Econet share price at lowest ebb in four years


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The Zimbabwe stock exchange mainstream index eased 2.97 percent in January to close at 140.24 points after mobile operator, Econet Wireless’s share price dropped by nearly half to 16.87 cents, its lowest since March 1, 2013.

Econet, the country’s biggest mobile network operator, has been in freefall since it announced plans to raise $130 million in a rights issue which analysts say is structured to benefit its major shareholder, Econet Global and foreign shareholders at the expense of local minorities.

The capital raise will be put up for shareholder approval at an EGM on Friday.

The company is also down 77 percent from its 72.2 cent price after a 10:1 split on March 1, 2013. The shares were trading at 710 cents at the time of the split.

Econet’s shares traded at 100 cents at start of dollarisation in February 2009.

In January, the ZSE market capitalisation declined by 2.6 percent, from $4.01 billion in the previous month to $3.9 billion, mirroring the fall in the indices.

Total market turnover also decreased by 67.1 percent to $8.553 million, the lowest since September last year.

Analysts say the decline in total market turnover is on the back of low liquidity in the economy and weak investor sentiment.

Additionally, analysts say the uncharacteristic demand started in October, which was induced by the introduction of bond notes, has fallen away as the currency has held its value trading at par with the US dollar.

Other heavyweights to fall included National Foods, OK Zimbabwe and Innscor which eased 2.85 percent, 0.28 percent and a marginal 0.02 percent to settle at 350 cents, 7.08 cents and 47.99 cents in that order.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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