Serrari Group

The Nigerian Exchange Limited experienced a wave of positive sentiment, commonly referred to as the ‘Santa Claus Rally,’ leading to notable gains for Airtel Africa Plc and MTN Nigeria Plc. This surge in optimism resulted in substantial gains for investors, with the telecom sector demonstrating resilience in the face of economic volatility.

During the week’s trading, Airtel Africa and MTN Nigeria recorded impressive gains of 3.31%. Investors in these telecom giants collectively gained approximately N394 billion by the close of trading on December 23rd, showcasing the robust market sentiment within this segment.

Airtel Africa’s shares closed at N1,887.60 per share, reflecting a week-to-date gain of N289 billion or 4.27%, while MTN Nigeria saw its shares rise to N250 per share, contributing a 2.04% increase to the market capitalization. These positive movements signify the impact of the Santa Claus Rally on the equities market.

Market analysts attribute the recent surge in stock market gains to the Santa Claus Rally, also known as the December effect. This phenomenon refers to the occurrence of more frequent and sustained stock market gains in the week leading up to December 25th. The rally is often associated with increased holiday shopping, optimism driven by the seasonal spirit, and institutional investors adjusting their portfolios before the Christmas break.

The NGX All-Share Index and Market Capitalization appreciated by 2.26%, closing the week at 74,023.27 and N40.507 trillion, respectively. Most indices experienced positive movements, except for NGX ASeM, NGX Consumer Goods, and NGX Growth, which saw depreciations of 0.90%, 0.70%, and 0.18%, respectively.

In terms of turnover, investors traded a total of 2.474 billion shares valued at N53.787 billion in 35,848 deals during the week. The Financial Services Industry led the activity chart, contributing 70.95% to the total equity turnover volume and 45.81% to the value. The Conglomerates and Services Industries followed, each making significant contributions to the overall trading activity.

The top three equities by volume – Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc, Transnational Corporation Plc, and Access Holdings Plc – accounted for 621.814 million shares worth N6.338 billion in 4,235 deals. These equities contributed 25.13% to the total equity turnover volume and 11.78% to the value.

The recent positive performance of Airtel Africa and MTN Nigeria, coupled with the broader market rally attributed to the Santa Claus effect, underscores the resilience and dynamic nature of the Nigerian equities market amidst economic fluctuations. Investors remain optimistic, and the telecom sector’s gains reflect a positive end to the trading year on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.
By: Montel Kamau
Serrari Financial Analyst
27th December, 2023

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