…AIICO Insurance announced ₦17.6bn Gross Written Premiums for Q1***
Investors at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) lost N29bn in Thursday’s trading as indices slide 0.22 per cent, with market capitalisation closing at N13.115 trillion compared with N13.144 posted on Wednesday.
The long run of successive gains in the previous trading was halted by profit-taking.
The All-Share Index, which opened at 25,221.23 dipped by 55.22 points or 0.22 per cent to close at 25,166.01.
Meanwhile, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria at the end of its one-day meeting voted to reduce the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 100 basis points to 12.50 per cent from 13.5 per cent.
This was in a bid to salvage the economy from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They, however, maintained the asymmetric corridor around the MPR at +200/-500bps, hold Cash Reserves Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent and keep liquidity ratio at 30 per cent.
The downturn of trading on NSE was due to losses recorded in medium and large-capitalised stocks, among others.
ETI led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.92 per cent to close at N5.45 per share.
Ikeja Hotel followed with 8.73 per cent to close at N1.15, while UBA shed 6.25 per cent to close at N6.75 per share.
Oando dipped by 5.71 per cent to close at N2.64, while Fidelity Bank lost 5.50 per cent to close at N1.89 per share.
Conversely, Cutix dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.94 per cent to close at N1.88 per share.
May & Baker Nigeria followed with 9.71 per cent to close at N3.39, while Champion Breweries improved by 9.64 per cent to close at 91k per share.
University Press grew by 9.62 per cent to close at N1.14, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals rose by 9.57 per cent to close at N1.03 per share.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected bargain hunting to support market performance in the next trading session.
As a result of the losses, the total volume of shares traded decreased by 40.13 per cent as investors bought and sold 348.21 million shares, valued at N3.433 billion in 7,148 deals.
This was against a total of 581.61 million shares worth N5.59 billion achieved in 7,759 deals on Wednesday.
Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 47.39 million shares worth N261.94 million.
Access Bank trailed with 36.87 million shares valued at N270.71 million, while Zenith Bank traded 27.42 million shares worth N478.13 million.
UBA accounted for 25.02 million shares valued at N174.40 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank transacted 23.49 million shares worth N576.22 million.
In the meantime, AIICO Insurance Plc on Thursday announced a Gross Written Premiums of ₦17.6 billion for first quarter of 2020, indicating 23 per cent increase from N14.3 billion recorded in the same period of 2019.
The Company’s spokesman, Mr Ademola Adenekan, said in statement that the growth was driven by the group’s sustained positive performance which included retail, corporate and institutional businesses.
It said the group also recorded a 24 per cent increase in Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N1.44 billion, compared to N1.17bn in first quarter of 2019.
“Profit After Tax (PAT) also grew by 129 per cent to N1.88 billion, compared to N0.82 billion attained in first quarter 2019,” it said.
Mr Babatunde Fajeromirokun, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the firm, said that AIICO delivered excellent first quarter results.
Fajeromirokun noted that this demonstrated the overall strength of the company and its ability to continue to meet the obligations to stakeholders even in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“We are living in a period of uncharted waters and recognise the situation presents both challenges and opportunities.
“Our resilient business continuity plans and robust technology infrastructure ensured we remained operational throughout the lockdown period.
“We have rolled out additional digital channels for the convenience and safety of our customers, and our employees have embraced the Work-From-Home (WFH) concept – indeed this is the new normal,” he said.
According to him, in the light of these outcomes, the firm recorded strong growth in its Retail Life business, which grew by 34 per cent to N10.97 billion (Q1 2019: N8.2billion ); and an increase of six per cent in its Corporate and Institutional business to N6.2 billion (Q1 2019: N5.9 billion).
Fajeromirokun explained that within the period under review, the group’s balance sheet improved with total assets growing by 11 per cent to N176 billion, compared to N159 billion in Dec 2019.
He said shareholders’ funds also rose by 0.28 per cent to N27.99 billion (Dec 2019: N27.91billion).
The Managing Director stated that insurance has a critical role to play in the economy and business environment in which we operate.
“With the advent of this pandemic, we are seeing increasing requests from corporations in Nigeria trying to understand how insurance can be deployed as a strategy for building resilience within their businesses.
“On the retail side, we are seeing new trends emerge; one of which is the shift towards a low touch world, where close-contact interaction is discouraged.
“In response, we are positioning to take advantage of these trends and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to reshape and disrupt the way we operate, interact and our go-to-market strategy.
“I am, however, confident that we will get through these difficult times and emerge stronger,” Fejemirokun said.