After a lull, activities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange are picking up, as corporate earnings trickle in slowly, Goddy Egene reports
The stock market recorded a marginal growth of 0.09 per cent last week after three weeks of bearish trading. The rebound followed investors’ reaction to the release of corporate results by some companies for the half year ended June 30, 2018.
Specifically, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 0.09 per cent to close at 36,636.97, while market capitalisation closed higher at N13.272 trillion.
Similarly, all other indices finished higher with the exception of the NSE Premium, NSE Consumer Goods, NSE Oil/Gas, NSE Industrial Goods, NSE Pension Indices that depreciated by 0.16 per cent, 0.19 per cent, 3.74 per cent, 4.4 per cent and 0.56 per cent respectively.
Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said their outlook for equities in the near-to-medium term remained conservative, “in the absence of a near term one-off positive catalyst (save for potential better-than-expected Q2 corporate earnings), more so, amidst brewing political concerns.
“However, stable macroeconomic fundamentals – in addition to the likelihood of external jitters settling – remain supportive of market recovery in the long term.”
The market opened last week on a positive note last Monday, with the NSE ASI rising by 0.30 per cent to 36,711.96 as bargain hunting that started the preceding Friday continued.
The appreciation recorded in the share prices of some highly capitalised companies such as UBA, Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries, FBN Holdings, and Zenith Bank Plc bolster the performance.
However, Cutix Plc led the price gainers for the day, with 10 per cent, trailed by Continental Reinsurance Plc with 6.0 per cent. Wema Bank Plc chalked up 5.8 per cent, just as Transcorp Plc and Japaul Oil & Gas Plc went up by 4.2 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively.
Other top price gainers included: LASACO Assurance Plc (3.0 per cent); NASCON Allied Industries Plc (2.7 per cent); GTBank Plc (2.1 per cent); FCMB Group Plc (2.0 per cent) and United Capital Plc (1.6 per cent).
Conversely, Abbey Building Society Plc led the price losers with 10.0 per cent. University Press Plc trailed with a decline of 9.8 per cent. Forte Oil Plc and UACN Property Development Company Plc shed 9.6 per cent and 9.4 per cent in that order. AIICO Insurance Plc, Champion Breweries Plc, Oando Plc and Jaiz Bank Plc went down by 8.9 per cent, 7.3 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.
However, activity level weakened as volume and value traded declined 66.8 per cent and 43.4 per cent to 225.9 million shares and N2.2 billion respectively. Top traded stocks by volume were Medview Airline Plc (100.0 million shares), Transcorp Plc (16.1 million shares) and Zenith Bank Plc (11.3 million shares) while the top traded by value were Dangote Cement Plc (N564.1 billion), GTBank (N315.5 billion) and Zenith Bank (N260.3 billion).
Meanwhile, performance across sectors on that day was largely bullish as four of five indices tracked closed higher. The NSE Banking Index gained the most with 0.6 per cent.
It was followed by the NSE Industrial Goods Index followed with 0.4 per cent, while the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Consumer Goods Index went up by 0.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively. On the flipside, the NSE Oil & Gas Index shed 1.7 per cent.
Profit taking in bellwether stocks attracted the bears, making the market to close 0.70 per cent lower. Specifically, profit taking in stocks such as International Breweries Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and Dangote Cement Plc caused the bearish run.
Consequently, the market shed N93 billion, pulling the capitalisation to N13.2 trillion.
But activity level strengthened as volume and value traded advanced 67.6 per cent and 100.1 per cent to 378.7 million shares and N4.4 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were Medview Air Plc (100.0 million shares), Transcorp (45.5 million shares) and Zenith Bank Plc (42.7 million shares ) while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N988.5 million), GTBank (N545.5 million) and Dangote Cement (N499.5 million).
The sell pressure persisted on Wednesday dragging the index lower by 0.30 per cent to close at 36,346.80. Major drags to performance were – Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc; Lafarge Africa Plc; Nigerian Breweries Plc and GTBank Plc. In the same manner, activity level fell as volume and value traded fell 12.9 per cent and 17.5 per cent to 329.8 million shares and N3.6 billion respectively.
The performance across sectors was bearish as four of the five indices tracked. The NSE Industrial Goods Index led decliners, falling 1.5 per cent while the NSE Oil & Gas Index shed 0.8 per cent. In the same vein, the NSE Consumer Goods Index 0.8 per cent just as the NSE Insurance Index depreciated 0.5 per cent.
