BY: CHARLES ABUEDE
As dividend qualification dates draw closer, equity investors are expected to take a position in dividend-paying stocks, already showing in the increased volumes recorded in some of the banking names, leading equity analysts to project similar trade patterns to filter into this week’s trading sessions after the local equities bourse posted marginal gains last week, and going up 0.36 percent week on week, fueled by gains in the banking space with high volume trades in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Group, Unity Bank and FBN Holdings.
Similarly, the NGX All-Share Index and market capitalization appreciated by 0.36 percent to close the week at 47,437.48 points and N25.56 trillion from last week’s N25.48 trillion, respectively. Hence, there was a gain of N91 billion for market investors as the bulls ruled the week due to gains in major tickers in the banking index in all the sessions.
Meanwhile, a total turnover of 2.79 billion shares worth N23.86 billion in 22,970 deals was traded last week on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.37 billion shares valued at N23.78 billion that exchanged hands last week in 28,809 deals. As a result, the top three traded stocks during the week were FCMB Group, Unity Bank, and FBN Holdings who accounted for 1.6 billion shares worth N5.49 billion in 1,395 deals. This represents about 58.36 percent and 22.99 percent of the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively, for the week.
The banking and insurance index as measured by total trade volume led the activity chart with 2.4 billion shares valued at N14.03 billion traded in 11,900 deals due to gains in Zenith Bank and UBA, Cornerstone and Consolidated Hallmark Plc; thus contributing 85.69 percent and 58.80 percent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively. Also, the industrial goods index followed with 73.38 million shares worth N305.944 million in 996 deals all through the week while the technology sector, with a turnover of 60.8 million shares worth N3.087 billion in 2,707 deals joined the most bullish sectors in top traded sectors in volume and value.
On the other hand across the sectoral front, all other indices ended the week higher with the exception of the consumer goods index which reported sell-offs in Nigerian Breweries, oil and gas, with profit-taking action in Seplat Energies begins to weigh in on the sector’s performance and industrial goods indexes due to sell-off action in cement manufacturer, Lafarge Africa, which depreciated by 0.52 percent, 2.22 percent and 0.13 percent from last week, respectively.
Across the market breadth, which measures the sentiments of investors, there was reinforcement during the week as thirty-six (36) equities appreciated in price during the week, higher than Twenty-two (22) equities in the previous week. Thirty-three (33) equities depreciated in price, lower than Forty-nine (49) equities in the previous week, while Eighty-seven (87) equities remained unchanged higher than Eighty-five (85) equities recorded in the previous week.
At the close of the week, the top gainers’ chart was led by securities that included Presco Plc (N20.50), RT Briscoe (N0.10), Cornerstone Insurance (N0.10), UAC Nigeria (N1.35) and Nigerian Exchange Group (N1.00) as a result of price appreciations in the stocks, respectively. On the other hand, United Capital (N1.35), May and Baker (N1.00), Unilever Nigeria (N1.00) and Ellah Lakes (N0.71) all witnessed price declines in their stocks due to pressured sell-offs and continued profit-taking activities.