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BusinessDay

Africa investor Weekly Commentary – 13 May 2013

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For a third week running, the Ai40 Index saw a gain: it jumped 1.13% from last week’s 116.32 to reach a value of 117.64.

US markets also enjoyed new highs as investors focused on earnings and an improved outlook for the economy. Markets also continued to ride the high of the previous week’s better-than-expected jobs report. Wednesday saw the Dow rise 0.3% to end at a record high, while the S&P 500 gained 0.4% to also end at another all-time peak.

Friday’s close saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average gain 0.24%, or 35.87, to reach 15,118.49. The Nasdaq gained 27.41 points, or 0.80%, to close at 3,436.58, and the S&P 500 jumped 7.03 points, or 0.43%, to reach 1,633.70.

Gainers

Banks came out tops this week as all but one of our gainers came from that sector. With solid gains all in the region of 7%, Togo-based Ecobank was the best of the bunch, jumping 7.8% to reach a price of US $0.11. It was closely followed by Kenya’s Equity Bank, which gained 7.5%, and Nigeria’s Zenith Bank, which leapt 7.3%. Egypt’s Commercial International Bank rounded out the list with a gain of 7.0%.

Nigerian Breweries tops the list this week. Earlier this month, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) published Nigerian Breweries’ first quarter 2013 results with profit after tax up slightly by 0.2% to N9.417 billion. Last week, the company’s directors said that it will also maintain its 60% dividend pay-out ratio. The company gained 9.3% to reach a price of $0.98.

Losers

Once again, North Africa suffered the most in this session. The Tunisian government has reduced its 2013 economic growth expectations after another evaluation: the previous 4.5% economic growth forecast has been reduced to 4%, as authorities believe the situation in Tunisia and the ongoing crisis in Europe will make it difficult to attain. Poulina Group Holdings was this week’s worst loser. The company lost 7.6% to reach a price of $3.74.

Two Moroccan real estate companies bottomed out the list: Douja Prom Addoha and CGI lost 2.4% and 3.3% apiece, while Egyptian telecommunications giant Mobinil lost 3.4%. South Africa’s Anglo Platinum completed to list of five by losing 5.0%. According to Business Day, a compromise by Anglo Platinum on plans to restructure its business in the face of “intense political pressure” has disappointed investors who wanted “deeper cuts in output to aid an ailing platinum market and boost the company’s profits.”

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