Stories by Chinenye Anuforo
Equities investors yesterday gained N21.8 billion as trading at the nation’s stock exchange closed on a positive note.
The Nigerian Stock Exchnage (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 0.23 percent to close at N27,751.34 basis points, just as market capaitalisation added N21.8 billion to close at N9.531 trillion compared to a loss of N49 billion recorded previously when market capitalisation closed at N9.509 trillion.
Cutix Plc led the day’s 14 advancers to close at N1.66 per share following a gain of 9.21 percent or 14 kobo, Total Oil Plc also gained 8.06 percent or N16.60 to close at N222.60 per share, while Mobil Oil Plc added 5 percent or N8.10 to close at N170.10 per share.
On the other hand, AIICO Insurance Plc led 17 declining stocks on account of a 6.94 percent reduction in the value of its shares to close at 67 kobo per share, as International Breweries followed with a loss of 4.96 percent or 96 kobo to close at N18.38 per share.
Continental Reinsurance Plc dropped 4.90 percent or 5 kobo to close at 97 kobo per share, Transcorp gained 4.76 percent or 6 kobo to close at N1.20 per share, and Diamond Bank Plc shed 4.43 percent or 7 kobo to close at N1.51 per share.
The three most traded stocks of the day were FBN Holdings which accounted for 30.8 million shares valued at N101.9 million, Fidelity traded 23.1 million shares worth N24.5 million; and Guaranty Trust Bank sold 14.1 million shares valued at N340.6 million.
At the end of the day’s trading investors exchanged a total of 155.8 million shares worth N1.5 billion in 3,320 deals compared to 301.2 million shares worth N2.3 billion exchanged in 3,681 deals on Wednesday.
BET 2016: Diamond Bank targets agric, health, education sector
Diamond Bank plc has kicked-off its sixth year of Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) as it focuses on three sectors, including agriculture, health and education.
Speaking at a press conference, the Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, said that these three sectors were key for any growing economy and it is believed that providing training and financial support for these sectors will impact the economy significantly.
The BET programme is an annual capacity building and business education project which involves the training of 50 budding entrepreneurs over a period of six months after which the top five entrepreneurs are awarded N 3,000,000 grants for their businesses expansion.
The bank is targeting 10,000 applications this year compared to 5,000 last year.
Dozie explained that BET is collaboration between Diamond Bank and Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University, which started about five years ago.
He sees massive opportunity in agriculture following naira devaluation and the dwindling revenue occasioned by sharp drop in oil prices.
Uzoma stressed that Diamond Bank is committed to building local entrepreneurs who understands the market and could adapt quicker, adding that initiative has contributed immensely to the pool of skilled small and medium scale entrepreneurs as well as enduring wealth creation in the country.
Also speaking at the occasion, Peter Bankole from Enterprise Development Center, said by the end of this year, the programme would have registered 10,000 and Diamond Bank would have given out N90 million in grant.
“I have not seen too much consistency when it comes to supporting small businesses. We started with right ideas which metamorphosed into BET”, Bankole said.
Also speaking at the event, Njideka Esomeju, head, emerging businesses, Diamond Bank, said the whole idea of BET is empowerment, ensuring we move people to the next level.
“We take application from all over the country. Last year we had about 5,000 applicants. This year we are expecting about 10,000 applications. We are focusing on agriculture, health sector and education. We need to make sure our schools are better. We need to make sure our health facilities are better and we need to make sure we produce enough food to eat”, Esomeju said.
Head of the Bank’s MSME Unit, Chima Nnadosie, said that the BET is a part of the bank’s programmes to enhance the growth of MSMEs in Nigeria. In this year’s edition, according her, five people are going to emerge winners. And we are given out five million to each of the five winners.