United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc jumped to the front of the counter at the stock market as quoted equities sustained their upswing with a gain of N214 billion last week. In a tight market with nearly one gainer to every loser, significant rally in the banking sector led by UBA boosted the overall market position.
Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated a week-on-week gain of 2.55 per cent. The NSE Banking Index recorded average return of 6.60 per cent, with UBA leading the charge with a gain of about 22.6 per cent.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based index that serves as sovereign index for the Nigerian equities market, crossed another level to close at 27,116.45 points as against its week’s opening index of 26,441.03 points, representing an increase of 2.55 per cent.
Aggregate market value of all quoted companies rose from the week’s opening value of N9.099 trillion to close at N9.313 trillion, showing an increase of N214 billion or 2.36 per cent. The difference between the ASI and total market capitalisation was due to the delisting of eight companies during the week.
There were 35 gainers to 37 losers last week as against 54 gainers against 17 losers recorded in the previous week. A total of 109 equities closed flat last week compared with 118 equities that closed unchanged in the previous week.
Turnover also showed improved investors’ appetite as investors scrambled for undervalued bargain stocks. Total turnover stood at 2.45 billion shares worth N13.145 billion in 23,680 deals last week as against a total of 1.83 billion shares valued at N14.47 billion traded in 20,058 deals two weeks ago. The financial services sector led the activity chart with a turnover of 2.01 billion shares valued at N9.49 billion in 14,200 deals; representing 82.3 per cent of the total equity turnover volume. Conglomerates sector followed with 208.48 million shares worth N268.05 million in 1,134 deals. The oil and gas sector placed third with a turnover of 80.27 million shares worth N692.61 million in 2,826 deals.
The trio of Wema Bank Plc, Zenith International Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc were the most active with the three stocks jointly accounting for 871.33 million shares worth N5.30 billion in 3,956 deals, representing 35.6 per cent of the total equity turnover volume.
Also, a total of 307,411 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N21.406 million were traded in 38 deals last week compared with a total of 382,448 units valued at N10.288 million traded in 43 deals two weeks ago.
In the bond market, a total of 4,143 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N4.248 million were traded in eight deals as against a total of 8,033 units of Federal Government valued at N8.923 million traded in six deals in the previous week.
On the downside, Vitafoam Nigeria recorded the highest loss of 20.85 per cent to close at N4.29. Tiger Branded Consumer Goods followed with a drop of 19.87 per cent to close at N4.80. NCR dropped by 14.14 per cent to close at N8.99. Unilever Nigeria declined by 13.89 per cent to close at N31 while Ikeja Hotel depreciated by 13.88 per cent to close at N2.11 per share.
“As positive sentiments have thrived in the market on account of government reforms which have been implemented, investors now look forward to the outcome from the deliberations at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in the coming week and this is expected to drive market performance,” Afrinvest Securities, a Lagos-based dealer at the NSE, stated in a weekend note on the outlook of the market this week.
The MPC is expected to begin a two-day meeting today to review global and economic developments within the last two months and the impact on the Nigerian economy.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities stated that while predicting the actual line of action of the MPC appears dicey, the most probable option for the MPC may be to adjust the peg on foreign exchange rate close to the N285 per dollar rate as guided by Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).