This Day (Lagos)

Nigerian Equities Tank On Profit-Taking

Nigerian equities tanked yesterday on profit-taking as apprehensive investors sold shares to reap capital gains after an unprecedented rally at the stock market. The rally had seen the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (ASI) post record 19 per cent within 25 days of trading this year.

However, the bears thronged the market last Tuesday as investors who are unsure over the sustenance of the market rally put their shares on offer, leading to a marginal decline of 0.07 per cent.

More equities slipped into the red yesterday despite higher volume of trading. The bears were led by brewing and petroleum products marketing stocks. Guinness Nigeria Plc, which reported a decline in its half year results on Monday, led the price losers yesterday with N5.46 to close at N291.00.

While the company posted a growth of five per cent in turnover for the half year ended December 31, 2012, from N62.8 billion in the corresponding period of 2011, its profit after tax declined by 16 per cent from N7.6 billion to N6.4 billion.

Despite the decline in profit, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Guinness, Mr. Seni Adetu, said that the company continued to invest strongly in its brands and infrastructure.

"Over the period in review we have again showed our commitment to enhance our focus on distribution and support long term growth. Marketing spend also increased ahead of net sales as a result of our growth strategy."

Total Nigeria shed N4.99 to close as the second highest price loser, followed by PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc with N1.25 to close at N41.85. Nigerian Breweries Plc and went down by N1.01.

In all, 34 stocks declined in value compared with 30 the previous day, while 40 stocks appreciated as against 60 the previous day.

Meanwhile, investors traded 1.438 billion shares worth N5.596 billion exchanged in 9,653 deals, up from 891.408 million shares valued at N4.689 billion in 8,337 deals the previous day.

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