The stock market opened the new month on positive note, maintaining the bullish trend from the previous month. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rose by 0.21 per cent to close at 25,316.15, while market capitalisation added N25.2 billion to close at N13.2 trillion. A total of 28 stocks appreciated compared with 10 that depreciated.
However, activity level weakened as volume and value traded declined 22.2 per cent and 40.9 per cent to 253.3 million shares and N2.6 billion respectively. The most active stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (41.0 million shares) GTBank Plc (36.2 million shares), and Japaul Oil (25.4 million shares) while GTBank (N887.5 million), Zenith Bank Plc (N369.9 million) and MTN Nigeria ( N278.3 million) led by value.
The market recorded a significant growth in May despite the COVID -19 pandemic. Specifically, market gained N1.171 trillion, indicating a growth of 93 per cent per cent compared with N604 billion gain recorded in April.
Stock market operators and analysts said while there has been uncertainties brought by the COVID-19, the stock market has shown resilience as some investors reacted to some positive developments in the capital market community.
For instance, the Chairman, Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu, said the pandemic has not taken away the level the market has attained in terms of technology and ability to reach out to customers. "The operators have been prepared for a situation where customers are connected online real time and we have been engaging in virtual trading. Remember that in some years past we were all subjected to a rigorous set of minimum operating standards, so this period only served to put our potentials into real test and our members were equal to the task which is evident in the fact that trading was never disrupted by the lockdown," Ezeagu said.
A stockbroker and Managing Director of Network Capital Limited, Mr. Oluropo Dada, said the business continuation framework activated by the NSE by deploying digital channels to support remote trading was overwhelmingly embraced by the traders.
Dada said: "Everything worked seamlessly to the advantage of the market. The Q1 results of those big banks that provides over 65 per cent of the trading activities in the sector were released to the market and those results compared favourably with the historical records, meaning that those banks are still creating values. Also, dividend declared for 2019 financial years were paid by major banks during the month, thereby providing liquidity to the shareholders and by extension to the market."