NSEOil and gas stocks outflanked the industrial goods stocks to emerge as the sub-sector with the highest average year-to-date return at the stock market in a week that saw four oil and gas stocks among the 10 highest advancers.

The stock market retained a week-on-week gain of 0.28 per cent last week after a weekend trading session characterised by emerging profit-taking shaved off 0.67 per cent from the market value. The main value-based common index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI), closed the week with a gain of 0.28 per cent at 37,870.87 points compared with the week’s index on board of 37,765.82 points.

Aggregate market value of all quoted equities similarly inched up from its opening value of N12.067 trillion to N12.100 trillion. But the week was overtly bullish for downstream oil and gas stocks, with the NSE Oil and Gas Index closing with average week-on-week gain of 14.16 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index also rode on the back of gains by Nestle Nigeria and Cadbury Nigeria to close with a gain of 1.82 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index rallied 2.68 per cent while the NSE 30 Index, which tracks 30 most capitalised stocks, mirrored the weekend losses by highly capitalised stocks with a weekly gain of 0.17 per cent. However, the NSE Industrial Goods Index lost 0.98 per cent while NSE Banking Index dropped by 0.34 per cent during the week.

The bullish performance last week pushed the oil and gas stocks ahead as the best-return sub-sector so far this year, ahead of the long-standing industrial goods sub-sector. Year-to-date analysis showed NSE Oil and Gas Index with a year-to-date return of 69.62 per cent, some eight percentage points above 61.52 per cent recorded by the NSE Industrial Goods Index. Other sectoral indices fell below average return at the stock market.

While the ASI indicated average year-to-date return of 34.87 per cent, the NSE Consumer Goods Index posted a return of 32.82 per cent. The NSE 30 Index trailed with a return of 32.78 per cent. Financial services stocks were at the lower end of the returns. The NSE Insurance Index opens today with average year-to-date return of 18.46 per cent while the NSE Banking Index opens with 17.42 per cent.

Total turnover last week stood at 1.83 billion shares worth N22.96 billion in 23,840 deals. The financial services industry remained the most active with a turnover of 1.34 billion shares valued at N12.80 billion traded in 12,795 deals, representing 72.93 per cent of total turnover volume.

However, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) of the conglomerate sub-sector was the most active stock. The trio of Transcorp, Wapic Insurance Plc and Zenith Bank Plc accounted for 737.81 million shares worth N5.01 billion in 3,369 deals, some 40.22 per cent of total turnover.

Meanwhile, the board of directors of Costain (West Africa) Plc has said the management of the construction company remained in control of the operations of the company after it scaled through a receivership scare over indebtedness to First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited.

First Bank had obtained an order of court for the appointment of a receiver manager for Costain over a trade debt.

In a regulatory filing at the NSE, directors of Costain stated that the company has since made payment to partially liquidate the debt and both parties have entered into agreements for the complete liquidation of the debt.

The filing indicated that the receiver manager never acted on behalf of Costain pursuant to the court order and with the terms of settlement being reached; Costain does not envisage the implementation of the order of receivership.


[The Nation]