Equities Investors Lose N171bn as Market Sustains Bearish Trading

Equities investors lost N170.9 billion Thursday, as the market sustained its bearish run following depreciation in prices of bellwether stocks. The market had similarly shed N123.9 billion the previous day when 17 stocks depreciated. The market remained downbeat as 18 stocks lost value yesterday compared with only 10 stocks that gained. Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell by 1.86 per cent to close at 28,712.90, while market capitalisation shed N170.9 billion to close lower at N13.9 trillion.

Airtel Africa Plc, which was listed on Tuesday, continued to depreciation, shedding another 9.9 per cent yesterday to close at N323.50 as the stock finds its real market perceived value.

The telco was listed at N363 per share on Tuesday, a price that was determined at the end of its initial public offering(IPO) through a book building process to only high net worth and institutional investors. However, since listing, the stock has depreciated by 10.8 per cent in two days.

Another telco, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, which was the first to list on the local bourse, also shed 2.3 per cent yesterday. However, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc led the overall price losers’ chart with 10 per cent. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc shed 9.7 per cent, while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc lost 9.0 per cent. Nestle Nigeria Plc and UAC of Nigeria Plc dipped by 4.8 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively.

On the positive side, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 4.7 per cent, trailed by Courtville Business Solutions Plc with 4.5 per cent. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc gained 3.2 per cent, while Lafarge Africa Plc chalked up 1.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, activity level also declined as volume and value traded dipped 0.2 per cent and 14.6 per cent to 188.4 million shares and N3.2 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were FBN Holding Plc (50.1 million shares), Zenith Bank Plc (21.1 million shares) and Access Bank Plc (18.9 million shares) while MTN Nigeria (N724.9 million), Zenith Bank Plc (N404.3 million) and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N380.7 million) led the top trades by value.

In terms of sectoral performance, three of the five sectors depreciated. The NSE Insurance Index led with a decline of 2.7 per cent, trailed by the NSE Consumer Goods Index with 2.1 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index shed 1.7 per cent.