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Why Foreign Investors Avoid Nigerian Stocks—Omordion



Ambrose Omordion foreign portfolio investors

Ambrose Omordion is one of the ubiquitous experts providing deep analyses of market trends in the Nigerian capital market. He is the Chief Research Officer (CRO) of Investdata Consulting Limited, leading a team of other experts in the firm.

In this interview with a select media, the capital market guru takes a wide look around the market environment to spot lurking opportunities and risk factors for investors and the economy while hinting the government and market regulators on few tips that can help the market deliver its mandate as an enabler of economic growth. Excerpt:

What is your appraisal of what happened in the Nigerian capital market in 2020?

If you look at what happened in the market in 2020, I’ll say it is something that surprised many analysts and investors. The return was unprecedented because following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria around February 2020, the market reacted negatively and there was a lot of sell-offs in the market that dropped the market to 11-year’s low by the end of March. This was caused by panic sell-offs.

The outbreak of the pandemic also affected the oil price which fell as low as $12 per barrel, and the market also reacted to that.

But the good thing is that immediately the prices were undervalued, and there was value in the market and the price of crude oil started looking up again in April, market responded because of positive sentiments from the recovery of crude oil price. These are factors that drove the market higher especially in April.

Then, numbers that came in 2019 also supported the market recovery in April because the financial performance of most of the companies beat market expectation. Dividends were still coming and Q1 numbers for many companies were not too bad and that supported the market in April and May.

However, the market slowed down in June because of expected Q2 numbers. And despite that there was a whole month lockdown, the Q2 numbers of many companies were still above expectation. People expected that the pandemic will gravely affect performance because the lockdown led to low activities in the economy and that was reflected in the Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) for the month.

However, that didn’t affect the Q2 numbers of many companies and that also gave the market another leaf of support. Then, the crude oil price sustained its recovery and the sentiment of low interest that also affected the fixed income market was a plus for the equities market because people were seeing opportunities in the market. These are what kept the market throughout the year and positioned the Nigerian equities market for 50.034 per cent gain to close 2020. This is the same market that recorded a loss of 18.2 per cent as at the end of March. For the market to have risen by more than 50 per cent from that points means that in essence, the market even gained more than the 50 per cent.

However, our concern was that the market rally was not general or even. It was driven by very few securities and these are highly capitalized stocks that control about 70 per cent of market capitalisation and they were responsible for the gain recorded in 2020.

What direction do you see the market going in 2021 and what factors will likely give it the impetus?

Regarding the new pattern that we are seeing in 2021, we expect that vaccine discovery is going to help economic recovery in 2021 which also will have an impact on our market, knowing that our market is driven by two major things that I call: low-interest rate and oil price movement.

When you see the oil price moving up, Nigerian stocks should go up because our market responds to oil price movement since it will always impact our external reserves. Both local and foreign investors show interest in the oil price factor believing that any time it high, Nigeria will have enough money and when the price falls, the reverse is going to be the case. That’s why as the oil price appreciated and the market was in the overbought region, investors were still buying.

Secondly, the low-interest rate has been a major driver of the market. If you go back to 2006 when the then CBN governor, Mr Charles Soludo, crashed rate, the market recorded tremendous gain but since then, the market has not experienced such a low-interest rate again.

Go and check, as at 2017, the interest rate was around 15 per cent and the market was struggling. But now, it is almost around 3.2 per cent which shows that interest rate is low and opportunity funds would move into the equities market. These are the things we hope will drive the market in 2021; vaccine discovery, low-interest rate and crude oil price.

Another factor that will support all these is corporate earnings. Even when there was serious fear for the economy, companies’ corporate earnings were still positive which tells you that economic recovery is already underway.

If you are seeing corporate earnings from companies that represent different sectors of the economy and the numbers are good, this means economic recovery is underway. That is why I tell people that coming back to the growth of the economy will come around in the second quarter because the way it is going, once we see the full-year GDP by February, it we tell us how less contracted the economy is or if it has crossed positive already. Even Q1 GDP too should say something positive and any improvement in the economy will always tell on the equities market because more companies will report better numbers that will drive the prices.

However, we expect price adjustment in the market because the way the price moved from almost 20,000 index points to above 41,000 is about 100 per cent rise. We expect a little pullback.

