By Ayinde Oluseye
In less than 24hrs after President Muhammadu Buhari declared his intentions to seek re-election as President of the Federal republic of Nigeria, the equities market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange dropped to a three-month low as 30 firms recorded price depreciation.
Investors lost N149bn at the close of trading as the NSE market capitalisation fell to N14.607tn from N14.753tn on Friday and N14.99tn on March 29.
The NSE All-Share Index dropped by 1.01 per cent to close at 40,429.18 basis points from 40,841.14bps on Friday and 41,504.51 bps on March 29.
Although, this negative slide of the stock market may be unassociated to the President’s declaration because the stock market indices has for some weeks been going on the downward trend.
C&I Leasing Plc led the losers’ table on Monday, as its share price dropped by 9.30 per cent to close at N1.56. It was followed by Skye Bank Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc, which shed 8.45 per cent and 8.03 per cent to close at N0.65 and N55 per share, respectively.
Lafarge Africa Plc eased by 7.24 per cent to close at N41 per share; May & Baker Nigeria Plc dropped by five per cent to N3.04 per share, and Unity Bank Plc lost 4.95 per cent to close at N0.96 per share.
Other losers were Wema Bank Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Jaiz Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.
Seventeen stocks recorded price appreciation on Monday, with Learn Africa Plc, Japaul Oil & Maritime Service Plc, Champion Breweries Plc, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc leading the pack.
Learn Africa appreciated by 9.28 per cent to close at N1.06 per share, while Japaul rose by 8.89 per cent to N0.49 per share.
The share price of Champion Breweries was up by 8.77 per cent to N2.48; AXA Mansard gained five per cent to close at N2.52 per share, while Caverton appreciated by 3.94 per cent to N2.90 per share.
The Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, feels “The excitement that drove the market in the first quarter of this year has ebbed and the simple reason is that people were taking position ahead of the benefit season, which is almost through now because most of the strong companies have released their annual results.
“The best return we had was in the neighbourhood of less than six per cent dividend yield, whereas alternative investment assets like fixed income instruments are generating returns above six per cent. So, investors are now switching their investments from equities to fixed-income instruments. I think that is what is driving the market.”
“The market has been on a downward trend even before the announcement. Buhari’s announcement is not a surprise; it would have been a surprise if he decided not to run. I don’t think that was what impacted on the market negatively,” the Managing Director, Afrinvest Securities Limited, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, said.