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MTN, BUA Cement drag down Nigeria’s equities market as index shaves 1.23% off value

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By Samuel Bankole

Nigeria’s equities market closed on a negative note on Friday, driven by losses in the local units of MTN Group and Bua Cement.

The market reacted to losses posted by the telecom giant at the end of its 2023 financial year.

The market’s main index, the All Share Index, took a major dive with a 1.23 percent decline to close at 98,751.98 points.

MTN Nigeria has suffered a loss after tax of N137.0 billion in FY23, compared to a profit of N348.7 billion in FY22.

Despite revenue growth, MTN Nigeria faced headwinds, including naira devaluation, higher inflation and energy costs, and the impact of the 2023 Finance Act VAT on tower leases, resulting in elevated operating expenses.

Consequently, investors sell off the stock of the telecom firm, leading to a 9.96 percent decline in the value of its share on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

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Also, Bua Cement suffered a 10 percent decline in its share, while Fidelity Bank’s share decreased by 3.85 percent as a result of a sell-off by investors.

At the close of the transaction, the market capitalization of equities listed on the NGX decreased to N54.035 trillion from N54.707 trillion compared with the previous close.

The total volume traded closed with an exchange of 367.620 million units valued at N6.78 billion, traded in 9,168 deals. However, the market breadth was positive, with 47 gainers against 8 losers.

The NGX 30 Index decreased by 1.20 percent to close at 3,726.26 points, as against 3,771.68 points at the previous close.

Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 256.10 million units. while despite the 9.93 percent gains in the stock of Transcorp and the 9.92 percent increase in Access shares, the decline in BUA Cement and MTN Nigeria dragged the market index down.

Meanwhile, on the money market, the overnight (O/N) borrowing rate increased by 4.26 percent to close at 28.19 percent against the last close of 23.93 percent.

The open repo (OPR) rate increased by 4.16 percent to close at 27.16 percent compared to 23.00 percent on the previous day.

The local currency, however strengthened on the officla I&E foreign exchange market as the naira appreciated against the greenback. The dollar was quoted at N1,548.25 as against the previous close of N1,595.11.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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