Coronavirus: Concerns as Investors lose N222bn in 6 hours

Activities opened on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for the week on a bearish posture with the market capitalisation losing N222 billion in about six hours of trading.

Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened for the week Monday at N10.993 trillion shed N222 billion or 2.02 per cent to close at N10.771 trillion.

In the same vein, the All-Share Index dipped 425.24 points or 2.02 per cent to close at 20,669.38 compared with 21,094.62 achieved on Friday.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Seplat, Dangote Cement, BUA Cement, BOC Gases Nigeria and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO).

This week, analysts at United Capital Plc expected sentiment for stocks to remain broadly tepid, with renewed interests anticipated on select blue-chip stocks, as discerning investors continue to take advantage of the current market valuation.

Cutix, Learn Africa and NAHCO led the losers’ chart in percentage terms dropping by 10 per cent each, to close at N1.26, 90k and N2.34, per share, respectively.

Seplat followed with a decline of 9.99 per cent to close at N490.10, while BUA Cement lost 9.92 per cent to close at N31.80 per share.

BOC Gases depreciated by 9.88 per cent to close at N3.65 and Academy Press declined by 8.82 per cent to close at 31k, per share.

On the other hand, Access Bank topped the gainers’ table in percentage terms, improving by9.92 per cent, to close at N6.65 per share.

AIICO Insurance followed with a gain of 9.59 per cent to close at 80k, while Lafarge Africa appreciated by 9.50 per cent to close at N9.80 per share.

WEMA Bank grew by 8.51 per cent to close at 51k, while Fidelity Bank rose by 8.28 per cent to close at N1.83 per share.

The total volume of traded increased by 42.98 per cent as investors bought and sold 336.43 million shares valued at N4.13 billion exchanged in 4,184 deals.

This was in contrast with 235.29 million shares worth N2.98 billion traded in 3,988 deals Friday.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 98.62 million shares valued at N393.42 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 55.66 million shares worth N1.003 billion, while Zenith Bank traded 32.53 million shares valued at N392.77 million.

FCMB Group sold 27.15 million shares worth N40.63 million, while Fidelity Bank sold 23.61 million shares valued at N41.75 million. (NAN


Meanwhile, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced a waiver for Late Returns Penalty (LRP) for taxpayers.

FIRS Director of Communications and Liaison Abdullahi Ismaila said this in a statement Monday in Abuja.

He, however said, such taxpayers should have supporting documents which could also be emailed to the dedicated email addresses or be submitted later to the tax offices by those unable to use the email facility.

Ismaila said this was part of measures decided by the management in its virtual meeting held March 31 following the federal government’s lockdown of FCT, Lagos, and Ogun states on 29th March.

The statement also said another measure bordered on the extension of remittance of Value Added Tax (VAT) on or before 21st of every month.

He said taxpayers facing challenges of sourcing for Foreign Exchange to offset their liabilities were given the option of paying in Naira at the prevailing Investors & Exporters (I & E) window rate on the day of payment.

It said: “The period to file Personal Income Tax (PIT) returns for Foreign Affairs, Non Residents, Military and Police has been extended to the June 30 while Field Audit, Investigations and Monitoring visits have been suspended till further notice.

“Throughout the days and months ahead, we want to reassure you that supporting Nigeria’s diverse and dynamic businesses through this uncertain time is our topmost priority.

“The response to the current situation is evolving rapidly, with advice and guidance changing daily. And this is why FIRS has setup a number of measures to provide support to Taxpayers in managing their tax obligations as they are impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

“Taxpayers can now take advantage of our simple, user-friendly   and robust e-Filing process to submit their documents online instead of visiting the tax offices. Our dedicated email addresses for each of the offices are available on our website:”

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