The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has placed trading in the shares of Diamond Bank Plc on full suspension effective Monday, March 20.
But a statement yesterday from the Head, Listings Regulation Department, NSE, Lilian Dako, said the suspension is required to prevent trading in the shares of the Bank, to determine the shareholders that will qualify to receive a scheme consideration.
“Dealing Members are hereby notified that following the Court Sanction of the Scheme of Merger (Scheme) between Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, trading in the shares of Diamond Bank Plc (Diamond Bank or the Bank) has been placed on full suspension on The Nigerian Stock Exchange with effect from today, 20 March 2019.
“The suspension is required to prevent trading in the shares of the Bank in order to determine the Bank’s shareholders who will qualify to receive the Scheme consideration. The Bank obtained the Court Sanction of the Scheme on Tuesday, 19 March 2019, being the effective date of the Scheme.
“The Bank’s shareholders passed a resolution approving the merger between Diamond Bank and Access Bank Plc at the court ordered meeting of the Bank held on Wednesday, 6 March 2019. The Scheme will result in the delisting of Diamond Bank Plc from the Daily Official List of The Exchange.”
The development comes as bearish sentiments persisted on the NSE trading floor, as more bluechip stocks joined the league of losers, resulting to further slide in market capitalisation by N15 billion.
Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the All-Share Index (ASI), shed 41.48 absolute points or 0.13 per cent decline, to close at 31,040.84 points. Similarly, market capitalisation lost N15 billion to close at N11.576 trillion.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Nestle Nigeria, Beta Glass, Cadbury Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, and Nigerian Breweries.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “Despite the bearish run in yesterday’s session, we observed some bargain-hunting, especially in the bellwethers that declined earlier in the week.
“Hence, whilst the bearish sentiment continues to prevail, we are positive that certain triggers, including new company earnings releases, and compelling attractive valuation, would propel demand in subsequent sessions.”
Market breadth closed negative, recording 14 gainers against 23 losers. Niger Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 9.52 per cent to close at 23 kobo per share.
Access Bank gained 9.24 per cent to close at N6.50, while Fidelity Bank appreciated by 9.05 per cent to close at N2.41, per share.
Wema Bank gained 4.05 per cent to close at 77 kobo, while UACN rose 3.90 per cent to close at N8, per share.
On the other hand, Cutix led the losers’ chart by 9.76 per cent to close at N1.85 per share. Beta Glass followed 8.92 per cent to close at N71.95 per share.
Aiico Insurance shed 8.45 per cent to close at 65 kobo per share. Cadbury Nigeria lost 8.33 per cent to close at N11, while Ikeja Hotel fell 8.24 per cent to close at N1.56, per share.
Also, total volume traded dropped 25.84 per cent to 223.66 million shares worth N2.16 billion, traded in 3,419 deals. Transactions in the shares of Access Bank topped the activity chart with 83.2 million shares valued at N529.94 million.
Zenith Bank followed with 22.45 million shares worth N494.67 million, while Fidelity Bank traded 16.32 million shares at N38.1 million.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 15.09 million shares worth N116.08 million, while FCMB Group transacted 13.47 million shares at N26.51 million.