Investors gain N418b in April as experts seek investments in agro, ICT


The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) halted two months’ pullbacks to close April on a positive note as investors’ wealth soared by N418 billion in one month.

The performance followed improved corporate earnings and renewed positive sentiments in blue-chips. The benchmark index gained 2.02 per cent to close the month at 39,834.42 basis points, from 39,045.13 points posted on March 31.

Also, market capitalisation for the month rose by N418 billion to close higher at N20.847 trillion, from an opening value of N20.429 trillion.
Market breadth for April was negative as decliners outpaced advancers in the ratio of 51:39 to halt the bear transition, reflecting mixed economic data, positive sentiments and first-quarter earnings reports.

Experts hinged the upturn on impressive earnings reports, especially in agro-business, telecommunication, healthcare, industrial goods, energy, few from banking and consumer goods which helped the major sectors, index to close on a positive note. But the banking index was down in the month.

An economist and president, Association of Capital Markets Academics of Nigeria (ACMAN), Prof. Uche Uwaleke, attributed the growth to improved earnings.

“The market was down in February and March, and this presented opportunities for bargain-hunting, which boosted demand for several stocks considered undervalued.

“Another factor is the outcome of the MPC meeting held towards the end of March in which the policy rate was retained. The signal this sent to investors was that the CBN was not yet prepared to hike interest rates, which encouraged more investors in the stock market.”

He urged investors to position in some sectors for medium and short-term gains, especially the telecoms, industrial, agribusiness, banking and consumer goods sectors.

Also, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Limited, Garba Kurfi, said the equities market traditionally closes positive in April, stressing that corporate earnings also boosted the market in the month.

The sectoral performance showed that premium stocks gained 6.93 per cent, compared to the 2.02 per cent rally recorded by the all-share index (ASI).
It was followed by the NSE pension, which rose by 3.56 per cent to reflect investing public confidence in dividend-paying stocks, especially blue-chip companies and its resilience over the years. The NSE industrial goods index moved up 3.06 per cent. On the flip side, the NSE Banking declined by 4.76 per cent while the insurance sector recorded -1.49 per cent growth.

Meanwhile, sell-off in most blue-chip stocks dragged All-Share Index (ASI) by 0.08 per cent at the reopening of trading for May. The ASI declined by 32.64 absolute points, representing a loss of 0.08 per cent to close at 39,801.78 points while market capitalisation lost N17 billion to close at N20.830 trillion.

Lasaco Assurance emerged the day’s highest price gainer with 9.86 per cent to close at N1.56 kobo. Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals followed with a gain of 9.83 per cent to close at N1.90 kobo while International Breweries rose by 9.62 per cent to close at N5.70 kobo.

Courteville Business Solutions rose by 8.70 per cent to close at 25 kobo, while Royal Exchange appreciated by 7.55 per cent to close at 57 kobo. However, Linkage Assurance led the losers’ chart with 13.11 per cent to close at 53 kobo.