Stock market records gains for first time in 14 months in April

Stock market records gains for first time in 14 months in April

HARARE, May 5 (The Source) – The stock market recorded its first month-on-month gain in over a year in April, rising 7,9 percent and pushing market capitalisation over $3 billion.

This was first monthly aggregate gain since February 2015, as the market bounced back on renewed interest in heavyweight counters expected to announce full year financials later this month.

The Industrials Index was up 8.38 percent in the month, with beverage maker Delta up by a quarter.Cigarette maker BAT and mobile phone operator Econet rose 8.84 percent and 2.33 respectively. The index ended the month at 105,79 points, and had risen to 106.22 points by Wednesday.

Other significant gains for the month were in Proplastics, which saw its share price rise by 53 percent, OK Zimbabwe which grew 4.11 percent, Innscor which was up 17.46 percent and Art at 16.67 percent.

However, turnover dropped by 14.50 percent in April to $14,05 million while average daily trades for the month came in at $702,290. Total volumes traded though rose 93 percent to 188,43 million shares.

Both market movers Delta and Econet are due to announce their full year earnings this month, but analysts anticipate the numbers to reflect the increasingly difficult operating environment.

Delta last month reported a 7 percent decline in revenue for the year to 31 March on soft consumer demand and increased competition from imports.

Econet is seen reporting lower revenues as voice revenues suffer further from the shift to over the top services and a cut on tariffs imposed by government last year.

“We expect the full extent of reductions in salaries to filter through and for cost optimisation to remain a priority,” said an analyst with a local brokerage house.

Despite strained corporate earnings, the market has started registering notable gains. Analysts expect the industrial Index to remain in the positive as valuations on Delta, BAT and Innscor have started again to look attractive.