December 2, 2008

Decline deepens as market loses N189bn

Activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange continued on a low note on Monday as market indices, declined further at the end of the first trading day of the month.

Specifically, the market capitalisation of the 302 listed equities, which had closed at N7.306tn on Friday, dropped by N180bn or 2.5 per cent to close at N7.126tn.

Similarly, the All-Share Index of the NSE slid by 811.4 basis points, or 2.5 per cent to close at 32,214.35, down from 33,025.75 on Friday.

Market analysts, however, attributed the persistent decline to profit-taking activities of investors.

According to them, the trend may continue well into the early part of 2009, as investors may want to cash in on their investments to meet up with responsibilities and year end celebrations.

Only 10 companies recorded price appreciations on Monday, with May and Baker Plc leading the chart by gaining 36 kobo to close at N7.50 per share.

Skye Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc followed, adding 17 kobo and 15 kobo, to close at N7.98 and N3.24 respectively.

On the other hand, major blue-chip stocks recorded significant losses in their share prices.

Conoil Plc led the losers’ chart with a loss of N4.73 to close at N89.90 per share.

Guinness Nigeria Plc lost N4.69 to close at N89.23 per share while the shares of Oando Plc and UACN Plc dropped by N3.94 and N1.47 to close at N75.05 and N30.03 respectively.

The banking sub-sector maintained its dominance on the activity chart as it accounted for 48 per cent of total volume traded on Monday.

Activity in the sub-sector was boosted by trading in the shares of United Bank for Africa Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, which represented 33 per cent of turnover.

The insurance sub-sector followed on the activity chart, trading 62,193 million shares, valued at N55.716m in 520 deals. It accounted for 31 per cent of volume.

Trading in the shares of Investment and Allied Assurance Plc drove the sub-sector’s volume, accounting for 70 per cent of turnover.

In all, investors staked N1.637tn on 201.119 million shares, in 7,012 transactions, compared with 294.985 million equities, valued at N2.612bn, exchanged on Friday in 8,142 deals

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