The equities market opened the week on a positive note as gains in Dangote Flour Mills Plc and 17 other stocks pushed the market higher.
Investors gained N19bn as the market capitalisation of equities increased from N13.465tn on Friday to N13.484tn on Monday. Analysts said the positive performance could be attributed to major price appreciation in large cap stocks such as MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc. Dangote Flour Mills led gainers on Monday as its share price gained 10 per cent following the announcement of a revised purchase offer from Olam International Limited. The revised offer indicated that shareholders would get consideration of N24 per share, compared to the closing price as of Monday at N20.35. This made the shares of Dangote Flour Mills attractive as investors sought to buy. As a result of the combined factors, the All Share Index rose by 0.14 per cent to 27,672.29 basis points while year-to-date loss improved to -12 per cent.
However, activity level was mixed as volume traded advanced by 73.7 per cent to 280.695 million units while value traded declined by 70.7 per cent to N1.4bn. The top traded stocks by volume were MTN Nigeria (25.4 million units), Zenith Bank Plc (16.9 million units) and Access Bank Plc (15.9 million units) while MTN (N3.2bn), Dangote Cement Plc (N346.5m) and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N333.6m) were the top traded stocks by value. Performance across sectors was largely negative as four sectors closed on a negative note. The industrial goods index emerged the lone gainer, up by 0.67 per cent following buying interest in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria. On the flip side, the banking sector declined the most, down by 0.55 per cent on the back of sell-offs witnessed in FBN Holdings Plc, Access Bank Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.
The oil and gas index depreciated by 0.20 per cent while the consumer goods index declined by 0.05 per cent as a result of sell pressures in Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc. The insurance index lost 0.03 per cent on the back of major price depreciation in NEM Insurance Plc. Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio), strengthened to 1.5x from the 1.0x recorded on Friday as 18 stocks gained while 12 declined. Following Dangote Flour Mills were four other major gainers, namely, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, B.O.C Gases Plc, UACN Property Development Company Plc and NCR Nigeria Plc, which saw respective gains of 10 per cent, 9.86 per cent, 9.73 per cent and 9.43 per cent. Analysts at Afrinvest Securities said they saw opportunities for bargain hunting but believed the bearish sentiment would persist over the near term.