MTN Nigeria to list on the NSE – A promise fulfilled

After series of discussions, MTN is cementing plans to list its Nigerian Business ( MTNN ), which is estimated to be worth about $6 billion, on the Nigerian Stock Exchange by H2’18.

The company has obtained shareholder approval for the listing and is in the process of seeking regulatory approvals. We believe listing of the largest telecommunications company in Nigeria on the domestic bourse is a game changer for the equity market and as such, assess preliminary details surrounding the issue.

Largest Telco in West Africa
MTN Nigeria (MTNN) is a subsidiary of MTN Group South Africa (Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator) and the largest contributor to the group earnings accounting for about 33% of its revenue (5-year average). According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecommunications giant has a customer base of over 52 million subscribers, accounting for c.36% market share in the country.
MTNN began operations in 2001 after securing one of four GSM licenses offered by the Nigerian Government in a deal worth $285 million. Since then, the Telco giant has so far made significant investment in its mobile infrastructure, with total assets worth over ?1 trillion as at FY’16, and has enjoyed a decent level of return over the years.
MTNN offers cellular network access to its subscribers within Nigeria, with airtime and subscription accounting for 64% of revenue as at FY’16 and roaming services (International roaming services, including data roaming, in-flight roaming, and WiFi roaming services) making up the second largest contributor to revenue at 12%.
Currently, MTNN is controlled by MTN International (Mauritius) Limited (MTNI) with 75.8% ownership. Also, 18.7% of its ordinary shares outstanding is held by Nigerian shareholders through special purpose vehicles.
In addition, 2.8% is owned by Mobile Telephone Networks NIC B.V and 1.8% owned by Public Investment Corporation SOC Limited. Upon completion of the planned IPO, MTNN will be the first subsidiary of the MTN Group to be publicly listed on a stock exchange, though we note that the Group has announced its intentions to also list 35% of its Ghanaian business on the Ghana Stock exchange by the end of 2018.
FY’17 Result shows stronger momentum as Data revenue leaps
MTN Group recently released financial results for the year ended 31 December 2017 which showed an 11.6% y/y revenue growth in its Nigerian business to N 885 billion (excluding the impact of currency volatility)  now contributing 27% of the Group’s Total revenue (FY’16: 32%). Voice revenue continues to account for majority of headline revenue , with the segment growing 17% y/y.
Performance of the Data segment was however much stronger with revenue up 87% y/y and the segment now contributing 12% to total revenue (FY’16: 7%). We note that the company’s total data user base grew 14% y/y, with its active data users reported at 14.1 million as at FY’17 (27% of MTNN’s total subscriber base).
Costs (operating expenses and cost of sales) over the year however rose at a faster pace than revenue – up 27% y/y – with the strongest rise recorded in network costs – up 65% y/y. Weighed by impact of the weaker Naira on foreign currency denominated expenses, MTNN’s EBITDA margin contracted from 46.4% in FY’16 to 38.9% in FY’17. Overall, FY’17 EBITDA declined 7% y/y to N 346 billion.
Though MTN Group did not report FY’17 bottom line figure for its Nigerian subsidiary, we estimate a single digit y/y PAT decline in the period; noting the weak run rate already recorded as at H1’17 (PAT down 28% y/y as at H1’17). While MTN Nigeria has not paid dividends since 2015, MTN Group declared a total dividend of R7.00/share ($0.54/share) for FY’17.
A promise fulfilled; MTNN to raise capital via IPO in 2018
In 2015, MTNN was levied an unprecedented fine of N 1.04 trillion (an equivalent $5.2 billion as at the date of fine) by the NCC for non-compliance with a deadline to disconnect all non-registered sim cards in the country – 5.2 million unregistered SIM cards billed at N 200,000 per subscriber.
Following series of negotiations between MTNN and the Federal Government of Nigeria, a final resolution was reached wherein the fine was reduced to N 330 billion (to be paid off over seven installments). Part of the settlement included a plan for MTNN to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as soon as it became commercially and legally feasible.
However, given weak investor sentiment in the equity market since 2015, (NSE broad index down 17% and 6% in 2015 and 2016 respectively), MTNN stalled the listing agreement in hopes of more “suitable market conditions”.
Thus, given improving macroeconomic environment which has helped rejuvenate investor confidence in the Nigerian equity market, and spurred a 42% rise in the NSE All-Share Index in 2017, the Telco giant is in the market and ready to list its shares by H2’18.
