Egypt reaches record highs as gainers outnumber losers

In a month when the ebola virus continued to cast a shadow over much of Africa, economic indicators across the continent remained mainly positive.

Of the 11 African indices we report on, ex South Africa, two lost ground in July – Nigeria and Ghana – and nine made headway.

Egypt’s EGX 30 surged to its highest level since the global financial crisis hit six years ago. The index gained 8.14% on the back of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s remarks on his intention to implement mega investments, such as the US$4 billion Suez Canal Corridor Development Project, to bolster the economy. The EGX 30 has gained 30.13% YTD (26.46% in US dollars) and is by far the continent’s best performer so far this year.

Zambia’s Lusaka All Share put on 2.05% in July, pushing its year-to-date gains to 15.74%. However the gain in US dollar terms was a more muted 3.8%.

Tunisia’s TUNINDEX rose 1.71% and was 6.69% (1.94% in US dollars) in positive territory for the year.

Namibia’s Overall Index rallied 3.86% in July, pushing its gains for the year to 14.98%.

Botswana’s Gaborone Index gained 1.41% and was up 2.32% year to date.

The SEMDEX in Mauritius increased 0.86%, taking it 0.33% into the black for the year, although the index was down 1.31% in USD dollar terms.

Kenya’s NSE 20 gained 0.43% and was 0.42% in the red year to date.

Morocco’s CFG 25 added 1.06% in July, lifting its gains to 2.79% for the year.

Zimbabwe’s Industrials Index gained 0.81% in July but was 6.95% in the red year to date. A year after the July 31, 2013 elections, a recent report by Econometer Global Capital said the country is experiencing accelerated “deindustrialisation” with record company closures, rising unemployment (forecast to reach 92% by year-end) and a crippling shortage of cash. Foreign investment meanwhile has virtually dried up. Some observers, including former finance minister Tendai Biti, are predicting that the Zimbabwean government will fail to pay civil servants in the next few months because it has run out of money.

Although Ghana’s GSE Composite Index rallied toward the end of the month it shed 3.01% in July. At month’s end, the index was 7.3% in positive territory for the year, but in US dollar terms was 30.76% in the red. According to the Bank of Ghana, the cedi has declined 22.9% between January 2014 and August 1, 2014.

Nigeria’s All Share Index declined 0.91% and was 1.86% in positive territory year to date (0.63% in US dollars). Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – August 2014.

Data sources: Bloomberg, The Africa Weekly