GTCO, Ecobank, Others Drive 0.10% Growth in Equity Market

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By Dipo Olowookere

The strong appetite for banking stocks, especially GTCO, Ecobank, Zenith Bank and others buoyed the 0.10 per cent growth recorded by the equity market on Friday.

The securities of these financial institutions were the toast of investors at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited yesterday and at the close of business, the All-Share Index (ASI) was up by 39.21 points as it settled at 40,868.36 points compared with the preceding day’s 40,829.15 points.

Similarly, the market capitalisation of the exchange appreciated by N21 billion as it closed at N21.296 trillion as against N21.275 trillion it ended on Thursday.

Business Post reports that the banking index closed 1.20 per cent higher, while the insurance space grew by 0.05 per cent, with the industrial goods sector closing flat.

But the energy counter went down by 0.12 per cent, while the consumer goods index depreciated by 0.03 per cent at the close of transactions for the day.

A total of 23 shares closed on the gainers’ table on Friday, while 17 equities ended on the losers’ chart, indicating a positive market breadth and investor sentiment.

University Press was the best-performing stock with a price appreciation of 9.72 per cent to close at N1.58, Sovereign Trust Insurance gained 9.09 per cent to trade at 24 kobo, Caverton grew by 6.33 per cent to N1.68, NPF Microfinance Bank went up by 5.26 per cent to N1.80, while Regency Alliance gained 5.26 per cent to trade at 40 kobo.

On the flip side, Academy Press was the worst-performing stock as its value went down by 7.69 per cent to 36 kobo, Africa Prudential lost 6.06 per cent to settle at N6.20, Honeywell Flour fell by 3.78 per cent to N3.56, Jaiz Bank dropped 3.33 per cent to quote at 58 kobo, while Mutual Benefits Assurance depreciated by 3.23 per cent to 30 kobo.

The activity level suffered a significant fall yesterday as the trading volume dropped 59.24 per cent to 331.1 million units from the preceding session’s 812.3 million units, the trading value fell by 72.40 per cent to N2.9 billion from N10.6 billion, while the number of deals went down by 18.03 per cent to 3,986 deals from 4,863 deals.

A breakdown showed that investors bought and sold 154.7 million stocks of FBN Holdings valued at 1.5 billion at the market on Friday, while 17.3 million shares of GTCO worth N495.2 million exchanged hands.

Furthermore, Fidelity Bank traded 13.8 million stocks worth N35.9 million, Transcorp sold 12.5 million equities valued at N12.1 million, while Ecobank transacted 11.6 million shares worth N72.0 million.

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