companies & markets

Africa investor Ai40 Weekly Commentary - 10 July 2017

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Ai40 Investor’s Index has been trading in a tight range for the last four reviews. Last week, the best performing stocks on the Index were all from the North African region - Egypt and Morocco in particular. The Index was down by 1.2 points (or 1.24%) from its last reading of 96.55, to close Friday at a value of 95.35.

In the US, equities markets ended the week in positive territory thanks to a generally healthy labour market as evidenced by the better-than-expected jobs data. According to Market Watch, "the U.S. added 222,000 jobs in June." Markets also closed in positive territory on Friday due to a strong performance from tech stocks, which have suffered in recent weeks. On the global front, stock markets were mostly lower but received a boost from the employment data coming out of the US. The G20 Summit took place in Hamburg, Germany over the weekend where world leaders discussed trade and climate change issues amongst other topics. The US’s President Trump emerged as a loner at the Summit, in particular on the Paris Climate accord. In oil markets, a barrel of US WTI ended Friday lower at $44.23 a barrel (3% down) "after data showed U.S. production and rig counts rose last week just as OPEC exports hit a 2017 high" according to CNBC.

At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 0.44%, or 94.30 points, to close the week at a value of 21,414.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.04%, or 63.61 points, to end the week at a value of 6,153.08, while the S&P 500 was up by 0.64%, or 15.43 points, to close Friday on a value of 2,425.18. According to the Brownsville Herald, "Germany's DAX was down 0.3 percent at 12,349 while the FTSE 100 of Britain was flat at 7,340. France's CAC 40 lost 0.4 percent to 5,133."

Gainers

It was a North African affair on the Gainers List last week as three stocks from Egypt and two from Morocco took up the five spots. Vodafone Egypt was last week’s top stock with an increase of 12%. In a market research report on 4G rollout in the country, the company was forecast to continue its dominance of telecom service revenue in Egypt for the period 2017-2021. Still in the same sector, Telecom Egypt rose 2.4% last week. In banking, shares for Cairo-listed Commercial International Bank gained 2.7%.

In Morocco, shares for Lafarge and Banque Centrale Populaire enjoyed gains of 7.9% and 4.5% respectively.

Losers

Lagos-listed equities tracked by the Index took up most of the spots on the Losers List last week. Guinness Nigeria Plc was last week’s worst performing stock with a drop of 13.1%. The share experienced selling pressure following reports that the company "is looking towards a share sale to raise $126 million from existing shareholders." The company recorded a pre-tax loss of $6.7 million in 2016 according to Ecofin Agency. Another beer stock, Nigerian Breweries was down 4.2%. In the banking sector, Stanbic IBTC and First Bank lost 4.4% and 4.2% respectively.

Casablanca-listed Banque Marocaine du Commerce was in negative territory following a drop of 7.1%.