IPO indicative details
MTNN currently has 402.6 million issued ordinary shares of N 1.00 each (nominal value), 402.6 million preference shares at $0.005c each (nominal value), and 4.5 million class “B” ordinary shares. As part of the listing process, we understand that the company plans to reclassify its Class B shares to ordinary shares – to have a single class of shares.
Also, in a bid to improve liquidity and achieve a more “market friendly” price, MTNN plans a share split of 1 for 50 (taking its nominal value per ordinary share to N 0.02 kobo from N 1.00). With this, total outstanding ordinary shares are expected to rise to 20.3 billion shares.
That said, MTNN plans to offer and issue at least 3.5 billion shares through an Initial Public Offer (IPO) on the NSE. We understand that the telecoms giant also plans to pay off its existing preference shareholders (402.6 million in issue) by offering and issuing ordinary shares in exchange.
With a nominal value of $0.992 for each preference share (share capital: $0.005c plus share premium: $0.987c), we estimate a value of N 144 billion for the total preference shares outstanding.
Using MTNN’s over-the-counter (OTC) market price of c.$13 (ytd average) for each linked unit of its ordinary and preference shares, a rough estimate puts the value of the ordinary shares at $12 (excluding the estimated $0.992 value per preference share) – this is equivalent to a post-split price of N 86.40/share (using N 360/$1 rate).
Analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited in Victoria Island highlight that given the impact of the fine earlier discussed, MTNN’s price in the OTC market has taken a dip – down from an average $26 as at Q4’15 to a year to date average of $13. We highlight that the eventual IPO price for the stock will be determined through book building.
Using our estimated OTC price, we expect an additional 1.7 billion ordinary shares to be issued in exchange for the preference shares. As such, we estimate a total of 5.2 billion new shares to be listed on NSE taking total shares outstanding to 25.5 billion. Consequently, we estimate a market capitalization of N 2.2 trillion for MTNN, with the company accounting for about 13% of the NSE’s Market Capitalization (post listing).
Listing portends benefits for NSE, MTN Nigeria
We believe the Group’s strong global brand recognition & reputation and strong financials present MTNN as a Blue Chip on the Nigerian Bourse and as such expect this to further support foreign interest in the Nigerian equity space.
In the short to medium term, we expect listing discussions on other telecoms operators to remain on the table amidst persistent pressure from national regulators across Africa; Vodacom in 2017 listed 25% of its Tanzanian business on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (in line with government imposed regulation for telecoms companies to list at least 25% of their shares locally), MTN Ghana agreed to list 35% of its shares in order to obtain a 15-year 4G license.
Meanwhile, on the company side, additional equity capital will help improve the firm’s financial flexibility, capital structure and could potentially also support a better relationship with its regulator (NCC).
Analysts’ believe this could also improve general “national goodwill” for the brand as a larger pool of Nigerians attain ownership of the company. Overall, we are optimistic about MTNN listing before the end of Q3’18. Details on the listing remain sparse, however, media sources have stated that a spokesperson for the company said MTNN will prioritize Nigerian retail & institutional investors to access the issue.
MTN Nigeria remains a growth story in the Nigerian economy, given the room for improvement in mobile penetration (at 72% as at FY’17) and internet usage across the rapidly growing population (internet penetration at 55% as at December 2017).
New era for Telecommunications sector
In our view, the listing of MTNN on the NSE would help deepen the market, improve wider sector diversity, encourage further listings by other telecoms companies, and eventually make the equity market a better representation of the wider economy.
Currently, four major sectors (Banking, Consumer Goods, Industrials and Oil & Gas) account for 80% of the market capitalization of the NSE. Given the sheer size of MTNN, we expect the ICT sector to potentially displace the Oil & Gas (c.5% of NSE) as the fourth largest sector on the exchange  accounting for 12% of the NSE’s market cap (post listing) compared to a meagre 0.2% currently.
Source – analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Ltd in Victoria Island, Lagos. All opinions, targets, forecast expressed in above article are those of analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Ltd in Victoria Island.