But the market rebounded on Thursday, bolstered by gains recorded by Nestle Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank, FBN Holdings Plc and GTBank Plc to close 0.22 per cent higher at 36,427.22. But volume and value fell by 48.2 per cent and 18.3 per cent to 171 million shares and N3.0 billion respectively.
The positive performance was sustained last Friday as the NSE ASI appreciating by 0.58 per cent to close at 36,636.97. The appreciation recorded in the share prices of some highly capitalised companies such as International Breweries, FBN Holdings , GT Bank, UBA, and Transcorp were mainly responsible for the gain recorded.
Meanwhile, investors traded 1.417 billion shares worth N16.739 billion in 19,832 deals last week, compared with 1.665 billion shares valued at N14.834 billion that exchanged hands in 18,795 deals the preceding week. However, the Financial Services Industry remained the most active, leading the activity chart with 832.842 million shares valued at N8.823 billion traded in 10,851 deals. The sector thus contributed 58.7 per cent and 52.7 percent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
The Services Industry followed with 320.350 million shares worth N679.981 million in 584 deals, while the third place was occupied by Conglomerates Industry with a turnover of 99.403 million shares worth N147.372 million in 1,000 deals.
Trading in the top three equities – Medview Airline Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Zenith Bank Plc – accounted for 578.789 million shares worth N5.153 billion in 2,874 deals,
Price Gainers and Losers
The price movement chart displayed 31 equities that appreciated in price during the week, higher than 16 in the previous week, just as 48 equities depreciated in price, lower than 59 equities of the previous week.
Cutix Plc led the price gainers with 46 per cent, trailed by Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc with 25.9 per cent. Continental Reinsurance Plc and FBN Holdings Plc chalked up 12.6 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.
Other top price advancers for the week included: Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc (10.0 per cent); Vitafoam Nigeria Plc (9.8 per cent); Capital Oil Plc (8.7 per cent); and Diamond Bank Plc (7.6 per cent); Skye Bank Plc (7.6 per cent); Sterling Bank Plc (6.6 per cent).
Conversely, Rak Unity Petroleum Company Plc led the price losers with 20 per cent, trailed by UACN Property Development Company Plc that shed 18.8 per cent. Secure Electronic Technology Plc and Royal Exchange Plc dipped by 16.6 per cent apiece.
Other top price gainers were: Lafarge Africa Plc (15.3 per cent); Forte Oil Plc (13.9 per cent); NPF Microfinance Bank Plc (12.7 per cent); Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc (10 per cent); Presco Plc (9.9 per cent) and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc (9.8 per cent).
The FCMB Group Plc recorded a profit before tax (PBT) of N7.1 billion for the six-months ended 30 June 2018.
This represented an increase of 86 per cent from the N3.8billion it achieved for the same period in 2017.
The bank explained that the positive development reflected the improving performance of the financial institution, as well as the effects of diversification through its investments in asset and wealth management.
From the details of its unaudited results announced on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the Group’s gross revenue rose to N83.9 billion as at the end of June 2018, compared to N77.5billion in the corresponding period of 2017.
Similarly, net interest income rose by nine per cent year-on-year (YoY) from N32.5billion to N35.3billion, while non-interest income grew to N16.5billion, an increase of 29 per cent, from N12.8billion for the same period of last year.
The Commercial & Retail Banking group (which comprises First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited) generated a 32.2 per cent increase in PBT to N2.9 billion for half year 2018, from the N2.2 billion recorded at the end of first quarter 2018.
Its revenue increased 3.7 per cent year-on-year, driven by an 8.1 per cent year-on-year increase in non-interest income and an 8.7 per cent year-on-year increase in net-interest income.
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc posted a profit before tax of N11.7bn for the first half of the year, up from N9.5bn in the same period of 2017.
The bank, which announced its unaudited financial statements for the period ended June 30 2018 on Wednesday, said its gross earnings rose by 16 per cent to N83.3bn from N72.1bn in H1 2017, driven by a 10 per cent increase in interest income and 37 per cent increase in non-interest income.
Its interest income grew to N62.2bn in the first half of 2018 from N56.6bn in H1 2017, while net interest income before impairment was up by 14 per cent to N34.4bn, driven by an improvement in net interest margins from 7.9 per cent to 8.2 per cent on the back of lower cost of funds.
