The value of trading at the stock market surged 133 per cent wednesday as investors staked N2.164 billion on 233.777 million shares in 3,196 deals, up from N928.5 million invested in 227.757 million shares in 32,543 deals the previous day. The market also maintained its uptick as the bulls sustained their hold, driving the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) higher by 0.07 per cent to close at 25,301.23.
Having opened on weak note on Monday, the market rebounded on Tuesday following activities of bargain hunters, who swooped on bellwether stocks. Hence, the NSE ASI went up by 0.59 p cent on Tuesday. The bullish trend was sustained yesterday, although marginally. However, investors committed more funds to equities.
Commenting on the performance, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, said: "Market activities in the Nigerian bourse somewhat mirrored that of the previous day as there were renewed buy sentiments towards counters trading at attractive prices. We expect this trend to be sustained however, we do not rule out profit-taking activities at the end of the week."
Yesterday's positive trend was influenced by gains recorded in the shares of Zenith Bank (+2.8 per cent), Unilever (+4.9 per cent ) and Stanbic (+2.8 per cent) which offset the impact of decline in GTBank (-0.6 per cent), Nestle(-0.7 per cent) and ETI (-2.0 per cent).
However, the price gainers' table was led by African Prudential Registrars Plc and Continental Reinsurance Plc with 8.1 apiece. Continental Reinsurance Plc had on Tuesday reported its audited results for the year ended December 31, 2016, showing improved performance.
The company recorded gross premium written of N22.406 billion, up from N19.738 billion, while net insurance premium stood at N21.843 billion, compared with N18.195 billion in 2015. Net insurance benefits and claims were N21.42 billion, up from N16.1 billion in 2015.
But underwriting profit dipped to N414 million, from N2 billion in 2015. Interest income rose to N1.5 billion, while foreign exchange gain soared from N467 million in 2015 to N4.1 billion in 2015. Impairment costs equally rose from N492 million to N1.788 billion in 2016.
The company ended with profit before tax of N4.652 billion, up from N2.916 billion, while profit after tax grew from N2.14 billion to N3.018 billion in 2016.
The board of the company recommended a dividend of 14 kobo per share.