First Bank shares in high demand as CBN sack sways investors

Investor demand for FBN Holdings shares rose significantly on Friday, April 30, 2021, a day after the central bank fired the board members of the company and the bank.

About 74 million shares of the stock has been traded today making it the stock with the highest volume of trade and value during the day.

With an hour to go, the bank had a bid depth of about 73.5 million and an offer depth of 34.5 million indicative of a net bid and suggesting that there were more investors interested in buying the bank’s shares than wanting to sell. Bids refer to a request to buy a stock while offer represents a request to sell a stock.

FBN Holdings stock closed lower by about 6% on Thursday as investors reacted negatively to CBN’s query to the bank to reverse the removal of Dr Sola Adeduntan as MD/CEO. However, on Thursday the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele held a press conference where he reinstated Adeduntan as MD/CEO and fired the board of both the bank and its parent company.

In perhaps a positive sign that investors agree with the removal of Oba Otudeko as Chairman of the bank, the share price has held steady on Friday with more bids than offers. About 74 million units of the bank’s shares had exchanged hands with the share price falling by just 2.9% with an hour left to closing bells.

At N6.7, FBN Holdings’ share price is one of the cheapest in the banking sector trading at a price to earnings ratio of just 3.3x. The market capitalization of the stock is also 31% of its Net Asset, another metrics that suggests it could be undervalued.

A trader who spoke to Bigwig FX indicated that there has been a high demand for FBN Holdings shares even before the current controversies surrounding the removal and reinstatement of the MD/CEO. Some investors might also be telling themselves “it can only be better going forward” opining that investors typically see opportunities to make money from chaos as is the case today.

As at when this article was written, FBN Holdings had about 75 million shares in demand that is yet to be met.


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