Africa mainly in the black

African markets ex-South Africa maintained their mainly upward momentum in March with three of the main bourses down for the first quarter of 2013 and eight in positive territory.

Many Africa-focused funds in the HedgeNews Africa database have recorded impressive year-to-date gains, with the London-based Duet Africa Index Fund and the Duet Africa Opportunities Fund up 17.6% and 16.2% respectively for the first quarter. Other standouts include the Imara East Africa Fund, up 17.2% for the period, and the Sustainable Capital Nigeria Fund, which was 14.05% in positive territory by the end of March.

The Ghana GSE Composite Index continued its meteoric rise for the year with a 16.95% surge in March to end the first quarter 44.49% to the good. Ghana’s inflation rate meanwhile rose for the second month in a row, reaching 10.4% in March.

Zimbabwe’s Industrials Index ended the quarter up 20.66%, with a 0.68% rise in March and holding on to healthy gains made at the start of the year.

Egypt’s EGX 30 shed -7.12% in March and was down -6.66% for the quarter.

Morocco’s CFG 25 gained 1.28% in March but was still -2.86% in the red at month’s end.

The Overall Index in Namibia is also in negative territory for 2013, down 0.82% in March and with a 1.79% deficit for the year.

Nigeria’s All Share continued its upward momentum, increasing 1.39% in March to end the first quarter with a solid 19.44% gain.

Oscar Onyema, CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said on March 20 that five exchange-traded funds (ETFs) would be listed in 2013 to increase products available to investors and thereby help boost liquidity. The NSE listed the first ETF, the gold-backed NewGold, last year. Onyema said the target was to raise the number of investors on the NSE from the current 5 million to 40 million by 2016.

Kenya, too, has done well so far this year with the NSE 20 climbing 7.57% in March, pushing year-to-date gains to 17.61%.

The Gaborone Index in Botswana advanced 5.8% in March to end the quarter 11.85% in the black.

Tunisia’s TUNINDEX clawed back some February losses with a 1.94% rise in March to end the quarter 3.19% into positive territory.

The SEMDEX in Mauritius has recorded steady gains for the year so far with a 3.96% gain in January, 3.65% in February and 3.15% in March, bringing it to 11.14% year to date.

The Lusaka All Share in Zambia has also recorded steady progress, ending the quarter 11.83% up following a 5.83% advance in March. Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – April 2013