Volatility rattles African bourses

October was a cruel and volatile month for several of Africa’s key market indices.

Nigeria’s All Share Index suffered an 8.88% decline in October, affected by falling oil prices, and by month end was 9.14% in the red year to date. During the month, the government abolished VAT on stock-market transaction fees.

Another big loser for the month was Egypt’s EGX 30, which tumbled 7.09% on profit taking. The index was nevertheless still 34.39% in positive territory YTD. During the month, Moody’s upgraded the outlook for the country’s credit rating from negative to stable, citing more stable security and political conditions and signs of economic recovery.

As at October 31, Zimbabwe’s Industrials Index was 8.9% in the red for the month and 12% down YTD.

Kenya’s NSE 20 was down 1.16% in October, reversing a four-month winning winning streak. At month’s end, the index was 5.44% higher on the year.

The SEMDEX in Mauritius shed 1.12%, leaving it 1.65% higher YTD. The World Bank’s Doing Business 2015 Report named Mauritius the top country in Sub-Saharan Africa for overall ease of doing business, ranking the island nation 28th in the world out of 189 countries. South Africa ranked 43.

Tunisia’s TUNINDEX had a stellar month, returning 7.05% and lifting its gains to 11.91% for the year. Investor confidence was boosted by parliamentary elections that saw the liberal Nida Tunis party unseat the majority Islamist government, which had been in power for two years.

Morocco’s CFG 25 gained 2.63% in October, its fourth positive month in succession, lifting it to a 14.6% gain YTD.

Namibia’s Overall Index reversed a two-month losing streak with a 2.45% gain in October, taking its YTD gain to 9.3%.

Botswana’s Gaborone Index put on 1.31% in October and was 5.64% up for the year. During the month, President Ian Khama was sworn in for a second term.

Ghana’s GSE Composite Index edged up 0.43% in October, closing 4.85% up YTD. Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s long-term credit rating from B to B- with a stable outlook.

Zambia’s Lusaka All Share was 0.61% down as at October 30, and 16.66% up for the year, according to figures published by The Africa Weekly. The country’s president, Michael Sata, died on October 28. Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – November 2014.

Sources: The Africa Weekly; Bloomberg, https://www.imf.org