Zimbabwe is full of paradoxes. The country has no cash, fuel or foreign currency. But companies are doing booming business, at least in terms of returns for their investors. Though some say this paper wealth will not help solve the country’s economic crisis which is bedeviled by rising inflation and unemployment, some people are making money.
One economic observer even quipped that perhaps the country’s wealth index should be measured by the increasing number of new luxury cars plying the country’s roads rather than gross domestic product alone.
The key industrial index which had risen by 193 percent in the first half of the year had shot up by 411 percent by the end of July while the mining index which was up 706 percent had rocketed by 1348 percent.
The bull run continues. While the prices of only 26 companies on the 80-counter bourse had beaten inflation, which stood at 300 percent at the end of June, the figure had ballooned to 60 a month later. This was despite the fact that inflation had risen by a further 65 percentage points to 364.5 percent.
Though mining companies complained about operational difficulties, they were the best performers during the month. Falgold, which was at number 5 in June, jumped to top spot with its price having increased by 3764 percent since the beginning of the year.
Though the company made a hefty profit in the half year to March, it said it might be forced top close down if it is not paid money it is owed by the central bank. It also complained about rising costs of fuel and electricity which it said could cripple its operations.
Another troubled mining company, Wankie, was in second spot with a price increase of 3088 percent while Rio Tinto was in third place with an increase of 2614 percent. Border maintained its position at number 4, but Clan which was on the top spot in June was down to number 5.
Out of the top five were sugar giant, ZSR and nickel producer Bindura.
There was no company in the negative territory in July. Barbican whose price had declined by 9 percent was back in black with an increase of 69 percent but it still anchored the worst performers.
The bottom ranks were dominated by financial counters with Finhold in number two, followed by insurance giant, Old Mutual and lastly, Barclays. Cement producer, PPC was the only non-financial counter in the bottom ranks.
|Top five performers for July|
|Bottom five performers for July|