Harare – Most bourses in Southern Africa signalled recovery in the first quarter of 2021 on the back of optimism driven by COVID-19 mass vaccinations campaigns as well as stronger commodity prices, among other factors.
However, some counters remained subdued in response to the global economic downturn induced by the pandemic.
From January 1 to February 28, according to the Botswana Stock Exchange, the bourse’s Domestic Company Index depreciated by three percent in comparison to an appreciation of 1.4 percent in the same period in 2020. On the positive side, the Foreign Company Index appreciated by 0.2 percent on a year-to-date basis compared to a decline of 0.7 percent in the prior period.
“The top three traded companies during the period under review were Letshego (US$2.5 million), Standard Chartered Bank (US$1.1 million) and Sefalana (US$657,000). The total turnover from these three companies accounted for 69.7 percent of total equity turnover; with the leading counter Letshego accounting for 40.5 percent of total equity turnover. In comparison to the same period in 2020, the top traded companies accounted for 42.3 percent of total equity turnover,” added the BSE in its quarterly update.
South Africa’s FTSE/JSE All Share Index is on a five-month positive run and ended the quarter up 1.6 percent.
According to Corner Stone Advisory Services, the JSE was primarily driven by sharp gains in resource counters.
“The rand was essentially flat over the month, ending at R15.07/$. Although this hides a significant strengthening (and subsequent weakening) to R14.44/$ in the middle of the month. The SA 10-year bond yield increased from around 8.75percent to 9.10percent. Domestic bonds continue to provide attractive real yields, which are particularly appealing to foreign investors in a low global yield environment,” Corner Stone.
The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange in Tanzania reported a price earnings ratio rise for domestic listed companies in the first quarter. The weighted average market price earnings ratio for domestic listed companies was at 23.45 times three months to March, which was slightly higher than the 21 times for the three months to December 2020.
In its quarterly report, the stock exchange said the market size for the 22-domestic listed companies, as measured by market capitalisation, increased slightly by 0.96 percent during the quarter.
In spite of falling demand towards the end of March 2021, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange was the regional top performer for the quarter, though the monthly gains were lower than those in in 2020.