• Friday, December 08, 2023
businessday logo


Airtel Africa leads laggards as stock market sustains negative trend

Market opens week on a positive note

Nigeria’s equities market opened the holiday shortened trading week in red, thereby sustaining last week’s negative trend.

Investors booked about N569billion loss at the close of trading session on Tuesday, driven majorly by Airtel Africa Plc which topped the league of laggards on the Bourse.

The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) All-Share Index (ASI) and its equities Market Capitalization depreciated by 1.96percent on Tuesday, from preceding day high of 52,994.13 points and N28.869 trillion respectively to 51,952.99 points and N28.300trillion.

Airtel Africa dipped most, from N1331.10 to N1198, losing N133.10 or 10percent.

Transcorp, Zenith Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank and Royal Exchange were top-5 traded stocks as investors in 4,286 deals exchanged 1,723,440,493 shares valued at N4.789billion.

The market’s positive return year-to-date (YtD) also printed lower at 1.37 percent.

Read also: Stock market to suffer effect of negative earnings from cash crunch

“We expect the bearish sentiments to continue in the market, supported by the illiquidity in the financial system. Subsequently, investors may favour the fixed-income market over the equities market.

“However, the low prices and valuations provide an opportunity for Buy-side to re-enter the market and take positions ahead of the first quarter (Q1) 2023 earnings season,” said analysts at Lagos-based United Capital research.

Also, Meristem research analysts who noted in their April 11 commentary that for three consecutive weeks, the performance in the market has been relatively bearish, further noted that activity levels have been somewhat
lower despite earnings releases and dividend announcements.

“We opine that there are limited positive triggers that could spur buying activities from investors. In addition, the tight system liquidity ahead of the NTbills auction this week is likely to cause
flow of funds from the equities market.

“Notwithstanding, we do not rule out bargain hunting activities on tickers that present attractive dividend yield and capital
appreciation opportunities. Overall, we expect the market to close in the negative region
this week,” Meristem research analysts added.