the growing number of investors interested in the long-term sustainability of their investments,” he said.
Companies integrating ESG performance into their business strategy and operations, he explained, showed that the benefits ranged from improved resource efficiency, improved stakeholder relations and social licence to operate, enhanced access to markets and investor confidence, as well as product and service innovation – all leading to enhanced competitiveness.