Lafarge leads 17 others in market capitalisation


Lafarge Africa Plc recorded price appreciation on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday as it led 17 others in the market capitalisation of listed equities rise by N193bn.

Eight banking stocks posted gains, with Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc among the top five gainers at the end of trading.

The NSE All-Share Index rose by 2.21 per cent on Monday, the first trading day after the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced a new policy to allow foreign investors to engage in foreign exchange trading at rates set by the buyers and sellers.

The CBN on Friday established a forex widow for investors and exporters to boost liquidity in the forex market and ensure timely execution and settlement for eligible transactions.

Industry analysts and other stakeholders have said the low level of liquidity and currency curbs in the country had kept foreign investors on the sidelines in recent times.

The NSE ASI closed at 25,747.05 basis points on Monday from 25,189.37 bps on Friday while the market capitalisation increased to N8.909tn from N8.716tn.

The share price of Lafarge jumped by 10.24 per cent to close at N50.71, while that of Diamond Bank rose by 5.56 per cent to close at N0.95.

Stanbic gained 4.98 per cent to close at N21.49 per share; ETI appreciated by 4.93 per cent to close at N7.45 per share, and Union Bank increased by 4.84 per cent to N4.98 per share.

Other gainers on Monday included 7UP Bottling Company Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc.

Eleven stocks recorded price losses, with Nascon Allied Industries Plc leading the pack with a decline of 4.91 per cent to close at N7.36 per share.

Nestle Nigeria Plc shed 4.9 per cent to close at N713.5 per share, while NPF Microfinance Bank Plc fell by 4.27 per cent to close at N1.12 per share.

Fidson Healthcare Plc dropped by four per cent to close at N0.96 per share, while Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc lost 3.7 per cent to close at N1.82 per share.

A total of 211.757 million shares worth N1.409bn in 3,054 deals were traded on Monday by investors on the floor of the Exchange.

Lafarge Africa, which released its Q1 2017 results on Monday, said its profit after tax grew to N9.4bn compared with a pre-tax loss of N2.2bn in the corresponding quarter of 2016.

An analyst at FBN Capital Limited, Mr. Tunde Abidoye, said the robust PBT growth was driven by stellar sales growth of 55 per cent year-on-year and a significant gross margin expansion of 1,085 basis points y-o-y to 25.7 per cent.

“Further down the Profit and Loss account, PAT accelerated by 272 per cent y-o-y to N14.1bn, thanks to a positive result of N9.3bn (related to forex gains) on the other comprehensive income line,” he said.


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