Stock: MTN Share Price Leads N112bn Market Gain
The equities market opened the week with N112bn gain as 16 gainers emerged, led by MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, whose share price increased by 10 per cent on the back of the revocation of its $2bn tax case in Nigeria.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had dropped the $2bn claim for back taxes against MTN Group Limited, ending a 16-month battle between MTN and legal authorities in Nigeria.
The South African unit of the company had seen its share price rise by 5.3 per cent to 83.67 rand on Friday.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said major price appreciation in MTN Nigeria, United Bank for Africa Plc and UACN Plc drive the positive market performance at the start of the week.
The week started on a bullish note the All Share Index rose by 0.74 per cent to settle at 29,633.58 basis points while the market capitalisation increased to N15.29tn from N15.18tn on Friday.
The year-to-date return thus settled at 10.4 per cent.
A total of 248.24 million shares valued at N8.55bn exchanged hands in 5,377 deals, representing a 24 per cent and 77.5 per cent increase in volume and value traded respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Access Bank Plc (63.7 million units), UBA (40.6 million units) and Zenith Bank Plc (39.5 million units) while Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (N2.6bn), MTN Nigeria (N1.5bn) and Zenith Bank (N861.1m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors was mixed as three sectors recorded declines.
The AFR-ICT index gained the most, following price appreciation in MTN Nigeria.
The insurance and oil and gas indices also inched higher by 0.30 per cent and 0.07 per cent due to gains in AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, Lasaco Assurance Plc and Oando Plc.
Meanwhile, the industrial goods index lost 3.2 per cent as sell-offs in Lafarge Africa Plc dragged the index down.
The banking and consumer goods indices pared 0.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively following price depreciation in FBN Holdings Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc.
Investor sentiment strengthened as market breadth (advance/decline ratio) advanced to 0.7x from the 0.4x recorded on Friday as 16 stocks outperformed 21 laggards.
The top five gainers were MTN Nigeria, NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, UACN, Lasaco Assurance and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc.
The top five losers were Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Company Plc, Presco Plc and Unilever.
“We expect the bullish run to persist as investors continue to show renewed interest in the market,” analysts at Afrinvest said in a note.