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NSE: All-Share Index drops to 26,000 mark again

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NSE opens February with N29bn loss, as Royal Exchange, Guinea Insurance lead losers’ chart

…As SEC renews commitment to capital market competitiveness***

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index on Friday lost 98.45 points or N48 billion to close lower at 26,987.45 mark, which was against the 27,085.69 mark achieved at close of business on Thursday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation which opened at N13.185 trillion shed 0.36 per cent to close at N13.137 trillion.

An analysis of Forte Oil recorded the highest loss to lead the losers’ table, declining by N1.60 to close at N14.80 per share.

Cement Company of Northern Nigeria trailed with a loss of 50k to close at N25.50, while NASCON was also down by 50k to close at N13.20 per share.
MTN Nigeria Communications lost 50k to close at N130 per share.
Conversely, Unilever led the gainers’ table with a gain of N2.05 to close at N26.70 per share.

Lafarge Africa followed with 25k to close at N16.25, NAHCO gained 13k to close at N2.47 per share.
Conoil appreciated by 10k to close at N15.25 per share.
Also, the volume of shares traded declined by 7.48 per cent with an exchange of 139.88 million shares valued at N1.03 billion in 2,688 deals.

This was in contrast with 151.19 million shares worth N2.N283 billion exchanged in 2,895 deals on Thursday.
UAC Property Development drove the activity chart, exchanging 50.21 million shares valued at N56.73 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank followed with an account of 17.58 million shares worth N467.89 million, while Continental Reinsurance sold 8.09 million shares worth N17.903 million.

Fidelity Bank accounted for 7.75 million shares valued at N13.15 million, while Zenith Bank traded 6.29 million shares worth N113.86 million.

Also read:  NSE: Market capitalization loses N111bn, with Nestle leading

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday said it would continue to pursue initiatives that would enhance the depth and competitiveness of the Nigerian capital market.

Mr Isyaku Tilde, SEC’s acting Executive Commissioner, Operations, stated this while engaging the Association of Issuing Houses, Trustees and Solicitors on the commencement of checklist review in Lagos.

Tilde said the commission desired to ensure a more robust capital market, hence the introduction of the 10-year master plan for the capital market.

He explained that the master plan was geared towards increasing the depth of the market, transparency, accountability and cost reduction, among others.

“The need for a market that lives up to its role of catalysing economic growth by facilitating development cannot be over emphasised,” Tilde said.

He noted that the introduction of checklist review process for the capital market would make the system more competitive, reduce cost, promote efficiency, transparency and accountability.

He said issuing houses needed to ensure that all relevant disclosures were made and all necessary documents filed as there would be no prior review for incompleteness or deficiency.

The Head of Department (HOD), Securities and Investment Services, Mr Abdulkadir Abbas, said: “If we open up the market and are able to attract more capital into the system, most of the vices in the society will be reduced.”

Abbas said vices in the system would reduce because people would be engaged in developmental activities.

“Let’s think out of the box and improve the system to make our market more competitive.

“Reducing time-to-market will enable us move forward, fast track our processes and make the system more user friendly,” he added.

 

Economy

FG Threatens To Open Borders for Cement Importation Over Price Hike

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Palpable fear has gripped cement manufacturers following the Federal Government’s threat to throw open the nation’s borders for cement importation if the product manufacturers fail to bring down the cost.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa issued the threat on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with Cement and Building Materials Manufacturers.

The meeting was summoned to address the astronomical increase in the cost of cement nationwide.

The minister expressed concerns that in the past couple of months, the country had witnessed a recurring alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials.

“Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery. An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the prices of houses.

“We are not the only country facing this challenges, many countries are facing the same type of challenges that we’re facing, some even worse than that.

“But, as patriotic citizens, we have to rally round the country when there is crisis, to ensure that we do our best to save the situation,” he said.

The minister added: “Honestly speaking, we have to sit down and look at this critically and know how you should go back and think of it.

“The government stopped importation of cement in other to empower you to produce more and sell cheaper

Bags of cement

“Otherwise the government can open the borders for mass importation of cement, the price will crash, but you will have no business to do”.

Dangiwa said the reasons given by cement manufacturers for the price increase – high cost of gas and manufacturing equipment – were not enough for such astronomical pricing.

He expressed his displeasure at the position of  Cement Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (CEMAN) that the association “does not interfer with the pricing of cement”.

He said the association should not just fold  its arms when things were going wrong.

“One person cannot be selling at N3500 per bag and another selling at N7000 per bag and you cannot call them to order.

“The association is expected to monitor price control, otherwise the association has no need to exist,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Salako James, Executive Secretary, CEMAN, said the housing policy of the administration of President Bola  Tinubu was laudable and every responsible Nigerian has to key into it.

He, however, identified some areas of concern and appealed to the government to look into them to tackle the issue of cement pricing.

