The equities market, yesterday, advanced for the third day running following sustained gains in the banking stocks and shares of two consumer goods companies – Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc, leading to N162 billion gains to the investors. At the end of the day’s trading, 10 banking stocks, including three tier-1 banks recorded price gains. These include United Bank for Africa (9.73%), FBN Holdings Plc (6.82%) and Zenith Bank Plc (5.66%). Also, DSR advanced by 9.74 percent after announcement of merger with Savannah Sugar, while another consumer goods company, Nestle Nigeria appreciated by 8.52 percent.
Consequently, the benchmark All Share Index (ASI) advanced by 1.47 percent to settle at 21,384.03 points from 21,073.26 points the previous day.
Also, the market capitalisation of all listed equities rose to N11.144 trillion from N10.982 trillion, indicating 1.48 percent or N162 billion increase. Mallam Garba Kurfi, Managing Director/CEO, APT Securities and Fund, said the market is expected to continue to trickle up but at a slow pace given the absence of foreign investors in the market. “I expect the market to keep advancing because what brought the market down two days ago were the shares of Dangote Cement and Bua Cement but I don’t see them going further down. MTN has gradually started coming up. So, we envisage that Dangote Cement will also come up; the banks are already coming up and that is helping the situation. “The dividend yields for these companies are very strong, their prices are low and their earnings are equally strong. When you add all these together, it gives a better buy rather than sell position. “The only snag is that if the foreign investors do not come back, our market will not advance faster,” he said. Meanwhile, sectorial performance showed that gains were recorded in four of the five major sectors with the exception of the industrial goods sector, which declined by 0.6 percent on the back of losses in Bua Cement Plc. On the flip side, the consumer goods sector advanced the most, rising by 5.03 percent, followed by the banking sector with four percent, while the oil & gas and the insurance sectors went up by 1.4 percent and 0.3 percent respectively. The price movement chart showed that 24 stocks posted gains, while 11 stocks declined.