However, both Barclays and RioZim have started recording gains, with RioZim putting on 20% to 50c. A total 2, 43 million shares worth close to US$700 000 were recorded as foreign sales. Foreign investor sentiment in the counter has been weak over the company’s failure to raise capital to pay off high bank borrowings. Towards the end of last year, shareholders rejected proposals for a rights issue and a debt-to-equity swap with the banks.
Barclays is now up more than 7%. As the only fully-listed foreign bank on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, Barclays has borne the brunt of indigenisation-induced selling pressure. Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere has in the past targeted Barclays over its strict lending policy, accusing the institution of attempting to sabotage the economy.
Both RioZim and Barclays are nonetheless recovery stocks after having hit record lows. A recovery stock is a stock that has fallen in price but is believed to have the ability to recover.
Other recovery stocks include Meikles, African Sun and Afre. Meikles is looking at ways to return to profitability as it seeks ways to deal with its US$62 million debt. African Sun is currently trading in the green after disposing of its non-core assets, having carried out staff rationalisation and exiting from unprofitable regional ventures.
Overall the stock market is trading slightly firm, with foreign investors slowly trickling in. However, sentiment is still cautious, mainly weighed down by the political uncertainty surrounding possible elections this year.
The Industrials Index was up 3,5% at Feb 13 while Minings have recovered 14,2%. Turnover in the period to February 13, totalled US$20, 9 million. Foreign purchases were at US$6, 42 million. The biggest contributor to the turnover was Afre’s special bargain of 42, 8 million shares worth US$7,8 million on Monday. The block deal went through at 18,42cents, representing a 514% premium to the current trading price. Afre has only managed a high of 13c since dollarisation.