The stock market shrugged off losses recorded the previous to rebound yesterday with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index appreciating by 1.51 per cent to close at 32,686.72.
After a nine-day rally the market had on Tuesday declined due to profit taking. However, the bulls returned yesterday bolstered by gains in Dangote Cement, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Seplat, Forte Oil among others. Consequently, the index rose to close higher at 32,686.72, while market capitalisation ended at N11.30 trillion. In all, 26 stocks added value, led by International Breweries Plc with 10.22 per cent, trailed by Forte Oil Plc, with 10.2 per cent, while Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc chalked up 9.9 per cent. Market analysts said the renewed demand for International Breweries may not be unconnected with its plan to merge with two other companies, Intafact Beverages Limited and Pabod Breweries Limited.The three companies have Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA as a common shareholder.
According to International Breweries Plc, the proposed merger was considered and approved at the company’s board meeting on June 2, 2017. The Osun State based brewing firm said the merger would benefit all stakeholders, particularly shareholders.
“The proposed merger is expected to generate both revenue and cost synergies, enhanced operational efficiencies, better resource management and more streamlined operations. On the receipt of regulatory approvals (including the NSE and Securities and Exchange Commission), all parties will take further steps to consummate the proposed merger including obtaining the approval of their respective shareholders at separate court-ordered meetings,” the company said.
An analysis of the market performance across sectors indicated that three of the five indices advanced. The NSE Oil & Gas Index outperformed with a 3.0 per cent gain on account of appreciations in Forte Oil Plc (+10.2 per cent) and Seplat (+5.0 per cent). According to analysts, Seplat’s bullish close could be linked to the lifting of Force Majeure on Forcados export terminal which is positive for production volumes, forward earnings and cash flow of the company. Similarly, the NSE Industrial Goods Index rose by 2.0 per cent due to renewed interest in Dangote Cement (+4.8 per cent) just as the NSE Consumer Goods Index appreciated by 0.6 per cent on the back of gains in Dangote Sugar Refinery (+10.0 per cent) and International Breweries (+10.2 per cent).
Conversely, the NSE Insurance Index extended losses, down 1.4 per cent due to decline in AIICO Insurance (-3.6 per cent) and AXA Mansard (-3.0 per cent) while the NSE Banking Index went down by 0.6 per cent on account of losses in Zenith Bank (-0.8 per cent) and GTBank (-0.8 per cent).