ZSE market cap up 3% in March

THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s (ZSE) market capitalisation rose by 2,93% to close the month of March at $3,93 billion from
$3,82 billion in the previous month due to gains in heavyweight counters.

BY Fidelity Mhlanga

An IH Securities monthly snapshot shows, the industrial index was up 2,7% to 138,96 buoyed by 4,88% gain in Delta Corporation, BAT Zimbabwe, which grew 1,66%, offsetting a 4,05% loss in Innscor Zimbabwe.

The mining index gained 3,7% to 58,56 sustained by a 22,32% increase in RioZim, which offset losses in Bindura Nickels Corporation and Hwange Colliery, which tumbled 12,79% and 3,33%, respectively.

Other significant gains for the month were seen in ZB Financial Holdings, which surged 71,88%, First Mutual grew by 52,44%, Ariston 42,86% and GB Holdings up 37,50%.

Notable losses were recorded in Dawn, which tumbled 21,88%, OK Zimbabwe went down 12,86%, Edgars fell 9,3% and Fidelity Life regressed 9,09%.

Monthly turnover rose by 146,49% to $27,03 million, with average daily trades for the month standing at $1,18 million.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, Delta Corporation and Simbisa made the biggest contribution to total value traded, contributing 41%, 24% and 7%, respectively.

Total volume of traded shares was up 184,69% to 242,88 million shares.

“A number of companies released their results during the month, the common theme being subdued growth owing to the depressed economic environment. Some names, however, managed to sail above the headwinds, for example Innscor (revenue +3,5%, profit after tax (PAT) +15,8%, Padenga (Rev +13,8%, PAT +18,6%) and Simbisa (Rev +2,7%, PAT +4,7%); while the banking sector recorded strong performance overall,” IH said.

The brokerage firm said March was characterised by forex shortages, with the RBZ revealing that the current payment backlog was around $350 million (just over a month worth of exports).

The central bank pins its hopes on the tobacco selling season, which started last month and as of April 12, 2017, about 46,9 million kg of tobacco valued at $125,8 million has been sold.

While tobacco exports will only pick up towards October, RBZ will, in the mean time, draw down on a $70 million and $150 million nostro stabilisation facilities, expected to clear part of the backlog and allow foreign payments to move faster going forward.

“Despite the country struggling to settle its arrears with IFIs [international financial institutions], the government has commited to pay civil servants bonuses [estimated at $180m]; the source of funding for this unbudgeted expenditure is still unclear, at a time when the central bank has indicated that it issued Treasury Bills worth $2,1 billion in the last two years,” IH said. – Newsday

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