By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos, Dec. 31, 2020 The nation’s bourse on Thursday closed 2020 upbeat, appreciating by 50.03 per cent, with the All-Share Index crossing the 40, 000 mark on the last trading day, in spite of COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, the All-Share Index which opened trading for the year at 26, 842.07 rose by 13, 428.65 points or 50.03 per cent to close at 40, 270.72.
Similarly, the market capitalisation rose by N8.098 trillion to close at N21.056 trillion from the opening year figure of N12.958 trillion.
According to analysts, the market was positively impacted by policies introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which favoured the stock market.
They noted that the apex bank policies impacted positively on Nigerian stocks, with the stock market recording the highest growth in six years.
According to Bloomberg, the Nigerian equities benchmark index in Africa’s largest economy recorded its highest return in 2020, the best among 93 equity indexes it tracked.
Consequently, it emerged as the world’s best performing stock market year-to-date.
Commenting on the market performance, Uche Uwaleke, a financial economist and Professor of Capital Market at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, described 2020 as a year of bumper harvest.
“The major reason is the fact that other competing asset classes such as fixed income securities lost their attractiveness owing to CBN policies which lowered yields.
“Naturally, investors preference shifted to the riskier equities market that offered returns higher than inflation rate.
“The way to sustain the momentum is for the CBN to continue to ensure a low interest rate environment through accommodative monetary policies that tend to support economic growth,’’ Uwaleke said.
Meanwhile, an analysis of the stock market activity on Thursday showed that the uptrend was driven by price appreciation in medium and large capitalised stocks including MTN Nigeria and BUA Cement, BOC Gases, Northern Nigeria Flour Mills (NNFM) and C & I Leasing.
BOC Gases dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent to close at N9.57 per share.
NNFM followed with 9.95 per cent to close at N6.74, while C & I Leasing rose by 9.94 per cent to close at N5.20 per share.
FCMB Group rose by 9.90 per cent to close at N3.33, while BUA Cement appreciated by 9.87 per cent to close at N77.35 per share.
Conversely, FTN Cocoa Processors led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, losing 9.59 per cent to close at 66k per share.
Eterna followed with a loss of 9.09 per cent to close at N5.10, while AIICO Insurance declined by 8.87 per cent to close at N1.13 per share.
International Breweries dipped 8.32 per cent to close at N5.95, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated shed 7.69 per cent to close at N6 per share.
Also, the total volume of traded rose by 90.57 per cent as investors bought and sold 710.06 million shares worth N10.08 billion in 4, 396 deals.
This was in contrast with a total of 372.93 million shares valued at N11.50 billion achieved in 5, 186 deals on Wednesday.
Transactions in the shares of AIICO topped the activity chart with 205.99 million shares worth N234.23 million.
Access Bank followed with 99.65 million shares valued N898.55 million, while Japaul Gold and Ventures traded 85.74 million shares worth N49.59 million.
FBN Holdings sold 48.31 million shares valued at N342.91 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 44.04 million shares worth N1.09 billion.