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Africa investor Ai40 Weekly Commentary –25 March 2013


 The Ai40 Index this week stands at 112.53. Continuing its weeks-long slide, the Index has lost 0.52%, down from last week’s 113.12.

US markets closed a little higher on Friday as the nation awaited the verdict from Members of Cyprus’ Parliament on yet another a deal to bail out the nation’s banks. Cyprus has yet to decide but they are facing a Monday deadline to secure 5.8 billion euros in order to obtain a bailout of 10bn euros from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Although all three major indexes closed down for the week, all three have seen gains of between 7% and 11% for 2013. Friday’s close saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average gain 0.63%, or 90.54 points, to reach 14,512.03; tech-heavy NASDAQ gained 22.4 points, or 0.70%, reaching a value of 3,245.00, and the S&P 500 gained 0.72% to end the week on 1,556.89.


Banks and construction services dominated this week’s list of gainers. Nigeria’s Dangote Cement gained a healthy 10.2% to reach a price of US $0.99 while Egypt’s construction giant Orascom Construction jumped 3.6% to land at $35.17. Dangote Cement early March began exporting cement from its Ibese Cement Plant, in Nigeria, to Ghana.

Financial services firms from three corners of the continent also found places on our gainers’ list this week: in good news for a North African firm, Morocco’s Banque Marocaine du Commerce recorded a gain of 6.0% to reach $19.85, while Nigeria’s Stanbic IBTC and South Africa’s Standard Bank both jumped 1.7% apiece.


Africa’s telecommunications firms didn’t fare too well on the Index this week, and South Africa’s beleaguered mining sector also continued to be punished. Kenya’s Safaricom and South Africa’s MTN Group performed the worst, losing 6.4% and 5.9% respectively. In addition, Egypt’s Mobinil lost 4.8%. Despite this, according to Kenya’s Business Daily, Safaricom has become the most valuable company on the stock market, dethroning East African Breweries Limited.

Anglo American and Anglo Platinum continued to be pummeled: The two companies lost 5.7% and 4.5% apiece. In recent months, South Africa’s mining stocks have lost their appeal for foreign investors, as they seek out other opportunities in other African markets. Labour unrest has seen investors flee on ethical concerns, according to Moneyweb. In addition, South Africa’s gold and platinum production is being threatened by impending power shortages.

For more on the Ai40 Index, please visit the Africa investor website at www.africainvestor.com.