The Nigerian equities market yesterday extended losses for the eight consecutive trading, driving the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index to a 7-month low. The NSE ASI fell by 0.15%to close at 25,461.34, increasing the month-to-date and year-to-date decline to 6.46 per cent and 11.47% respectively. Yesterday’s decline resulted from heavy sell offs across oil and gas sector. Specifically, Forte Oil Plc droped by 9.7% , while Total Nigeria Plc dropped by 5.0%. In all, 17 stocks declined compared with 11 stocks that appreciated. Forte Oil Plc led, declining by 9.7% to close at N74.62. The sell-off in Forte Oil Plc came after the company successfully raised N9 billion bond under its N50 billion bond issuance programme. The company said the funds would be used to refinance existing short term commercial bank loan obligations and to fund the retail outlet expansion of the company.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of Forte Oil, Mr. Akin Akinfemiwa said that: With the raising of this initial capital which has been fully underwritten shows the confidence that the investing public has in Forte Oil Plc as an investment of choice. This bond programme being the first in the downstream sector, is the testament to Forte’s position within the downstream sector and allows the company to actualize the vision of the Board to continue to provide value to its shareholders regardless of the economic climate. Apart from Forte Oil that led the price losers’ table, Livestock Feeds Plc trailed with 5.0%, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc shed 4.8% and NASCON Allied Industries Plc depreciated by 4.7%. In terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Oil & Gas Index led with 2.5% due to the losses by Forte Oil Plc and Total Nigeria also, the NSE Consumer Goods Index marginally lost 0.02% on account of weak appetite in PZ Cussons Nigeria (-3.3%) and Dangote Cement Plc (-1.6%). On the positive side, the NSE Banking Index rebounded, gaining 0.05 % on the back of bargain hunting in Access Bank Plc (+0.5 per cent), Zenith Bank (+0.4%) and GTBank (+0.3%).
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