MPC Meeting Postponement Sways Stock Investors to Sell Off
By Dipo Olowookere
Stock investors were swayed by the news of the indefinite postponement of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The quarterly rate decision meeting was supposed to occur next week, but it has been moved forward. There are speculations that the meeting was postponed to allow the new CBN Governor nominee, Mr Yemi Cardoso, to preside over the gathering.
He is yet to be confirmed by the Senate, which resumes from a recess next Tuesday, the same day the rate decision is supposed to be announced.
The confusion as to who is in charge of the central bank at the moment, especially after it was rumoured that the acting chief, Mr Folashodun Shonubi, and the four deputy governors have resigned from office, may have affected the confidence of traders, taking a toll on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, as it further dropped 0.09 per cent on Thursday.
The sustained selling pressure pulled down the All-Share Index (ASI) by 64.58 points to 68,271.14 points from 68,335.72 points and dragged the market capitalisation downward by N36 billion to N37.365 trillion from N37.401 trillion.
Investor sentiment remained weak yesterday after Customs Street finished with 30 depreciating stocks and 20 appreciating stocks, indicating a negative market breadth index.
Oando was the heaviest price loser after its value went down by 9.93 per cent to N13.15, as Lasaco shed 9.71 per cent to N1.86, Chams depreciated by 9.59 per cent to N1.32, Northern Nigerian Flour Mills fell by 9.23 per cent to N15.25, and Tantalizers plunged by 8.57 per cent to 32 Kobo.
On the flip side, John Holt was the biggest price gainer as it chalked up 9.55 per cent to close at N1.72, DAAR Communications appreciated by 9.52 per cent to 23 Kobo, Omatek gained 9.52 per cent to sell for 46 Kobo, Mutual Benefits rose by 9.30 per cent to 47 Kobo, and Sunu Assurances increased by 9.09 per cent to 96 Kobo.
It was observed that the banking sector influenced the loss posted by the bourse on Thursday after it declined by 0.46 per cent due to profit-taking in that space.
The insurance counter rose by 0.26 per cent, the energy index improved by 0.19 per cent, the consumer goods space appreciated by 0.05 per cent, and the industrial goods counter grew by 0.01 per cent.
At the close of business, the number of deals went down by 3.07 per cent to 7,949 deals from 8,201 deals, the volume of transactions increased by 98.34 per cent to 1.1 billion shares from 566.6 million shares, and the value of trades went up by 7.41 per cent to N5.8 billion from N5.4 billion.
Business Post reports that Universal Insurance recorded the highest number of transactions at the market yesterday after it sold 669.0 million shares valued at N134.2 million.
Oando traded 100.7 million stocks for N1.5 billion, Japaul exchanged 43.7 million equities worth N43.4 million, Access Holdings transacted 40.2 million stocks valued at N682.0 million, and UBA traded 32.5 million shares worth N552.8 million.