All-Share Index Sheds 0.39% as Market Opens on Negative Note

The equities market opened the week on a bearish yesterday after recording a positive performance last week. The market had last week appreciated by 3.25 per cent after weeks of decline.

Investors had taken advantage of low prices to increase their stake, a development that was expected to be sustained this week.

However, reverse was the case as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell 0.39 per cent to close at 27,691.85 on the first trading day of the week. Market capitalisation also shed N51.7 billion to close at N13.5 trillion as bellwethers such as Nigerian Breweries Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, Access Bank Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc depreciated.

A total of 21 stocks lost value compared with 19 stocks that added value. However, Forte Oil Plc and Seplat led the price losers with 10 per cent apiece. Julius Berger Nigeria Plc trailed with 9.9 per cent.

The decline in the shares of Forte Oil Plc came despite the expectation that the shareholders of the company would next Tuesday give the board of the directors of company authorisation to enter into discussions with Prudent Energy & Services Limited and or any company or individual(s) representing it in connection with the acquisition of identified downstream assets including but not limited to plant and machinery, trucks, stations and subject to independent valuations on fair value, enter into subsequent binding agreements on comparable arm’s length/commercial terms in relation to the assets to be acquired.

The authorisation, which is expected to be obtained next Tuesday at the annual general meeting (AGM) in Lagos, is to enable the company executive its expansion strategy as planned by the new management of Forte Oil.

On the positive side, ABC Transport Plc and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent apiece. John Holt Plc trailed with a gain of 8.7 per cent, while NPF Microfinance Bank Plc appreciated by 8.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, activity also level declined as volume and value traded dipped 53.4 per cent and 24.6 per cent respectively to 158.3 million shares and N2.3 billion. The most active stocks by volume were Transcorp (31.8 million shares), Zenith Bank Plc (18.7 million shares) and UBA (17.9 million shares) while Nestle Nigeria Plc (N552.1 million), GTBank (N372.2 million) and Zenith Bank Plc (N348.4 million) led by value.