Investors dump shares in Airtel, Zenith Bank

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The nation’s equities market closed in the red on Tuesday as the All Share Index shed 0.61 per cent to settle at 27,407.04 basis points on the back of sell-offs in Airtel Africa Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Flour Mills Nigeria Plc.

Investors lost N81.4bn as the market capitalisation of equities declined to N13.342tn from N13.423tn on Monday while the year-to-date loss worsened to -12.8 per cent.

At the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday, activity level declined as volume and value traded fell by 26.2 per cent and 0.20 per cent to 198.034 million units and N2.899bn, respectively.

Access Bank Plc (57.8 million units), Zenith Bank (20 million units) and Sterling Bank Plc (10.4m units) were the top traded stocks by volume while MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (N974.4m), Access Bank (N434.2m) and Zenith Bank (N382.2m) were the top stocks by value traded.

Performance across sectors was mixed as three indices closed positively.

The insurance index led gainers, up by 0.8 per cent following bargain hunting in NEM Insurance Plc and AXA Mansard Insurance Plc.

The industrial goods index appreciated by 0.6 per cent on the back of major gains in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc.

The consumer goods index rose by 0.20 per cent due to price appreciation in Nigerian Beweries Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc.

On the flip side, the AFRI-ICT index led laggards, declining by four per cent due to sell offs in Airtel Africa while price depreciation in Zenith Bank and Sterling Bank drove the banking index lower by 0.01 per cent.

The oil and gas index closed flat.

Investor sentiment weakened as market breadth (advance/decline ratio) decreased to 1.5x from 2.1x recorded on Monday as 22 stocks advanced relative to 14 that declined.

The top gainers were NEM Insurance, Livestock Feeds Plc, PZ Cussons Plc, Cornestone Insurance Plc and Jaiz Bank Plc.

The top losers were Airtel Africa, UACN Property Development Company Plc, NCR Plc, Courteville Business Solutions Plc and Continental Reinsurance Plc.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said they believed the bearish momentum would persist due to weak investors’ appetite towards the domestic equities market.

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