Due to sell-offs across bellwether stocks, the Nigerian equities market closed the week in the negative territory as market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dipped by N292 billion Week-on-Week (W-o-W).
The bearish sentiment had kick-started the trading week as the banking and consumer goods indices slumped, thus the All-Share Index (ASI) shed 0.90 per cent to close Monday’s session at 31,636.66 points.
The Month-to-Date (MtD) (-0.26 per cent) slipped into the negative region while Year-to-Date (YtD) return moderated further to 0.66 per cent.
But the bearish run came to a halt on Wednesday as bargain hunting in the shares of Nestle, Sterling Bank and GT Bank led to a rebound of 0.15 per cent in the All Share Index (ASI) which settled at 31,360.28 points.
Similarly, market capitalisation rose by N17.5 billion to close trading session at N11.694 trillion while Year-to-Date (YtD) loss moderated to – 0.2 per cent.
Market analysts were of the opinion that the rebound will further buoy market performance over the near term. But their expectations were dashed as the bears returned to the fore once again as investors preferred to pull away their profit.
Friday’s session was not any different as the benchmark index slipped further by 0.22 per cent to close at 31,142.72 points, representing a decrease of 781.79 basis points W-o-W.
Similarly, market capitalisation settled at N11.613 trillion from N11.905 trillion recorded last week, representing a loss of N292 billion.
At the sound of the closing gong, 19 stocks depreciated in value while nine others appreciated. Ikeja Hotel led the losers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at N2.07 per share, Sterling Bank followed with a decline of 7.60 per cent to close at N2.31, UCAP fell by 6.67 per cent to close at N2.80, Africa Prudential declined by 6.17 per cent to close at N3.80 while FCMB lost 5.61 per cent to close at N1.85 per share.
On the flipside, Royal Exchange Plc topped the gainers’ chart with 9.38 per cent to close at 0.35 kobo per share. Jaiz Bank was next with a gain of 5.88 per cent to close at 0.54 kobo, Neimeth increased by 3.08 per cent to close at 0.67 kobo, Union Bank of Nigeria garnered 2.19 per cent to close at N7 while Oando rose by 1.74 per cent to close at N5.85 per share.
FBN Holdings was the toast of investors with the sale of 39.58 million shares valued at N327.03 million. Zenith Bank traded 39.60 million shares worth N877.85 million while UBA transacted 24.03 million shares valued at N181.94 million.
Sunday Sun observed that investors’ confidence in the Nigeria’s equities market seems to be waning after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared President Muhammadu Buhari winner of the presidential poll and the signs of uncertainty continued with Jumia Technologies filing for an unusual Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) weeks after its largest shareholder, MTN Group Limited, said it will divest its stakes.
Jumia said it intends to take advantage of the growth of e-commerce in Africa to attract public investment, adding that this will help to raise funds and boost awareness as Internet access and smart-phone use increases.
According to information obtained from the filing that was made on Tuesday, the company will trade under JMIA on the NYSE and would be valued at about $1.5 billion.
This development is seen as a big snub to the NSE as the Nigerian terrain had contributed to the growth and development of the company since its operations.
Reacting to bearish sentiment in the market, analysts at Afrinvest in an emailed note to Sunday Sun said that despite the sell-offs, positive corporate earnings of some of the quoted companies will drive the performance of the market in the near term.
Also, Cordros Capital, a Lagos-based investment firm, said, “in the absence of a positive catalyst, we guide investors to trade cautiously in the short term. However, stable macroeconomic fundamentals and compelling valuation remain supportive of recovery in the mid-to-long term.