Stock Market Loses N291bn In Four Days
By Feyisayo Popoola
Despite analysts’ predictions that the performance of the nation’s stock market would begin picking up in the second half of the year, investors have recorded losses totalling N291bn in the four days since the second half of the year began.
The market, which opened the new half at a value of N13.206tn, has consistently depreciated, dropping to N12.915tn on Thursday.
Investors lost N156bn on the first trading day of the second half of the year, which was also the first trading day in the week and the month of July, as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange dropped from N13.206tn to N13.050tn.
On Tuesday, the bearish trend continued as the market shed N93bn, dropping further to N12.957tn, and N12.948tn on Wednesday. At the end of trading on Thursday, the market closed N33bn lower at a market capitalisation value of N12.915tn.
Analysts are, however, hopeful for a turnaround as the stock market is set to receive Airtel Africa’s shares to trading on the floor of the Exchange, which would add N1.36tn to the total market capitalisation.
Meanwhile, analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited, said they expected the bearish performance to continue in the absence of catalysts to stimulate investor sentiment. The investor sentiment, which is measured by market breadth, further weakened to 0.6x on Thursday, from the 1.4x recorded on Wednesday as 23 losing stocks overshadowed the 13 that gained.
The general performance across sectors was bearish as all sectors, save the industrial and consumer goods indices, recorded losses. The gains recorded in the industrial sector were driven by major gains recorded in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and Cutix Plc.
The consumer goods index sustained gains, appreciating by 0.3 per cent on the back of buying interests in Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and Nascon Allied Industries Plc. On the flip side, the losers were led by the insurance index, which shed 0.4 per cent, due to major losses seen in Wapic Insurance Plc and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc.
The oil and gas index depreciated by 0.3 per cent due to sell-offs witnessed in Oando Plc. The banking index, due to major losses recorded in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc, depreciated by 0.1 per cent.
Major losses in MTN Nigeria Communications Plc drove the Afri-ICT index four basis points lower. The top five losers were Presco Plc, Sovereign Insurance, Wapic Insurance, Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc and Chams Plc.