Africa pays dividends for investors

Of the 11 Africa indexes we report on, only two ended 2013 in negative territory – Tunisia’s TUNINDEX shed -1.97% in December, leaving it  -4.33% in negative territory for the year, and Morocco’s CFG 25 was down -1.91% for the month and -1.70% in the red for the year.

Egypt’s EGX 30 finished 2013 with a flourish, gaining 9.68% in December to end 24.17% up for the year. The EGX 30 recovered by nearly 50% in the second half after a shaky start that saw the index plummet -12.62% in June alone in the wake of political turmoil that resulted in incumbent president Mohammed Morsi’s removal from office. The Egyptian pound meanwhile lost approximately 9% through 2013, according to Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) statistics.

Ghana’s GSE Composite Index added 1.01% in December to end the year 78.81% in positive territory. Despite the index’s stellar performance, underpinned by oil revenues, Ghana faces a number of challenges going forward. The country has one of the highest budget deficits on the continent with around 70% of state revenues currently being spent on public-sector salaries. On January 1, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) hiked electricity prices by 9.7% while water increased by 6.8%.

Nigeria’s All Share climbed 6.19% in December to record a 47.19% gain for the year, adding to a 35.5% return in 2012. Fuelled by oil and gas, Nigeria has been growing at 7% a year since 2000 and is expected to eclipse South Africa to become the continent’s biggest economy. During the year, Nestle Nigeria gained 71.4% and Dangote Cement, which accounts for some 28% of the All Share’s market cap, gained 71%.

The SEMDEX in Mauritius notched up a 3.14% return in December to end the with a solid 20.99% gain for the year.

Botswana’s Gaborone Index also had a positive December rallying 2.25% to end the year 20.55% in positive territory.

Kenya’s NSE 20 took a 3.41% loss in December but still ended the year 19.21% in positive territory.

As at December 19, Zimbabwe’s Industrials Index was down approximately -6.66% but still up 30.49% for 2013, according to figures published by The Africa Weekly.

Zambia’s Lusaka All Share also recorded solid gains for the year, up 39.35% as at December 19 or 33.60% in USD terms, according to The Africa Weekly.

Namibia’s Overall Index had a lacklustre 2013, ending the year up 1.32% in on the back of a 1.41% increase in December. Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – January 2013.