Nigeria stocks gain N135bn as investors raise bet on SEPLAT, Airtel, others

Nigeria’s equities market failed to record another session of profit taking as investors on Wednesday August 12 moved to buy stocks like SEPLAT, Airtel Africa, Presco, and others that were hitherto underpriced amid Covid-19 pandemic. Cumulatively, stocks gained about N135billion.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share Index (ASI) increased by 1.04percent to 25,141.48 points from preceding trading day low of 24,883.70points while the value of listed equities on the Nigerian Bourse increased from N12.980trillion to N13.115trillion.

Top on the list of gainers are stocks like Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc which increased from N350 to N385, after adding N35 or 10percent.

Investors are buying SEPLAT stocks as impressive news on crude oil price stability signposts better earnings for the independent indigenous Nigerian oil and gas exploration and Production Company. The NSE Oil & Gas sector has risen most this month by 10.67percent, followed by NSE Banking (+5.08percent).

Crude oil prices rose on Wednesday after an industry report showed U.S. crude inventories last week fell more than analysts had expected, bolstering hopes that fuel demand in the world’s biggest economy can weather the coronavirus pandemic. Brent crude was up 61 cents, or 1.4percent, at $45.11 a barrel, after falling around 1percent on Tuesday.

Airtel Africa Plc share price also increased from N348 to N380, adding N32 or 9.20percent; while Presco Plc rallied from N48 to N51.5, adding N3.5 or 7.29percent.

The market’s record negative return year-to-date (YtD) decreased to -6.34 percent. In 3,636 deals, equity dealers exchanged 204,878,098 units valued at N3.830billion. GTBank, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, FBN Holdings and Sterling Bank were actively traded stocks.

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