Shareholders of quoted firms on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange recorded a gain of N28bn during the first two weeks of lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the country. Market watchers had speculated that the announcement by the Federal Government ordering restriction of movements in Lagos, Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for a period of first 14 days would dampen investors’ sentiment.
During the 14 days, the market opened for eight trading days as the Federal Government declared Friday, April 10 (Good Friday) and Monday, April 13 public holidays for the Easter period. Checks by our correspondent showed that activities on the NSE which opened the trading at N11.12tn in market capitalisation and 21,330.79 in index at the beginning of trading on March 31 closed at N11.14tn and 21,384.03 index points on April 13, hence made a cumulative gain of about N28bn.
Also, the All-Share Index grew by 53.24 basis points or 0.25 per cent. The index measures the performance of the stock market and reflects how prices of stocks have moved, which in turn determines how much investors made as gains or losses. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, financial markets, particularly the capital markets around the world have seen levels of volatility that are only comparable to the global financial crisis of 2007/2008.
To maintain the integrity of the market and in order for it to continue to stimulate economic growth, the NSE activated its business continuity plan on March 23. Through the activation, the exchange has continued trading during normal hours and days by providing remote trading access for dealing member firms through FIX Protocol and Virtual Private Network platforms.
The acting DG SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, speaking on how the lockdown had affected the capital market on Wednesday said, “We are happy with the way the capital market is going; we have released about three circulars concerning the action against the COVID-19. One of them was to tell the entire capital market operators who we regulate to give us report on their Business Continuity Plan and processes.” She added that the market had been trading as everyone had activated their BCPs.
BOURSE EXTENDS GAIN WITH N8BN
Following bargain hunting activities, the Nigerian stock market on Thursday extended its gaining streak for the sixth day as the NSE ASI rose further by 0.066 per cent. However, market breath closed negative as the number of gainers at the close of trading session was 18 while decliners closed at 20.
Consequently, the All-Share Index rose by 14.9 basis points or 0.066 per cent to close at 22.554.84 index points as against 22.539.94 recorded the previous day while market capitalisation of equities appreciated by N8bn to close higher at N11.754tn from N11.746tn as market sentiment remained on the green territory. Meanwhile, a turnover of 379.11 million shares in 5,985 deals was recorded in the day’s trading.
Premium subsector was the most active (measured by turnover volume); with 196.33 million shares exchanged by investors in 3,123 deals. Volume in the subsector was driven by activities in the shares of Zenith Bank Plc and FBNH Plc. Banking subsector boosted by the activities in the shares of GTB Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc followed with a turnover of 55.33m shares in 1.002 deals.
Further analysis of the day’s trading showed that Nestle Nigeria Plc topped the gainers’ table with 10 per cent to close at N913.20 per share while Nigerian Breweries Plc followed with 9.89 per cent to close at N29.45 per share and Conoil Nigeria Plc with a gain of 9.69 per cent to close at N15.85 per share.
On the flip side, Access Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc led the losers’ chart with a drop of 10 per cent each to close at N6.30 and N1.35 per share respectively. Nacho Plc followed with a loss of 9.79 per cent to close at N2 12 per share while Zenith Bank Plc dropped by 9.75 per cent to close at N14.35 per share.