- Regency Alliance, Diamond Bank Lead N105bn Market Loss
Regency Alliance Insurance Company Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, University Press Plc emerged as the worst-performing stocks at the close of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday as the local bourse’s equities capitalisation shed N105bn in one session.
The share prices of Regency Alliance Insurance, Diamond Bank and University Press dropped respectively by 5.7 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 4.8 per cent.
A total of 831.388 million shares worth N10.568bn exchanged hands in 5,651 deals.
The local bourse opened the week on a negative note as the All-Share Index shed 0.26 per cent to close at 43,056.51 from 43,167.86 basis points while the year-to-date return moderated to 12.6 per cent.
Consequently, equities market capitalisation declined to N15.403tn from N15.508tn as investors lost N105bn in value. According to analysts, the bearish performance observed in the equities market at the start of the week was largely due to losses in United Bank for Africa Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc, which slid respectively by 4.7 per cent, 4.2 per cent and 2.3 per cent.
Thus, activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell to 831.388 million and N10.568bn, respectively. The top trades by volume were Zenith Bank (78.9 million), Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc (64.8 million), and Regency Alliance (41.6 million), while the top traded by value were Zenith Bank (N2.5bn), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N0.8bn) and Nestle Nigeria Plc (N0.5bn).
Sector performance was largely mixed as two depreciated, two rose in value while one closed flat. The insurance index emerged as the biggest gainer, appreciating by 0.8 per cent owing to price appreciation in AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and NEM Insurance Nigeria Plc by 2.7 per cent and 3.3 per cent, accordingly.
In the same vein, the oil/gas index rose by 0.3 per cent as a result of buy interest in Total Nigeria Plc, which inched higher by 1.7 per cent. On the other hand, sell pressure in UBA and UBN dragged the banking index down by 0.9 per cent.
Zenith Bank released an impressive full-year 2017 result on Monday, with gross earnings and profit after tax rising by 46.7 per cent and 37.2 per cent year-on-year to N745.2bn and N177.9bn, respectively while a dividend of N2.70 (dividend yield of 8.7 per cent) was declared for the period.
The consumer goods index slid by 0.09 per cent following profit-taking in Unilever and Nascon Allied Industries Plc, which depreciated respectively by 2.3 per cent and 2.8 per cent, accordingly while the industrial goods index closed the day flat.
Investor sentiment weakened compared to Friday’s performance as 18 stocks advanced while 33 stocks closed in the red. The top performers were Unic Diversified Holdings Plc, Multiverse Nigeria Plc and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, which appreciated by 9.5 per cent, 7.7 per cent and 7.7 per cent.
Commenting on the state of the equities market, analysts at Afrivest Securities were quoted in a post to have said, “Although Monday’s performance was bearish, we anticipate a positive reaction in the market to new earnings which are expected to trickle in this week.”