The ZSE is fighting hard to win back the hearts it lost over the last few months. It recorded its second month of positive movement after 4 months of decline. The ZSE All Share Index edged out gains of 2.03% in October, which seems modest compared to months gone by, but a gain is a gain. All this while more counters plan to switch from the ZSE to the VFEX, which oddly responded to the news by losing 20.15% in October.
There were some interesting highlights in the gainers in October. Firstly the gainers in total (30) outweighed the losers and non-movers combined; that’s a very good sign. Dairibord (+116.33%)pulled a Lazarus act returning investors double plus in the month after being hard hit by regulatory-induced declines across the board. ZB Financial Holdings, which has had to contend with shareholding wrangles, posted 74.26% gains, while Axia, another major casualty of the bear market, returned an impressive 60.37% in the month. Simbisa, one of the companies plotting a VFEX move, surged 51.41% after posting impressive full-year results with a handsome dividend. Willdale (+46.27%), African Sun (+44.90%), The Morgan & Co Made In Zimbabwe ETF (+35.79%), NMBZ (+30.68%), First Mutual Properties (+29.86%) and Zimplow (+26.69%) made up the top 10 gainers in the month.
Not to be outdone, the losers too, contained some highlights of their own. Econet (-24.21%) and Ecocash (-21.45%) dealt heavy blows to their inspired investors holding the biggest and third biggest loser, respectively, for October as we approach the deadline for publication of their half-year results. SeedCo plunged investor portfolios 24.03% in the red. Finsec-listed Old Mutual Zimbabwe Limited dropped 15% after delivering an interim dividend. Morgan & Co Multi-Sector and Datvest Modified Consumer Staples ETFs gave up 20.67% and 12.23%, respectively. OK Zimbabwe (-8.91%), Nampak (-8.42%), the second counter planning a VFEX switch National Foods (-8.16%) and NTS -(7.69%) made up the bottom 10 losers for the month. Amalgamated Regional Trading, Bridge Fort Class B, Fidelity, General Beltings Holdings, Getbucks, which reiterated intentions to move to VFEX, Hippo, Tanganda, Zimpapers and frequent non-mover ZECO were the non-movers in October.
The ETF board was mixed. Cass Saddle Agriculture ETF slid 3.38%. Datvest and The Morgan & Co Multi-Sector featured in the biggest losers. The Morgan & Co Made in Zimbabwe took a spot in the top 10 gainers. The first ETF, the Old Mutual Top 10, made modest gains of 4.73% in October.
Meanwhile, the VFEX had good news off the board but bad news on the board. Three ZSE companies (National Foods, Simbisa and Getbucks) will give investors more to look at if they complete their VFEX switches. In addition to the switches, the VFEX is looking forward to Karo resources listing by way of introduction and Nedbank depositary receipts listing. The most important developments for the exchange come from the launch of a VFEX direct access platform and the news that C-Trade will soon enable VFEX trading. On the board, however, it was deepening losses for Bindura (-0.33% and now -44.55%) while SeedCo International crashed 12.39% lower as Padenga Holding burned 30.94% of shareholder value. Caledonia Mining recorded no movement in October.
There are signs of new stability in the capital markets in general. Clearly, picking the right counters matters more than ever, but gains are being made. More importantly, the gains are more meaningful with a semblance of currency stability. Of course, the festive months tend to throw up some surprises, and with 2023 on the horizon, we should expect to keep seeing the same sort of action. Unless something changes, and I suppose we should expect that too.