The lender said its non-interest income increased by 37 per cent to N21.1bn from N15.4bn in H1 2017, driven by enhanced treasury trading income, recoveries and 311 per cent growth in alternate channel revenues.
It added that the operating expenses rose by 21 per cent to N39.2bn from N32.4bn in H1 2017, largely due to a 25 per cent increase in regulatory levies from the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria as well as some one-off items.
The bank reported gross loans of N508.5bn, down from N560.7bn as of December 2017 due to successful recovery/collection efforts and the write-off of some fully provisioned non-performing loans.
Customer deposits was up by three per cent to N826.7bn from N802.4bn as of December 2017, reflecting a 66 per cent increase in foreign currency deposits and the optimisation of local currency deposit book towards low-cost deposits.
Commenting on the results, the Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa, said, “In the first half of the year, we have continued to see positive results from our efficiency and productivity drive. Across all our business lines, we witnessed strong underlying performance, translating into improved earnings.
He said in the second half of the year, the group would continue to focus on productivity, leveraging enhanced platform to deliver best-in-class services to its customers and taking advantage of targeted opportunities across business lines and geographies.
Speaking on the H1 2018 numbers, the Chief Financial Officer, Oyinkan Adewale said, “With low-cost deposits now accounting for 70 per cent of total deposits, up from 67 per cent as at December 2017, our cost of funds fell in H1 2018. Consequently, the group NIM has improved from 7.9 per cent in H1 2017 to 8.2 per cent in the period. Our foreign currency deposits are up 66 per cent, compared with December 2017; and up 40 per cent compared with March 2018, as we continued to optimise our balance sheet.”
Oando Plc has continued to defy skeptics as it recorded N8.5 billion profit-after-tax (PAT) in its half-year (H1) results ended June 30, 2018.
The impressive result comes in the wake of increase in the price of oil and gas commodities. Following the fall in crude oil prices, Oando like other companies took a significant hit in its revenues and ultimately reported losses.
But with perseverance and hardwork, the company has since actively worked towards reversing its fortunes and reminding its shareholders that an investment in the company will indeed pay off.
With its H1 2018 results, the company has posted its 7th quarter consecutive profit. An analysis of Oando’s financials shows that the company’s turnover grew by 11 per cent to N297.3 billion from N267 billion recorded in H1 2017; gross profit increased by 53 per cent to N51 billion compared to N33.4 billion earned in H1 2017, and profit-after-tax increased by 86 per cent to N8.5 billion compared to N4.6 billion in H1 2017.
In its upstream business, Oando recorded a net profit of N27.1 billion or $75.2 million, compared with N16.3 billion or $53.2 million in the comparative period of H1 2017. According to the company’s statement, the increase in net income between the quarters was primarily due to higher revenues as a result of a general increase in the price of oil and gas commodities.
Oando picked up on the industry recovery witnessed in 2017. Brent prices averaged $69.87 per barrel, resulting in a 38 per cent increase in realised crude selling price compared to the same period in 2017.
Oando’s performance was further buoyed by sale price increases of 19 per cent for Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) and 13 per cent for natural gas deliveries.
Commenting on the results Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC, Wale Tinubu, stated that he is pleased to report that Oando PLC has made significant progress in 2018, evidenced by the company’s substantial free cash flow generation and profitability.
“Oil prices have rallied over the last year, a direct consequence of increasing demand and reduced supply. Higher oil prices, and the resolution of Joint Venture funding challenges with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has driven increased investment in the upstream sector. This stable operating environment, coupled with our fiscal prudence, has reinforced our solid financial footing as we continue to build on the momentum garnered in 2017,” Tinubu explained.
The company’s performance in the first half of 2018 is a continuation of the strong financial performance delivered last year and in the first quarter of 2018. Oando continues to increase its market share in the downstream sector through its trading business, Oando Trading (OTD).
OTD recorded average trading volumes of 8.1 million barrels in the six months ended June 30, 2018 with a total of 6.6 million barrels of crude oil and 195,497 Metric tonnes (MT) of petroleum products traded in the first half of the year. Speaking on Oando’s H1 2018 financials, Oando shareholder with the Sokoto Zone Shareholders Association, Alhaji Kabiru Tambari said the company’s results reaffirmed his commitment for the management of Oando.
“Seven profits in a row is no small feat. Not all companies who have gone through what this company has gone through in the last year would be able to come out this strong. I commend the management team and I hope they continue the good work,” Tambari added. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) added Oando to the most influential stocks group this year. The NSE picked Oando alongside Beta Glass Company as two of the 30 most capitalised stocks.