Regardless, the opportunity in the market is that those stocks that are wrongly priced and mispriced in different sectors should be the target of investors that have a good history of dividend payment and fundamentals. But now that the trading pattern in the market has changed, you can see that the high-caps moved the market in 2020 but now the low-caps and the medium-caps are the ones gaining in this New Year. This is a sign that we are coming out of recession.

Anywhere in the world, when you see low cap stocks, medium cap stocks and dividend-paying stocks rallying, it means that those companies have expectations. And anywhere in the world, the stock market is a leading indicator that tells you whether the economy is going down or coming up.

The year 2020 witnessed lower participation from portfolio investors and local investors dominated share deals at the NSE, what does this really imply and how do you see it playing out this year?

For me, the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on foreign exchange has been a major factor behind in and out of foreign investors. When they find it difficult to exit after they have made money in Nigeria, it is discouraging; or when they come in and there is a devaluation of the naira, it wipes off all their gains within that period.

The expatriates are being careful. Nigeria has different exchange rates for different people. The portfolio investors want the various rates to be harmonized. Just let there be one rate for everybody within the economy. If that is achieved and our external reserves are still up, it will attract them.

Regardless, I believe that anywhere in the world, if you depend on foreign investors, your market will not be stable for planning. In any country, the stock market is for long term investment which people can plan with.

But when foreign investors come into the market and have 80 per cent of the market when they are going, the market will start bleeding and you cannot plan with such a market. Now, the reverse is the case in Nigeria as we are seeing local investors taking big chunk of the market; it is a welcome development for the local equities market.

Also, despite the usual fear in January, the January effect did not really play out in our market this year because the market is not in the hands of those who start running once they hear a cough. Now, we have people with long term funds that are also dividend players in the market because they are pension administrators.

For me, it is a welcome development that we have less participation from the expatriate side. However, I believe that the foreign investors would come back and it would be a plus but they cannot dominate the market again like before and that would support retail investors.

With the current arrangement, the market is becoming more stable and that is what we need to plan and know that a market is a good one. For foreign investors, they are welcome anytime, but I think policy direction is what they are just waiting for.

The coming on board of new companies via IPO still remains on the low side at the NSE. Few right issues were recorded in 2020, but going forward, what do you think could be done to attract more IPOs?

It pains me that companies on the Exchange are delisting for one reason or the other. I think it is the work of the regulators to sit down and find out why companies are delisting because the economy is not fully represented in the economy. There are some sectors that are not represented on the Exchange. Anywhere in the world, if you look at the exchange of any country, it tells you how the economy is doing because it represents different sectors of the economy.

For example, it is only recently that we had the telecoms sector represented in the capital market via the listing of MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa. We need to encourage other sectors.  For me, if the cost of getting listed is what is scaring people away, then, the regulators should reduce it to encourage and retain more companies. This will deepen the market. When the market is deep, it will attract more funds; but when it is shallow, such as what people say about Ghana today that their market is shallow because they have just a few listed equities, the fund would not come.

So, we need to encourage more listings. In the United States, there more than 18,000 listed companies trading on their floor. We do not have up 200 here in Nigeria. I think we should do more and that will help the market to play its role as an economic driver because anywhere in the world, long term fund is what supports economic development and you get that long term fund from the stock market where you can borrow to expand your business. But if the market is not deep and is not attractive, it will not attract fund into the economy.

In addition, the government and the regulators should make policy that will attract more people. The fundamental issue about that is that the participants in the market are not increasing because the regulators have not performed their work of educating Nigerians on how to invest.

People that have their fingers burnt when the market crashed in 2008 and 2009 are still nursing their wounds. You need to go back and tell them that the market has changed and has become more transparent with the use of technologies.

I think that is the area where the regulators should do more. If we can have more people playing in the market, I am telling you that unemployment in Nigeria would be solved. I will say it anywhere that this market can solve the problem of unemployment in Nigeria if the government can open their mind and put enabling regulation in place. With the technologies that we are having today, youths would be engaged and when they are engaged in making money, there would be a shift away from crime. I believe our market can be empowered to play that role.

Also, if we have more companies doing well and expanding, they will employ more people. That is why I said the Nigerian capital market should be put in the right perspective so that it can adequately play its role in driving the economy and create jobs for Nigerians.

The NSE created the growth board not quite long ago. So far, how well have investors been interacting with that segment of the market?