Lafarge Africa Reports a Pretax Loss of N35.1bn in Q4’17 Results; Driven by a Negative Gross Margin

Monday, April 09, 2018/10:58 AM / FBNQuest Research

Event: Lafarge Africa reports Q4 2017 results
Implications: Downward revision to consensus 2018E PBT forecasts likely; shares expected to sell-off
Positives: Sales up 29% y/y
Negatives: Lafarge reported a pretax loss of –N35.1bn, driven by a negative gross margin of -9.5% and a spike in opex

Lafarge Africa’s (Lafarge) Q4 2017 results which were published over the weekend showed that the company reported a pre-tax loss of -N35.1bn compared with a PBT of N17.5bn in Q4 2016. Excluding the topline which grew by 29% y/y, the results were weak across the P&L. The weak earnings were mainly driven by a negative gross margin of -9.5% in Q4 (vs.38.4% Q4 2016) and a 63% y/y spike in opex. The notes to the accounts show that that company took an impairment loss of N19.2bn on fixed assets in 2017 (we suspect this explains the negative gross margin).

Further down the P&L, the after-tax loss narrowed to –N29.4bn (vs. +N43.2bn Q4 2016), thanks to a positive result of N6.1bn in other comprehensive income. Sequentially,  sales grew by 10% q/q. However, the pre-tax and after-tax losses compare with losses of -N17.1bn and –N21.2bn that the company reported in Q3 2017. Compared with our forecasts, sales were only slightly ahead of our N73.8bn forecast.

However, earnings missed our PBT and PAT forecasts of N5.2bn and N5.0bn respectively, because of negative surprises in gross margin, opex and net interest expense. The shortfall in earnings was greater compared with the N12.5bn Q4 PBT implied by consensus 2017 PBT forecast of N13.6bn.

On a full year basis, sales grew by 36% y/y. However, the pre-tax loss of -N34.0bn was worse than the loss of –N22.8bn reported in 2016. Lafarge also reported an after-tax loss of –N16.2bn in 2017 compared with a N18.3bn profit in 2016. Compared with our full year estimates, sales were in line. However, PBT and PAT missed our forecasts. The management of the company has proposed a dividend of N1.50 per share which is 29% higher than our N1.16 DPS forecast (N1.24 consensus). The DPS implies a dividend yield of N3.4%.

Given that Lafarge’s 2017 PBT came in well below consensus 2017 PBT forecast of N13.6bn, we expect to see marked downward revision to consensus 2018E earnings forecast and a significant sell-off in the shares over the next few days.

We rate Lafarge Neutral. Our estimates are under review.

Lafarge Africa Q4 2017 results: actual vs. FBNQuest Capital Research estimates (N millions) 

Source: NSE; FBNQuest Capital Estimates 

Market Summary: Year-to-Date Return Settles at 15.85%

The NSEASI advanced by 1.22% following the price advancements witnessed on 42 counters, led by DIAMONDBNK (+9.85%). Also, the price shedding witnessed on only 12 stocks, caused the market breadth to close positive at 3.50x. Consequently, market cap gained NGN190.96bn to close at NGN15.88trn at the sound of the closing bell.

Leading Sectors

Industrial Goods Sector: Sector Outperforms the Market

Although the sector’s most capitalized stock, DANGCEM, witnessed more offers than bids at some point during trades, the counter advanced by 3.04% to close at NGN268.00. In addition, investors were also bullish on some medium and large cap stocks such as; WAPCO (+0.67%) and CCNN (+0.56%) which advanced to NGN52.35 and NGN18.00 respectively. As a result, theNSEIND index advanced by 1.73%, with a Year-to-Date return of 17.77%.

Banking Sector: Bullish Sentiments Persist

The sector sustained the positive momentum witnessed at the end of the previous week. As a result, impressive gains were recorded on DIAMONDBNK (+9.85%), which closed as the overall top gainer in the market. Other tier-2 banks like FIDELITYBK(+9.60%), SKYEBANK (+9.38%) and WEMABANK (+7.02%) also featured on the market’s top 10 gainers’ list.

Finally, positive sentiments were witnessed in the insurance (+0.56%) and oil and gas sectors (+0.28%), as indicated by the uptick witnessed in both sector indices. In contrast, the consumer goods sector index, NSEFBT10, closed in the negative territory following losses recorded on medium and bellwether stocks like NB (-1.19%), GUINNESS (-1.79%), FLOURMILLS(-1.59%) and DANGSUGAR (-4.56%).

Based on our analysis, we attribute the positive close to bargain hunting activities on stocks that initially shed value, particularly in the banking sector. We also note the impact of the price advancement on DANGCEM to the overall market performance.

Following the implementation of the NSE’s new pricing methodology, four stocks which include ABCTRANS, ROYALEX, PRESTIGE and LASACO fell below NGN0.50 to close at NGN0.48.

Why Nigeria Stock Exchange is recording growth in 2018

Nigerian Stock Exchange Trading floor [Photo:]

Oscar Onyeama, the Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, made this known at the Exchange’s 2017 Market Recap and Outlook for 2018 programme held at the exchange in Lagos.

