Friday, February 23, 2024

Stock market rebounds by 0.34% as investors gain N132.45bn

  • CBN directs banks to issue, accept old, redesigned Naira banknotes

BY FESTUS OKOROMADU, ABUJA

The Nigerian stock market witnessed a positive trajectory at midweek, driven by investors’ bullish sentiment, particularly selecting medium and large cap stocks with strong fundamentals.

The NGX All-Share Index advanced by 0.34 percent reaching 71,283.34 points, as against the previous session’s loss of 0.44 percent which closed at 71,041.05 basis points.

Consequently, the NGX market capitalization appreciated by N132.5 billion to close at N39.01 trillion, while the ASI year-to-date (YTD) return rose to 39.74 percent.

Specifically, tickers such as SEPLAT (10.00 percent), MEYER (9.79 percent), SUNO SASUR (9.56 percent), NESTLE (9.52 percent) and CONHALLPLC (9.24 percent) attracted strong buying interest from investors. Performance across the sectors was largely bullish as four out of the five sectors tracked closed in the green zone.

The Insurance, Consumer Goods, Oil/Gas and Industrial Goods indexes recorded significant advancements, rising by 1.17 percent, 0.89 percent, 6.06 percent and 0.01 percent, respectively.

Conversely, the Banking sector emerged as the only laggard for the day, declining by 0.56 percent.

Meanwhile, trading activity mellowed as total deals and volume experienced declines of 19.14 percent and 32.55 percent, amounting to 6,579 deals and 360.60 million units.

However, the total value for the day increased by 17.64 percent to N6.61 billion.

At the close of the trading session, GTCO was the most traded security in terms of volume and value with 56.91 million units worth N2.19 billion traded, changing hands in 261 deals.

The market saw 39 losers more than gainers 21.

CBN directs banks to issue, accept old, redesigned Naira banknotes

In another development, the Central Bank of Nigeria has directed banks to issue and accept old and new redesigned Naira notes.

In a statement issued to this effect, Ag. Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs. Sidi Ali Hakama said, “Following the order of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 29, granting the prayer of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to extend the use of old Naira banknotes ad infinitum, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all its branches to continue to issue and accept all denominations of Nigerian banknotes, old and redesigned, to and from deposit money banks (DMBs).

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Supreme Court ordered that the old versions of the N200, N500, and N1, 000 banknotes shall continue to be legal tender, alongside the re-designed versions.

“Accordingly, in line with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, all banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will continue to remain legal tender indefinitely.

“Members of the public are enjoined to continue to accept all Naira banknotes (old or redesigned) for their day-to-day transactions and handle these banknotes with the utmost care to safeguard and protect the lifecycle of the banknotes.”

“Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment, such as e-channels, in order to reduce pressure on the use of physical cash.”

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, said both the old and the new resigned naira notes remain legal tender till further notice.

The apex court, in a ruling by a seven-man panel of justices led by Justice John Okoro, said the banknotes should remain in circulation, pending when the Federal Government, after due consultation with relevant stakeholders, takes a decision on the matter.

It made the order, after it heard an application that was moved on behalf of the federal government by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN.

It will be recalled that the court had on March 3, nullified the ban on use of the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes as valid legal tenders by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

The court held that the old Naira notes should be used alongside the redesigned currencies, until the end of the year.

In its lead judgement that was prepared and delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court slammed FG for unilaterally introducing the demonetization policy, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, without consulting the Council of States, the Federal Executive Council, the National Security Council, the National Economic Council, Civil Society Organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

It held that FG failed to give valid notice to all the federating units, before it decided to withdraw the old banknotes from circulation and introduce new ones.

The Supreme Court maintained that evidence before it established that a purported notice on the monetary policy was through “mere press remarks” by governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele.

It held that such remarks did not qualify as “reasonable notice” to the states as envisaged under section 20(3) of the CBN Act.

Besides, the court invalidated the directive President Buhari gave in the broadcast he made on February 16, which allowed only the old N200 note to remain a legal tender till April 10.

While accusing President Buhari of disobeying the interim order it made on February 8, which directed that the old banknotes should remain in use till the determination of the case before it, the apex court stressed that the President, by going ahead to ban the old banknotes, acted in a way that was inimical to democratic governance.

According to the court, having acted in disobedience to its order, FG lost its right to be granted audience before it.

Following the end of the last administration, the President Bola Tinubu-led government re-approached the apex court for an indefinite extension of its December 31 deadline.

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