I will say that the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) occasionally taking journalists for training is not a bad thing. However, journalists just report. But more importantly, the people that they need to educate more are the ones on the street earning money – the entrepreneurs, the artisans, the students. If you educate them, this market would become overactive.

Those stocks that they put on the growth board include Chams Plc and a few others. I think these are not enough as growth stocks. I see growth stocks as those stocks that have a future. Even though they are still low, they definitely are going somewhere. There are many of them in the market but I continue to wonder why they have picked just the few. And does the public know about the importance of the growth stocks? That is another issue to deal with. There are many categories of stocks and the growth category happens to be a very important one in an economy such as Nigeria. A stock listed in the growth board has been in the market for years without giving dividend to investors. The company is also not going into new businesses. Now that we are in a tech world, I believe growth stocks are those ones stepping into that tech environment to grow and expand. If you are talking of stocks like Omatek, fine! It has good potentials even if it has not harnessed it. Talk of stocks like Cham, you will know they are going into a space that is full of a lot of opportunities. You do not put a stock on the growth board just because the price is low.

The year 2021 started with the national budget already signed by the President. What impact do you expect this to have on the market outlook?

Just as I said earlier, 2021 is a very mixed and dicey year in the sense that there are factors that will impact the economy positively if there is policy match. Before now, we have been having mismatch policy in the country. If we can put the best policy together this year, I believe we will make progress. The CBN is reducing the interest rate, which is good. The budget has come early as expected and you know when a country releases its budget, it helps the government and even players in the economy to plan because they can see where the economy is going.

Like in Nigeria now, we have seen the benchmark oil price for 2021. Right now, the crude oil price is above the benchmark for the 2021 budget which translates into more money for the government.

Also, if you look at the borrowing rate of the government from 2020 to 2021, it’s huge. That means the fiscal authority also have to look inwards to drive those infrastructures that will support economic growth. All this money that the government is borrowing, if it used to build our railways and develop road networks such that there is easy movement of stocks across the country at cheaper rates, inflation will not be high. It has been observed that the inflationary pressure on most of the goods emanates from the high cost of transporting them.

Now, we have seen a hike in electricity tariff and fuel price. If the government can find a way to address this, and give us active rail system that will connect the different parts of the country, goods will move with ease and prices would crash in the market. What I am saying, in essence, is that we need to harness both monetary and fiscal policies so that we can have a good 2021.

Amidst all these, what should be the right move by investors?

For investors in the market, they have to be very careful because any change in policy will directly affect the equities market. We have enjoyed the rally in the market because of the low interest in the fixed income market. Any adjustment in that area alone would change the face of the market. That is why as a discerning investor; you do not just follow all those stocks with low prices that have no fundamentals. Instead, target stocks that have fundamentals such that despite the expected change in rate, they will still be able to offer reasonable returns that will attract investors to the company.

Between now and March ending or April, we will see the most active earnings season because many companies at the exchange have December as their year-end and we will see more results; and because this is coming with rewards in terms of dividend.

For me, I think 2021, generally is a mixed year and we might see a positive performance in the first quarter. But going to the second quarter, the equities market might not be as favourable as what we have seen so far. This is because when there is any adjustment in interest rate, it is going to hit the stock market. More so, the market is ripe for profit-taking and many investors are ready to pull out to make a capital gain.

How have you been contributing to the growth of the market and wealth creation for investors?

Investdata Consulting Limited is an independent research company with a focus on the economy, quoted and unquoted companies, market research, and sector analysis and investment education, with different customised investment education products to help investors achieve their investment objectives, by making an intelligent and knowledgeable investment decision.

Investdata has developed a product and platform that can help the nation’s stock market play its role in creating jobs for Nigeria youths and wealth for investors.

We have continued to attract more participants to equity market through our investment education organised every quarter in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja with an annual summit in December to position for the coming year.

What particular gap that we have noticed over the years is poor investor education. We have been doing all we can to bridge this gap with our timely analyses, trainings and platforms. What we believe is that more people will only participate in the capital market in a way that will support the economy only when they understand what is happening there.

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Your Investments Safe in Lagos—Sanwo-Olu Assures Investors



Investments in Lagos

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured investors to bring their funds to Lagos State as their investments would be safeguarded.

The Governor gave this assurance on Friday at a one-day economic summit organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bankers Committee and the Vanguard Newspapers in Lagos.

