By Dipo Olowookere
Activities at the local bourse finished bearish again on Thursday as result of losses recorded by counters in the banking sector.
Late Wednesday, UBA and Access Bank finally released their much-awaited half year earnings and despite the impressive results churned out by the former, investors chose to react to the not-too impressive numbers of the latter.
At the close of transactions on Thursday, the banking index lost 1.77 percent as a result of losses recorded by the big players as well as the mid-level lenders in the sector.
On Wednesday evening, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) fined two of the financial institutions trading its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for forex infractions. They banks fined were Diamond Bank and Stanbic IBTC.
They were among the four lenders slapped with a fine of N5.9 billion for the illegal repatriation of about $14 billion for MTN Nigeria Communications Limited some years ago.
Also at the market yesterday, the industrial index depreciated by 2.30 percent just as the insurance sector fell by 1.48 percent.
By the time the market closed for the day, it was down by 0.77 percent, while the year-to-date returns finished at -8.25 percent.
Business Post reports that the All-Share Index (ASI) went down by 272.27 points to settle at 35,086.67 points, while the market capitalisation reduced by N10 billion to end at N12.809 trillion.
Just like the previous session, the market breadth closed negative yesterday with 12 price gainers and 27 price losers.
Lafarge Africa topped the losers’ chart with N1.80k of its share value lost yesterday to close at N23.70k per share.
It was followed by Forte Oil, which went down by N1.70k to finish at N20 per share, and Stanbic IBTC, which depreciated by N1.25k to end at N47.25k per share.
GTBank fell by N1.05k to close at N38 per share, while Dangote Cement declined by N1 to end at N228 per share.
On the flip side, Guinness Nigeria, which released it 2018 financial year results on Wednesday night, closed on Thursday better with N5 added to its share price, closing at N95 per share.
NEM Insurance, which has lately been getting attention of investors, appreciated by 30 kobo to close at N3.30k per share, while FBN Holdings went up by 10 kobo to end at N9.10k per share.
NASCON improved on Thursday by 5 kobo to settle at N20.05k per share, while AIICO Insurance also gained 5 kobo to finish at 75 kobo per share.
A look at the activity chart showed that while the volume of trades declined by 17.52 percent, the value increased by 51.94 percent.
Investors staked M3.5 billion on 284.6 million shares yesterday in 3,303 deals compared with the 345.1 million shares worth N2.3 billion transacted in 3,261 deals the previous day.
The impressive results released by UBA, coupled with the interim dividend it offered on Wednesday propelled investors rush its shares on Thursday, emerging the most traded stock at the market, trading 57.1 million units worth N452.3 million.
It was followed by NEM Insurance, which sold 45.3 million equities for N131.7 million, and Access Bank, which exchanged 30.7 million shares valued at N281.1 million.
Diamond Bank traded 17.2 million units of its stock for N21.7 million, while FCMB sold 16.4 million shares valued at N29.5 million.
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