Volume and value of trading at the stock market rose 201 per cent and 236 per cent respectively Wednesday despite the return of the bears.
Investors traded 450.139 million shares worth N9.397 billion in 2,858 deals compared with 149.653 million shares valued at N2.793 billion exchanged in 3,063 deals the previous day.
However, the high trading was boosted by Zenith Bank Plc that accounted for 73 per cent of the volume and 64 per cent for the volume and value of trading for the day. Specifically, 288.3 million shares of Zenith Bank Plc worth N6.9 billion were exchanged by investors.
Amidst the higher volume of trading, the bears returned following price losses by Lafarge Africa Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, GTBank Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and FBN Holdings Plc. As a result, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell 0.14 per cent to close at 32,108.30, compared with a gain of 0.33 per cent the previous day.
AIICO Insurance Plc led the price losers with 9.8 per cent, trailed by Lafarge Africa Plc with 9.7 per cent. Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc shed 7.4 per cent, while Jaiz Bank Plc and NEM Insurance Plc lost 6.1 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively.
On the positive side, Niger Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, followed by NPF Microfinance Bank Plc with 9.6 per cent. Fidson Healthcare Plc and Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc chalked up 8.8 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively.
Other top price gainers included: LASACO Assurance Plc (7.4 per cent); Redstar Express Plc (7.1 per cent); Regency Alliance Insurance Plc, Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc (5.0 per cent apiece); Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO)Plc (3.9 per cent).
NAHCO last week reported a growth of 107 per cent in profit after tax for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, thereby raising investors’ hopes for higher dividend at the end of the year.
The company recorded an impressive N7.25 billion, representing an increase of 25 per cent compared with N5.795 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2017.
Profit before tax jumped by 117 per cent to N731.841 million from N336.115 million in 2017. However, a higher tax payment made the PAT to grow slower at 107 per cent from N287 million to N601 million in 2018.