MTN share price leads N112bn mar­ket gain

The Punch - - CAPITAL MARKET -

The eq­ui­ties mar­ket opened the week with N112bn gain as 16 gain­ers emerged, led by MTN Nige­ria Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Plc, whose share price in­creased by 10 per cent on the back of the re­vo­ca­tion of its $2bn tax case in Nige­ria.

The At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion, Abubakar Malami, had dropped the $2bn claim for back taxes against MTN Group

Lim­ited, end­ing a 16-month bat­tle be­tween MTN and le­gal au­thor­i­ties in Nige­ria.

The South African unit of the com­pany had seen its share price rise by 5.3 per cent to 83.67 rand on Fri­day.

An­a­lysts at Afrin­vest Se­cu­ri­ties Lim­ited said ma­jor price ap­pre­ci­a­tion in MTN Nige­ria, United Bank for Africa Plc and UACN Plc drive the pos­i­tive mar­ket per­for­mance at the start of the week.

The week started on a bullish note the All Share In­dex rose by 0.74 per cent to set­tle at 29,633.58 ba­sis points while the mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion in­creased to N15.29tn from N15.18tn on Fri­day.

The year-to-date re­turn thus set­tled at 10.4 per cent.

A to­tal of 248.24 mil­lion shares val­ued at N8.55bn ex­changed hands in 5,377 deals, rep­re­sent­ing a 24 per cent and 77.5 per cent in­crease in vol­ume and value traded re­spec­tively.

The top traded stocks by vol­ume were Ac­cess Bank Plc (63.7 mil­lion units), UBA (40.6 mil­lion units) and Zenith Bank Plc (39.5 mil­lion units) while Se­plat Petroleum De­vel­op­ment Com­pany Plc (N2.6bn), MTN Nige­ria (N1.5bn) and Zenith Bank (N861.1m) were the top traded stocks by value.

Per­for­mance across sec­tors was mixed as three sec­tors recorded declines.

The AFR-ICT in­dex gained the most, fol­low­ing price ap­pre­ci­a­tion in MTN Nige­ria.

The in­sur­ance and oil and gas indices also inched higher by 0.30 per cent and 0.07 per cent due to gains in AXA Mansard In­sur­ance Plc, Lasaco As­sur­ance Plc and Oando Plc.

Mean­while, the in­dus­trial goods in­dex lost 3.2 per cent as sell-offs in La­farge Africa Plc dragged the in­dex down.

The bank­ing and con­sumer goods indices pared 0.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent re­spec­tively fol­low­ing price de­pre­ci­a­tion in FBN hold­ings Plc, Guar­anty Trust Bank Plc, Unilever Nige­ria Plc and Dan­gote Sugar Re­fin­ery Plc.

In­vestor sen­ti­ment strength­ened as mar­ket breadth (ad­vance/de­cline ra­tio) ad­vanced to 0.7x from the 0.4x recorded on Fri­day as 16 stocks out­per­formed 21 lag­gards.

The top five gain­ers were MTN Nige­ria, NPF Mi­cro­fi­nance Bank Plc, UACN, Lasaco As­sur­ance and Glax­osmithk­line Con­sumer Nige­ria Plc.

The top five losers were Cad­bury Nige­ria Plc, Transcorp ho­tels Plc, Neimeth Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Com­pany Plc, Presco Plc and Unilever.

“We ex­pect the bullish run to per­sist as in­vestors con­tinue to show re­newed in­ter­est in the mar­ket,” an­a­lysts at Afrin­vest said in a note.

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