Equities market opens year on bearish note

05 January 2015, Lagos – The Nigerian stock market opened 2016 on negative note as investors took profit on the gains recorded in the last two trading days of 2015.

Nigeria Stock Exchange.

Nigeria Stock Exchange.

Although the market had ended 2015 with a dip of 17.36 per cent, some blue chip stocks had recorded an unprecedented rally as portfolio managers and institutional adjusted their portfolio for the year. However, the two-day rally could not be sustained yesterday when the market opened for the New Year.

At the close of the market in the first trading day of the year, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (ASI) dipped by 1.0 per cent to be at  28, 370.32.

Similarly, market capitalisation of equities declined N297.3 billion to close at N9.8 trillion. The decline stemmed from losses some bellwether counters such as Nigerian Breweries Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and  Nestle Nigeria Plc, which fell by 5.0 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively.

However, Skye Bank Plc led the overall price losers’ table with 5.1 per cent, trailed by  Nigerian Breweries Plc,  Glaxosmithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc and Transcorp Hotel Plc with 5.0 per cent apiece. Eterna Plc, NAHCO Plc and Champion Breweries Plc shed 4.8 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 4.4 per  cent in that order among others.

On the positive side, Learn Africa Plc led with a gain of 8.5 per cent, trailed by Vono Products Plc with 4.9 per cent. Okomu Oil Palm Plc appreciated by 4.8 per cent, just as Trans Nationwide Express Plc and AIICO Insurance went up by4.4 per cent each.

Investors traded only 98.9 million shares valued at N701 million in 2,307 deals, showing a decrease of 61 per cent in volume terms from 252 million shares worth N3.834 billion exchanged in 2,160 deals last day of 2015.

Analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, a Lagos based investment banking firm,  had said last week that participation in the Nigerian equities market is likely to remain tempered in the short-term given the impact of foreign investors and their wariness to participate given their perception that the naira is ‘unfairly’ valued.

This, we anticipate will cause a drag to market returns, provided that the apex authority maintains its stoic stance regarding management of the forex market.”

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