Money & Markets

ZSE January turnover lowest since 2009

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange mainstream index managed to stay afloat through the first month of the year, posting a 1,4 percent gain to 164.9 on its 2014 closing level.

Only 14 counters gained in the month of January led by Truworths which recorded a 60 percent gain though trailing by a wider margin year-on-year.

Four of the top 10 heavily capitalised counters gained in value led by Delta which soared 9 percent to 111c.

Mid-way into the month the beverages maker gave a trading update for the third quarter showing a 10 percent decline in revenue while coming off a moderate 6 percent in the nine months period.

The beverage maker, which is consumer interfaced, usually benchmarks the economy and gives direction on economic performance.

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Week-on-week the industrial index pared 0,8 percent, which is the first week-on-week decline in 2015.

Heavy caps dragged the index with four of the six losers being top capitalised stocks on the ZSE.

Major losers in the week were Econet which came off 7 percent while the duo of Seed Co and Innscor pared -5 percent each.

The week, however, saw a positive breadth of seven counters as 13 stocks trekked northwards led by troubled agro-industrial concern CFI which rose 60 percent to 2,6c in the wake of its results.

Monthly turnover for January came off 46 percent to $16,02 million, which is lowest monthly out-turn since June 2009.

The decline was largely driven by a dearth in foreign participation on either the buy and sell side.

Foreign inflows stood at $8 916 819 which is a decline of 35 percent on December levels. As a percentage of turnover, foreign inflows accounted for 56 percent of turnover which is a slight variance from historical averages.

This also turned to be the worst month in terms of foreign participation since 2009.

The month closed with a net negative foreign position of $1 million on the back of foreign disposals amounting $9 919 093.

The decline in foreign spend may be attributable to a wider negative return of -19 percent for 2014. With most of the blue chips having sharply dipped from record highs, foreigners have found little room to manoeuvre on the local front.

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Foreigners have traditionally cherry picked on Delta, Econet and Innscor among a few others. The set closed 2014 with negative returns following dismal financial performances.

Foreign participation is likely to remain constrained a factor that may dampen prospects for an immediate rebound in the major index as low demand will exert further downwards pressure to equity prices. — Wires.