With the federal government’s announcement of outstanding subsidy payments due to various companies including Oando, the company’s share price increased by 9.8 per cent.
Despite being in the middle of an indirect shareholder dispute which has led to a yet to be concluded SEC forensic audit, a review of other activities pertaining to Oando in the first half of 2018 has indicated that the company is committed to creating value for its shareholders.
Speaking on the forensic audit, an Oando shareholder from the National Coordinating Committee of Shareholders Association, Mrs. Oludewa Thorpe explained that she is happy that Oando allowed the SEC to do a forensic audit, adding that she is hopeful that the outcome of the audit will be further evidence that the company is being managed well, in the interest of shareholders and is here for the long haul. Barely a month ago, Oando, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and other indigenous and international oil companies in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) achieved a commendable feat with the signing of an agreement to implement Gas Projects worth $3.7 billion. The gas projects tagged ‘Seven Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP)’ is set to bridge the gas supply shortfall in the country.
In April, the NNPC announced that a consortium consisting of Oando PLC, through its Midstream affiliate Axxela, and OilServe Limited were awarded the Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) mandate for the construction of gas pipelines stretching from Ajaokuta to Abuja as part of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Pipeline. The pipeline is a section of the Trans-Nigerian Gas Pipeline under the gas infrastructure blueprint designed to enable the industrialisation of the Eastern and Northern parts of Nigeria and will also enable connectivity between the East, West and North, which is currently non-existent. Axxela has continued to grow its customer base and is now delivering natural gas to over 175 industrial and commercial customers via its gas network infrastructure.
To improve the local economy and promote self-sustenance in its host communities, Oando and its Joint Venture (JV) partners commissioned an agro-storage facility in the fishery community of Twon Brass, Bayelsa state at the start of the year. Since then, they have commissioned other notable projects including, NYSC Corpers Lodge in the Tuoma community in Burutu, Delta state, a water scheme in Agbere Community, Bayelsa, which will save over 5,000 lives; and several road projects in Imo Rivers and Bayelsa state. Speaking on the outlook for the remainder of the year, Oando in a press statement said it would continue to drive growth and profitability via its dollar earning portfolios.
“Our plans in the upstream involves production growth via investment in targeted profitable projects whilst maintaining fiscal prudence, to ensure we remain less sensitive to short-term price fluctuations. In our Trading business, current plans for growth include expansion of our trading structures in Africa, capitalising on expanding scope in Southern and East Africa, as well as developing key supply mechanisms into the Middle East and North Africa,” the company explained
The company expressed the hope that all indices would continue to remain strong and positive for it to end 2018 winning as a proudly Nigerian brand.
Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, (COSG), provider of marine, aviation and logistics services to local and international oil and gas companies in Nigeria, has recorded improved financial results for the half year(H1) ended June 30, 2018. The results show significant increases in the revenue, profit before tax (PBT) and profit after tax (PAT), earnings per share among others.
For instance, revenue rose by 40.6 per cent from N10.11 billion in 2017 to N14.22 billion. PBT improved by 65.9 per cent from N938 million to N1.56 billion in 2017, while PAT appreciated by 62 per cent to N962.45 million in 2018.
Gross profit margin improved from 35 per cent to 38 per cent, while net profit margin is seven per cent, up from six per cent in 2017. Earnings per share stood at 29 kobo compared with 18 kobo in the corresponding period of 2017.
Speaking on the results, the Chief Executive Officer of COSG, Mr. Bode Makanjuola, said the success recorded is as a result of the continued professionalism and support of the staff, management and directors of the group. “As we move into the second half of 2018, we are confident that we will continue to deliver high quality services our clients are accustomed to, while delivering profitable returns for our shareholders. In addition, COSG continues to explore other innovative solutions in support of deep and shallow water operations in both marine and aviation business while exploring opportunities to diversify revenue streams.”
The company had posted highly impressive performance for the 2017 full year with PAT rising by over 300 per cent. The Chairman of COSG, Mr. Aderemi Makanjuola had explained at the annual general meeting (AGM) that stability of exchange rate and increase in revenue during the year impacted positively on the company’s bottom-line.
“Our performance reflected continued effective execution of our bold strategy as we innovate and break barriers to boost our bottom-line in building a Client-centric Group and generate sustainable long-term value to our shareholders,” Makanjuola added.
