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By NBF News
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Equities value hit N7 trillion mark, after seven days of consecutive gains totaling N397.74 billion. At the close of trading session, yesterday, market capitalization appreciated by N23.85 billion to close at N7 trillion up from N6.98 trillion recorded previous day, after a N37.01 billion appreciation.

It was a remarkable turn in performance of the equities market in the past one year as the key performance indicators of All Share Index and Market Capitalisation were last seen at that level early last year when Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) was still around 6.5 per cent.

Stockbrokers say that the rising trend is largely driven by speculation that market makers are about to commence operations at the capital market but warned that the trend might be terminated if the broker dealers fail to come on board soon to sustain investors' expectations.

The Chief Executive Officer, Lambeth Securities Trust Limited, Mr. David Adonri, explained that principal stocks like Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank, GT Bank, First Bank, Guinness Nigerian Breweries Plc. have appreciated significantly in the last two weeks to boost market key indicators.

According to him, the scenario suggested that foreign institutional investors are taking position in the market supported by the fundamental and impressive performance of the quoted companies with strong fundamentals. At the close of trading session, Wednesday, the NSE All-Share Index which measures performance of the equities rose by 0.34 percent to close at 21,970.21 as against an upbeat by 0.53 per cent recorded in the previous session to close at 21,895.41.

With the sustained rally for the seventh session market year to date performance bounced back from initial negative position to stand at +5.98 per cent, while the NSE Index inches towards 22,000 basis points. All the five NSE sectoral indices closed positive as NSE 30, which basically measures the performance of blue chips maintained uptrend by 0.32 per cent; NSE Insurance appreciated by 1.98 per cent just as NSE Oil & Gas rose by 1.29 percent leaving NSE banking with the lowest gain of 0.19 percent as against 0.54 per cent gain recorded by NSE Food.

Also commenting on the development, the Chief Executive Officer, Crane Securities Limited, Mr. Mike Okpara Eze, said there had been reduced sell pressure by shareholders who rather prefer to hold on to their portfolio expecting that by the time approved market makers commence operations, the stocks may record impressive capital appreciation.

The stockbroker disclosed that institutional investors both local and foreign were buying up whatever stocks are available at every trading session, stressing that there is need to sustain investors' appetite by getting the market makers on board without further delay.

Only Tuesday, the Nigerian Stock Exchange inaugurated the ten market makers, signifying that they could commence operations immediately especially those of them that have ready financiers who could supply needed liquidity.

Market makers are stocks dealers who intervene to mop up stocks when there are excess supply or release flow of stocks when there is short supply. They maintain liquidity and stocks equilibrium of the market.