Equities Rebound on Interest in Bellwethers

The Nigerian equities market rebounded from the negative performance recorded yesterday on renewed interest in bellwethers and reactions to positive earnings releases. Accordingly, the All Share Index improved 0.5% to settle at 25,753.00 points, paring YTD loss to 4.2%, while market capitalisation rose N45.7bn to N8.9tn. Price appreciation in GUARANTY (+2.3%), DANGCEM (+0.6%) and STANBIC (+6.8%) buoyed the benchmark index. Activity level further strengthened as volume and value traded rose 45.4% and 68.2% to 371.8m units and N2.8bn respectively.

Mixed Performance across Sectors
Performance across sectors was mixed as 2 indices gained while 3 declined. The Banking index appreciated the most, up 1.7% on the back of sustained buying interest in STANBIC (+6.8%) and GUARANTY (+2.3%). Relatedly, a number of banks released impressive Q1:2017 results today: ETI (Gross Earnings up 35.8% to N178.4bn, PAT up 34.0% to N18.7bn), FIDELITY (Gross Earnings up 18.8% to N40.8bn, PAT up 20.5% to N4.3bn), UBA (Gross Earnings up 37.5% to N101.2bn, PAT up 31.6% to N22.4bn) and ACCESS (Gross Earnings up 38.8% to N115.9bn, PAT up 34.0% to N26.0bn).

Similarly, the Oil & Gas index closed 0.1% higher – driven by gains in OANDO (+1.2%). On the flipside, the Industrial Goods index dipped 2.5% as losses in WAPCO (-5.8%) offset gains recorded in DANGCEM (+0.6%). In the same vein, the Insurance and Consumer Goods indices trended 0.6% and 0.1% southwards on the back of losses in CONTINSURE (-4.9%) and UNILEVER (-9.7%) respectively.

Sentiment Stays Strong
Investor sentiment stayed strong today although market breadth (advancers/decliners ratio) eased from 2.4x yesterday to 1.6x - 22 stocks advanced while 14 declined – but still above the 1.0x threshold. The best performing stocks were LIVESTOCK (+9.7%), STANBIC (+6.7%) and NASCON (+4.9%) while UNILEVER (-9.7%), WAPCO (-5.8%) and CONTINSURE (-4.9%) declined the most. We opine that the current positive vibe in the equities market is broadly linked to impressive Q1:2017 results of corporates as well as expectations of improved participation by foreign players following the launch of the Investors’ & Exporters’ window by the CBN at the start of the week. In the short term, we expect the momentum to be sustained if outstanding Q1 earnings are as strong as expected (particularly DANGCEM which is due on Friday). Nevertheless, we do not rule out the possibility of some “end-of-the-week” profit-taking by investors in the trading session ahead.

NASD OTC Exchange Market Activities
In the NASD OTC exchange, total volume and value traded rose 127.1% and 108.5% to 27, 964 units and N2.9m respectively. A total of 6 counters traded today and all closed flat save for WAMCO (-5.0%).