Mr. Onyeama argued that about 12 per cent growth recorded by the market so far in 2018 was due to the emergence of the Nigerian bourse as the third best performing market in the world in 2017.

Mr. Onyema, who maintained that the news made more investors to embrace the nation’s bourse, added that it also boosted the confidence of players in the market.

The NSE boss noted that many people have identified that the market is still relatively cheap and this contributed to the price rally in the market.

On market performance in 2017, the NSE boss said that market recovered from the macroeconomic overhang of the commodity down cycle to become the third best performing market in 2017 globally, with a 42 per cent return in the NSE All-Share Index.

Market capitalisation rose by 47 per cent in 2017 to N13.62 trillion against N9.26 trillion posted in 2016, he said, adding that CBN policies increased liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

Commenting further, he explained that the equity market activity rose from 2016 levels, as market turnover increased by 121 per cent to N1.27 trillion from N0.58 trillion.

“New bond issuances increased over the previous year, while bond yields gradually moderated from 2016 levels amidst easing inflation and greater foreign exchange stability.

“Yields across various tenors declined between 0.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent, and market turnover declined by 24 per cent in 2017, as investors sought higher returns in alternative product classes.

“Supplementary issuances by the federal government saw bond market capitalisation increase by 34 per cent year-on-year”, he said.

Commenting on the bourse’s projection for 2018, Mr. Onyema said that political activities and currency movements would affect the market growth.

“Indeed, to some extent, political activities and currency movements will have some effect on the market, but we expect that such impacts will be short lived and the performance of the underlying business activities will ultimately determine market performance,’’ he explained.

Beware of foreign portfolio investments-driven growth, Nigerian experts warn

by Femi Adekoya

Nigerian Stock Exchange

Economic experts have warned Nigeria not to be carried away by the influx of foreign portfolio investment dominating the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), noting that a combination of highly mobile portfolio investments and unreliable crude earnings could unravel without warning, and cause external reserves to decline, as experienced from April to November 2008.Besides, they urged the Federal Government to strengthen the non-oil export sector rather than depend solely on rising oil prices. One of them, a financial expert and Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Limited, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, said as Nigeria approaches the 2019 elections, it is likely that most foreigners would leave the country, and most likely take their investment along due to uncertainty of macro-economic policies.“We need to do at least 50 per cent of what we did yesterday to get to the historical peak the stock market in Nigeria ever reached, and that was in 2008,” he said He noted that the euphoria over the seeming foreign exchange liquidity is gradually pushing Nigeria to another worrisome strait, adding that the economy could tailspin into trouble if more attention is not paid to strengthening the non-oil sector to truly diversify foreign earnings, and drive down reliance on consumption imports.

Adedipe, during a round table session organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), tagged the 4th Economic Outlook: “Implication for businesses in Nigeria in 2018,” noting that although Nigeria’s economic recovery is still fragile, expressed hope as most economic agents remain upbeat and optimistic. Meanwhile, the President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Prof. Segun Ajibola, tasked economic managers to urgently address issues such as the current high unemployment rate, which rose exponentially from 14.2 per cent to 18.8 per cent in 2017.

He maintained that efforts need to be further intensified to ensure that the steps being taken to improve electricity generation and distribution across the country yield the desired result.

“It would not be misplaced to categorically state that a state of emergency should be declared across the country on security, particularly between farmers and the Fulani Herdsmen in order not to scare away foreign investors from prominent economic hubs of the nation,” he advised. Delivering his keynote address, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Laoye Jaiyeola, said for Nigeria to achieve an all inclusive growth economy, it must prioritise development objectives towards running a knowledge-based economy, increase investments in technology, and improve the quality of lives of its people.

According to him, sectors that would drive growth in 2018 include agriculture, oil and gas; cement and trade, but stressed that oil refining would weigh down growth due to its high operational costs and frequent maintenance of the nation’s refineries, which would persist in 2018, and affect output of refined products.He noted that the weak relationship between growth and employment calls for concern, stressing that despite the economic growth experienced in 2017, unemployment and underemployment rates rose to 40 per cent as at Q3 2017. He also advised that government policies and interventions must focus on “value-addition” sectors that have the potential to create jobs on a large scale.

The CIBN boss however commended efforts made so far by the present administration, saying the launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in April 2017, was a step in repositioning the country’s economic fortunes with the banking and finance sector also recording major developments.

