Business and Economy

Bearish Sentiment Persists As NSE Index Down 0.77% –

The Nigerian stocks market fell by 0.77 per cent as the heavy fines levied by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) against some Nigerian banks for alleged illegal fund repatriation on behalf of MTN Nigeria weighed on the local bourse yesterday as shares of two of the affected banks, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, plummeted.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange-All Share Index ( NSE Index ) decreased by 272.27 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.77 per cent to close at 35,086.67 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation was down by N100 billion to close at N12,809 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Lafarge Africa, Forte Oil, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Guaranty Trust Bank and Dangote Cement.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited noted that “Wednesday’s bearish performance in the market was largely due to profit taking in bellwethers and market reaction to the CBN’s fine on listed Nigerian banks Stanbic and Diamond Bank. Today (Thursday), we expect an upturn as investors take positions in bellwethers with attractive entry prices.”

Market breadth closed negative, recorded 11 gainers against 27 losers. NEM Insurance led the gainers table by 10 per cent to close at N3.30 per share. Livestock followed with a gain of 9.26 per cent to close at 59 kobo, while Japaul Oil and Maritime Services appreciated by eight per cent to close at 27 kobo per share.

AIICO Insurance rose by 7.14 per cent to close at 75 kobo, while Guinness Nigeria gained by 5.56 per cent to close at N95 per share. On the other hand, AXA Mansard led the laggards’ table by 9.80 per cent to close at N2.30 per share. International Energy Insurance followed with a loss of 9.52 per cent tpo close at 38 kobo, while Diamond Bank shed 9.35 per cent to close at N1.26 per share.

Prestige Assurance dipped by 8.77 per cent to close at 52 kobo, while Forte went down by 7.83 per cent, to close at N20 per share.

Also, total volume traded declined by 17.5 per cent to 284.6 million shares, valued at N3.44 billion, and exchanged in 3,303 deals. Transactions in the shares of United Bank for Africa (UBA) topped the activity chart with 57.12 million shares valued at N452.33 billion. NEM Insurance traded 45.25 million shares worth N131.66 million and Access Bank transacted 30.74 million shares valued at N281.12 million.

Diamond Bank followed with 17.2 million shares worth N21.71 million, while FCMB Groups traded 16.39 million shares valued at N29.52 million.

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