BY SHAME MAKOSHORI
THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) consolidated its fine run ahead of regional peers last week, underpinned by a string of positive sentiment that pushed the benchmark index 11,43% as bulls camped in a region that is battling to shake off a COVID-19 scourge.
It picked up from another positive performance in January, when Zimbabwe’s oldest equities market gained 35%, closing the month $117 billion firmer.
The ZSE’s market capitalisation closed at $435 billion last month.
Harare’s bourse is probably one of the few markets that have surged ahead during a difficult year when the COVID-19 pandemic has dimmed hopes of achieving a targeted increase in 7,4% gross domestic product this year.
Last week’s bull run came after positive news came out of the taxman.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) said it surpassed its 2020 revenue targets by 6%.
Zimra vice-chairperson Josephine Matambo said the revenue authority collected $91,51 billion during the fourth quarter, 11,72% above an $84,38 billion target.
As Zimra chipped in with a positive sentiment, Zimbabwe’s under-fire government capitulated, racing to remove a new clause in the Finance (No 2) Act of 2020, which gave the State power to extend the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment (IEE) Act to all minerals.
Previously, this only applied to platinum and diamonds, whose investors had to maintain a maximum of 49% shareholding.
Following a backlash, Harare reviewed the policy again last week and reverted to the original position.
It is possible that edgy investors may have trooped back, hoping that this time around, the frenzy of policy flip flops would not return again.
An analysis of about 17 exchanges tracked by researchers at African Financials said bulls camped on the continent’s bourses generally during the past week, but the ZSE maintained its dominance.
“Overall sentiment on African equity markets was bullish with most markets advancing this week,” African Financials said.
“Once again, Zimbabwe led the pack. Its benchmark index jumped another 11,43%, while, conversely, Nigeria’s declined 1,66% over the week,” the report said.
During the week under review, total market capitalisation on the ZSE rose 62,43% to close at $484,96 billion.
The All Share Index closed the week 61,42% higher at 4,012,47, while the Top 10 Index rose 65,14% to close the week at 2,526,95.
Trading in heavyweight counters was firm, with gains of 17,93% recorded in the tech outfit, Cassava Smartech, while gains of 32,67% were reported at the beverages giant, Delta.
Big tech counter, Econet gained 17,68%.
“Unifreight, Proplastics and Ariston with gains of 106,23%, 59,06% and 47,04% respectively, were the week’s largest gainers,” according to IH Securities.
Dawn Properties Limited, FMP and CBZ with losses of 17,69%, 16,67% and 13,58% respectively, recorded the most significant losses in the week.
Volumes traded totalled 29,76 million shares and averaged 5,95 million shares per day. Weekly turnover totalled $336,65 million.
Average daily value traded was $67,33 million for the week. Activity was highest in Delta, Innscor and FML, contributing 16,81%, 13,47% and 11,75%, respectively.
African Financials also looked at the Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM), a regional equities market serving several west African economies.
“The Western Africa regional exchange confirmed its positive momentum. The Composite Index gained 1,74% in a week that saw US$1,68 million worth of shares change hands everyday on average, up 2,5x from the last week of January. The market is now down 6,34% year-to-date and the total market capitalisation stands at US$7,5 billion. The top performer was the Bank of Africa — Mali,” said African Financials.