In his words,” It is not far-fetched to declare 2017 a progressive year for the Nigerian economy considering especially the enviable manner the country was able to weather the prevailing economic storms at the beginning of the year. After five consecutive quarters of contraction, the country rebounded from recession with approximately 0.6 per cent growth recorded in the second quarter of 2017 inflation dropped from its peak of 18.72 per cent in January 2017 to the current value of 15.98 per cent, the lowest rate in 16 months.”

Outlook 2018 – On Thin Ice; Charting a Course to Solid Grounds

Investment Précis Thursday, January 18, 2018 /10:48AM 

Continuing its path of a gradual recovery, global growth strengthened steadily in 2017 on the back of increased trading activities across countries as well as central banks’ interventions. Improved consumer spending and business investments in the US and Euro area and firmer net export and production in China were the major drivers of global growth. In the UK, however, the economy continues to weather the Brexit storm in the face of declining consumption and real wage growth. 

With business investment and net trade growing faster than envisaged in Britain, the Bank of England hiked rate for the first time in 10 years. This is expected to mitigate Brexit-related constraints on investment and labour supply and also to diminish the obvious slowdown in the economy.  The US Fed also implemented its rate hikes in the year, as expected, alongside launching its balance normalization strategy, to ensure that interest rate remain a viable tool to be employed in the economy.  

Asides the growth in China and its expected contribution to global growth, Other emerging Asian countries witnessed growth in 2017 which stemmed from improvement in investment, manufacturing and trade. While we witnessed strong growth in domestic demand, similar growth was also witnessed in net exports, owing to the growth in high-tech sectors. Consequently, Bangladesh and India are expected to be amongst the top growing emerging Asia economies 

In Sub-Saharan Africa, improved commodity prices anchored growth in 2017 and are expected to continue to do so in 2018. Increased global oil demand from the OECD region and the OPEC output cut were the major drivers of the increase in oil price witnessed in H2:2017, which significantly benefitted major oil exporting countries.   

The growth expectation for emerging markets (specifically African countries) has been the major driver of investments to these countries. According to the IMF, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to rebound to 2.50% in 2017 from 1.40% recorded in 2016, similarly Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the region improved significantly over the same period. Based on growth expectations, strengths, weaknesses and size, countries like Angola, South African, Kenya, Mauritius, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, Rwanda, Botswana and Nigeria have been identified as possible top FDI destinations in 2018.  

In a bid to continue to attract foreign investments and foster economic growth, the Nigerian government has put in place several policies and taken steps to address pressing issues in the economy, like the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAID), Appropriation Bill, Debt restructuring etc. Given the uncertainties that still lie ahead, we believe the economy is still on thin ice but it is charting a course to solid grounds. 

In November 2017, the 2018 appropriation bill, which was an improvement over the 2017 bill, was presented, and we have mixed opinions on the feasibility of stated underlying assumptions. While we believe that targets like USD47.00pb oil price are attainable and quite realistic, we do not repose same faith in some others like the 12.42% average inflation rate and NGN305/USD exchange rate as we consider then being stretched on the optimistic side considering the uncertainties surrounding them.  

While the Presidency expects a GDP growth rate of 3.5%, we forecast a real GDP growth of 1.77% in 2018. We expect the improved oil production and price, which triggered the end of the 2016/2017 recession, and the subsisting policies on agriculture as well as the strength of government expenditure to be the major drivers of growth in 2018.  

On the inflation side, despite the inflationary pressures prevalent in 2017, the introduction of the I&E FX window (which moderated external cost pressures), coupled with the high base effect, were a few of the factors responsible for the downward trend witnessed. Given our expectations of an expansionary fiscal policy, a relaxation of the hawkish monetary stance as early as the first quarter of this year, and campaign spending ahead of the 2019 General Elections, we do not expect a significant drop in inflation rate. 

While keeping inflation rate in check remains one of the major objectives of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), supporting growth and ensuring economic stability are also important objectives of the committee. To support foreign inflows and ease the pressure on the currency, the committee maintained the MPR at 14% all through 2017, even as the CBN also made several modifications to the FX system. This saw exchange rate stable at NGN363/USD at the I&E FX window and parallel market. 

Furthermore, the CBN reinforced its ban on importation of 42 items, which led to the increased production of some basic agricultural produce in the country. Rice is one of the most important food items in Nigeria and a favorite staple in all regions of the country. Given this demand, and the estimated supply shortfall of 2.5MMT, we see legitimate avenue for investors to make profit in rice cultivation. Similarly, oil palm processing has also been identified as a viable sector for investment.  

