- NSE All-Share Index Falls Below 30,000 as Market Hits New Low
The persistent sell-offs in bellwether stocks pushed the nation’s equities market to 20 months low as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell below 30,000 mark to close at 29,830.70 last week.
After losing 1.2 per cent the first week of 2019, the market declined further in the second week, going down by 2.6 per cent following weak sentiments among investors. The political tension has continued to keep investors away as they wait for the outcome of the general elections coming up in February and March.
The market hit a new low last seen in May 2017, on January 9, before a rebound on Thursday and Friday helped it to recover some losses. Save for the rebound in the two days, the loss recorded last week would have been higher than the 2.6 per cent. The market capitalisation went down by N301.4 billion to close a N11.1 trillion.
Apart from the NSE ASI that depreciated by 2.6 per cent, other sectoral indicators also closed in the red except the NSE Industrial Goods Index that appreciated 1.0 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index was the biggest loser, down 7.0 per cent, it was followed by the NSE Oil & Gas Index with 6.3 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index dipped by 3.6 per cent decline. The NSE Banking Index closed 0.9 per cent lower.
Despite the bearish performance, some positive news hit the market last week. For instance, ABRAAJ, managers of the Aureos Africa Fund, said they would convert the $10 million loan stock in C & I Leasing Plc to equity. The $10 million was an unsecured, redeemable, convertible loan stock that matured at the end of 2018.
Commenting, the Managing Director/CEO of C & I Leasing, Mr. Andrew Otike-Odibi said: “This development is positive for our business as it improves the capital structure of the company and helps position it favorably for additional capital raise from the market in first quarter of 2019.”
Also, last week, Chairman of Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu said more companies from BAU Group will be listed on the NSE. CCNN, which is a member of the BUA Group, recently had a successful merger with Kalambaina Cement Company(KCC).
And Rabiu, who is also Chairman of BUA Group said the group was in discussion with the NSE so as to list other companies from the BUA Group.
“As you know BUA Group has other companies apart from CCNN that is already listed. We are discussing with the NSE so that we can list some of the companies on the exchange as well,” he said.
Rabiu thanked the management of the NSE and stockbrokers for their support during merger of CCNN with KCC, saying the new entity is now stronger to produce more products and deliver better returns to investors.
The merger has increased CCNN’s total issued and fully paid shares from 1.257 billion shares to 13.144 billion shares.
Similarly, in a bid to improve the fortunes of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, the company appointed Mrs. Priscilla Thorpe Apezteguia as Acting managing director(MD) following the resignation of Mr. Adnrew Gbodume.
Although no reason was given for Gbodume’s resignation, it was gathered that he has returned to the head office of MRS African Holdings, which owns 60 per cent of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc.
The petroleum market company recorded a loss N425 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, fuelling apprehension the company may end the financial year. The nine months results showed that revenue fell from N81.9 billion in 2017 to N76 billion in 2018. Net financing cost jumped by 484 per cent from N66 million to N386 million. It ended the period with loss after tax of N425 million as against a profit of N809 million in the corresponding period of 2017. MRS Oil Nigeria would have recorded a loss last year but for an income tax credit of N2.3 billion.
It is believed that changed in management is a strategy to rescue the firm from weak performance.
The acting MD, Apezteguia holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Studies and Business from University of Coventry, United Kingdom. She has over 17 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector and has held high-level positions in reputable organisations.
Meanwhile, investors traded 1.265 billion shares worth N14.074 billion in 19,278 deals last week compared with 1.647 billion shares valued at N8.413 billion that exchanged hands in 14,773 deals the previous week.
However, the Financial Services Industry remained the most active, leading others with 1.072 billion shares valued at N8.795 billion traded in 12,287 deals. With this, the sector contributed 84.73 per cent and 62.49 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
The Conglomerates Industry followed with 83.595 million shares worth N155.485 million in 750 deals. The third place was Consumer Goods Industry with a turnover of 50.537 million shares worth N3.432 billion in 2,576 deals.
Trading in the top three equities namely, Diamond Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Custodian Investment Plc accounted for 465.000 million shares worth N 2.044 billion in 2,448 deals, contributing 36.75 per cent and 14.53 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
Also traded during the review week were a total of 15,288 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N236,445.40 executed in four deals compared with a total of 395 units valued at N816,344.70 that was transacted in 13 deals the previous week.
A total of 17,996 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N18.426 million were traded in 10 deals compared with a total of 7,209 units valued at N6.958 million transacted the preceding week in eight deals.
Price Gainers and Losers
The price movement chart showed that 22 equities appreciated in price last week the same number of losers the previous week, while 44 equities depreciated in price, lower than 45 of the previous week.
Julius Berger Nigeria Plc led the price gainers with 22.1 per cent, trailed by Diamond Bank Plc with 12.2 per cent. Transcorp Plc chalked up 11.2 per cent, while WAPIC Insurance Plc and Cornerstone Insurance Plc garnered 10 per cent each.
Other top price gainers included: John Holt Plc (9.0 per cent); Lafarge Africa Plc (8.4 per cent); CCNN (8.4 per cent); A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc (7.4 per cent) and FCMB Group Plc (4.9 per cent).
