Deposit rates: The average deposit rates for one-month and three-month tenor deposits closed the week ending October 30 at 7,47% and 7,97%, respectively. Savings deposit rates, however, remained unchanged during the month of October 2015. Lending rates: The commercial banks weighted lending rates for individuals declined, closing the week under review at 10,98%. Weighted lending rates for corporate clients, however, increased marginally from 7,27% recorded in the previous week to 7,28%.
Clearing and settlement activity
During the week under review, the total value of transactions processed through the National Payment Systems (NPS), stood at US$1 247,21 million, up from US$1 102,88m registered in the prior week. Transactions processed through the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system increased by 15% to close at US$1 035,50m, from US$897,65m recorded during the previous week.
The RTGS payments accounted for 83,03% of the total value of transactions processed through the NPS, followed by mobile, 8,51%; ATM, 5,88%; point of sale (POS), 2,41% and cheque, 0,17%. Mobile-based transactions accounted for 89,58% of total transactions in volume terms; POS, 4,89%; ATMs, 4,74%; RTGS, 0,68%; and cheques, 0,11%.
International commodity price developments
The international commodity prices of gold, platinum, copper and crude oil retreated during the week. Nickel prices, however, recorded a 0,4% increase over the same period.
Gold prices declined by 0,8%, from a weekly average of US$1 170,63 per ounce in the previous week, to US$1 161,56/oz. The prospects of an interest rate hike in the US continues to dampen the precious metal’s appeal as an investment asset.
Likewise, prospects of an interest rate hike in the US, also dampened platinum prices. Against this background, platinum prices retreated by 1,5%, from US$1 008,40/oz to US$993/oz.
Copper prices declined by 0,9% to close at a weekly average of US$5 185/tonne. The decline was underpinned by falling Chinese equities and the recent downward revision of China’s 2015 growth forecast from 6,5% to 6,2%. In addition, subdued demand from the US, the second largest consumer of copper, also exerted downward pressure on the prices.
Nickel prices firmed by 0,4%, from a weekly average of US$10 415/t to US$10 458/t. The increase was attributable to the depletion of inventories of the base metal, following the decision by Russia’s Glencore to scale down production.
During the final week of October, improved investor interest in some mid-cap and heavyweight counters saw the stock market recover from previous trading sessions’ losses.
The industrial and mining indices increased from 130,56 points and 23,49 points in the previous week, to close the week at 130,83 points and 23,57 points, respectively.
The increase in the benchmark index was largely attributed to gains realised in Willdale (137,5%), Fidelity (16,32%), RTG (15,71%), NMBZ (12,5%), Padenga (10,78%), CFI (6,52%) and Dawn (5,99%). The gains in the mining index were largely supported by Bindura ’s share price which recovered by 0,78% from previous losses, owing to renewed investor confidence in the counter.
Market turnover and volumes
Positive trading activity on the local bourse saw the value of shares traded increase significantly, by 122,45% from US$2,04m to close the week at US$4,54m. The volume of shares traded also increased by 31,79% to 15 119 157
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange market capitalisation increased by 0,21% from US$3,41 billion to US$3,42bn. This was due to improved trading in some isolated pockets of mid-cap and heavyweight counters.