A major investment hub for 2017 was the Nigerian Equities market, as the NSEASI gained 42.30% at the end of the year, representing the highest return recorded since 2013. The increased buying pressures witnessed may be attributed to the introduction of the I&E FX window by the CBN, the MSCI’s decision to retain and increase the weighting of Nigerian stocks in its Frontier Market Indexes and the impressive financial scorecards churned out by the listed companies. 

In 2018, we envisage a continuation of the current upward trend albeit at a much slower pace. Whilst we expect sectors such as the consumer goods and industrial goods sectors to consolidate on the gains from the economic recovery, we posit that the banking sector will post a moderate return on the back of our modest earnings growth expectations for the sector’s heavyweights. 

Also, we don’t expect the insurance and the oil and gas sectors to be left out on the recovery. Using the fundamental and neural network methodologies, we arrived at an expected 2018 return of 14% for the market. 

In the Fixed income space also, investors benefitted from the stable FX and high yield environment, resulting in significant participation in the market. Following the government’s intent to substitute high-rates short-term domestic debt with long-term foreign loans, we had more Eurobond auctions in 2017. Similarly, there was a further deepening of the debt market, as the government introduced the FGN Savings bond, Diaspora bond and the Sukuk, which were all oversubscribed. 

Despite our expectation of a plausible rate cut in 2018, we do not expect a significant moderation in yields because of this. Nonetheless, we still expect market yields to gradually trend downwards, as market participants re-price assets in the light of the cut in policy rate. 

Also, we expect some periods of declines, depending on the conditions in the OMO market and the settlement of maturing T-bills with foreign loan.  

Given our outlook on several economic variables, we provide a guide for our investors to earn alpha, even as the economy charts its course to solid grounds. 















































































Accommodation details:
A 5 bedroom detached house (guest room d/stairs en-suite)

All rooms upstairs are en-suite
A 4 bedroom boys quarter
A security post by the gate.

A measured area of approximately 1860 sq.m 



Guinness, Redstar others lift NSE’s indices by N71b

By Helen Oji

Guinness Nigeria topped the gainers chart with 10.24 per cent to close at N87.39 per share, while Redstar Express followed with 9.82 per cent to close at N4.81 per share. Air Service gained 4.93 per cent to close at N5.96 per share.

Following price gains recorded by most blue chip companies, during transactions on the trading floor, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed in an upbeat yesterday, as market capitalisation appreciated by N71billion.

Yesterday, Guinness Nigeria topped the gainers chart with 10.24 per cent to close at N87.39 per share, while Redstar Express followed with 9.82 per cent to close at N4.81 per share. Air Service gained 4.93 per cent to close at N5.96 per share.

AG Leventis gained 4.62 per cent to close at N0.68 per share. Diamond Bank added 4.42 per cent to close at N1.18 per share. Cutix garnered 4.00 per cent to close at N2.60 per share. Seplat gained 3.44 per cent to close at N482.00 per share.

Zenith Bank added 2.86 per cent to close at N23.76 per share. Caverton garnered 2.68 per cent to close at N1.15 per share. Honeywell Flour Mills also gained 1.99 per cent to close at N2.05 per share.

However, PZ Cussons emerged the day’s highest price loser with 4.98 per cent to close at N25.94 per share, while Morison followed with 4.88 per cent to close at N0.78 per share.

Linkage Assurance lost 4.48 per cent to close at N0.64 per share, First Aluminum depreciated by 3.57 per cent to close at N0.54 per share, and AIICO dropped 3.51 per cent to close at N0.55 per share.

Nigerian Aviation Handling Company shed 2.90 per cent to close at N3.01 per share, Sterling Bank dropped 2.93 per cent to close at N1.03 per share, and Custodian and Allied Insurance lost 2.78 per cent to close at N3.50 per share.

WAPCO shed 2.90 per cent to close at N52.80 per share, while TransNational Corporation also depreciated by 2.26 per cent to close at N1.30 per share.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of listed equities rose by N71billion or 0.6 per cent from N12.202 trillion recorded on Tuesday to N12.273 trillion.

Also, the All-share index appreciated by 205.15 points and rose from 35,403.92 to 35,609.07. The banking subsector remains the most active in volume terms with 180 million shares traded in 1,213 deals.

Trading in the sector was driven by activities in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank with 68 million units in 233 deals, followed by Access Bank with 56 million shares in 244 deals. In all, investors exchanged 281 million shares in 4,065 deals.