Markets jittery as Egypt takes a beating

In a month when socio-political turmoil in Egypt once again dominated the headlines, only four of the 11 African indices we cover were in positive territory.

Egypt’s EGX 30 tumbled 12.62% in June, shedding all its gains for the year. The EGX 30 was the month’s biggest loser and has also been the worst performer year to date with a loss of 13%.

All eyes remain on Egypt as mass demonstrations and clashes between rival political factions play out with tragic consequences. The conflict resulted in the ousting on July 3 of incumbent president Mohamed Morsi by the military, plunging the Arab world’s biggest nation into yet another bout of uncertainty.

The Kenyan market also had a bumpy ride in June as global and regional jitters spread. The NSE 20 index plunged 8.16% but was nevertheless still 11.25% in positive territory year to date. Market watchers said the bourse fell victim to its own liquidity as global investors sought to raise cash against a backdrop of global weakening.

“Kenya was one of Africa’s poorer performing markets … not because of any specific news but because it is a liquid market and, along with Nigeria, one of the first ports of call for cash to be raised if world markets are weak,” said Stanlib’s Dylan Evans in a recent newsletter.

Nigeria’s All Share took a beating too, shedding 4.31% in June as investors took profits or cashed in on the market’s relative liquidity on the continent. The All Share was nevertheless 28.8% in the black for the first six months.

Ghana’s GSE Composite Index posted a loss of 0.21% in June, its first negative month this year, but is still the best performer by far, with a 56.72% year-to-date gain (46.47% in US dollars).

Botswana’s Gaborone Index maintained its steady upward trend, inching up 0.19% in June to end the first half 15.69% in profit.

In Mauritius the SEMDEX shed 1.5% for the month but was 10.54% higher year to date.
A 0.84% rise on Tunisia’s TUNINDEX in June lifted it into positive territory for the first half with a year to date gain of 0.62%.

Zimbabwe’s Industrials Index has proved to be fertile ground for investors in 2013, up 39.48% for the year so far with a 0.09% rise in June.

Zambia’s Lusaka All Share has also performed well, gaining 2.94% in June and up 22.15% for the first half.

Besides Egypt’s 13% decline this year, two other markets are in negative territory so far. Namibia’s Overall Index suffered a 8.43% rout in June, leaving it 11.31% down for the year while Morocco’s CFG 25 was down 4.89% for the first six months, following a 1.26% decline in June. Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – July 2013.