Nigeria stocks near three-year high

PUBLISHED: Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:10:08 GMT

Nigerian stocks surged 3.4 percent on Wednesday to a 32-month high on improving sentiment after several mid-sized listed firms announced increases in half-year earnings, traders said.

The main share index rose for the third straight day, nearing the 37,000 point level last reached in November 2014.

Analysts said several medium-sized listed companies, which supply services to larger ones, have announced increases in half-year profits signalling that Nigeria’s economy was recovering.

Mid-sized drug maker Fidson, which gained 10 percent, on Tuesday said half-year pretax profit rose to 685.4 million naira, from 58.2 million naira.

Large cap stocks especially in the banking sector were yet to post results.

Governor Godwin Emefiele, speaking after the central bank’s policy meeting on Tuesday, said the economy was likely to emerge from a recession this year but that bold steps was needed to avoid a prolonged recovery.

Emefiele added that he was committed to deepening liquidity on the currency market, a lack of which had spooked foreign investors who fled the West African country at the start of an oil price rout in 2014.

Stocks rose across the board on Wednesday with 30 companies advancing and 17 firms declining. The index of Nigeria’s top 10 banking shares rose 3.72 percent.

Other gainers incude Conoil up 10.2 percent and Oando 7 percent while Dangote Cement, which accounts for a third of total market capitalisation, gained 4.9 percent to lift the index.

Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Keith Weir

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