High rates subdue equities market in Q1

Paul Nyakazeya


HIGH interest rates, which this year depressed activity on alternative markets, have hurt volumes on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) during the first quarter of the year, figured obtained by businessdigest this week indicated.

A total of 1

,74 billion shares changed hands on the ZSE during the first quarter of the year, 626 650 721 less than the 2,37 billion traded during the same period last year.

A total of 1 747 002 275 shares changed hands between January and March this year, figures provided by the bourse showed.

During the same period last year, 2 373 652 996 shares were traded on the stock market.

However, in terms of value, the number of shares traded during the first quarter amounted to $9,4 trillion, much higher than $824 billion for the shares traded during the comparable period last year.

Patrick Saziwa, an analyst with Kingdom Stockbrokers, told businessdigest that the high interest rates had dampened activity on the stock market, which experienced a massive rally last year because of interest rates that were far below inflation levels.

Another stock market analyst said more shares were traded last year compared to this year because of weak money market interest rates that prevailed.

“The growth was underpinned by weak money market interest rates, an unstable currency and a hyperinflationary environment,” the analyst said.

The stock market opened the year on a high note but slowed down as the year progressed after the central bank unexpectedly hiked interest rates, forcing investors to shift funds from the stock market.

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