Business

Zenith Leads Banking Stocks with N860bn Capitalisation

Riding on the back of high demand,   the stock of   Zenith Bank Plc has emerged as the one with the highest market capitalisation in the banking subsector on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2013.
Zenith Bank ended the year with a market capitalisation   of N860 billion, which showed an increase of N248 billion compared with N612 billion at which it began 2013.
 
Market capitalisation is the product of total number of paid-up shares and current market price. The stock rose from N19.49 to close at N27.40, which translated to N7.91 capital gain. And given the share capital of 31.3 billion shares, Zenith Bank added N248 billion.
 
Despite the fact that Zenith Bank has the third highest number of paid-up shares of 31 billion shares behind Wema Bank Plc and Unity Bank Plc, the stock occupied the number one spot on the capitalisation table.
 
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc followed with N795 billion, while FBN Holdings Plc ended the year with N532 billion. United Bank for Africa Plc had N293 billion, while   the market capitalisation of Ecobank Transnational Incorporation (ETI) stood at N214 billion.
 
Stock dealers said considering the increased demand for the shares of Zenith Bank and recognitions it got both locally and internationally, they are not surprised that the equity closed 2013 with the highest capitalisation.
 
Zenith Bank got the Bank of the year award from   The Banker Magazine, a publication of Financial Times of London, last year.
 
According to the magazine, nominees for the award were judged by their ability to deliver shareholder returns and gain strategic advantage in terms of market visibility and positioning. The award also indicates the level of trust and confidence on the brand and is a testament to the strong management, sound business model and prudent risk approach of Zenith Bank Plc.
 
It added that Zenith Bank was selected based on the overall performance of the institution and the opinion of leading financial analysts from the world’s financial markets.
 
Apart from  paying  a dividend of N1.60 per share for the 2012 financial year, the bank raised investors’ hopes for another bountiful harvest  for the 2013 financial year as it posted gross earnings of  N255.3 billion for the nine months ended September 30, up from  N229.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2012.

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