MTN Nigeria Communications Plc continued its rally to the fifth consecutive trading session, gaining N267.6 billion yesterday to increase its total gain since listing to N1.12 trillion. MTN Nigeria again recorded the maximum daily allowable price gain for the fifth consecutive trading session, rising by N13.15 to close at N144.85 per share.

The closing market price yesterday pushed MTN Nigeria’s market value to N2.948 trillion, N1.12 billion capital gain on the telco’s entry listing value of N1.83 trillion. MTN Nigeria had last Thursday listed, by way of introduction, 20.35 billion ordinary shares at N90 per share to emerge the second most capitalised company at the Nigerian stock market.

MTN Nigeria also maintained its status as the most active stock for the second consecutive trading session, as shares of the telco became increasingly available. MTN Nigeria led the activities chart with a turnover of 93.72 million shares valued at N13.58 billion in 464 deals. Total turnover at the equities market stood at 294.4 million shares valued at N17.5 billion. Zenith Bank was the second most active stock with 29.47 million shares worth N566.55 million while United Bank for Africa (UBA) placed third with 22.37 million shares valued at N129.56 million.

With 27 decliners to 12 gainers, the positive overall market position was driven by gains recorded by the duo of Dangote Cement and MTN Nigeria. Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s most capitalised stock, rose by N18 to close at N203.

The All Share Index (ASI)- the main index that tracks share prices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), increased by 3.07 per cent to close at 31,145.15 points as against its opening index of 30,218.14 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities rose from its opening value of N13.310 trillion to close at N13.718 trillion.

With this, the market moved closer to turning positive with average year-to-date return of -0.9 per cent.

With more than two losers for every gainer, all sectoral indices closed negative with the exception of the NSE Industrial Goods Index, which appreciated by 1.1 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index declined by 3.6 per cent. The NSE Banking Index dropped by 2.7 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index dipped by 0.5 per cent while the NSE Oil & Gas Index slipped by 0.3 per cent.

Other top gainers included GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, which rose by 45 kobo to close at N8.95; Vitafoam Nigeria rose by 38 kobo to close at N4.25 while Cadbury Nigeria and UAC of Nigeria added 15 kobo each to close at N10.50 and N6.60 respectively.

On the downside, Nestle Nigeria led the losers with a loss of N110 to close at N1,320. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated declined by 85 kobo to close at N9.15. Guaranty Trust Bank dropped by 80 kobo to close at N30.50. Zenith Bank lost 50 kobo to close at N19 while Nigerian Breweries dropped by 45 kobo to close at N61.70 per share.

“Despite the weak investor sentiment, we expect the rally in MTN Nigeria and renewed interest in Dangote Cement to continue to buoy market performance in the near term,” Afrinvest Securities stated.

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