Reprieve came the way of investors yesterday as the equities market bucked five days of losses to close on a positive note. The market pared losses as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 0.15 per cent to close at 31,360.28, while market capitalisation added N17.5 billion to be at N11.69 trillion.
Although the market recorded more price losers, gains by Nestle Nigeria Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc assisted to halt the negative performance. Thirteen stocks appreciated while 18 depreciated. CAP Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, followed by Sterling Bank Plc with 9.7 per cent, while Eterna Plc chalked up 9.0 per cent.
The Managing Director of the petroleum firm, Mr. Mahmud Tukur recently said Eterna Plc had been well positioned to pursue new investment opportunities and expansion, having cleared a N14 billion debt over-hang.
"Between 2009 and 2018, we have been able to pay over N14 billion in debts and we have grown shareholders fund from N4 billion to N13 billion. All these have been done from internally generated working capital.
"The low pricing of our shares is because people do not know what the company is all about, the internal restructuring, the innovations going on, the capacity building, the businesses that we do, the structure of the organisation is not well known out there.
"Our financials reflect a healthy organisation, but out there is not about our organisation, and that is what we are going to change. As the market improves, general sentiments would impact the pricing and everybody that looks into our share price knows that the company is undervalued relative to its performance, but it is a very good share. We have paid dividend in a very challenging environment," he said.
Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc closed as the fourth highest price gainer with 7.4 per cent. LASACO Assurance Plc garnered 6.4 per cent, while Nestle Nigeria Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc and Diamond Bank Plc chalked up 4.7 per cent, 3.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent in that order.
Conversely, Regency Alliance Insurance Plc led the price losers with 7.6 per cent, trailed by African Prudential Plc, which shed 7.5 per cent. Prestige Assurance Plc and Dangote Flour Mills Plc depreciated by 7.4 per cent and 5.0 per cent respectively. Guinness Nigeria Plc and UAC of Nigeria Plc lost 3.1 per cent and 2.5 per cent in that order.