The Ai40 Index saw another drop this week, falling 2.33% to reach 114.06 points, down from last week’s 116.79. In the news this week, Angola has announced plans to launch a stock exchange in 2016 and will privatise about 33 of the country’s 90 state-owned firms.
As for the US, after a four-week winning streak, markets closed lower as investors watched the Federal Reserved closely for news on the winding down of its long-standing bond buying programme. Investors are preparing for the inevitable as it is unlikely that the Fed will embark on a fourth round of quantitative easing.
Friday’s close saw minimal movement as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gain 8.6 points, or 0.06%, to reach a value of 15,303.10. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.28 points, or 0.01%, to attain 3,459.14 points, and the S&P 500 lost just 0.91 points, or 0.06% to reach 1,649.60.
Financial services mostly dominated the list of this week’s winners with Nigeria’s banks performing particularly well. Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank topped the list with a gain of 8.0% to reach a price of US $0.18, while Zenith Bank was far behind as the next closest, gaining just 3.9% to reach a price of $0.14. Banque de Tunisie and Barclays Bank of Kenya saw gains of 2.3% and 1,7% respectively.
Tunisia was again represented on the list by Poulina Group Holding, which gained a small but meaningful 1.4%. Tunisia is still struggling with rising inflation, large external deficit and an unstable political outlook but this does not seem to have dented the Tunisian Stock Exchange. Three Tunisian companies have listed on the local bourse this year, as compared to three during the whole of 2012.
Three South African giants took the bottom positions in this week’s top losers’ list. Standard Bank, MTN Group and SABMiller lost 5.4%, 5.9% and 6.0% respectively. Last week, SABMiller announced that profit after tax dropped by 22.0% to $3.274 billion in the year to March 31 compared with the outcome in 2011-12. However, it said that “underlying performance improved on strong growth in emerging markets.”
‘Topping’ the list were Ghana’s Tullow Oil, which lost 6.7% to reach a price of $15.60, and Morocco’s Maroc Telecom, which was the week’s biggest loser, dropping 7.0% to reach $11.91. Tullow Oil recently suffered a set-back as a wildcat well off the coast of Norway proved to hold no evidence of hydrocarbons.
For more on the Ai40 Index, please visit the Africa investor website at www.africainvestor.com.