Conversely, NEM Insurance Plc led the price losers with 33.4 per cent, trailed by Resort Savings & Loans Plc with 26 per cent. Unity Bank Plc shed 17 per cent, just as Custodian Investment Plc and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc shed 13.1 per cent and 11.6 per cent respectively.
Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc and Seplat went down by 10.2 per cent and 10 per cent in that order. Other top price losers included: MRS Oil Nigeria Plc (9.9 per cent); Champion Breweries Plc and UPDC Real Estate (9.8 per cent apiece).
Unity Bank MD Advocates Policy Actions to Stem Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria
The Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun has called for comprehensive policy actions that will dismantle the structures that enable gender-based violence in Nigeria.
At the Ebony Life Cinema, the venue of the film screening in Lagos, Unity Bank supported the BECKMA movie premiere by ARDA Development Commuications Inc. which was held to highlight issues of Gender-Based violence and driving positive change in society.
Making the call, Somefun stated that the Bank committed to partnering with the movie premiere and putting the power of the brand behind BECKMA as the event brings sustainability and gender equality to the front burner.
Represented by Unity Bank’s Group Head of Compliance, Mrs. Patricia Ahunanya, Somefun noted that “9 percent of women aged 15 to 49 had suffered sexual assault at least once in their lifetime and 31% had experienced physical violence,” citing a recent study by UNDP in Nigeria.
Speaking further, Somefun said “Gender-based violence is not just a women’s issue, but a societal ill that demands our collective attention. It is high time for us to step forward and advocate for comprehensive policy actions that will dismantle the structures allowing such atrocities to persist”.
She added, “I urge policymakers to enact stringent laws against gender-based violence, ensuring swift and severe consequences for perpetrators. Our homes and various organisations must also be a catalyst for change, inspiring others to follow suit.”
While commending the ARDA Development Communications Inc. for their initiatives to promote gender equality and empowerment in line with SDG5, Somefun assured of the Bank’s commitment to sustainable initiatives and further collaborative initiatives and advocacy programmes for the elimination of gender-based violence.
Nigeria’s NIBSS Directs Banks to Disconnect Non-Deposit Financial Institutions from NIP System
Banks in Nigeria have received a directive from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to disconnect Switches, Payment Solution Service Providers (PSSPs), and Super Agents from the NIBSS Instant Payment Outwards System.
The circular, dated December 5, 2023, highlighted that including these non-deposit-taking financial institutions as beneficiaries on the NIP funds transfer channels violates the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) guideline on electronic payments.
The NIBSS emphasized that while Switches, PSSPs, and Super Agents might process outward transfers as inflows to banks, their licenses do not permit them to hold customers’ funds.
The circular referred to the CBN’s guidelines on electronic payment of salaries, pensions, suppliers, and taxes, dated February 2014, as the basis for this regulatory stance.
The directive also pointed to a circular dated May 11, 2018, titled “Permissible Services and Products of PSSP Operation in Nigeria,” reinforcing the need for compliance.
As a result, banks were urged to delist all Switches, PSSPs, and Super Agents from the NIP Outward Transfer channels while allowing their participation in inward transfers.
In Nigeria’s payment ecosystem, operators are required to obtain licenses such as Switching and Processing, Mobile Money Operations, Payment Solution Services, or Regulatory Sandbox from the CBN.
Only Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) have the authority to hold customer funds, according to the CBN’s regulatory framework.
Falcon Corporation Secures N19.41bn Debt Facility for State-of-the-Art LPG Facility in Port Harcourt
Falcon Corporation Limited, a prominent player in Nigeria’s energy sector, has successfully secured a N19.41 billion debt facility from the Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria-managed Infrastructure Debt Fund (NIDF).
The financing will be used for the development of a cutting-edge 15,000 metric ton Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage facility and a dedicated jetty in Rumuolumeni, Saipem/Aker Base Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Managing Director of Falcon Corporation, Prof. Joe Ezigbo, emphasized the company’s commitment to national service through investments in the gas industry.
He highlighted the strategic positioning of the LPG facility in proximity to major gas sources and navigable water routes, anticipating economic gains, job creation, income growth, health improvements, and environmental sustainability.
“We positioned our LPG facility strategically in proximity to major Gas sources and navigable water routes. The Project is set to facilitate and enhance more direct procurement and distribution of LPG, which will dramatically lower conventional delivery and storage costs,” said Prof. Joe Ezigbo.
The project has achieved significant milestones, reaching a completion rate of 65% as of October 2023. Various phases of development, including the completion of the jetty, shoreline protection, and engineering activities, have contributed to this progress.
The entire project is expected to be completed and commissioned by Q4 2024.
Falcon’s General Manager, Finance, Nelson Walter, expressed satisfaction with the partnership with NIDF, highlighting their reputation for providing reasonable terms for impactful infrastructure projects.
The flexible long-term loan repayment structure aligns with Falcon’s goals, making the collaboration instrumental in realizing this groundbreaking project.
Financial advisers Vetiva Capital Management Limited and Chapel Hill Denham Advisory, along with legal counsel Detail Commercial Solicitors, played crucial roles in facilitating this strategic debt facility for Falcon Corporation’s ambitious LPG infrastructure development in Rivers State.
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