…As SEC urges defunct Afribank shareholders to claim dividends***
Trading resumed for the month of September on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with a marginal growth of 0.14 per cent, watering investors’ appetite with N19 billion gains.
Specifically, the market capitalisation inched N19 billion to close higher at N13.410 trillion against N13.391 trillion on Friday.
Also, the All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 39.28 points or 0.14 per cent to 27,565.09 compared with 27,525.81 posted on Friday.
The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, among which are; Nestle Nigeria, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), Unilever Nigeria, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Zenith Bank.
In spite of the marginal growth, analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected the bearish run in the equities market to resurface as the weak macro-economic environment continues to cast a shadow on investor sentiment.
Also, analysts at Imperial Assets Manager said “this week, we expect bargain hunting on stocks that have witnessed significant price depreciation in recent past to still be at fore.
“Overall, we expect developments in the fiscal space to weigh in on sentiments, as investors assess the direction of recent policy pronouncements.”
Market breadth closed positive with 22 stocks recorded gains against 14 losers.
Cement Company of Northern Nigeria recorded the highest price gain of 9.78 per cent to close at N17.40 per share.
Cornerstone Insurance came second with a gain of 9.52 per cent to close at 23k, while UBA appreciated by 5.98 per cent to close at N6.20 per share.
Nestle Nigeria went up by 5.94 per cent to close at N1,319, while GlaxoSmithKline Consumer appreciated by 3.47 per cent to close at N7.45 per share.
Conversely, UACN led the losers’ chart with a loss of 10 per cent, to close at N4.50 per share.
Champion Breweries followed with a decline of 9.80 per cent to close at N1.38, while Africa Prudential shed 9.25 per cent to close at N3.63 per share.
Chams dipped 7.69 per cent to close at 24k, while University Press dropped 7.38 per cent to close at N1.13 per share.
However, the volume of shares traded closed lower at 10.63 per cent to 111.52 million shares valued at N1.56 billion exchanged in 3,122 deals.
This was in contrast with a turnover of 124.78 million shares worth N1.82 billion transacted in 3,089 deals on Friday.
Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 16.15 million shares valued at N283.9 million.
UBA followed with 13.95 million shares worth N86.04 billion, while FBN Holdings traded 13.64 million shares valued at N64.8 million.
UACN accounted for 7.8 million shares valued at N35.91 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank transacted 5.15 million shares worth N141.08 million.
In the meantime, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday called on shareholders of the defunct Afribank Plc to claim their dividends, saying it was part of its investor protection programme and mandate to ensure that shareholders get the benefits of investing in the capital market.
Ms Mary Uduk, SEC acting Director-General, was quoted by the statement as saying the Commission was making concrete efforts to ensure that investors get their dividends to reduce the high profile of unclaimed dividends in the market.
She said: “We have informed shareholders of the defunct AfriBank Plc that unclaimed dividends declared by the bank are being held in trust on their behalf.
“This will further help reduce the volume of unclaimed dividends in the market and boost investor confidence.
“Investors that have unclaimed dividends are therefore advised to contact Carnation Registrars to process their dividend payments,” she said.
Uduk said the commission had also directed Carnation Registrars and Meristem Trustees to ensure that all genuine claims of beneficiary shareholders be addressed forthwith.
“Since the company is no longer in operation, these unclaimed dividends have to be made available to the rightful owners that are the shareholders.
“That will go a long way in boosting investor confidence in the market. That is why we are calling on them to take advantage of this opportunity and claim their dividends,” Uduk said.
Recall that recently, the SEC had directed investors in the defunct Skye bank Plc to claim all outstanding dividends declared by the bank which were being held in trust on their behalf.
The SEC also went further to direct Cardinalstone Registrars and STL Trustees to ensure that all genuine claims of beneficiary shareholders were addressed forthwith.
This, the SEC said was part of its investors’ protection programme to ensure that shareholders got the benefits of investing in the capital market.