African Thoughts: April 20, 2014


The index rose by 0.22% to close at 34,930.02 points despite modest volumes throughout the week. The top gainers were Guinness (+21.43%, N170.00), Honeywell Flour (+14.05%, N3.49) and UACN (+13.43%, N42.31). GTB (+3%, N28.85) and Zenith Bank (+2.27%, N23.00) were the most actively traded stocks contributing $13m and $12m towards total turnover respectively. The Banking index was driven up 1.48% w-o-w after price increases in the likes of Access bank (+2.15%, N6.64), Diamond Bank (+2.46%, N4.58) and GTB (+3%, N28.85) whilst the Consumer index closed 1.27% weaker on the back of losses in Nestle (-9.97%, N940.00) and Dangote Flour (-5.10%, N4.64). Mixed Q1 results were released in market heavies Stanbic, GTB, Access Bank and Diamond Bank during the week.


Declining for the eighth consecutive week, the index lost 0.6% w-o-w at 5,078.74 points on the back of foreign selling pressure seen in previous weeks. Gains in Safcom (+8.2%, KES17.20) and KCB (+1.6%, KES64.00) were offset by substantial losses in illiquid Crown Burger (-13.7%, KES101.00), Umeme (-8.2%, KES17.45) and Kenya Airways (-6.6%, KES7.05). Equity Bank fell among the laggards after shedding 2.6% at KES47 as investors remain bearish in the name (net outflow of $1.7m). Foreign investor demand was mainly geared towards KCB ($5.7m) and EABL ($1.1m) as foreigners continue to take advantage of the cheapened market.


Thin trades were the order of the week as a result of constrained supply. Total turnover increased by 71.24% to $4.6m with blue chip counters accounting for the lions share although the ZSE remains absolutely dire. Delta (+1.45%, 105c), Econet (unch, 49c) and Innscor (-2.52%, 57c) were the top traded stocks of the week contributing 17%, 23% and 8% respectively while Barclays (-5%, 3.80c) ,Meikles (-6.98%, 10c) and the likes closed softer. Natfoods was the strongest performer of the week after registering substantial trades to close up 5.33% at 316c.


The market was bearish for the most part with the index retreating by 1.0%. Total market turnover declined to $10.3m versus $26.3m in the previous week. Market heavies MCBG and SBM accounted for the bulk of activity as the former exchanged a total of 1.1m shares to close flat at Rs199.00 on the back of foreign selling pressure. It was a busy week for SBM, as the counter shed 4.2% w-o-w to close at Rs0.91 after 68.8m shares were exchanged in the name.

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