companies & markets

Africa investor Ai40 Weekly Commentary - 17 July 2017

Monday, 17 July 2017

Last week, the Ai40 Investor’s Index enjoyed robust gains and set a new record for the year’s high. Telecoms and banking stocks were the star performers in the period under review; particularly from Egypt and South Africa. For the second week in a row, equities from Nigeria took up the bulk of the spots on the Losers List. However, the Index gained 1.42 points (or 1.49%) from its last reading of 95.35, to close Friday at a value of 96.77.

Following releases of key economic data on Friday, equity markets in the US ended the week higher. Investors digested a mixed bag of earnings reports from major banks which continue from today. Treasuries and gold (both considered safe haven assets) recorded gains following "poor data on retail-sales and inflation" according to Market Watch. In Europe, markets closed the week with mixed performances after the start of the US earnings season and a meeting between the French and U.S. presidents. According to FT, oil prices enjoyed a fifth day of gains on Friday as the price of a barrel of Brent reached $49.
At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 0.39%, or 84.65 points, to close the week at a value of 21,637.74. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.61%, or 38.03 points, to end the week at a value of 6,312.47. The S&P 500 was up by 0.47%, or 11.44 points, to close Friday on a value of 2,459.27. According to the Investopedia, "International markets were mixed over the past week. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.96%; Germany's DAX 30 rose 1.96%; and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.18%

Gainers

The Index’s best performer last week was Cairo-listed Orange Egypt - a telecoms company - with a gain of 17.5%. Also from Egypt, shares for Commercial International Bank (the country’s largest listed lender) ended the week 7.1% higher. Stock for Anglo American was up by 7.6%. Last week Bloomberg reported that the miner "plans to redevelop the historical premises of its De Beers diamond unit after choosing the building as its preferred option for a new London headquarters."
Still with South African-listed equities, Standard Bank and MTN gained 7% and 6.7% respectively.

Losers

For the second week in a row, Nigerian stocks tracked by the Index featured heavily on the Losers List. At the bottom of the heap was First Bank with a loss of 3.2% last week. Stanbic IBTC Bank and Nigerian Breweries were both down 2.3%.

Egyptian chemicals firm Abu Qir Fertilizers was down 2.9% while shares for Telecom Egypt were in negative territory by 2.2%

Credits: David Ruwodo (Africa investor)