Banking Stocks Lift NSE All-Share Index Higher at 30,878.56

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) nudged 0.46 per cent higher to close at 30,878.56 on Wednesday compared with a marginal rise the previous day as gains by banking stocks sustained the positive performance of the market.

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Similarly, market capitalisation inched up by N52.8 billion to close at 11.51 trillion.

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The bulls were in total control of the market as 21 stocks appreciated while 10 declined. Although First Aluminium Nigeria Plc led the price gainers, banking stocks dominated. First Aluminium chalked up 9.8 per cent, trailed by Fidelity Bank Plc with 9.5 per cent, while Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc gained 7.6 per cent.

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Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and FCMB Group Plc garnered 5.0 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 4.3 per cent in that order. Jaiz Bank Plc, LASACO Assurance Plc, United Capital Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc added 3.7 per cent,3.3 per cent, 2.9 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively among others.

On the contrary, Resort Savings and Loans Plc led the price losers with 8.3 per cent, trailed by Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc with 4.5 per cent. UAC of Nigeria Plc and NEM Insurance Plc shed 4.4 per cent apiece. Investors in NEM Insurance are taking profit after the stock surged 43 per cent last week as a foreign investor bought into the insurance firm. A leading African private equity fund manager, Advanced Finance and Investment Group (AFIG Funds) acquired 29.9 per cent equity to become the largest shareholder in NEM Insurance.

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