Transactions on the Nigerian stock market closed on a positive note with the market capitalisation gaining N644 billion to hit N22 trillion mark, amid gains by telecommunication companies.
Specifically, the market capitalisation inched higher by N644 billion to close at N22.569 trillion from N21.925 trillion recorded on Friday.
Similarly, the All-Share Index rose by 1,232.37 points or 2.93 per cent to close at 43,246.87 against 42,014.50 posted on Friday.
Accordingly, month-to-date and year-to-date gains increased to 2.9 per cent and 7.4 per cent, respectively.
The market positive performance was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks which are; Airtel Africa, MTNN, Unilever Nigeria, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGXGroup) and Guinness.
Commenting on stock market performance, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., Mr Ambrose Omordion, attributed the growth to investors’ reactions to potential in listed communication companies.
Omordion told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that investors were buying into Airtel Africa and MTNN because of mobile money services payment approvals.
He said that investors were positioning in these companies to reap from their growth potential at the long run.
NAN reports that Airtel Africa and MTNN announced on Friday they had received approval in principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate Payment Service Banks (PSBs) in the country.
In spite of the rally, market breadth closed negative recording 25 losers as against 18 gainers.
Airtel Africa drove the gainers’chart in percentage terms by 10 per cent to close at N858 per share.
Red Star Express followed with a gain 9.94 per cent to close at N3.43, while Cutix appreciated by 9.91 per cent to close at N6.21 per share.
MTNN went up by 9.62 per cent to close at N192.50, while Unilever Nigeria appreciated by 9.36 per cent to close at N14.60 per share.
On the other hand, Conoil led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.80 per cent to close at N23 per share.
Computer Warehouse Group followed with 9.73 per cent to close at N1.02, while Custodian Investment declined by 9.47 per cent to close at N7.65 per share.
Honeywell Flour Mills shed 9.07 per cent to close at N3.31, while Africa Prudential depreciated by 4.72 per cent to close at N6.05 per share.
Also, the total volume traded increased by 57.1 per cent to 443.61 million shares worth N5.05 billion traded in 5,233 deals.
This was in contrast with a total of 287.04 million shares valued at N2.38 billion achieved in 3,524 deals on Friday.
Transactions in the shares of Sterling Bank topped the activity chart with 81.23 million shares valued at N121.85 million.
UACN followed with 67.25 million shares worth N706.44 million, while FBN Holdings traded 42.24 million shares valued at N473.45 million.
Zenith Bank traded 32.62 million shares valued at N797.35 million, while Transcorp transacted 20.96 million shares worth N21.57 million.