More change in Egypt; less in Zimbabwe

Of the African 11 indices we cover, Egypt’s EGX 30 was the top performer in July with a 12.05% gain for the month, neutralising a 12.62% rout in June. The index was nevertheless 2.52% in the red year to date.

The Egyptian bourse plummeted in the build-up to a June 30 mass protest but shares spiked on July 2 when the armed forces gave incumbent President Mohamed Morsi 48 hours to share power. Morsi removed himself, the army temporarily took control and Adly Mansour, head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, stepped in to serve as interim leader until a new president is elected.

Against the backdrop of the build-up to a general election staged in Zimbabwe on July 31, the Industrials Index gained 10.38% in July, and was up 52.26% YTD, making it the No. 2 performer of our basket of indices.

However, hopes that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai might unseat President Robert Mugabe at his third attempt were dashed by a resounding and contentious victory for Mugabe’s ruling Zanu (PF) party, setting the scene for a steep market fall in August amidst renewed concerns that the government will intensify its controversial “indigenisation programme”, which requires 51% “local” ownership of foreign-controlled businesses, including banks. There has been a steep drop (75% in 2013) in direct foreign investment while growth estimates for 2013 have been cut from 5% to 3.4%.

Nigeria’s All Share also made up lost ground in July, gaining 4.84% for the month to bounce back from a 4.31% deficit in June. As at July 31, the All Share was the third-best performing index for 2013 with a 35.03% gain since January.

Ghana’s GSE Composite Index – the top performer for the year so far – continued its remarkable upward momentum, adding a further 2.98% in July and pushing the total gain to 61.4% YTD (approximately 49% in US dollars). The index, which has had only one negative month this year (a 0.21% shave in June) rallied on the back of solid first-half results from a number of companies, notably CAL Bank, UTB and Total Petroleum.

Zambia’s Lusaka All Share index inched up 0.13% in July and was 29.59% higher YTD by month’s end, according to The Africa Weekly, published by investment banking group African Alliance.

Kenya’s NSE 20 climbed 4.12% in July after shedding 8.16% the month before. The index was up 15.84% YTD.

Despite a 0.29% drop in July, Botswana’s Gaborone Index was up 15.35% YTD.

A 1.94% loss in July dragged Tunisia’s TUNINDEX into negative territory – down 1.33% for the year.
It’s been a difficult year so far for bourses in Morocco, Mauritius and Namibia, which have all been feeling the heat with losses in excess of 7% YTD.

Morocco’s CFG 25 (down 7.02% YTD) gave up 2.24% in July – a three-month losing streak.
The SEMDEX in Mauritius was 2.53% in the red in July and 7.75% down YTD.

Namibia’s Overall Index had a good start to the second half, recording 4.06% to the upside, but the bourse was 7.71% under water for the year so far. Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – August 2013.