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BAT loses big as Zim stocks experience weak first quarter

Apr 05 2018 17:04
Crecey Kuyedzwa

Harare - Investors on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange continued on a downward trend, with all four indices closing the first quarter of 2018 in the red.

Heavyweight counters which make up the ZSE Top 10 index were the biggest losers, having dropped 14.29% to close at 85.71.

Some of the stocks that make up the ZSE Top 10 index include multinational brand British American Tobacco, which closed the period as the market’s biggest loser down 43.97% to $20.

The cigarette giant is however still recording revenue growth, with its latest results for the year to December 2017 showing a 7.9% increase in revenue to $36.76m.

Other notable fallers were telecoms company Econet, which shed 27.3%.

Fast Foods business Simbisa Brands and crocodile skin producer Padenga Holdings were the other big cap stocks to lose ground, after dropping 24% each.

Losses were also recorded in National Foods, partially owned by Tiger Brands, which came off by 16.92%.

Weakness was however across the board, with the ZSE All Share Index shedding 13.02%. The Industrials Index gave up 12.62%, while the Mining Index lost 12.16%.

Market watchers attributed the losses to market correction, a trend which started soon after former president Robert Mugabe resigned from power in November 2017.

Before Mugabe's resignation, the ZSE had reached all-time highs of just above $15bn in market capitalisation as investors and cash-rich individuals and companies hedged against currency weakness.

At the peak, real time gross settlements (RTGS) or bank balances were trading at a 90% discount to the US dollar on the parallel market.

This has since come down, with street dealers now discounting bank balances at between 40% and 50%.

Although the downward trend has slowed, stocks are still expected to trade lower until after elections.

zimbabwe  |  markets  |  africa economy  |  equities


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