The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, said it recorded a turnover of 3.56 billion shares worth N24.69 billion in 39,321 deals last week, just as the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, appointed First Bank of Nigeria, FBN, as agent for its equities and bond transactions.
According to the NSE, investors traded with 2.81 billion shares valued at N22.19 billion in 33,123 deals last week, with the financial Services sector remaining the most active as investors traded 2.53 billion shares valued at N16.34 billion in 23,085 deals last week.
The conglomerate sector sold 473.15 million shares worth N1.05 billion in 2,341 deals, while the NSE All-Share Index, ASI, appreciated by 901.63 points or 2.78 per cent to close at 33,313.49 from the 32,411.86 posted in the preceding week.
Also, the market capitalisation appreciated by 2.78 per cent to close at N10.66 trillion against the N10.37 trillion recorded in the previous week.
Wapco Lafarge led the gainers' chart, appreciating by N6.20 to close at N34.20 per share, while Guinness gained N5.38 to close at N297.41, and Ashaka Cement by N5.33 to close at N26.03 per share.
Conversely, Nestle topped the losers' chart, dropping N5.03 to close N814.96 per share, with Nigerian Breweries trailing with a loss of N1.51 to close at N163.50 per share, while Flour mills lost 91k to close at N80 per share.
Some capital market operators attributed the ongoing rally on the nation's bourse to declining yields from fixed income securities.
The Chief Executive Officer, Lambeth Trust Investment Company Ltd., David Adonri, said the expectation of impressive full year results was responsible for increasing demand for equities.
According to Mr. Adonri, the growth might be sustained if there was stability in the macro economy, adding that the rally might not stop if the high tempo of foreign portfolio investment continued.
For the Managing Director, Maxifunds Investment and Securities, Okechukwu Unegbu, the introduction of new products and initiatives contributed to the growth, adding that zero tolerance to market infractions by market regulators increased investors' confidence in equities.
Meanwhile, SEC said on Monday, through one of its officials in Lagos that the appointment of First Bank was to help strengthen market making activities on the nation's bourse.
Securities lending is the act of loaning stocks, derivatives or other securities to an investor or firm.
The borrower (investor) is only required to put up collateral, either in cash, security or a letter of credit to obtain the facility.
According to the official, who would not want to be quoted as he is not authorised to speak on issue, apart from FBN, one other bank was still being considered.
He said that the appointment of the second bank could not be announced immediately due to some issues, which needed to be addressed.
With the appointment, First Bank has joined United Bank for Africa, UBA and Stanbic IBTC, appointed in August 2012 as lending agents on the NSE securities
The NSE in April 2012 approved 10 stock broking firms out of the 20 firms that applied as market makers.
The firms include Stanbic IBTC, Renaissance Capital, Future View Securities, Vetiva Capital and ESS/DunnLoren Merrifield.
Others are WSTC, Capital Bancorp, FBN Securities, Greenwich Securities and CSL Stockbrokers.
Market making activities on the nation's bourse commenced in September, 2012.