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NSE index sustains rising profile, up by 0.25 per cent

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• Strengthens investor protection with upgrade of x-whistle
Transactions on the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), sustained a rising profile yesterday, as more blue-chip stocks appreciated in price, resulting in a further rise in the All Share Index (ASI) by 0.25 per cent.
   
Yesterday, the ASI increased by 62.61 absolute points, or 0.25 per cent to close at 25,291.73 points. Similarly, investors gained N32billion as market capitalisation rose to N13.194trillion.

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The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, including BUA Cement, Julius Berger, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Lafarge Africa, and NEM Insurance.
 
Analysts noted that the earnings reporting season has continued to support the market’s bulls’ run, but noted that it is gradually coming to end with the expectation of half-year scorecards from the first-tier banks any moment from now. Analysts at Afrinvest Limited, said: “Given the gaining streak, we expect investors to take profit in subsequent trading days.”
   
However, market sentiment, as measured by the market breadth, was negative, as 15 stocks lost relative to 20 gainers. NEM Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 9.63 per cent to close at N2.05 per share.
 
Wapic Insurance followed with 6.25 per cent to close at 34 kobo, and Japaul Oil and Maritime Services advanced 4.76 per cent to close at 22 kobo, per share.
   
Jaiz Bank rose 3.51 per cent to close at 59 kobo, while Julius Berger appreciated by 3.03 per cent to close at N17.00, per share.
On the other hand, Beta Glass led the losers’ chart by 9.99 per cent, to close at N55.40, per share.    
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May and Baker Nigeria followed with 9.90 per cent to close at N2.73, and Arbico Plc lost 9.52 per cent to close at N1.14, per share. C&I Leasing shed 9.09 per cent to close at N4.00, while Cutix slipped 7.89 per cent to close at N1.75, per share.
   
The total volume traded rose marginally by 0.06 per cent to 251.34 million shares worth N1.168billion and traded in 3,713 deals. Transactions in the shares of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) topped the activity chart with 94.882 million shares valued at N52.278million.
   
United Bank for Africa (UBA) followed with 33.171 million shares worth N216.454 million, while Wema Bank traded 14.551 million shares valued at N7.428 million.
   
Zenith Bank traded 10.434 million shares at N176.447million, while Sterling Bank transacted 9.633 million shares worth N11.288million.

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Meanwhile, the Exchange has announced the upgrade of its whistle-blowing platform, X-Whistle. X-Whistle, which was first launched in 2014, is a web-based whistle-blowing portal that empowers a whistleblower – an employee, investor, compliance officer, Issuer, stockbroker or any member of the public to report possible violations of the rules and regulations of the exchange, the securities law and fraud related to activity within the capital market.

The upgraded X-Whistle, accessible via, https://bit.ly/X-Whistle, boasts an improved user interface and easier navigation to enhance user experience. Some of the new features include a single repository for complaints, tips and referrals; and the ability to generate detailed and varied reports with analytics for proper tracking.
   
Speaking on the development, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar N. Onyema, said: “This upgrade affirms our commitment to upholding market integrity, protecting investors and building a world-class capital market that is fully digitised.
 
“The X-Whistle has, therefore, been enhanced to ensure that all stakeholders are better able to sound the alarm on market violations in a quick, easy and seamless manner. We believe that the updates we have made to the X-Whistle will enhance market integrity and encourage accountability, while improving the experience of stakeholders in our market.”

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On her part, the Executive Director, Regulation Division, NSE, Ms. Tinuade Awe, stated: “The Exchange is pleased to introduce the upgraded X-Whistle to the market with robust features that will allow people with information about misconduct to come forward to report it and to provide all stakeholders with the means of expressing their concerns in a responsible and effective manner.
 
“In 2019 alone, the complaints, tips and referrals received have led to investors’ restitution in excess of N1.4 Billion. The X-Whistle will, therefore, further equip the exchange with the tools required to properly assess reports, carry out the necessary investigations and resolve issues efficiently.”
   
The Exchange reiterated its commitment to providing a dynamic and robust capital market regulatory regime for the benefit of all its stakeholders. The NSE therefore encourages all stakeholders to blow the whistle via X-Whistle in order to rid the market of infractions and misconduct.

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