Property counters buoy stock market

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The mood on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) was buoyant in the opening week of the year, driven by the property counters that recorded the highest movements.

Analysts attributed the rise in property stocks to their relatively attractive dividend yields, as compared to other counters on the main board during the week ended January 9. Property counters Letlole and Primetime dominated the domestic front as they gained 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent trading at their new 12-month highs of 220 thebe and 265 thebe respectively.

 On the other hand Turnstar notched up by half a percent, reaching a 52-week high of 209 thebe.

On the banking space, Barclays gathered steam, pocketing 1.4 percent as investors feel the retail bank has been oversold for their disappointing half year results though it’s price to earnings rations remain one of the highest within the industry.

Sefalana was unfazed by its full-year results where revenues were almost flat year-on-year as it kept its rally, on expectations of increased profitability following the acquisition of 12 stores in Namibia and remunerative tenders.

Meanwhile, Chobe advanced by 0.5 percent as well as trading at 429 thebe, its 12-month high. Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) and Stanchart edged up by 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent trading at 1,155 thebe and 1,258 thebe respectively.

However, a research analyst at Motswedi Securities, Tlotlo Ramalepa said they did not expect robust growth from the property space given that there had been an increase in office space, which led to some openings within some of the old malls.

He also noted that there was increased competition from the retail sector due to the emergence of new malls within Gaborone, which could hinder upward adjustments of rental incomes. “2014 was a good year for the market as value traded was relatively high, though did not break the record set in 2013 in which we saw the highest turnover since the inception of the BSE,” he said.

The top gainers for the year 2014 were Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited, African Banking Corporation Holdings (ABCH) and Chobe Holdings Limited, among others.

Ramalepa also enthused that it should be an interesting 2015, noting that some of the counters had made huge expansions and that investors would be keen to find out how the growth would ultimately develop into earnings. About 15.7 million shares worth of P83 million exchanged hands since the beginning of the year.

Letshego Financial Services continue to dominate the trades; leading by 54.6 percent while Sefalana traded 38.8 percent of the total volumes.

The Domestic Company Index (DCI) looked set to maintain its upward momentum as it accumulated 16 basis points, while the Foreign Company Index (FCI) seemed not to budge out of the negative territory as it gave up 13 basis points.

On the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Bettabeta soared by 2.6 percent trading at 3,955 thebe per unit, while Newgold also surged, by 3.2 percent to trade at 11,160 thebe per unit.

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