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A rally in Copperbelt Energy Corp. is poised to help Zambia’s benchmark stock index become Africa’s best performer this year.
The 22-member Lusaka Securities Exchange All Share Index climbed 12% in dollar terms in 2022 and is set for a second straight year of gains. Copperbelt, which supplies power to mining companies in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, contributed most to the index’s advance.
Local investors piled into the power supplier’s stock after the government of President Hakainde Hichilema, who was elected in August last year, helped resolve a dispute the company had with the previous administration. The gains in the company’s shares may continue next year, according to Charles Mate, founder of Stockbrokers Zambia Ltd.
“What we have seen really is a resurgence in terms of investor interest, especially from the domestic market,” Mate said. “This stock still has significant upside.”
Copperbelt, which is more than a third owned by private equity firm Affirma Capital Singapore Pte, since 2020 was locked in legal wrangle with the government. The disagreement began dissipating in January.
With a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of about five times, Copperbelt Energy is still undervalued, said Mate, who helped set up the local stock exchange in 1994 and was its first general manager.
- With assistance from Farah Elbahrawy.