Zim stocks on four-year high as investors pile into equities

Harare - Zimbabwean stocks closed on a four-year high on Friday, as investors continued to pile into the equities market amid limited investment options and currency concerns.

By the close of trade, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange's main Industrials index was up 0.34% to 200.04, a level last seen on January 21 2014.

Analysts said investors have been piling into the equities market in the absence of viable options in the country's capital markets.

"Current returns on the money market at between 1% and 5% per annum are not that attractive, considering the risk with near cash investments at the moment."

Getting money out of Zimbabwean banks has been mission impossible of late, with companies and individuals queuing for months to have their payments to foreign suppliers approved. Cash withdrawal limits are as little as $50 a week at some banks.

"I would rather invest my money in stocks than have it stark in the bank," said Walter Mandeya from Harare.

Mandeya added that popular sentiment is that the value of US dollar balances in banks is not at par with the actual value of the real dollar.

"Investors are thus looking at hedging against this loss of value by buying into stocks," he added.

The stock market has a year-to-date gain of 38.41% as of Friday, making it the most attractive investment option at the moment. Year-on-year it has gained by more than 100%.       

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