The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) continued on a downward trend as bears dominated the market. Three of the benchmark indices closed the week to Wednesday in the negative territory.
The economy has been battling headwinds emanating from liquidity challenges and limited foreign currency.
But, the commencement of the tobacco selling season is expected to ease foreign currency flows and liquidity challenges.
The primary index, the ZSE All Share Index gave up 4,34 percent of value to close pegged at 127,07 points while the ZSE Top 10 Index was 5,86 percent weaker to 119,95 points. On a year-to-date basis, the Top 10 Index has fallen the hardest with a 17,29 percent decline.
The Industrials Index retreated 4,38 percent to 423,53 points from prior week’s 442,95 points on losses across the board.
On the resources side, the Mining Index of two active counters remained flat at 201,72 points.
Total market value fell 3,71 percent to $16,8 billion from $17,5 billion recorded in the previous week as the market’s top capitalised counters succumbed to selling pressure.
Dragging down the market were seed producers Seed Co and Seed Co International, which let go of a hefty 23,2 percent to $1,44 and 20,73 percent to $1,30 respectively.
Regional cement maker, PPC declined 13,16 percent to close the week at $1,65 from prior week’s $1,90.
Fintech group, Cassava lost 12,35 percent of value to $1,11 while diversified media group, Zimpapers wrapped the week’s top five fallers with a 7,93 percent decrease to close at 7,9 cents.
Cigarette manufacturer, BAT retreated 6,25 percent to $30 as it remains the most expensive stock. Industrial conglomerate, Innscor eased 5,35 percent to $1,35 while diversified hospitality group, Meikles fell 5,29 percent to 49,25 cents.
Meikles is currently trading under a cautionary. It announced discussions to sell certain of its hospitality asset. The company will be seeking the approval of its shareholders for the proposed disposal at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be convened at a future date.
Also on the downside, beverages maker, Delta, fell 4,17 percent to $2,30 while Old Mutual lost 2,99 percent of value to close the week at $7,02.
Hospitality group, RTG eased 3,2 percent to 2,42 cents. Other losses were recorded in Simbisa that let go of 1,47 percent to 67 cents while Axia and FML decreased 1,84 percent to 40 cents and 1,54 percent to 12,8 cents respectively.
Dairibord eased 0,67 percent to 14,8 cents after reporting revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018 grew 28 percent to $126,4 million driven by volume growth and selling price adjustments.
The group achieved a profit after tax of $6,4 million, which was 230 percent above prior year and operating profit margin was stronger at 8 percent from prior year’s 5 percent.
Further losses were offset by gains in sugar producer, Hippo that rose 7,64 percent to $1,55 while brick making firm, Willdale put on 6,74 percent 1,9 cents.
Agriculture concern, Ariston rose 6,67 percent to 3,2 cents while Econet rose 5,35 percent to $1,19 as the telecoms giant shot back to the top capitalised counter with total market value of $3 billion ahead of Delta and Cassava that are valued at $2,9 billion and $2,8 billion respectively.
Crocodile breeder, Padenga capped the top five risers with a 5,22 percent gain to 95,32 cents.
Other gains were recorded in Unifreight which rose 1,64 percent to 10,1 cents while CBZ rose 0,64 percent to 14,1 cents. Wines and spirits producer, Afdis wrapped the week’s risers with a marginal 0,15 percent increase to $1,70.
The two active resources counters, Bindura and RioZim remained flat at 7,04 cents and $1,80 respectively. Also remaining flat were FCB, Lafarge and Mashonaland Holdings at 5,62 cents, $1,33 and 3,23 cents respectively.
Mashonaland told its shareholders that operating profit for the four months to January 31, 2019 totalled $1,1 million, which was 47 percent above same period last year and 22 percent ahead of budget.
Operating profit margins rose to 62 percent from 45 percent in the comparable prior year period. Revenue for the four months grew 7 percent to $1,68 million compared to $1,58 million recorded in the same period last year.
National Foods, OK Zimbabwe and Powerspeed also maintained prior week levels of $7, 25 cents and 17,45 cents in that order.
Clothing retailer, Truworths was also unchanged at 1,61 cents.
Truworths reported group merchandise sales for the half year to January 06, 2019 were 16,6 percent higher than those of the same period in the prior year.