Thursday, January 6, 2011

Market Intelligence - Equities

During the week of 27 – 31 December 2010, all major African stock markets except for the one of Tunisia closed the week with gains, decoupling from global markets which mostly edged lower. Year-end trading was thin as investors were reluctant to take on large positions before the New Year. China increased its interest rate on Christmas day, but while the timing may have surprised, the direction itself was expected and, hence, did not derail the stock market performance in Africa and beyond. The stock markets in Ghana recorded the strongest gain of 3.0% over the previous week, followed by Egypt, Mauritius and Kenya registering gains of 2.8%, 2.2% and 1.6%, respectively. Moderate gains between 0.1% and 0.3% were observed in other markets, with the exception of Tunisia which registered losses of 1.1%.

Equity Focus

Ghana: The Ghana stock market continued its rally during the week. Ghana’s All Share Index leaped by 3.0% over the week, which brings its year to date change to more than 32%. Blue chips such as Ghana Commercial Bank and Fan Milk Limited lifted the index, reflecting increased confidence of investors.

Tunisia: The TUNINDEX was down 1.1% during the week representing the strongest drop since November 2010 and following in the footsteps of the 0.2% loss during the previous week. In particular, GIF, which produces oil and gasoline filters for vehicles and exports the products mainly to Europe, continued its downward trend and lost 10% over the week. Although Tunisia’s economic prospects are set to improve in 2011, continuous concerns over the European debt crisis contributed to the negative market sentiment.

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