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Bargain hunting in MTN, others drive N98 bln gains in Nigeria’s equity market

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By Ifeyinwa Ezeokoli

The Nigerian equities market kicked off this week on a bullish note as bargain hunting in MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN) (+0.9 percent) underpinned market performance.

Consequently, the market capitalization rose by N98 billion to close at N28.515 trillion.

Also, the All-Share Index rose by 181.20 points, or 0.35 percent, to close at 52,369.13.

Accordingly, the month-to-date and year-to-date returns settled at -0.1 percent and +2.2 percent, respectively.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium- and large-capitalized stocks, amongst which are: MTNN, PZ Cussons, Nigerian Exchange Group, Julius Berger, and Zenith Bank

This week, United Capital Plc expected mixed sentiments in the equities market, comprising pockets of buy interest across fundamentally sound stocks and bearish sentiments arising from an upward reversal of yields in the fixed income market.

“We recommend a cautious approach for equity vested investors and fund managers, with a strategic switch to defensive stocks with strong corporate actions and fundamentals,” United Capital added.

As measured by market breadth, market sentiment was positive, as 31 stocks gained relative to 15 losers.

Ikeja Hotels led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.85 percent to close at N2.23 per share.

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Academy Press followed with a gain of 9.80 percent to close at N1.68, while Prestige Assurance rose by 9.76 percent to close at 45k per share.

NPF Microfinance Bank went up by 9.71 percent to close at N1.92, while C&I Leasing appreciated by 9.69 percent to close at N3.51 per share.

On the other hand, NCR Nigeria led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.71 percent to close at N2.79 per share.

Sovereign Trust Insurance followed with a decline of 8.89 percent to close at 41k, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals declined by 7.33 percent to close at N1.39 per share.

Ardova Plc depreciated by 6.95 percent to close at N18.75, while the Royal Exchange declined by 5.77 percent to close at 49k per share.

The total volume traded declined by 61.1 percent to 315.69 million units, valued at N4.03 billion, and exchanged in 5,847 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 53.43 million shares valued at N1.38 billion.

Access Holdings followed with 48.03 million shares worth N486.3 million, while United Bank for Africa traded 31.111 million shares valued at N261.96 million.

AXA Mansard Insurance traded 23.56 million shares valued at N74.36 million, while Guaranty Trust Holding Company sold 20.12 million shares worth N541.04 million.

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