Share price gains recorded by Julius Berger, PZ Cussons and United Bank for Africa (UBA) in the first two months of the year are the highest amongst the 27 stocks in the blue-chip basket on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, BusinessDay trend watch has shown.
Julius Berger shares rose by 58.78 percent to lead others stocks in the basket, which track the top 30 companies in terms of market capitalisation and liquidity. Its share price rose from N34.01kobo to N54 in the two-month period (Thursday January 11 to Monday March, 11, 2013) monitored by BusinessDay.
This was followed by PZ Cussons Nigeria plc, which gained 41.75 percent. PZ Cussons plc rose from N28.5kobo to N40.40; while UBA plc, which rallied by 40.88 percent, rose from N5.70 to N8.03kobo.
With the market yield-to-date (ytd) at 16.99 percent last week, money flows into and out of the stock market, particularly the blue-chip stocks, have continued to dictate the direction of the equities market.
In the two-month period, other stocks that recorded impressive share price appreciation are International Breweries plc, Union Bank of Nigeria plc, and UACN plc. International Breweries plc recorded a 31.63 percent increase from N16.60kobo to N21.85kobo; Union Bank of Nigeria plc gained 30.58 percent from N7.75kobo to N10.12kobo; while UACN plc rose by 26.81percent to N54.40 from N42.90kobo in the preceding two-month period.
The gains by these blue-chips are making analysts bullish over the equities market, saying the rally may continue in the medium-to-long term. For instance, analysts at Partnership Investment Company plc said, “We advise investors to take advantage of the new price discovery on the back of recent correction cycle, to seek value stocks. Investors may consider funds allocation in favour of equities market in their portfolio mix to take advantage of the anticipated mild rally in the days ahead. Market enthusiasm remains upbeat.
Samir Gadio, emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank, London said the Nigerian market correction is generating more attractive re-entry points. He said: “While more weakness, or at least a period of consolidation may well be in the pipeline in the short term, we are bullish on the medium-to-long term outlook for the Nigerian bourse.”
Looking further into other equities in the blue-chip basket, Diamond Bank plc rose by 26.95 percent from N5.75kobo to N7.30kobo; Dangote Sugar rose by 25.23 percent from N6.54kobo to N8.19kobo; Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) plc rose by 21.21 percent from N11.50kobo to N13.94kobo; Ashaka Cement plc which stood at N19.61kobo as at January 11 rose to N24, a 22.38 percent rise.
In the period under review, Lafarge Cement Wapco recorded an impressive 23.49 percent rally from N55.9 to N69.03; while Total Nigeria plc gained 20.84 percent to N154.80kobo from N128.11kobo.
Access Bank plc rose by 18.29 percent from N9.73kobo to N11.51kobo; Skye Bank plc rose 18.49 percent from N5.19kobo to N6.15kobo; FBN Holdings rose from N16.79kobo to N20, indicating a 19.12 percent gain; Nestle Nigeria plc gained 18.45 percent from N710 to N841; and Mobil Oil Nigeria plc gained 14.42 percent from N109.25kobo to N125;
Other stocks that rallied are Dangote Cement plc, which rose by 13.992 percent from N125 to N142.49kobo; Stanbic IBTC Holdings plc, which recorded 13.04 percent gain from N11.5kobo to N13; and Flour Mills Nigeria plc gained 17.23 percent from N65 to N76.20kobo.
Fidelity Bank plc rose from N2.81kobo to N3.16kobo; Unilever Nigeria plc rallied by 10.94percent from N47 to N52.14kobo; Cadbury Nigeria plc gained 13.40 percent from N29.10kobo to N33; Dangote Flour gained 14.58 percent from N8.16kobo to N9.35kobo. Nigerian Breweries plc rose from N148.10 to N162, gaining 9.39 percent; Zenith Bank plc rallied by 10.15 percent from N19.70kobo to N21.70kobo; GlaxoSmithKline gained 8.63 percent from N45.10kobo to N48.99kobo; GTBank plc gained 4.22 percent from N23.94kobo to N24.95kobo; FCMB plc gained 2.25 percent from N4.89kobo to N5; while Guinness Nigeria plc was the only laggard in this period by 4.04 percent from N276.20kobo to N265.03kobo