Unity Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Skye Bank Plc, have emerged as best banking performing shares in January, 2018.
The three lenders share prices appreciated early in the year over foreign investors renewed interest in cheap shares and increased access to foreign exchange.
Although, other 16 listed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) appreciated in share prices, leading to NSE Banking Index boost of the equities market which gained 15.96 per cent or 6,100.46 basis points in January.
With a growth of growth of 194 per cent in spite of not presenting its financial reports for two years, Skye bank leads 15 others bank in best performing shares when its share price moved from N0.50 to N1.47, representing N0.97 increase.
Statistics obtained by The Daily Times from the NSE indicated that Unity Bank came second with a growth of 186.78 per cent or N0.99 to close for the month at N1.52 against its opening price of N0.53.
Similarly, the share price of Wema Bank closed at N1.52 as against N0.52k in December, representing a growth of 182.69 per cent or N0.95.
Diamond Bank Plc closed at N3.18 in contrast with its opening price of N1.50, while FCMB Group closed at N3.06, an increase of 106.8 per cent or N1.58 as against N1.48 in December 2017.
Sterling Bank closed at N2.10 against N1.08 in December, while Jaiz Bank Plc added 69.8 per cent or N0.44 to close at N1.07 from N0.63 it opened for trading this year.
FBN Holdings, lead Tier-1 one banks in share price appreciation in January. The Holding financial institution share price rose by 58.9 per cent or N5.15 to close January at N13.95 from N8.80 per share.
Following FBN Holdings is Fidelity Bank, Access Bank Plc and United Bank For Africa Plc.
The share price of Fidelity Bank gained 48.8 per cent or N1.20 to close January at N3.66 from N2.46
The share price of Access Bank gained 23.9 per cent or N2.50 to close January at N12.95 while United Bank for Africa rose by 23.3 per cent or N2.40 to N12.70 from N10.30 it opened this year.
Fitch Ratings, a leading global rating agency in its latest report, had upgraded Access Bank’s National Long-Term Rating to ‘A+ from ‘A. At the same time, Fitch affirmed the Bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B’.
The rating agency regards Access Bank’s resilient asset quality as a reflection of the Bank’s good corporate banking franchise and good management stability, which includes a robust risk management framework.
In addition, Fitch noted that refinancing of the Bank’s Eurobond in 2016 eased the bank’s foreign currency liquidity position. “Access Bank’s National Ratings are a reflection of its relative creditworthiness to the best credits in Nigeria.”
The Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe, in a statement said, “The rating is a reflection of our strategic intent to adopt best global practices in all aspects of our business. We have grown over the years to become a formidable force within the financial markets in which we play, with an aim to becoming the most respected African Bank”.
Two most profitable banks on NSE, Zenith Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank also recorded 20.9 per cent and 20.6 per cent increase in share price to N31 and N49.15 from N25.64 and N40.75 , respectively.