Nigerian equities on Monday depreciated as the two foremost quoted companies-Dangote Cement and Nestle Nigeria depressed the stock market to a marginal decline.
While there were 27 gainers to 16 losers, losses by highly capitalised stocks overwhelmed the overall market situation. Nestle Nigeria-the highest-priced stock at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), recorded the highest loss of N9.99 to close yesterday at N1,200.01. Dangote Cement-the most capitalised quoted company, followed with a loss of N9.38 to close at N215.62. Three other highly capitalised stocks-Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Zenith Bank and Lafarge Africa lost 74 kobo, 53 kobo and 50 kobo to close at N38.11, N24 and N58.50 respectively.
The benchmark price index for the stock market-the All Share Index (ASI) declined by 0.91 per cent to close at 36,584.44 points as against its opening index of 36,920.56 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the NSE also dropped from its opening value of N12.726 trillion to close at N12.700 trillion, representing a net capital loss of N26 billion. The average year-to-date return slipped to 36.13 per cent.
Total turnover stood at 368.38 million shares valued at N6.27 billion in 3,729 deals. AIICO Insurance was the most active stock with 131.01 million shares valued at N74.67 million. Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 61.18 million shares worth N2.48 billion while Zenith Bank ranked third with 22.74 million shares valued at N542.23 million.
On the positive side, most stocks closed higher as bargain-hunters continued the hunt for value stocks. Beta Glass led the gainers with a gain of N2.51 to close at N59.84. Flour Mills of Nigeria trailed with a gain of N2.49 to close at N31. Nigerian Breweries followed closely with a gain of N2.48 to close at N183.50. Guaranty Trust Bank rose by N1.20 to close at N40.70 while UACN and Unilever Nigeria chalked up 50 kobo each to close at N16.50 and N46 respectively.