Consumer, insurance index dip as investors lose N761 billion

The consumer goods index led the losers’ chart at the end of last week’s transactions on the equities sector of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) with 1.2 per cent occasioned by price depreciation in PZ Cussons (-27 per cent) and International Breweries (-15.3 per cent).

Following the sector last week were the insurance and oil and gas indices, shedding one and 0.3 per cent respectively. The losses were due to sell pressure in Mansard (-12.9 per cent), Wapic (-6.8 per cent) and Eterna (-9.9 per cent).

Similarly, the banking index lost 0.1 per cent, following a downturn in FBN Holdings (-7.4 per cent) and Sterling Bank (-8.6 per cent). On the other hand, the industrial goods index gained 0.1 per cent, buoyed by a price uptick in WAPCO (+1.7 per cent).

Consequently, the all-share index and market capitalisation depreciated by N761 billion to close at N55.562 trillion from N56. 323 trillion recorded on May 3 while the index dipped by 1.4 per cent to close the week at 99, 587.25.

However, they urged investors to patronise blue chips ahead of the half-year earnings season and interim dividend declaration.

Specifically, analysts at Codros Capital said: “Given the recent trading pattern in the local stock market, we expect the overall market sentiment to remain bearish in the coming week, especially with no significant drivers to buoy investors’ interest.

“Nevertheless, we do not rule out the potential for bargain-hunting activities to emerge quietly, particularly for the banks, owing to the opportunities presented by the recent bearish trend.”

Investdata Consulting Limited said: “Investors should target companies with consistent track records of dividend payment, strong fundamentals and growth prospects that will support further growth in earnings which price feeds on in any market cycle.

Cowry Research said: “Looking ahead to the coming, mixed sentiments are anticipated as bulls and bears vie for dominance while market players remain attuned to corporate action in anticipation of dividend income.

“Despite this, pockets of gains are expected as fiscal and monetary policies strive to steer the nation’s economy towards recovery, notwithstanding the forthcoming April 2024 CPI report and Q1, 2024 Nigeria’s GDP report.”

On the activity chart, a turnover of 2.2 billion shares worth N50.7 billion was recorded in 45,277 deals by investors on the floor of the exchange, higher than 1.9 billion units worth N32.6 billion that changed hands in 35,807 deals on May 3, 2024.

The financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.4 billion shares valued at N28 billion traded in 24,418 deals; thus contributing 65.29 per cent to the total equity turnover volume.

The consumer goods industry followed with 385.6 million shares worth N9.9 billion in 5,826 deals. The third place was the conglomerate industry, with a turnover of 133.7 million shares worth N1.7 billion in 3,271 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely United Bank for Africa Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Access Holdings Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 1.02 billion shares worth N23.6 billion in 9,587 deals, contributing 46.63 per cent to the total equity volume.

Meanwhile, NGX Limited has listed N4.075 billion of AVA Infrastructure Series 1 Fund on its trading platform.

In a release, signed by the Head, Issuers Regulation Department of NGX, Godstime Iwenekhai, the exchange rate stated that the AVA Infrastructure Series 1 Fund’s 4,075 units were listed on the Main Board of NGX at N1 million each as a closed-end fund and naira-denominated unit trust scheme.

According to NGX, AVA Global Asset Managers recently launched its Series I issuance of the fund, sized at up to N200 billion on January 29, 2024, and closed on March 6, 2024, aiming at bolstering infrastructural development within the country.

“The fund aims to address Nigeria’s infrastructure gaps by strategically channelling institutional capital into infrastructure projects and is designed to encourage innovative businesses in sectors such as power, telecommunications, agribusiness and supporting infrastructure, gas distribution, processing and storage.

“The fund’s main objective is to deliver consistent and reliable income to unit holders through debt financing for infrastructure projects in Nigeria. It seeks to focus on projects or businesses that offer vital economic and social services, exhibit stable cash flows, and utilise long-lived assets,” the Company said.

The Managing Director of AVA Global Asset Managers, Efe Shaire, stated that the fund aimed to strategically allocate private credit with a focus on impactful projects with robust and predictable future cash flows.

He emphasized the importance of private sector involvement in infrastructure financing, stressing the necessity for collaborative efforts, innovative financial products and other strategic initiatives from private sector entities.

The listing of the fund on NGX is a clear indication of the growing interest and demand for sustainable investing in Africa and the Exchange’s commitment to the same.

In addition, NGX expressed commitment to offer visibility to sustainable financial instruments listed on its platform and to encourage more listings in the sustainable finance segment as part of its sustainability drive for the capital market.

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