By Samuel Bankole
Nigerian stocks again rose more than one percent on Wednesday to a near three-year high as highly capitalised stock, Dangote Cement pushed the market index up as the firm began a share repurchase scheme.
Traders said the market was also driven by many institutional investors buy up shares to meet their year end quota of portfolio investment.
The All Share Index rose 1.03 percent to close at 39,512.31 points.
The market cap of equities listed on the NSE increased to a new record high of N20.660 trillion from N20.447 trillion the previous day.
The total volume traded closed with an exchange of 372.934 million units valued at N11.50 billion traded in 5,186 deals.
The market breadth was positive with 24 gainers as against 19 losers.
The NSE 30 Index increased by 1.26 percent to close at 1,603.71 points as against 1,583.79 points as on the previous day. Market turnover closed with traded volume of 247.74 million units.
International Breweries and BUA Cement were the key gainers, while Flour Mills and UBN were the key losers.
The local bourse has gained 47.2 percent year-to-date; its best performance in 17 years, according to analysts.
The Nigerian equity market has sustained its growth trajectory since October, lifted by low interest rate regime in the money market as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) further slashed Monetary Policy Rate (MPR)to 11.5 from 12.5 percent.
Surging liquidity in the money market coupled with low yields on fixed income assets has continued to lure investors into the equity market, leading to rapid gains in listed stocks.
On Wednesday, Dangote Cement, which accounts for a fifth of the market capitalisation started a share repurchase scheme, which will see the company buying back about 85.2 million shares on the stock market on Wednesday.
The deal will see the cement firm, majorly owned by Africa’s richest man repurchase at N208.4 billion based on the company’s current price.
The share of the Sub-Saharan African biggest cement firm closed at N245 per share and has gained 72.5 percent year-to-date.