The week started on a bullish note as price appreciation in MTNN (+10.0%), UBA (+3.6%) and UACN (+7.8%) buoyed the broad index to 29,633.58 points, up 0.7%. Consequently, YTD return jumped to 10.4% while market capitalisation increased ₦112.6bn to ₦15.3tn. Activity level advanced as volume and value traded rose 24.0% and 77.5% respectively to 348.2m units and ₦8.5bn. The most active stocks by volume were ACCESS (63.7m units), UBA (40.6m units) and ZENITH (39.5m units) while SEPLAT (₦2.6bn), MTNN (₦1.5bn) and ZENITH (₦861.1m) led by value.
MTN Nigeria shares rose 10% their highest in two weeks after the federal government withdrew a $2 billion tax demand against the South African telecoms firm. The company and attorney general both said on Friday that Nigeria’s attorney general had withdrawn the tax case. Shares in MTN, Nigeria’s second biggest listed firm, rose to N127.60 each, helping lift the broader market index by 1.6%. Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, with 58 million users in 2018 and it accounts for a third of the South African group’s core profit. The tax case had cast a cloud over the telecoms firm as investors feared that the demand by the West African nation could affect MTN’s value.
The company floated its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange last year after its parent South Africa’s MTN Group resolved another case with Nigerian authorities over more than 5 million unregistered SIM cards. Sector performance ended mixed with the AFR-ICT index (+5.6%) gaining the most, following price appreciation in MTNN (+10.0%). The Insurance and Oil & Gas indices also inched higher by 0.3% and 0.1% due to gains in MANSARD (+2.4%), LASACO (+7.4%) and OANDO (+2.6%). Meanwhile, the Industrial Goods index lost 3.2% as sell-offs in WAPCO (-2.6%) dragged the index down. Also, the Banking and Consumer Goods indices pared 0.7% and 0.4% respectively following price depreciation in FBNH (-5.2%), GUARANTY (-1.4%), UNILEVER (-5.3%) and DANGSUGAR (-1.3%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) advanced to 0.7x from the 0.4x recorded in previous session as 16 stocks advanced relative to 21 laggards. The top performing stocks were MTNN (+10.0%), NPFMCRFBK (+9.7%) and UACN (+7.8%) while CADBURY (-10.0%), TRANSCOHOT (-9.2%) and NEIMETH (-8.9%) were the top losers. We expect the bullish run to persist as investors continue to show renewed interest in the market.