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Stock market closes December upbeat, as investors gain N397b

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The Nigerian equity market, yesterday, closed transactions for the month of December upbeat, with a gain of N397 billion, driven by price appreciation on BUA Cement and 17 others.

According to Bloomberg, the Nigerian equities benchmark index in Africa’s largest economy recorded its highest return, this year, the most among 93 equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg. It is the world’s best-performing stock market year-to-date.

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The All-Share Index (ASI) gained 758.41 absolute points, representing a gain of 1.92 per cent to close at 40,270.72 points. Similarly, the overall market capitalisation value also appreciated by N397 billion to close at N21.057 trillion.

The uptrend was driven by price appreciation in medium and large capitalised stocks among which are, MTN Nigeria, BUA Cement, BOC Gases, Northern Nigeria Flour Mills (NNFM) and C&I Leasing.

However, market sentiment, as measured by market breadth, was negative, as 18 stocks gained, relative to 24 losers.

BOC Gases recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent to close at N9.57 kobo.

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NNFM followed with a gain 9.95 per cent to close at N6.74, while C&I Leasing rose by 9.94 per cent to close at N5.20 kobo.

FCMB Groups went up by 9.90 per cent to close at N3.33, while BUA Cement appreciated by 9.87 per cent to close at N77.35 kobo.

On the other hand, FTN Cocoa Processors led the losers’ chart by 9.59 per cent, to close at 66 kobo. Eterna followed with a decline of 9.09 per cent to close at N5.10, while AIICO Insurance declined by 8.87 per cent to close at N1.13 kobo.

International Breweries lost 8.32 per cent to close at N5.95, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) shed 7.69 per cent to close at N6.00 kobo.

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The total volume traded increased by 90.57 per cent to 710.706 million shares, worth N10.082 billion, and traded in 4,396 deals.

Transactions in the shares of AIICO Insurance topped the activity chart with 205.998 million shares valued at N234.227 million.

Access Bank followed with 99.649 million shares worth N898.546 million, while Japaul Gold and Ventures traded 85.743 million shares valued at N49.592 million.

FBN Holdings (FBNH) traded 48.314 million shares valued at N342.906 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 44.037 million shares worth N1.094 billion.

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