Ai40 Weekly Commentary – 19 August 2013


I like this.


Brian has held positions with a variety of financial services companies, including Cantor Fitzgerald and FTI Consulting. An avid traveler and investor, Brian enjoys scouring emerging and frontier markets for hidden gems (Oxstones). Brian holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Georgetown University and a B.A. in economics and political science from Rutgers University. He also completed graduate studies in international management at the University of Oxford, Trinity College.

Good news for the Ai40 Index as it clawed past the 113 mark this week, closing up 0.2%, or 0.23 points, from last week’s value of 112.82 to rest at a value of 113.05.

With no major corporate or economic reports on the agenda, US markets were quiet after two straight weeks of losses. Friday’s close saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 with losses in excess of 2% for the week. However, major indexes are still up by 15% to 20% for the year.

Friday’s close saw the Dow down 30.72 points, or 0.20%, to reach a value of 15,081.47. The Nasdaq lost 3.339 points, or 0.09%, to close at 3,602.78, while the S&P lost 5.49 points, or 0.33%, to reach a value of 1,655.83.

There’s finally some good news for South Africa’s ‘big three’ mining stocks. AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo Platinum and Anglo American took the top three positions on the back of a stronger gold price. However, Business Day cautions that it’s too early for celebrations as “the shares face a long climb back to regain their 12-month highs.” Nonetheless, the companies will no doubt be happy with their respective gains of 21.9%, 10.2% and 7.5%.

Fourth place went to Kenyan telecommunications giant Safaricom, which gained 4.4% to reach a price of US $0.09, and the winner’s list was rounded off by Guinness Nigeria, which upped its price by 4.1%. Nigeria’s market recorded four days of losses but made a small recovery on Thursday with Guinness the top gainer.

Nigeria’s equities market has recently felt the sting of uncertainty in the country’s banking sector. Investors engaged in consistent sell activity throughout the week as the market sustained a second week of loss as the implementation of the 50% cash reserve ratio on public sector deposits in banks took effect, says ThisDay. As a result, Nigeria took three of the bottom five positions on the Index this week: Nigerian Breweries and First Bank each lost 4.9% while Stanbic IBTC Bank lost 6.2%.

Tying with Stanbic was Egypt’s Mobinil, while Ecobank reversed its position at the top of last week’s winner’s list to record the third worst performance of this session. The Togo-based banking behemoth sustained a 5.5% loss. Good news for the bank though; Global Finance magazine has named it as its first-ever World’s Best Frontier Markets Bank for 2013.

For more on the Ai40 Index, please visit the Africa investor website at

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