Egypt outperforms in mixed month for Africa

August trading saw more than half of the African exchanges fall into the red as confidence tumbled in Africa’s underperforming markets. Positive sentiment in Egypt led growth in Cairo, while dwindling tourist numbers from Europe caused the Mauritian exchange to slide further into the red.

For many markets, activity remained muted with trade volumes below levels seen in July.

Egypt’s EGX 30 led African markets by rising 9.65%, bringing the year-to-date figure to 47.2%. Nigeria’s All Share Index gained 2.99%, leaving the market at 14.57% on a year-to-date basis. Morocco’s Casablanca Index was up 0.92%, while Kenya’s Nairobi All Share Index and Botswana’s Gaborone Index were up 1.43% and 0.03% respectively.

On the downside, Mauritius fared the least well, losing a further 3.73% in August as confidence continues to drain from the market. The Zambian All Share followed suit, losing 2.53%, while Namibia’s All Share (-0.84%), Zimbabwe’s Industrials Index (-0.49%), Ghana’s Composite Index (-0.18%) and Tunisia’s TUNINDEX (-0.42%) shared a similar fate.

In Egypt, investors were encouraged by news of a US$4.8 billion loan as IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde visited Cairo in August. Egypt’s Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Saeed also confirmed the first $500 million instalment of Qatar’s promised $2 billion loan received by Egypt’s central bank.

On this news, and a further US$500 million on offer from US authorities, markets rose strongly across sectors, with top listings showing firm performances during the month.

The Mauritian SEMDEX continued its downward fall in August, bringing the exchange to a one-year low. Tourism stocks dropped as the sector saw a 2.4% decline during the month. New Mauritius Hotels dropped to a seven-year low, while Sun Resorts continued to lose ground in trading.

Nigerian stocks once again performed in August as the All Share gained just under 3% in trading, with strong performances over the past two months. In other news, Nigeria’s Bond Exchange became a contributing member to the JPMorgan Chase Government Bond Index for emerging markets, joining South Africa as the only exchanges representing Africa.

Fast becoming a minerals export nation with the discovery of oil, gold and iron ore, Kenya has received considerable investment into the mining sector, thereby surpassing earnings sourced in the coffee sector. The new Kwale Minerals Sands Mine will produce rutile, imenite and zircon.

Rwanda’s equity market is set to rise as three Kenyan companies have voiced their intention to cross-list on the exchange, thereby bringing the total number of listed entities to five. The companies comprise Equity Bank, oil refiner and marketer KenoKobil and investment company Centum. Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – September 2012.

Market results        
Country Local Index Local Index (AUG) Local Index (YTD)
Nigeria All Share 2.99% 14.57%
Ghana GSE Composite Index -0.18% 5.87%
Kenya NSE 20 0.87% 20.62%
Egypt EGX 30 9.65% 47.20%
Botswana Gaborone Index 0.03% 4.88%
Tunisia TUNINDEX -0.42% 10.49%
Morocco CFG 25 0.92% -10.52%
Mauritius SEMDEX -3.73% -10.69%
Zimbabwe Industrials Index -0.49% -9.32%
Zambia All Share -2.53% -10.47%  
Namibia Overall Index -0.84% 5.12%  

Data source: Bloomberg