NSE demotes Nigerian Breweries to medium stock

0
75

…As Access Bank’s share price drops by 32%, after merger***

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday relegated Nigerian Breweries from its special status of high-priced stock to medium-priced stock, after the leading brewers slipped below the requirement for continuing recognition as high-priced stock.

In a circular, the Exchange indicated that the review of Nigerian Breweries price trade activity over the most recent six months provided the basis for the reclassification of the company from high-priced stock to medium-priced stock.

The NSE classifies quoted companies into three categories-high-priced, medium-priced and low-priced stocks, based on their market price.

The high-priced stocks consist of large-cap equities that are priced at N100 per share or above for at least four of the last six trading months, or new security listings that are priced at N100 or above at the time of listing on the Exchange.

The medium-priced stocks  consist of medium-priced equities that are priced at N5 per share or above but less than N100 per share for at least four of the last six months, or new security listings that are priced at N5 per share or above but less than N100 per share at the time of listing on the Exchange.

The low-priced stocks, where majority of listed companies fall, consist of equities that are priced at one kobo per share or above but below N5 per share for at least four of the last six months, or new security listings that are priced at one kobo per share or above but below N5 per share at the time of listing on the Exchange.

As a medium-priced stock, stockbrokers would need 50,000 shares to move the share price of Nigerian Breweries as against 10,000 shares required for a high-priced stock. Also, the tick size for Nigerian Breweries has changed from 10 kobo to 5.0 kobo, implying that the company’s share price movement will be slower.

Stocks under high-priced group shall have price change with minimum of 10,000 units; stocks under medium-priced group shall have price movement with a minimum of 50,000 units while stocks under low-priced group shall have price change with minimum volume of 100,000 units.

According to the Exchange, Nigerian Breweries’ stock price dropped below the N100 threshold on August 31, 2018 and traded below N100 up till close of business on December 31, 2018. This indicated that Nigerian Breweries’ stock price has traded below N100 in the four out of the last six months.

In the meantime, the share price of Access Bank Plc has declined by 32.52 per cent since the bank confirmed its plans to merge with Diamond Bank Plc.

The share price of the bank, which stood at N7.45 on December 14, 2018, gained 9.4 per cent to close at N8.15 on December 17, 2018, after the announcement of the proposed merger with Diamond Bank.

However, the share price has been steadily declining, dropping to N5.50 at the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Analysts, who spoke in separate interviews with our correspondent after the announcement of the merger in December, explained that the decline in the bank’s share price could be attributed to the dilutive effect the merger would have on the shareholders.

The Head, Research and Strategy, Cordros Capital Limited, Christian Orajekwe, noted that the merger would have a dilutive effect on the existing shareholders of Access Bank and that the percentage holding of people’s shares in the bank would drop because the merger would create new shares to a new set of investors.

The Managing Director, Afrinvest Securities Limited, Ayodeji Ebo, stated that a lot of investors sold off shares in Access Bank because they might not see gains in a long time.

He said, “In actual fact, the impact of the acquisition will not come into play until the last quarter of 2019. If you are not a very long-term investor, it will not transfer to capital acquisition. That is why people are selling off their shares in Access Bank.”

Access Bank, in its memorandum of agreement with Diamond Bank, offered a cash consideration of N1 per Diamond Bank share, representing a total cash amount of N23.160bn, and the allotment of 6.62 billion new Access Bank ordinary shares, representing the two new Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven Diamond Bank shares.

The bank said the offer represented a premium of 260 per cent to the closing market price of N0.87 per share of Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as of December 13, 2018, the date of the final binding offer.

Analysts said the outstanding shares of the company, which currently stands at 28.93 billion, might go up further following the conclusion of a planned rights issue as the bank intends to raise N75bn through a rights issue.

 “The implication of this development is that if the stock continues to decline, the bank may be forced to review the terms it has offered Diamond Bank shareholders. It would either have to issue a larger number of additional shares or a bigger cash payment,” analysts on Nairametrics said.

They added that an increased number of shares in issue could mean that the bank’s earnings per share and dividend payment might drop.

The Nation with additional report from Punch