…As EU announces humanitarian Euros 191.3m aid package for Nigeria, and 7 others***
Activities closed red on the nation’s course on Wednesday with Julius Berger leading the losers’ packs with N3 to close at N27 per share.
International Breweries trailed with N2.65 to close at N38.36, while Dangote Cement dipped N2 to close at N225 per share.
Lafarge Africa declined by N1.85 to close at N33.90, while Flour Mills shed 25k to close at N30.75 per share.
Consequently, the All-Share Index, which opened at 37,422.84, lost 169.59 points or 0.45 per cent to close at 37,253.25.
Also, the market capitalisation dropped N60 billion or 0.44 per cent to close at N13.495 trillion compared with N13.555 trillion achieved on Tuesday.
On the other hand, Mobil Oil led the gainers’ table, appreciating by N15.50 to close at N180.50 per share.
Forte Oil followed with a gain of N1.44 to close at N31.30, while Nigerian Breweries increased by N1 to close at N111 per share.
Custodian and Allied Insurance added 57k to close at N6.27, while UACN grew by 35k to close at N13.55 per share.
NAN reports that investors bought and sold 287.09 million shares valued at N3.75 billion transacted in 3,526 deals.
This was in contrast with a turnover of 213.20 million shares worth N3.76 billion in 4,043 deals on Tuesday.
Access Bank was the most active stock during the day, trading 116.02 million shares worth N1.21 billion.
Zenith International Bank followed with an account of 41.05 million shares valued at N999 million, while Transcorp sold 23.73 million shares worth N29.14 million.
Guaranty Trust Bank traded 14.65 million shares valued at N588.85 million, while FBN Holdings exchanged 12.43 million shares worth N129.80 million.
Commenting, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., attributed the persistent lull to political uncertainties surrounding the 2019 general elections.
Omordion added that foreign portfolio investors’ exit from the country on the back of the rise in interest rates in the United States contributed to the downward trend.
He said that most foreign investors were exiting the market ahead of the 2019 elections.
Omordion, however, said that market direction would be ascertained from August after the major political parties’ primaries.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has announced a humanitarian aid package worth 191.3 million euros for Nigeria and other seven Africa’s Sahel countries.
A statement by Mr Modestus Chukwulaka, the Press Officer to Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja.
Chukwulaka quoted EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, as saying that Sahel region experiences its worst food and nutrition crisis in five years and continued insecurity.
“There is no time to waste with many affected by a worsening food security crisis in the Sahel.
“Our EU aid will throw a lifeline to the most vulnerable.
“Our new support aims to reach more than 1.1 million people in need of emergency food assistance while supporting treatment to over 650,000 severely malnourished children,’’ said Stylianides.
According to him, the assistance announced will go to eight countries in the region which include Nigeria with 35.3 million euros, Burkina Faso with 11.1 million euros and Chad with 40.2 million euros.
Others are Mali with 35.3 million euros, Mauritania with 11.4 million euros, Niger 32.2 million euros, Senegal with one million euros and Cameroon with 13.9 million euros.
The commissioner said that in addition, regional funds amounting to 10.8 million euros would also be allocated.
He said EU funding will also support disaster risk reduction initiatives that can help populations better prepare for natural hazards.
“The European Union is one of the largest contributors of humanitarian aid to the Sahel.
“In 2017, the EU allocated 240.8 million euros in humanitarian assistance to the people living in the region, covering essential food assistance to vulnerable households.
“It also covered treatment for severely malnourished children and health assistance, water and sanitation, shelter and protection,’’ he said.
He explained that the humanitarian situation in the Sahel, among the poorest regions in the world, was extremely fragile.
“Nearly 11.8 million people across the eight countries of the region need immediate food assistance to avoid facing acute hunger, women and children being hit the hardest.
“Up to four million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition and need lifesaving treatment, a 20 per cent increase compared to last year.
“The EU, together with its member states, is the biggest provider of development assistance to the region with 8 billion euros from 2014 to 2020,” he said. (One Euro = N423.701)