Econet’s ZSE market value hits $4bn

Enacy Mapakame
Telecoms giant, Econet is now the largest company again on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) by market value at $4 billion, replacing Delta Corporation Limited.

Econet now accounts for 19 percent of ZSE’s total market capitalisation.

The Telcos company, has see-sawed between pole position and fourth position in the past three years.

In January 2016, the telecoms firm slipped two places to fourth position of the market’s top counters before rising again only to be replaced again by its fintech business Cassava Smartech on December 18, 2018.

The telecoms giant’s earnings are anticipated to suffer following an internet blackout that came as a result of violent protests experienced in the country last week, in a three-day stay away called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU).

Delta had bounced back to the top, its long held position, but only for a fortnight, before a shift in positions last week, after a rally in both Econet and Cassava.

The beverages giant is now valued at $3,8 billion after Econet and Cassava that are worth $4 billion and $3,86 billion respectively.

Delta has for years been the market’s biggest company by market value before being replaced by Econet in August 2018 after the telecoms giant’s class A shares were for the first time included on the ZSE but only for the purpose of calculating market capitalisation.

The beverages maker’s cash generative capacity has helped it survive the turbulent economic environment, at a time several other companies have struggled.

The company has however, lamented foreign currency shortages that have affected local industry resulting in supply gaps.

According to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) capacity utilisation for local industry dropped to 42 percent in November 2018, from 48 percent that was recorded in August the same year reflecting the foreign currency limitations and a spike in rates on the parallel market.

But Delta indicated revenue for the third quarter to December 2018 rose 5 percent and 24 percent for the nine months on the back of growth in beer businesses which was however, weighed down by depressed outturn in soft drinks.

Lager beer volume grew by 27 percent for the quarter while the Sorghum beer volume in Zimbabwe grew by 15 percent above same quarter in the prior year.

Chibuku Super contributed 85 percent of the volume.

Conglomerate, Innscor, has maintained its fourth position at $985 million.

Cigarette manufacturer, BAT completes the market’s top five counters with a total value of $680 million.

Market watchers say BAT together with the other top cap counters on the ZSE remain the market’s most sought after due to their consistent dividend policy as well as cash generating capacity.

For BAT, its relationship with its sister companies in the region is expected to play a critical role offsetting the operational challenges faced in Zimbabwe mainly due to foreign currency shortages.

The counter has however, remained stagnant this year at $33, the most expensive stock on the bourse.

Source : The Herald

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