Makanjuola expressed confident that COSG would improve on its revenue as well as bottom-line. According to him, more contractors signed by the company in 2017 would boost its revenue. The chairman disclosed that COSG was able to add 11 new helicopters to its fleets by April 2018, adding that would further boost its revenue base.
Part of the company’s strategy to weather the current challenging business environment of the past couple of years has been to continue to focus on cost efficiency without compromising on its safety standards.
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has released its financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2018, showing improved performance indicators. The lender recorded gross earnings of N83.3 billion, indicating a growth of 16 per cent.
Net interest income rose 14 per cent from N30.1 billion to N34.3 billion, driven by an improvement in net interest margins from 7.9 per cent to 8.2 per cent on the back of lower cost of funds. Non-interest income grew by 37 per cent to N21.1 billion, from N15.4 billion following enhanced treasury trading income, recoveries and 311 per cent growth in alternate channel revenues. Credit/other impairment charges went up by 26 per cent from N3.7 billion to N4.6 billion.
The bank ended the period with a profit before tax (PBT) of N11.7 billion, up 23 per cent compared with N9.5 billion in the corresponding period of 2017. Profit after tax (PAT) grew faster, rising by 25 per cent from N9.2 billion to N11.5 billion in 2018.
A further analysis of the results show that Union Bank is attracting more patronage as customer deposits rose three per cent to N826.7 billion, compared with N802.4 billion in 2017. However, loans and advances to customers fell by nine per cent from N560.7 billion to N508.5 billion in 2018. Non-performing loan ratio improved from 19.8 per cent to 10.8 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank said: “In the first half of the year, we have continued to see positive results from our efficiency and productivity drive. Across all our business lines, we witnessed strong underlying performance, translating into improved earnings. We continue to focus on the recovery of non-performing loans. With the resolution in Q2 2018 of the large real estate exposure which was impaired in December 2017, the Group NPL ratio is down to 10.8 per cent from 14.9 per cent at 31 March 2018 and 19.8 per cent at 31 December 2017.”
Also speaking, Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Oyinkan Adewale said: “We are pleased that for the first time since 2012, the group’s retained earnings moved from a negative to a positive position, thus eliminating a major technical impediment to the payment of dividends. Operating Expenses for the period were affected by some one-off items, as well as a combined 25 per cent increase in NDIC premium and AMCON levy. For the rest of the year, we will intensify our cost rationalisation initiatives.”
The Association of Assets Custodians of Nigeria (AACN) recently held its seventh annual investor conference in London, where key stakeholders in both the private and public sector gathered to deliberate on ways to drive the recovery of the capital market.
A statement from the association quoted the acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk, represented by the Head of SEC Lagos Zonal Office, Mr. Emeka Okolo, to have opened the event with a panel discussion on key regulatory developments and changes in the Nigerian market, and the impact on Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs).
Also present at the event were Africa Economist, Standard Chartered Bank, Ms. Sarah Baynton-Glen, who made a presentation on the topic ‘Sustaining the Nigerian Capital Market Recovery,’ while FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange (FMDQ) Associate Executive Director, Ms. Kaodi Ugoji, spoke on ‘Engendering Transparency and Liquidity in the FX and Fixed Income Securities Markets’.
The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, discussed, ‘Sustaining the Nigerian Stock Market Growth’ and Mr. Segun Sanni discussed the ‘Automation of Certificate of Capital Importation (CCI) Processes’ – both discussions featured Question & Answer sessions with the conference participants.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will today list the FGN N10.69 billion Green Bond on the Exchange, as part of efforts to make Nigeria one of the favoured investment destinations in Africa.
Nigeria became the first the first nation to issue a climate bonds certified sovereign green bond, the first African nation to issue a sovereign green bond and the fourth nation in the world to issue after Poland, France and Fiji.
Green bonds are fixed income, liquid financial instruments used to raise funds dedicated to climate mitigation, adaptation and other environment-friendly projects. This provides investors with an attractive investment proposition and an opportunity to support environmentally and socially sound projects.
Market analysts had said considering that Nigeria derives more than 90 per cent of its export income from crude oil, the push for green bonds to support initiatives aimed at moderating climate change by investing in solar plants, hydro power and agriculture is particularly noteworthy.
Former Minister of Environment and now Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina Mohammed had last year commended NSE for conceptualising the idea of the green bond.
