Equities rebound on MTN listing

After eight consecutive negative trading sessions, the listing of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) lifted the market to a gain of 0.54 per cent. A total of 20.35 billion ordinary shares of MTN Nigeria were listed by way of introduction on the premium board of the Exchange at N90 per share.

The scramble for the shares of the telco giant boosted the overall market position, although the general market performance remained bearish.  With initial listing value of N1.83 trillion and net capital gain of N183 billion, MTN Nigeria overwhelmed the bears to lift the aggregate market value of all quoted equities from its opening value of N10.627 trillion to close at N12.899 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)- the main index that tracks share prices recovered from  its opening index of 28,286.08 points to close at 28,438.19 points. The negative average year-to-date return improved to -9.42 per cent.

A total of 5.54 million ordinary shares of MTN Nigeria valued at N548.6 million were traded in 15 deals.

With 25 losers against 11 gainers, the market remained largely bearish. All sectoral indices closed negative. The NSE Banking Index dropped by 1.71 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 0.97 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index dipped by 0.83 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index slipped by 0.56 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index dipped by 0.05 per cent.

MTN Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N9 to close at N99. Unilever Nigeria followed with a gain of N1 to close at N32. NPF Microfinance Bank placed third with a gain of 13 kobo to close at N1.47 while Union Bank of Nigeria added 10 kobo to close at N6.85 per share.

Nigerian Breweries led the losers with a drop of N2.50 to close at N62.50. Dangote Cement followed with a loss of N2 to close at N176. Guinness Nigeria declined by 95 kobo to close at N49.05. Guaranty Trust Bank lost 60 kobo to close at N31 while Zenith Bank dropped by 45 kobo to close at N19.55 per share.

“We reiterate our cautious trading pattern in the short term. Meanwhile, we believe stable macroeconomic fundamentals and compelling valuation remain supportive of recovery in the mid-to-long term,” Cordros Capital stated.

Total turnover stood at 312.4 million shares valued at N2.81 billion in 3,933 deals. The most active stock was Transnational Corporation of Nigeria with a turnover of 105.5 million shares. Access Bank followed with 23.5 million shares while FCMB Group placed third with 23.2 million shares.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities said significant buying interest on the newly listed MTN Nigeria will help the market to maintain bullish performance as investors look to extend trade in MTN’s fundamentally sound stock.