Equities lose N209b amid panic selloffs

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NIGERIAN equities lost N209 billion on Monday as investors overlooked earnings and dividend yields and opened up market orders to close transactions at lower prices.

With weak macroeconomic outlook and global scare over the Coronavirus crisis, more than three of four transactions at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday were closed at lower prices. Benchmark indices indicated average decline of 1.53 per cent, equivalent to net capital depreciation of N209 billion.

Many large-cap quoted companies including Nestle Nigeria, MTN Nigeria Communications, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and United Bank for Africa (UBA) had released their full-year audited results with dividend recommendations. Dividend yields were in double digits for many stocks but these failed to lift the market.

The All Share Index (ASI)- the value-based index that tracks all share prices at the Exchange, declined from its opening index of 26,216.46 points to close at 25,816.57 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted companies dropped from its opening value of N13.658 trillion to close at N13.449 trillion. Average year-to-date return worsened to -3.82 per cent.

With 28 decliners to nine advancers, all sectoral indices closed in the red with the exception of the NSE Insurance Index, which rose by 0.3 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index dropped by 5.19 per cent. The NSE Banking Index declined by 3.66 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index dipped by 1.22 per cent while the NSE Oil and Gas Index slipped by 0.35 per cent.

Nestle Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N113 to close at N1,017. CAP followed with a drop of N2.45 to close at N22.15. Lafarge Africa dropped by N1.55 to close at N13.95. Unilever Nigeria lost N1.50 to close at N13.50. GTB dropped by N1.10 to close at N22.70 while Berger Paints lost 65 kobo to close at N6.10 per share.

On the positive side, Africa Prudential led the gainers with a gain of 15 kobo to close at N4.85. Eterna followed with a gain of 11 kobo to close at N2.10. FCMB and Law Union and Rock Insurance rose by 9.0 kobo each to close at N1.80 and 99 kobo respectively while AIICO Insurance added 6.0 kobo to close at 83 kobo.

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