Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor
Nigerian equities dropped to their lowest valuation point so far this year yesterday as investors continued a long-running selloff that had seen the equities market trending downward from all-time high in January to their lowest point in 2018.
The benchmark index for Nigerian equities-the All Share Index (ASI) declined by 0.45 per cent to close yesterday at 37,253.25 points, its lowest index point. The average year-to-date return worsened to -2.59 per cent. Nigerian equities had closed first half almost flat with a marginal average gain of 0.09 per cent, after reaching as high average return of 17.9 per cent in January 2018.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dropped from its opening value of N13.556 trillion to close yesterday at N13.495 trillion, representing a net capital depreciation of N61 billion.
Most sectoral indices closed on the downside, underlining the widespread selloff, especially within the large-cap stocks in the dominant manufacturing sector. The NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 2.3 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index dropped by 1.0 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index dipped by 0.5 per cent. On the downside, the NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 1.7 per cent while the NSE Banking Index inched up by 0.01 per cent.
There were 25 losers to 17 gainers. Julius Berger Nigeria led the losers with a drop of N3 to close at N27. International Breweries followed with a loss of N2.65 to close at N38.35. Dangote Cement lost N2 to close at N225. Lafarge Africa declined by N1.85 to close at N33.90. Flour Mills of Nigeria dropped by 25 kobo to close at N30.75 while Eterna and NEM Insurance declined by 20 kobo each to close at N6.80 and N3.20 respectively.
Total turnover stood at 287.09 million shares valued at N3.75 billion in 3,526 deals. Access Bank was the most active stock with 116.02 million shares valued at N1.21 billion. Zenith Bank followed with a turnover of 41.05 million shares worth N999 million while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria placed third with 23.73 million shares valued at N29.14 million.
On the upside, Mobil Oil Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N15.50 to close at N180.50. Forte Oil rose by N1.45 to close at N31.30. Nigerian Breweries appreciated by N1 to close at N111. Custodian Investment rallied by 57 kobo to close at N6.27. UAC of Nigeria added 35 kobo to close at N13.55 while Zenith Bank chalked up 20 kobo to close at N24.40 per share
Most analysts agreed that the steep decline in share prices has created bargain opportunities that may drive a recovery in the days ahead.
“Despite the bearish performance of today (Wednesday), we noticed some bargain hunting close to the end of trading. Hence, we expect to see a rebound in market performance in subsequent sessions as investors hunt for bargains,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
Equities sink to lowest point in 2018