Africa Investor Weekly Commentary – 5 August 2013


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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.

By Staff Reporter | August 5, 2013

The week under review ended with good news as the Ai40 Index saw a relatively large positive jump. The Index closed Friday up by 2.51 points, or 2.27%, to reach a value of 113.04 – a nice gain from last week’s value of 110.53.

Last week also brought good news to US markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both gained ground to reach new highs. The S&P 500 jumped 1.3% to close above 1,700 for the first time ever, while the Dow Jones increased by 0.8% to reach its own record high. In addition, the Nasdaq climbed 1.4% to end at its highest level in almost 13 years.

Friday’s close saw the Dow up 30.34 points, or 0.19% to reach 15,658.36; the Nasdaq gained 13.85 points, or 0.38%, to reach 3,689.59, and the S&P 500 jumped 2.8 points, 0.16%, to close at 1,709.67.

Nigerian companies turned their luck around this week with the three top positions being taken by companies from the West African nation. Stanbic IBTC Bank recorded a whopping gain of 18.3% to reach a price of US $0.12 per share. Last week, the company released its interim 2013 results with 128% growth in profit after tax at N4.6 billion, while profit before tax grew by 215% at N8.4 billion. Guinness Nigeria and Zenith Bank trailed with gains of 9.3% and 8.1% respectively.

MTN Group turned around last week’s stint on the loser’s list to take fourth position in the period under review; the company gained 6.2%. Rounding off the list was Anglo Platinum, which continued last week’s good performance. The mining giant increased by 5.7% to reach a price of $5.67.

The loser’s list proved to be a mixed bag this week. This week’s worst performer was Egypt’s Orascom Construction, which lost 4.3% to reach a price of $34.40. According to Bloomberg, Egypt’s largest publicly-traded company moved closer to delisting in Cairo after holders of 89% of shares accepted a buyout offer. The stock has since sunk the most since March. AngloGold Ashanti didn’t perform much better; the company recorded a loss of 4.1%.

Two Kenyan companies also made the list: Equity Bank and East African Breweries Limited. They recorded losses of 1.9% and 2.4% respectively. And, for yet another week, a Moroccan real estate company landed on the list. Data from the country’s central bank has shown that loans to homebuyers and companies grew at their slowest pace in a decade during the year-to-November 2012. Meanwhile, hotel developments are growing apace. Douja Prom Addoha lost 1.9%.

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

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