“The NSE sowed the seeds, they talked to me about sustainability principles and what business could do. We thought ‘hey what about green bonds’ – Nigeria was looking for an instrument that worked with its ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ and its national strategy to bring jobs and green infrastructure investment. Green Bonds provides a new product with new credentials that investors could buy into, which has gone through a vigorous process to ensure transparency, accountability in use of funds and is environmental friendly,” she said.
According to market operators, sovereign green bond represents a new stage in the development of the Nigerian capital markets and opens the way for further corporate issuance and international investment. The NSE is playing a key role in helping to develop this enormous opportunity for Nigeria while fulfilling one of its key objectives as a member of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative.
Market operators have called on government to implement tax incentives to issuers, while grant schemes should also be instituted to address some of the costs of issuing bonds for corporates including independent reviews and project assessment and evaluation.
Meanwhile, the stock market continued with its losing streak with the NSE All-Share Index depreciating further by 0.76 to close at 36,470.05.
Wema Bank Plc has reported a profit before tax of N1.83bn for the first half of the year.
The bank said in a statement on Wednesday that its profit before tax grew by 27.44 per cent to N1.83bn in the first half of 2018 from N1.43bn in the same period of 2017.
It said its unaudited financial results for the first half of 2018 showed a 5.12 per cent growth in gross earnings, which was driven by 0.12 per cent and 30.45 per cent growth in interest and non-interest income, respectively.
The Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Wema Bank, Ademola Adebise, while commenting on the results, said the performance of the bank in the first half of the year was largely in line with the expectations of the management.
He stated that deposit grew by 39 per cent to N354.88bn on the back of continued acceptance of the Wema Bank brand and the sustained success of its flagship digital bank, ALAT.
Adebise said, “We also improved our earnings capacity; gross earnings increased by 5.12 per cent from N30.37bn in the first half of 2017 to N31.93bn in the first half of 2018, while profit before tax closed 27.44 per cent higher at N1.83bn.
“The bank continues to execute its five-year retail strategy with a clear mandate to improve performance by leveraging innovation. The emphasis for us is not just to digitise our product offerings to customers but also to build a technology driven back-end infrastructure to further improve on turnaround time and efficiency.
“The bank also continues to improve its customer acquisition through the launch of ALAT and the impressive performance of its unstructured supplementary service data platform (*945#).”
Bearish sentiments persisted at the stock market wednesday, driving the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) further down by lower by 0.58 per cent to 36,748.18.
This was the lowest since November 2017. Selling pressure in banking and insurance stocks were highly instrumental to the negative session recorded at the equities market. Out of the 23 price losers, 13 counters were from banking and insurance sectors. This development led to a two per cent depreciation in the NSE Banking Index.
In all, FBN Holdings Plc led the losers’ table with 9.7 per cent to close at N9.25, trailed by Oando Plc. Wema Bank Plc shed 8.8 per cent, while Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc went down by 7.1 per cent apiece.
Other gainers included: GTBank (6.7 per cent); LASACO Assurance Plc (5.7 per cent); Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc (5.5 per cent); WAPIC Insurance Plc, Equity Assurance Plc (4.5 per cent each); Niger Insurance Plc (3.8 per cent); Custodian Investment Plc, Diamond Bank Plc (3.1 per cent apiece).
On the other hand, Continental Reinsurance Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent to be at N1.65. PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc followed with 9.7 per cent, just as International Breweries Plc advanced by 9.3 per cent. Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc garnered 9.1 per cent.
Other top price gainers were: Linkage Assurance Plc (8.9 per cent); Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc (7.4 per cent); NPF Microfinance Bank Plc (5.8 per cent); Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc (4.2 per cent) and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (3.5 per cent).
In line with the bearish trend, volume and value of trading fell 11.0 per cent and 31.3 per cent to 181.2 million shares and N1.6 billion respectively. The most traded stocks by volume were Transcorp Plc (16.8 million), Zenith Bank Plc(15.2 million shares) and Fidelity Bank Plc (14.9 million shares ) while Zenith Bank Plc (N361.7 million), GTBank (N225.8 million) and Nestle Nigeria Plc (N117.4 million) were the most traded stocks by value.
Apart from the banking index, the NSE Oil & Gas Index and NSE Industrial Goods Index fell 1.2 per cent and 0.5 per cent in that order.
Market analysts said in the short to medium term, losses are likely to persist, amidst continued risk-off sentiments in emerging markets and the absence of a near-term one-off positive catalyst.
“However, still-positive macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of gains in the long term,” analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said.