As Bellwether Stocks Depress Market, NSE Index Falls Further
The equities market depreciated further yesterday as decline by bellwether stocks dragged the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index to shed 1.53 per cent to close at 42,185.38.
Despite the release of improved 2017 results by three banks and some companies, investors’ sentiments remained negative. The depreciation recorded in the share prices of Transcorp, Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank, UBA, and Access Bank were mainly responsible for the decline recorded. However, 39 stocks depreciated yesterday, while only 15 stocks appreciated.
Commenting on the performance, analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank said: “The sustained sell pressure particularly in banking sector stocks resulted in a number of stocks on offer at the lower limit. Market outlook remains positive with the possibility of a rebound as investors take advantage of low valuations.”
Also commenting, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: “The market mood has been predominantly bearish this week, save for the positive close on Tuesday, which was driven by the gain on Dangote Cement Plc. There were notable selloffs on banking stocks as the release of positive results by some of the Tier-1 banks has failed to sway investor sentiment towards the sector. We envisage some bargain hunting on some of these counters, given their relatively low prices.”
Fidelity Bank Plc led the 39 decliners with 9.2 per cent, trailed by Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc with 8.7 per cent. Unilever Nigeria Plc shed 8.4 per cent, while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc went down by7.5 per cent.
Regency Alliance Insurance Plc depreciated by 6.6 per cent just as Conoil Plc and Diamond Bank Plc depreciated by 6 per cent, 4.9 per cent apiece.
Gauranty Trust Bank Plc which reported improved results the previous day was among the price losers, shedding 3.4 per cent. GTBank had announced a profit before tax of N200.2 billion, representing a growth of 21.3 per cent over N165.1billion recorded in 2016, while profit after tax grew faster by 29 per cent from N132.281 billion to N170.469 billion in 2017.
The bank has proposed a final dividend of 240 kobo per share. This will bring the total dividend per share to 270 kobo have paid an interim dividend of 30 kobo last year.
However, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, which also reported improved results for 2017, appreciated yesterday, gaining 1.3 per cent to close at N49.80 per share.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc recorded a jump of 70 per cent in PAT to N48.381 billion in , 2017, from N28.52billion in 2016.