He said his administration has a big vision for the state, imploring local and foreign investors to quickly key into the agenda, which will expand to the southern part of the country.

According to him, efforts are being made daily to improve infrastructure, encourage innovation, agriculture as well as improve on the digital economy through smart city initiatives.

“Compared to other African countries, Lagos occupies a leading position in the country and across the continent. To seize these opportunities, and achieve our vision to become Africa’s economic capital, we are working on Lagos Vision 2050, which presents an opportunity to build upon the ongoing work and define a journey towards the megacity Lagos aspires to become over the next 30 years.

“We will also encourage other Southern states to do the same so as to align our regional aspiration to forge cooperation. Working together, Lagos and other Southern states can collaborate to build symbiotic partnerships beneficial to one another.

“Lagos is excited to share best practices across Southern states while continuing to collaborate with public and private partners to bring benefits to the state and to the region.

“When we achieve our big ambitions, Lagos will grow as well as Southern Nigeria and the entire country,” Mr Sanwo-Olu stated.

He noted that with Vision 2050 in mind, investments focus across key areas should be on human capital, infrastructure, public system and services, innovation and knowledge, as well as environmental sustainability.

“We will take a structural approach to Vision 2050; we will also share best practices with others,” he said, adding that security and good governance, which is the last pillar of his administration’s THEMES agenda, has enjoyed considerable attention because of its critical role in stimulating development in the state.

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Business Rebalancing, Promotional Discipline Drive Jumia’s Q4 Growth



Jumia e-commerce

By Dipo Olowookere

The decision of the management of Jumia to cut its costs and rebalance its business mix has paid off and the financial results of the company in the fourth quarter of 2020 are the visible evidence to show for it.

In the period, the leading e-commerce platform lowered its fulfilment, sales & advertising and general & administrative expenses (excluding share-based compensation) by 18 per cent, 34 per cent and 36 per cent respectively and as a result, its adjusted EBITDA loss contracted by 47 per cent year-on-year to €28.3 million.

This is making the journey of Jumia towards profitability looking bright as in Q4 2020, it reported a gross profit of €27.9 million, translating to a year-over-year increase of 12 per cent, while the gross profit after fulfilment expense reached a record of €8.4 million.

In the results released on Wednesday, the company, which has been described as Africa’s Amazon, however, said it had an operating loss of €40.0 million in Q4 2020.

But the total payment volume on JumiaPay reached €59.3 million, increasing by 30 per cent year-over-year, while the on-platform TPV penetration increased from 15.6 per cent of GMV in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 25.7 per cent of GMV in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In addition, JumiaPay transactions increased by 10 per cent from 2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 2.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Overall, the report showed that 33.1 per cent of orders placed on the Jumia platform in the fourth quarter of 2020 were paid for using JumiaPay.

Furthermore, Jumia’s annual active consumers reached 6.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, up 12 per cent year-over-year with continued growth in both new and returning customers.

This cascaded to increased sales on the platform, as Jumia’s 2020 Black Friday sales records surpassed that of the previous year. The platform recorded 1.5 billion page views, up 34 per cent when compared to 2019, while video content registered almost 100 million views, 3 times higher compared to the 2019 event.

The financial results showed that more than 41,500 sellers participated in the 2020 event, with the top 20 sellers registering 141 per cent growth in items sold in the 2020 Black Fridays compared to the same period in 2019.

“While 2020 has been a challenging year operationally with COVID-19 related supply and logistics disruption, it has been a transformative one for our economic model, as we firmly put the business on track towards breakeven.

“We continued to make significant strides towards profitability during the fourth quarter of 2020. Gross profit after fulfilment expense reached a record €8.4 million during the quarter.

“In parallel, efficiencies across the full cost structure allowed us to decrease fulfilment, sales & advertising and general & administrative expenses (excluding share-based compensation) by 18 per cent, 34 per cent and 36 per cent respectively, year-over-year.

“As a result, adjusted EBITDA loss contracted by 47 per cent year-over-year, reaching €28.3 million. In addition, we raised approximately €203 million in a primary offering in December 2020,” commented Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, co-CEOs of Jumia.

The brand also recorded impressive figures on platform monetization as the  Jumia Logistic service, which was opened to third parties in 2020, shipped almost half a million packages on behalf of more than 270 clients.

