Up to the end of April, foreign investors had been net buyers of $15 million worth of shares on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. According to statistics provided by the ZSE approximately $370 million worth of shares were bought by foreigners while at the same time selling shares worth $354,7 million.
Same time last year, foreign investors had bought shares worth $80,4 million against what they sold amounting to $48,6 million becoming net buyers of $31,8 million worth of shares.
Since the beginning of the year a total $593,4 million worth of shares had been traded on the ZSE up from $189 million worth that had been traded prior year comparative.
On the face of it, these statistics point to a vibrant market attracting foreign portfolio investments, but unfortunately this is not so.
Stockbrokers say there is no fresh money coming into the local market as investors struggle to repatriate capital gains, dividends, and their initial investments out of the country.
Following the introduction of the interbank foreign currency in February, the ZSE witnessed increased activity from foreign investors recording the highest ever monthly turnover of $295,8 million. Foreign participation was also strong in the month with sales of $21 million worth of shares the highest so far in the year.
Investors saw this as a chance to finally repatriate funds, but stockbrokers say not much investments have found their way out. This has seen investors buying back into the market with Old Mutual shares being bought as a way of repatriating funds, while stable companies such as Delta, Cassava, and Econet have also find favour from investors who want to hedge against currency volatility and rampant inflation.
This is despite the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s directive that at least 15 percent of all foreign payments must be towards ZSE transactions.