Equity market reverses losing streak

After three days of bearish trading, the Nigerian Exchange gained N74bn on Thursday.

The equity market had lost N469bn in three days on the back of sell-offs.

The All-Share Index climbed by 0.13 per cent to 104,387.47 points, while market capitalisation rose to N59.02tn, improving the bourse’s year-to-date return to 39.6 per cent.

Market activity surged, as volume rose by 12.78 per cent to 336.82 billion units and the value of transactions appreciated by 35.74 per cent to N9.29bn, while total deals were up by 6.57 per cent to 8,790.

The exchange recorded more losers (29) than gainers (22), though stocks like Juli Plc, Transcorp, International Energy Insurance, ETranzact, and Guinea Insurance appreciated by 10.00 per cent, 9.96 per cent, 9.66 per cent, 9.65 per cent, and 8.33 per cent, respectively, driven by increased buying interest.

Conversely, top decliners were DeapCap, Tourist, Computer Warehouse Group, Caverton and Omatek, which dipped 10 per cent, 9.86 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 8.57 per cent, and 8.05 per cent, respectively.

The banking, insurance, and industrial goods indices rose by 0.9 per cent, 0.57 per cent, and 0.42 per cent, respectively, while the consumer goods sector declined by 0.09 per cent and the oil/gas sector was flat.

United Bank for Africa was the most traded security by volume, with 63.88 million units transacted in 773 deals, while Nestle led in traded value, totalling N1.82bn.

Meanwhile, PZ Cussons was flat at N40, though the volume of traded shares increased to 29,407 on Thursday from 1,400 on Wednesday.

This comes after the firm announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission had declined to grant a No-Objection for it to buy out minority shareholders at N23.

Investment Research Analyst, Callista Chileke, at ARM Securities in her comments highlighted how that development would impact minority investors.

She said, “The rejection of PZ Cussons delisting from the NGX by the SEC poses significant effects on its existing shareholders. They decided to delist i.e., PZ Cussons buying out minority shareholders to allow the company to return to longer-term growth.

“PZ recorded significant FX losses and due to the rapid depreciation of the naira, and was pushed into a negative asset position where its liabilities, which are majorly denominated in foreign currency were more than their assets.”

According to Chileke, the buy-out was a means to raise funds for the company but with this denial, the company would have to resort to other measures such as equity issuance, debt for equity conversion, rights issues or asset sales, which could negatively impact its current shareholders.

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