Salako identified the challenges of gas supply to heavy users like the cement industry and urged the government to create a window whereby gas will be bought with Naira instead of dollar.

He also complained about the distribution channel, stressing tha there was a great difference between the price from the manufacturers and the market price.

He, therefore called for government intervention to help stabilise the situation and bring sanity to the economy.

At the end of the meeting, the minister directed that a committee should be constituted to review the situation and come out with implementable resolutions that would benefit the common Nigerian.

The three major cement producers, Dangote Plc, BUA Plc, and Lafarge Plc were represented as well as other industry stakeholders.

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Economy

Cement Price Can Be Lower Than FG, Manufacturers’ Projection — Association 

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…Warns that high price could lead to corner-cutting and building collapse

The National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria (NABMON) says the agreement between the Federal Government and three major cement manufacturers that a 50kg bag of cement, for now, is not supposed to sell for more than N7,000 to N8,000 is faulty.

The National President, Mr Adesegun Banjoko, said this on Tuesday in Lagos.

Recall that the parties, at a meeting on Monday, said that the ideal price of  a 50kg bag of cement for now should be between ₦7,000.00 and ₦8,000.00 depending on location.

They agreed that the current higher prices of cement in parts of the country were abnormal.

The main manufacturers of cement in the country are Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc.

According to Banjoko, there is no reason for the price of cement to be sold even at the projected prices, since limestone, which is a key ingredient, is readily available in Nigeria.

He expressed fears that the high price would lead to corner-cutting and building collapse.

The NABMON president expressed the belief that the government and manufacturers could do better and offer lower prices.

Bags of cements

He suggested a reduction or elimination of customs duties on other imported materials used in cement production, adding that this would incentivise manufacturers to lower their prices.

He, therefore, proposed a target price of ₦3,500 to ₦5,000 per bag.

Banjoko said, “There are three issues that make me disagree with the government and the main manufacturers.

“First, limestone is sourced in Nigeria; agreed they have some few other materials they bring in from abroad.

“But if the government is really concerned about life and property lost to building collapse, they should either remove custom duties on such items or reduce them by half to encourage the manufacturers to come down to between N3, 500 and N5, 000.”

He also advised the government to temporarily halt road construction projects that use cement.

Banjoko said that this would free up available cement for vital projects and potentially reduce demand, leading to lower prices.

The NABMON president warned that the high price of cement had added to the existing tensions in the country.

He urged the government to act cautiously with essential commodities like cement, emphasising its impact on public well-being.

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Economy

NGX: Bullish Sentiment Persists, Investors Gain N329bn

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Stock Market Gains N18bn; FTN Cocoa Processors, Prestige Assurance lead Losers’ Chart 

…Unilever Nigeria Plc, Julius Berger lead Losers’ table 

Bullish sentiment persisted on Thursday at the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) equity market, as the market indices rose by 0.58 percent.

Specifically, investors gained N329 billion or 0.58 percent, as the market capitalisation closed at N56.961 trillion, as against N56.632 trillion recorded on Wednesday.

The All-Share Index also appreciated by 0.58 percent or 601.72 points to settle at 104,100, compared to 103,498.28 posted in the previous session.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 39.22 percent.

Continuous buy interests in the shares of BUA Cement, BUAFoods, and Geregu kept the market in the positive terrain.

A total of 284.49 million shares valued at N6.91 billion were exchanged in 8,168 deals, as against 426.86 million shares valued at N12.11 billion exchanged in 8,654 deals.

However, analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled lower relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions down by 42.89 percent.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO) led the activity table in volume and value with the trade of 56.61 million shares worth N2.22 billion.

Transcorp followed with 33.17 million shares valued at N418.31 million, while United Bank of Africa(UBA) traded 18.38 million shares worth N442.96 million.

Also, Mutual Benefits Assurance sold 16.76 shares valued at N11.48 million and AXA Mansard traded 12.51 million shares worth N75.57 million.

On the gainers’ table, University Press Ltd.(UPL) led in percentage terms of 9.96 percent to close at N2.87, followed by Juli Plc by 9.84 percent to close at N1.34 per share.

Mutual Benefits gained 9.38 percent to close at 70k, Daar Communications rose by 8.82 percent to close at 74k, while Honeywell Flour garnered 7.50 percent to close at N4.30 per share.

Stock Market Gains N18bn; FTN Cocoa Processors, Prestige Assurance lead Losers’ Chart 

Conversely, Unilever Nigeria Plc led the losers’ table by 9.80 percent to close at N16.10, Julius Berger lost 9.64 percent to close at N50.60, while Morison Industries Plc shed 9.60 percent to close at N2.23 per share.

May & Baker Nigeria Plc depreciated by 6.52 percent to close at N6.45 and National Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCON) dropped 5.37 percent to close at N59.04 per share.

Market breadth closed negative with 26 declining stocks outnumbering 23 advancing ones.

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