By Favour Nnabugwu
The Nigeria Exchange Group Limited (NGX) started 2021 on a good note as the last trading day of 2020 earned the local bourse a warm ovation by reflecting over 50 percent growth year–to–date.
Although the NGX began the year with an air of optimism, its performance has been beset by a number of macroeconomic factors that have influenced the investment decisions of retail and institutional investors and affected local and foreign direct investments.
In the first half of the year 2021, the All-Share Index (ASI) of Nigeria’s stock market declined by 7.87 percent from 41,147.39 to 37,907.28 points.
Despite the negative movement, 54 of the 168 companies listed on the exchange appreciated with the top 10 stocks gaining no less than 61 percent year-to-date. It is worthy of note that most of the stocks on the list of the best-performing stocks are insurance companies and none are banks.
The best-performing stocks for the first half of the year 2021 are as follows:
Royal Exchange Plc
Royal Exchange Plc recorded a year-to-date increase of 134.62 percent in its share price, from N0.26 at the start of the year to N0.61. The financial services company in Q4 2020, realized a 7 percent increase in income and 112% growth in Profit after Tax.
Royal Exchange Plc is the only financial services company that ranked amongst the top 10 best-performing stocks in the half-year 2021. The company is engaged in providing life, healthcare and general insurance, financing, asset management, trusteeship and microfinance banking services.
Regency Assurance Plc
Regency Assurance Plc engages in the provision of general insurance cover to corporate and individual clients.
In Q1 2021, the company recorded an impressive increase in Net Profit of 95.79 percent. As a result, earnings per share went up by 95.73 percent from N3.28 to N6.42. The company share price grew by 109.09% from N0.22 to N0.46 year-to-date.
Consolidated Hallmark Insurance (CHI Plc
Consolidated Hallmark Insurance (CHI Plc) in its recently released unaudited financials for the first quarter (Q1) ended 31 March 2021 recorded a 30 percent growth in its Profit-Before-Tax (PBT), from the N346 million recorded as at the Quarter Ended 31st December 2020 to N449 million during the period ended 31st March 2021.
A review of the key financial metrics including Gross Premium Income, Assets, Investment Income, amongst others, highlights the firm’s commitment to delivering sustainable returns to its shareholders despite the harsh operating environment at the macroeconomic level.
Details of the result show that the Group, comprised of General Insurance, Micro Insurance (Life), Health Management, and Financing Company business delivered a Gross Premium of N3.229 billion representing a 15 percent growth when compared with the N2.805 billion reported in 2020. The underwriting profit recorded in the period is N918 million, an improvement of 16 percent when compared with the N789 million recorded in the previous quarter of 2020.
In the same vein, the Investment Income grew to N285 million from the N224 million recorded in Q1 2020, which represents a growth of 27 percent. The Group’s Total Assets also grew to N15.17 billion, up 6 percent when compared to N14.31 billion opening balance.
Mutual Benefit Assurance plc
Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc said it has recorded a seven per cent growth in its gross premium written to N19.98 billion in 2020 from N18.69 billion recorded in 2019.
According to a statement by the firm’s Head, Corporate Communication, Ellen Offo, the company’s 2020 audited results released on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), showed that profit after tax rose by 41 per cent from N3.61 billion in 2019 to N5.10 billion in 2020 while profits before tax stood at N5.04 billion, representing a 34 per cent increase from N3.75 billion in 2019.
The company also recorded a 74 per cent growth in shareholders’ funds which rose to N23.35 billion from the N13.43 billion of 2019. Total Assets also grew by 22 per cent from N67.78 billion in the previous year to N82.87 billion in the year under review.
Insurance contract liabilities for the year under review stood at N17.57 billion, a 25 percent increase from the previous year’s N14.10 billion.
The combined claims paid by Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc. and it’s subsidiary; Mutual Benefits Life Assurance was N19.37 billion representing an eight per cent decrease on the claims paid last year.
A breakdown of the claims profile for 2020 reveals that the Life business paid a total of N3.54 billion in Group Life claims, Maturity claims accounted for N7.76 billion while for Credit Life claims were N140 million. Other Claims paid include individual death claims, annuity claims, surrender claims and partial withdrawal claims at N213 million, N44 million, N3.65 billion and N870 million respectively.
Linkage Assurance plc
The write could lay hand on the company half years result.
Linkage Assurance in its full year 2020 financial results recorded gross written premium of N8.3 billion, an increase of 28 per cent year-on-year from N6.5 billion in 2019, while total assets also rose by 18 per cent year-on-year in 2020, to N33.9 billion, compared to N28.7 billion in 2019
The company also witnessed significant improvement in other indices, with underwriting profit growing by 102 per cent, from N0.4 billion in 2019, to N0.8 billion at the end of 2020. Similarly, its profit before tax during the period under review was N2.5 billion, compared to N1.3 billion in 2019. This represented an 89 per cent year-on-year growth, while profit after tax was N2.4 billion, increasing by 65 per cent from N1.5 billion in 2019.