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BusinessDay

Ai Weekly Commentary – 29-04-2013

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The Ai40 Index bounced back this week after last week’s low point of 111.65. The Index jumped 1.39% to reach a value of 113.21.

Weaker-than-expected economic reports have dampened US equity markets, which closed weakly amidst some rather lacklustre trading on Friday. However, all three major indexes closed in positive territory for the week. Friday saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average record a gain of 11.64 points, or 0.08%, to close at 14,712.55. The S&P 500 Index ended 3.09 points up (0.20%) at 1,582.24 while the Nasdaq slid 10.73 points, or 0.33%, to reach a value of 3,279.26.

Going into the new week, markets will be celebrating the formation of a new Italian government and a further rate cut by the European Central Bank.

Gainers

It was a good week for South African stocks, and something of a turnaround for several of them. Sasol, AngloGold Ashanti and Anglo Platinum all turned around losing performances last week to reach gains of 4.8%, 6.9% and 4.4% respectively. Anglo American also gained 4.9%. This will surely be welcomed by the South African mining community, which has seen week after week of losses.

The real winner for the week, however, was Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank, which gained a healthy increase of 9.1%. Managing Director Segun Agbaje last week had to assure shareholders that the bank will improve on cost efficiency in the current financial year to deliver better dividends but the bank also received some good news last week, having been named the ‘most customer-focused bank’ by the Africa Banking Industry Customers’ Satisfaction survey.

Losers 

This week’s losers were once again a mixed bunch, although Morocco’s construction and real estate sector seemed to be especially hard hit. Real estate group Douja Prom Addoha lost 3.6%, while building materials giant Lafarge lost 6.1%. The other losers for the week were Togo’s Ecobank and Kenya’s Equity Bank, which lost 4.8% and 3.9% apiece.

Telecom Egypt fared the worst this week, losing 8.6% to reach a price of $1.82. Telecom Egypt owns a 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt, which has been particularly hard-hit by foreign exchange shortages. This is making it harder for Vodafone’s Egyptian business to buy network equipment and it has asked some suppliers to accept payment in Egyptian pounds, says its local chief executive. Telecom Egypt itself is currently in the process of converting its copper cables to fibre-optics.

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