Harare - The Zimbabwean Stock Exchange (ZSE) was Africa’s top performing stock market in US dollar terms for the first six months of 2017.
According to statistics gathered by Fin24, the ZSE closed the first half of the year 35.45% stronger, the highest attained by any African stock market in dollar terms.
Local investors have been buying into the equities market as a hedge against currency uncertainties and shortages.
Most cash-rich Zimbabwean companies and individuals have been failing to access their cash locked in banks due to foreign currency shortages.
Businesses, especially manufacturers and mines, have also been struggling to make foreign payments since the foreign currency shortages intensified at the beginning of 2016.
As at June 28 2017, the Lusaka Stock Exchange in Zambia was the second best performing market after it gained 23.86% in dollar terms, although managing just 13.43% in kwacha terms.
Another market that performed strongly in both local currency and dollar terms was Mauritius’ SEMDEX, which was up 17.39% and 22.57% respectively.
The Nairobi Stock Exchange in Kenya was one of the few markets that recorded higher gains in local currencies than in dollar terms. The NSE added 14.68% in shilling terms, but only managed 13.79% in dollar terms.
The Nigerian Stock market also recorded higher gains in the local currency than in dollar terms, adding 23.23% in naira but managing just below 11% in dollar terms.
South Africa’s JSE, up a marginal 1.89% in rand terms, was however strong in dollar terms having picked up 7.02%.
Rwanda and Namibia were however negative in both the local and foreign currencies.