Investors lose N149bn as stocks hit three-month low

The equities market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange extended its decline on Monday, dropping to a three-month low as 30 firms recorded price depreciation.

Investors lost N149bn at the close of trading as the NSE market capitalization fell to N14.607tn from N14.753tn on Friday and N14.99tn on March 29.

The NSE All-Share Index dropped by 1.01 percent to close at 40,429.18 basis points from 40,841.14bps on Friday and 41,504.51 bps on March 29.

The stock market finished lower last week as all market indices closed in the negative territory.

C&I Leasing Plc led the losers’ table on Monday, as its share price dropped by 9.30 percent to close at N1.56. It was followed by Skye Bank Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc, which shed 8.45 percent and 8.03 percent to close at N0.65 and N55 per share, respectively.

Lafarge Africa Plc eased by 7.24 percent to close at N41 per share; May & Baker Nigeria Plc dropped by five percent to N3.04 per share, and Unity Bank Plc lost 4.95 percent to close at N0.96 per share.

Other losers were Wema Bank Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Jaiz Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.

Seventeen stocks recorded price appreciation on Monday, with Learn Africa Plc, Japaul Oil & Maritime Service Plc, Champion Breweries Plc, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc leading the pack.

Learn Africa appreciated by 9.28 percent to close at N1.06 per share, while Japaul rose by 8.89 percent to N0.49 per share.

The share price of Champion Breweries was up by 8.77 percent to N2.48; AXA Mansard gained five percent to close at N2.52 per share, while Caverton appreciated by 3.94 percent to N2.90 per share.

The Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, told our correspondent, “The excitement that drove the market in the first quarter of this year has ebbed and the simple reason is that people were taking position ahead of the benefit season, which is almost through now because most of the strong companies have released their annual results.

“The best return we had was in the neighborhood of less than six percent dividend yield, whereas alternative investment assets like fixed income instruments are generating returns above six percent. So, investors are now switching their investments from equities to fixed-income instruments. I think that is what is driving the market.”

An aide of President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said he would seek re-election in 2019, ending months of speculation about his political future after bouts of ill health.

“The market has been on a downward trend even before the announcement. Buhari’s announcement is not a surprise; it would have been a surprise if he decided not to run. I don’t think that was what impacted on the market negatively,” the Managing Director, Afrinvest Securities Limited, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, said.

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