Saturday, February 24Inside Business Africa

Bears push further into February, as capitalisation plunges N160b

Despite the full year 2019 results being churned out by quoted companies, the equities market began the month of February on a bearish note amid weak investors’ sentiments, as market capitalisation slumped by N160 billion.

Yesterday, the All-Share Index (ASI), shed 310.13 absolute points, representing a dip of 1.08 percent to close at 28,533.40 points. Similarly, market capitalisation lost N160 billion to close at N14.697 trillion.

The downtrend was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium value stocks, amongst which were; Forte Oil, Julius Berger, Cadbury Nigeria, Zenith Bank, and Access Bank. Analysts at Afrinvest Limited, said: “For the rest of the week, we expect corporate earnings release to dictate the direction of the equities market.”

United Capital Plc expects buying interest to improve due to sell off observed in the previous week, noting that market participants will continue to digest the latest results released by companies, and position appropriately, in anticipation of better earnings and dividend pronouncements.

It, however, noted that prevailing tight financial system liquidity might constrain overall activities. Market breadth closed negative, with eight gainers against 24 losers. Law Union and Rock Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 10 percent to close at 77 kobo per share.Honeywell Flour Mills followed with 9.28 percent to close at N1.06, and UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust added 8.06 percent to close at N3.35, per share.

Livestock Feeds rose 3.77 percent to close at 55 kobo, while Unity Bank gained 1.72 percent to close at 59 kobo, per share.
On the other hand, NCR Nigeria led the losers’ chart by 9.97 percent to close at N2.98 per share.

Forte Oil followed with 9.95 percent to close at N18.55, and Cadbury Nigeria 9.77 percent to close at N9.70, per share. Sterling Bank lost 9.24 percent to close at N1.67, while Wapic Insurance shed 9.09 percent to close at 30 kobo, per share.
Also, total volume traded fell 29.9 percent to 251.59 million shares worth N3.15 billion, traded in 4,752 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 47.52 million shares valued at N952.85 million. Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 35.82 million shares worth N1.06 billion, while FCMB Group traded 23.53 million shares valued at N42.72 million.United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 18.50 million shares at N139.72 million, while FBN Holdings (FBNH) transacted 16.49 million shares worth N100.38 million.

Source: TheGuardian

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