By Peter Egwuatu
Driven by sustained gains by highly capitalised companies, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday maintained its impressive performance as the All Share Index rose above the 40,000 mark for the first time in three years.
Specifically, the Index rose to 40,362.97 points yesterday from 39,849.65 points on Monday, the highest since October 2014.
Similarly, the market capitalisation which opened at N14.181 trillion inched by N182 billion or 1.28 percent to close at N14.363 trillion.
Last year, the NSE emerged the third best performing stock market in the world following the 43 percent year-to-date increase recorded by the All Share Index during the year.
Market operators attributed the growth to investors renewed interest in the equities market ahead of 2017 earnings report.
According to stockbrokers at Lagos based Capital Bancorp Plc, “Investors took position in the market in anticipation of positive results and enhanced dividends by companies for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2017.
A breakdown of the price movement chart showed that Dangote Flour Plc led the gainers ‘chart during the day, appreciating by 10 percent or N1.47 to close at N16.17 per share. It was followed by FCMB Plc with 9.05 percent or 18 kobo appreciation to close at N2.17 per share, while Wapic Insurance Plc increased by 7.41 percent or 4 kobo to close at 58 kobo per share. Diamond Bank gained 6.57 percent or 13 kobo per share to close at N2.11 per share.
Other gainers include: Honeywell 14 kobo, Champion Breweries 11 kobo, Conoil N1.62, NASCON N1.01 and First Bank Nigeria Holding 47 kobo.
Contrary, UACN Property led the laggards’ table with a loss 4.72 percent or 15 kobo per share to close at N3.03 per share. It was followed by NAHCO, which declined with a loss 4.67 percent or 21 kobo per share to close at N4.29 per share, while Nestle depreciated by 3.30 percent or N50 per share to close at N1,500 per share.
Union Bank of Nigeria dropped by 20 kobo per share to close at N7.50 per share, while UACN Property shed 15 kobo to close at N3.03 per share.
Also, the volume of shares transacted rose by 27.52 per cent, with 770.89 million shares valued at N7.89 billion traded in 7,395 deals as against the 604.53 million shares worth N16.17 billion exchanged in 5,769 deals on Monday.
The financial services sector led the activity chart with 542.475 million shares exchanged for ¦ 3.886 billion. Conglomerates came next with 143.333 million shares traded for N0.314 billion, Consumer Goods, Oil and Gas, Services sectors followed in that order on the activity chart. Diamond Bank, Transcorp, FCMB, Zenith Bank and Access Bank were the most active stocks by volume.