Stock Market Rises to Nine-year High, Capitalisation Hits N15.3tn

The Nigerian stock market rose to a nine-year high on Thursday as the Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation hit a record high of N15.317tn from N14.880tn reported on Wednesday.

The NSE All-Share Index rose to above 43,041.54 basis points, a level last seen in October 2008, after local and foreign investors bought shares across several sectors.

A total of 1.162 billion shares worth N17.375bn exchanged hands in 8,968 deals.

Stocks have gained strongly in January, extending 2017’s 43 per cent rise. Equities rallied for the sixth day on Thursday, climbing 2.9 per cent, to take the rise since the start of the year to 13.5 per cent.

Last year’s gain was the biggest since 2013, and traders had said they expected further advances fuelled by hopes of lower interest rates and a more stable currency.

On Wednesday, stocks posted their biggest one-day gain in seven months.

Likewise on Thursday, investors recorded gains to the tune of N436.1bn as market capitalisation rose to an all-time high of N15.317tn.

The day’s performance was propped up by sustained buying interest in Dangote Cement Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc, which gained respectively by two per cent, 4.9 per cent and 4.6 per cent.

On a similar note, activity level improved as volume and value traded inched 6.8 per cent and 30.7 per cent higher to 1.162 billion units and N17.375bn, respectively.

Performance across sectors was bullish as all indices closed on positive notes. The banking index was the top gainer, rising by 4.4 per cent on the back of buying interest across board. However, performance was driven largely by tier-1 banks – GTBank and Zenith Bank Plc, which appreciated by 4.9 per cent and 3.1 per cent, accordingly.

The industrial goods index followed suit, closing 3.3 per cent higher as a rise in Dangote Cement drove performance while the consumer goods index rose by 2.3 per cent following appreciations in Nigerian Breweries and Guinness Nigeria Plc, which gained respectively by 4.6 per cent and 9.6 per cent.

In the same vein, price appreciation in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and Forte Oil Plc by 2.3 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively, boosted the oil/gas index by 2.7 per cent while the insurance index recorded a 1.7 per cent increase following a rally in AXA Mansard and Aiico Insurance Plc by 8.4 per cent and 3.5 per cent, accordingly.

Investor sentiment moderated consequent on 56 stocks advancing against 10 decliners.

The best performing stocks were Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and Champion Breweries Plc, which gained 10 per cent, 10 per cent and 9.9 per cent, respectively.

Read more : Punch