According to the report, Jumia is also making meaningful progress in the reduction of the overall rate of cancellations, failed deliveries and returns (CFDR).

“The CFDR rate as a percentage of GMV improved from 30 per cent in 2019 to 25 per cent in 2020. The CFDR rate as a percentage of orders improved from 22 per cent in 2019 to 16 per cent in 2020.

“The CFDR rate is typically lower when expressed as a percentage of orders than GMV as higher average item value orders tend to show higher CFDR rates.

“As a result of the significant improvement in CFDR ratios, the year-over-year trajectory of GMV and orders after CFDR compares favourably versus pre-CFDR.

“GMV was down 19 per cent in 2020 while GMV after CFDR was down 12 per cent and orders increased by 5 per cent while orders after CFDR increased by 14 per cent over the same period,” a statement from the firm said.

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Ardova, Dangote Sugar Hint Payment of Dividend for FY20



Ardova free cash flow

By Dipo Olowookere

The boards of Ardova Plc and Dangote Sugar Plc have hinted that shareholders of their respective companies will receive dividends for 2020 full-year.

For Ardova, its board held a meeting on Thursday, February 25 and it was agreed that dividend should be paid but the exact amount was not disclosed in a notice filed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) the next day.

“Pursuant to the post-listing requirements of the Nigerian Stock Exchange for quoted companies, Ardova Plc is pleased to inform the exchange and the investing public that the meeting of the board of directors of the company held as scheduled on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

“The board considered and approved the audited financial statements of the company for the year ended December 31, 2020.

“The board also recommended the declaration of dividends subject to the approval of shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held in due course.

“Consequently, the closed period remains in force until 24 hours after the filing of the financial statements.

“No insider of the company, including its directors, employees, advisers and consultants and their connected persons may deal directly or indirectly in the shares of the company during the closed period,” the energy firm said.

For Dangote Sugar, its board sat on Wednesday to discuss the results of the company and in the process, recommended the payment of dividend.

While updating the market of its decision, the board said, “Dangote Sugar is pleased to inform the NSE and the investing public that the meeting of the board of directors of the company held as scheduled (on) Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

“The directors considered and approved the audited financial statements of the company for the year ended December 31, 2020.

“It also recommended the declaration of dividends subject to the approval of shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting to be held in due course.

“Consequently, the closed period remains in force until 24 hours after the filing of the financial statements.

“No insider of the company, including its directors, employees, advisers and consultants and their connected persons may deal directly or indirectly in the shares of the company during the closed period.”

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Mobil (11 Plc) to List Shares on NASD OTC Exchange After NSE Exit



mobil oil Nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere

Shares of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria) would be listed on the trading platform of the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Exchange after being delisted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the company has confirmed.

The energy company is planning to leave the exchange after decades and one of the reasons is because of the tough listing requirements of the NSE.

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the firm held on October 14, 2020, the shareholders had approved the delisting of the organisation from the exchange.

But for those who opposed the action, they were offered N213.90 per share, being the highest price the company’s stocks have traded six months before the notice of the AGM, where the decision to leave the NSE was approved by investors.

Some days ago, the management of Mobil issued a statement to explain the reason for the action, but in some sections of the media (Business Post not included), it was reported that the delisting was to make the firm private and evict the minority investors.

Mobil has again released another statement to refute this, emphasising that after delisting from the NSE, its equities would still be tradable on the NASD.

“The delisting of 11 Plc’s shares from the NSE is not meant to make the company private. It is only a cessation of trading of the company’s shares on the NSE platform. Hence, there is no forceful acquisition of shares from minority shareholders.

“The company’s shares will be listed on the NASD OTC, thus still making its shares tradable. Shareholders will have a choice of selling their shares now at the price indicated by the company or at the NSE platform price before the delisting cut-off date or to sell on the NASD platform after delisting or to hold on to their shares and continue to receive their dividend.

“The company could choose to return to the NSE platform sometime in the future. The minority shareholders have nothing to fear or worry about in connection with the delisting,” a part of the new statement explained.

The statement further said, “Since the delisting is not intended to make the company private, and there was no dissent at the AGM in which the special resolution was passed, the unit price for the delisting was not in issue.

“It is pertinent to note that a the time of the AGM, the share price of 11 Plc shares was N186.90 but the delisting price was put at N213.90 being the highest price the stock has traded in the six months preceding the AGM. The fact that the price got higher than now cannot override the resolution.

