Total market capitalisation on the ZSE was $4,12 billion down from $4,33 billion at the end of December

Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
THE value of shares traded on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange fell by 22,2 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same quarter last year as liquidity tightened.

Latest statistics from the ZSE show that about $90 million worth of turnover was recorded on the bourse in the first three months of last year against $70 million this year.

However, statistics painted a different picture on volumes, indicating that against the decline in value terms, the volumes increased to 586 million this year from 306 million.

Available statistics also show that 2014 was more liquid than this year, using comparable period figures. Trades valued at $63 million were handled in January 2014 against $16 million in 2015.

Tables turned briefly in February when 2015 trades, at $34,7 million exceeded those for 2014 at $25,6 million. Liquidity was worse in March 2015 at $19 million from $27 million in 2014.

Foreign investors, who have driven activity on ZSE at a time locals are afflicted by the scourge of tight liquidity, bought shares valued at $41 million from $64 million in 2014.

About $39 million worth of shares were also bought by foreigners on the local bourse in the period under review compared to $33 million worth of shares in the quarter to March 2014.

Foreigners bought a total of 117 million shares this year and sold 93 million shares in the first three months compared to 173 million shares bought and 83 million shares sold in the first quarter of 2014.

Foreign buys picked up in February after starting slow at $9 million against $10 million sales in January. Inflows totalled $26 million in the second February against sales of $25 million.

But foreign inflows plunged significantly in March after coming in at $6,4 million to sales of $4,2 million, but have picked up slightly thus far this year to $9,6 million against $9,8 million sales.

The Industrials index closed the last quarter weaker at 158.22 this year compared to the same quarter of the prior year when Industrials closed at 176.32.