Shareholders of telecommunications services companies quoted on the main and premium boards of the nation’s stock market recorded a gain of about N366bn in the first half of the year 2020 following positive market sentiment on the stocks as coronavirus ravages the world.
The market sentiment for the segment, which stocks comprises two telecoms firms – MTN Nigeria Plc and Airtel Africa Plc – have remained upbeat despite the threat of COVID-19 pandemic.
Checks by our correspondent revealed that the subsector recorded a gain of N366bn or 11.27 per cent to close at N3.63tn in market capitalisation on June 30, as against opening figure of N3.26tn at the beginning of trading on January 2.
Further checks revealed that MTN Nigeria Plc recorded stocks gain of N254bn or 11.88 per cent to close at N2.39tn from the opening figure of N2.14tn on January 2.
Airtel Africa Plc, on the other hand, gained N112bn or 9.97 per cent to close at N1.24tn on June 30 in contrast to N1.12tn at the beginning of the year.
Telecoms companies are currently taking advantage of the pandemic to rake in gains from data subscriptions and voice calls.
The Nigerian Communications Commission had in a statement recently confirmed that there had been a large amount of voice and data traffic in recent times.
This, according to NCC, has necessitated the installation of more fibre cables in certain areas in the country to provide the needed capacity.
“As a result of the lockdown, the amount of voice and data usage has increased by huge amounts and there is a need to expand the network to provide optimum quality of service to users sitting at home. Telecom is also critical for information dissemination during the lockdown,” the regulatory agency said.
Internet traffic also increased in Lagos and other states where the lockdown, which aimed to reduce the spread of coronavirus, had taken effect.
Many workers are leveraging the Internet for online education, teleworking, gaming and entertainment and there has been a rise in Internet traffic recorded by the Internet exchange point.
The Chief Executive Officer, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria, Muhammed Rudman, had said a surge in Internet traffic was noticed on March 31, when the lockdown took effect in selected states, especially in Lagos.
According to him, Internet traffic had increased as many companies introduced work-from-home policy a week before the government-imposed lockdown.
In the post COVID-19 era, telcos are expected to perform well as the world will be more connected and businesses better prepared for such calamities, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.