The bullish trend in the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) witnessed in the New Year came to a halt as the market capitalization experienced a significant dip by approximately N638 billion. The market closed at N44.885 trillion after an eight-day rally, falling below the recently achieved N45 trillion milestone.
The All-Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index of the exchange, remained above 80,000 points but saw a decline of 1,167.46 points or 1.40%, closing at 82,024.38 on Wednesday. Banking stocks were particularly affected, with most recording losses, except for Jaiz Bank, which appreciated by 5.40% to N2.93, and Stanbic IBTC Holdings, which closed flat.
Access Holdings Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Holdings also witnessed a drop in market capitalization, falling below N1 trillion after recently crossing the milestone. They concluded the market with capitalizations of N989 billion and N926 billion, respectively.
The downturn followed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) questioning of some bank Managing Directors over a fraud uncovered at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
Key gainers included Cadbury Plc, leading with a 9.92% gain to N19.95 per unit. The consumer goods company announced plans to convert a N7.036 billion loan from its parent company, Cadbury Schweppes Overseas Limited, to equity. Other gainers included VeritasKap, Linkage Assurance, Transcorp Hotel, and Prestige Assurance.
On the losers’ chart were Chams Holdings, Cornerstone Insurance, FTN Cocoa, May & Baker, Caverton, and Consolidated Hallmark Holding Plc, all experiencing a 10% loss.
Despite the market decline, transaction volume rose to 1,641.28 million, compared to the previous day’s 1,409.85 million units of shares. The total value traded stood at N25.37 billion from 20,223 executed deals, involving 123 different stocks.