African Thoughts: January 30, 2017


It was yet another absolutely pathetic week in Nigeria with very little excitement going on. The only trade of real note was a massive cross in Seplat on Tuesday. Normal trading was extremely subdued with the ASI closing up 40bps thanks to both Banks (+11bps) and Consumers (+7bps) ending the week marginally in the green. Most banking stocks hugged their opening prices though thanks to the absence of any specific catalyst. In fact, this was the same case in the consumers as the interest in the bourse remains extremely thin.


The Kenyan bourse took yet another hit last week as the NSE 20 fell 3.5% and is now down already 11.7% for 2017. Total turnover was also substantially lower thanks to foreign participants being largely absent although they do remain net buyers despite the falling index. As has been the case in recent weeks, activity was heavily focused on EABL (-1.4%, KES 219.00) and Safcom (+1.4%, KES 18.40). The rest of the market was pretty much non-existent.


The Industrials fell by 2.70% last week which now takes the index (-2.35%) into negative territory for the YTD. This sell off is compounded by increasingly thin trading sessions as the market remains watchful and cautious. The main reason for the index drop was Econet which fell by 33% to just 18c and this was exacerbated by virtually no trading going through in the name. The reason for this weakness is still thanks to the proposed capital raise via the combined rights and debenture issue. Delta was also soft (-1.64%, 90c) after a poor Q3 trading update.


The Semdex climbed by 1.86% last week and is about the only bright spark on the African continent as it is now up 3.84% for the year thus far. Trading activity was generally subdued although we saw some nice strength in the banks with SBMH rising by an impressive 8.1% to Rs7.24 which MCBG ticked up 50bps to Rs221.00.

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