Mixed fortunes for African bourses

The first quarter of 2014 was one of mixed fortunes for the 11 bourses (ex South Africa) we cover on the African continent, with March a particularly tumultuous month with six losers and five gainers.

Zimbabwe’s Industrials Index was at the top of the loser board, down 7.5% by March 27 and 13.3% in the red YTD, according to figures released by The Africa Weekly. On March 26, Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the country would not reduce its public-sector wage bill from 70% to 40% of the budget to meet debt-reduction plans agreed with the IMF. He said it would entail too many job cuts, adding that the government had entered into a “token payment” plan “because [the government] don’t have the capacity right now to service the debt.”

Egypt’s EGX 30 gave back 3.97% after soaring 19.82% in the first two months. By March 31 the index was still 15.07% up for 2014, the best performer for the year so far.

Although Nigeria’s All Share rallied in the last week of the month the woes continued for the bourse, which suffered its third monthly decline for the year, shedding 2.05% in March and taking its losses year to date to 6.25%. The country is still seeing sustained outflows in the wake of the sacking of central bank governor Lamido Sanusi for revealing embezzlement by the government’s treasury of billions of dollars of oil revenue.

Ghana’s GSE Composite Index suffered its first monthly decline since June 2013, dropping 1.39% in March, but the index was still a healthy 11.28% in the black YTD on the back of a notable 78.81% gain in 2013.

Following a good start to the year, Botswana’s Gaborone Index suffered a 2.33% loss in March on the back of a 3.01% decline in February, dragging the index 1.08% into negative territory for 2014.

Tunisia’s TUNINDEX shed 2.60% in March, but was still 4.79% in positive territory YTD.

Zambia’s Lusaka All Share was the biggest gainer for the month, rising 7.5% to March 27 and was 7.44% in positive territory for the year, according to The Africa Weekly.

Namibia’s Overall Index increased 4.25% in March, adding to a stellar 6.28% rise the month before and taking its YTD gain to 8.76%.

The CFG 25 in Morocco added 0.26% for the month, taking it to 4.58% YTD, following a 1.7% decline last year.

Kenya’s NSE 20 rose 0.25% for the month, putting it 0.38% in positive territory for the year so far.

Although gaining 0.4% in March, the SEMDEX in Mauritius was still 0.39% down for the year. Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – April 2014.

Data sources: Bloomberg, The Africa Weekly