NSE Equities Cap N149 Billion as Bulls Return to Market

The bulls returned to the stock market thursday after two days of absence lifting the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) by one per cent to close at 29,352.13, while market capitalisation added N149 billion to close at N15.1 trillion.

After rallying for many days the market declined last Tuesday and Wednesday on profit taking. However, the market rebounded yesterday as 23 stocks appreciated as against 16 stocks that depreciated.

Livestock Feeds Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent trailed by Forte Oil Plc with 8.4 per cent. Lafarge Africa Plc gained 6.3 per cent, while Jaiz Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc garnered 6.2 per cent and 5.7 per cent. United Bank for Africa Plc gained 4.7 per cent. Courtville Business Solutions Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc 4.5 per cent and 4.1 per cent in that order.

Unilever Nigeria Plc will be led by Mr. Carl Raymond Cruz as from February 1, 2020 as the new managing director. He will be coming from Unilever Sri Lanka, where is the chairman.

According to market analysts, some investors are excited about the coming of Cruz given his profile and experience. They are hoping that he will improve fortunes of the company.

Cruz, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from De La Salle University, Philippines, is coming with extensive career in Unilever D & E Markets in Asia (Philipines, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka).

The company explained that since joining Unilever in 1992, he has gained over 26 years’ experience working in Customer Development, and in Marketing roles across Home Care, Beauty & Personal Care and Foods. Most recently, as Chairman of Unilever Sri Lanka, Carl has successfully steered the business to a sustainable and competitive growth trajectory.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated was also among the price gainers, chalking up 4.1 per cent, just as FCMB Group Plc appreciated by 3.6 per cent. Sterling Bank Plc and Dangote Cement Plc appreciated by 3.2 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively.

Conversely, BOC Gases Plc led the price losers with 10 per cent, trailed by Caverton Offshore Services Group Plc with 9.9 per cent. Cornerstone Insurance Plc shed 6.9 per cent, while UAC of Nigeria Plc went down by 6.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, activity level increased as volume and value traded rose 7.5 per cent and 77 per cent to 387.2 million shares and N5.0 billion respectively. The most active stocks by volume were Access Bank Plc (74.6 million shares), Zenith Bank Plc (71.8 million shares) and Lafarge Africa Plc (40.7 million shares) while Zenith Bank (N1.6 billion), Access Bank Plc ( N770.9 million) and Lafarge Africa Plc (N629.9 million) led by value.

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