Econet share price at lowest ebb in four years, drags ZSE lower

Econet share price at lowest  ebb in four years, drags ZSE lower

HARARE, January 31 (The Source) –. The Zimbabwe stock exchange mainstream index eased 2,97 percent in January to close at 140,24 points after mobile operator, Econet Wireless’s share price dropped by nearly half to 16,87 cents, its lowest since March 1, 2013.

Econet, the country’s biggest mobile network operator, has been in freefall since it announced plans to raise $130 million in a rights issue which analysts say is structured to benefit its major shareholder, Econet Global and foreign shareholders at the expense of local minorities.

The capital raise will be put up for shareholder approval at an EGM on Friday.

The company is also down 77 percent from its 72.2 cent price after a 10:1 split on March 1, 2013. The shares were trading at 710 cents at the time of the split. Econet’s shares traded at 100 cents at start of dollarisation in February 2009.

In January, the ZSE market capitalisation declined by 2,6 percent, from $4,01 billion in the previous month to $3,9 billion, mirroring the fall in the indices. Total market turnover also decreased by 67,1 percent to $8,553 million, the lowest since September last year.

Analysts say the decline in total market turnover is on the back of low liquidity in the economy and weak investor sentiment.

Additionally, analysts say the uncharacteristic demand started in October, which was induced by the introduction of bond notes, has fallen away as the currency has held its value trading at par with the US dollar.

Other heavyweights to fall included National Foods, OK Zimbabwe and Innscor which eased 2,85 percent, 0,28 percent and a marginal 0,02 percent to settle at 350 cents, 7,08 cents and 47,99 cents in that order.

Meikles, Dairibord and Barclays also lost 19,23 percent, 16,67 percent and 12,50 percent to trade at 10,5 cents, 5 cents and 2,8 cents in that order.
Truworths, NMBZ and Nicoz Diamond also shed 10 percent, 8,72 percent and 7,27 percent respectively while Colcom and StarAfrica eased 5,41 percent and 4,2 percent respectively in the month under analysis.

There were gains in Delta and Old Mutual which advanced by 0,49 percent and 0,44 percent to close the month at 88,93 cents and 350,75 cents respectively. Simbisa and Axia put on 3,13 percent and 4,17 percent to close at 16,5 cents and 7 cents respectively.

Padenga, Hippo and TSL also gained 4,56 percent, 4,29 percent and 5,26 percent to trade at 16,73 cents, 36,5 cents and 18 cents in that order.

Zimpapers led the top movers pack after picking up 40 percent to trade at 0,7 cents. Lafarge and ZB Financial Holdings added 23 percent apiece while Masimba and Zimplow gained 11,76 percent and 10 percent respectively.

FML, ART and CFI also advanced 7,14 percent, 6,56 percent and 5,24 percent in that order.

The mining index eased 3,76 percent to close at 56,31 points largely on the back of Bindura which eased 12,5 percent to close at 3,5 cents, offsetting a 7,5 percent gain recorded by RioZim which closed at 32,25 cents.

Hwange and Falgold remained unchanged at three cents and 0,6 cent in the month under review.

Foreigners remained net sellers in the month, disposing of shares worth $5,514 million and buying shares worth $1,411 million.