The BSE's flagship Domestic Companies Index (DCI) rose by 285.5 points between January 3 and 31, placing it among African stock exchanges to trend northwards in the first month of 2013.
The local bourse's performance, however, was outshined by that of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange which rose 20.3 percent placing it among the highest risers in the world. Over the same period, the Nigerian Stock Exchange was second highest on the continent at 13.87 percent, while the Nairobi Securities Exchange's gained 9.11 percent. By comparison, the Lusaka Stock Exchange dropped by 1.62 percent in January.
BSE data indicates the DCI's performance in January was powered by diversified group, Sefalana Holdings, which rose 12 percent largely on the back of solid interim results published in the New Year. Sefalana Holdings' profits climbed 67 percent to P34 million in the six months ended October 31, 2012 compared to the corresponding period in 2011.
Basic earnings per share were also up 61 percent, while further cheer to shareholders emerged from its plans to aggressively expand its growing Shoppers Supermarket chain.
Other counters to gain in January include Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) giant, Choppies, which rose 9.8 percent, Furnmart which gained 5.6 percent, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) at 5.4 percent and Barclays at 5.3 percent.
Of the top five gainers on the DCI in January, the first three were in the retail sector with the balance in the commercial banking category.
In January, the biggest losers on the DCI were RPC Data which shed 16.7 percent, Wilderness which lost 15.5 percent and BIHL at 1.2 percent.
Despite the losses, the strong market capitalisation of the biggest gainers, particularly FNBB, ensured that the local bourse powered to a positive start to the year. On the Foreign Companies Index (FCI), the biggest gainers in January were micro-lender Blue at 33.3 percent, the Bettabeta Exchange Traded Fund at 26.5 percent, Aviva at 21 percent, Botswana Diamonds at 12.5 percent and Lucara with 4.2 percent.
Losers for the period were lead by Firestone Diamonds which shed 65.9 percent, followed by African Copper with 24 percent, Discovery Metals with 19 percent and A-Cap with 9.1 percent.
The FCI shed 0.2 percent in January.