“In any case, shareholders who want to sell but do not want to sell at the proposed price can also sell at the NSE platform before the delisting date.

“Minority shareholders are not bound to sell all their shares but may decide to keep their shares (which will still be freely tradable on the NASD OTC platform) in view of the company’s track record and dividend payouts.”

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Court Flings Oando Suit Against SEC



Oando SEC crisis

By Dipo Olowookere

A suit filed by Oando Plc against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been thrown out by Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

The judge, while delivering a judgement on the matter on Thursday, said her court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit and directed the company to file its case before the Investment Securities Tribunal (IST), which she said was the appropriate court to hear the matter.

Oando had gone to the court to argue that its fundamental rights were trampled upon by the apex regulatory agency in the Nigerian capital market.

SEC had on May 31, 2019, directed a few members on the board of Oando to resign following the outcome of its investigations into allegations of ‘serious infractions by the company.’

The affected board members were Group Chief Executive, Mr Adewale Tinubu; the Deputy Group Chief Executive, Mr Omamofe Boyo; and the Group Chief Financial Officer, Mr Olufemi Adeyemo.

Oando, which was of the opinion that these alleged infractions and penalties meted out by the regulator were unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the company, challenged the decisions in court.

But the court said the matter should be heard by IST and again, Oando is of the view that the judgement was misconceived and as such has appealed the decision on the grounds that the powers conferred by the Constitution of Nigeria on its citizens to enforce their fundamental rights supersede the provisions of the Investment and Securities Act 2007.

As a result, the energy firm has filed applications for stay of execution as well as an injunction pending appeal in respect of the judgement of Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo in relation to SEC’s May 31, 2019, letter to Oando.

In view of this, Oando believes SEC is restrained from acting on its findings and carrying out any of the sanctions specified in its May 31, 2019, letter as the status quo that existed before Thursday’s ruling remains unchanged and its current management team remains in place.

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Wema Bank, Champion Breweries Weaken Stock Market by 0.74%




By Dipo Olowookere

Another loss was recorded at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday as a sell-off in financial, consumer goods and industrial goods equities weakened the market by 0.74 per cent.

As a result, the All-Share Index (ASI) decreased by 295.60 points to 39,799.89 points from 40,095.49 points, while the market capitalisation reduced by N154 billion to N20.824 trillion from N20.978 trillion.

Business Post reports that the insurance sector depreciated yesterday by 2.32 per cent, the banking index lost 0.48 per cent, the consumer goods space fell by 0.40 per cent, while the industrial goods counter depreciated by 0.19 per cent, with the energy sector rising by 0.25 per cent.

It was observed that the investor sentiment, which is measured by the market breadth, was negative at the last trading session of the week due to the 24 declining stocks and 17 advancing equities.

Wema Bank and Champion Breweries depreciated by 10 per cent each on Friday to settle at 63 kobo per share and N2.52 per unit respectively.

Sunu Assurances depleted by 9.59 per cent to 66 kobo per share, Africa Prudential lost 5.74 per cent to N5.75 per unit, Axa Mansard Insurance dropped 5.36 per cent to settle at N1.06 per share.

After recording losses for a few days after its share reconstruction, Lasaco Assurance gained 9.82 per cent yesterday to top the risers chart, closing at N1.23 per share.

Mutual Benefits appreciated by 8.11 per cent to 40 kobo per unit, Courtville grew by 5.00 per cent to 21 kobo per share, Oando improved by 2.99 per cent to N3.45 per unit, while NAHCO gained 2.70 per cent to settle at N2.28 per share.

Wema Bank witnessed a significant trading volume on Friday, emerging as the most traded stock after it sold 304.5 million shares worth N197.3 million.

FBN Holdings exchanged 30.8 million shares for N226.1 million, Zenith Bank traded 26.6 million stocks valued at N677.4 million, Transcorp transacted 22.9 million equities worth N20.7 million, while United Capital exchanged 17.2 million stocks for N104.6 million.

At the close of transactions, the trading volume rose by 55.58 per cent to 507.3 million from 326.0 million, while the trading value reduced by 34.22 per cent to N2.4 billion from N3.7 billion, with the number of deals declining by 2.23 per cent to 4,465 deals from 4,567 deals.

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