STOCK MARKET RECORDS HIGHEST GAIN IN THREE MONTHS

The nation’s stock market recorded its highest gain since February 12 last week as the market capitalisation of equities rose by N1.874tn following the listing of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The market started the week on a negative note, as the NSE All Share Index dropped by 98 basis points on Monday while the market capitalisation of equities dropped to N10.701tn from N10.842tn on Friday the previous week.

Further declines were recorded on Tuesday and Wednesday as market sentiment remained bearish.

The NSE ASI, however, increased by 52bps and 153bps on Thursday and Friday respectively following MTN Nigeria’s listing on Thursday.

MTN’s share price gained 21 per cent to close the week at N108.90 with a total bid of 262 million units (227 million units at N108.90 and 34 million units between N90.00 and N108).

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said 528,600 units of MTN’s shares had been traded so far at a total value of N57.6m.

“Major trades carried out so far are 244,000 units crossed at N108.90; 44,850 units crossed at N108.90 and 203,600 units crossed at N108.90,” they said in a note.

Analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited said with significantly high demand for the stock expected to continue, they expected market activity to remain upbeat as investors continued to source the shares.

They said, “We expect the market to close positive at week open as the index continued to rally on the back of the new listing.”

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, in its weekly market report, said a total turnover of 1.172 billion shares worth N17.887bn in 18,380 deals were traded last week by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.477 billion shares valued at N10.876bn that exchanged hands the previous week in 20,740 deals.

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