Staff Writer

Share prices on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange took a breather on Thursday after Wednesday’s strong run amid illegal forex dealings and parallel market price benchmarking conundrum in the economy.

In a televised State of the Nation Address, President Emmerson Mnangagwa the financial sector is stable with the foreign currency auction performing well and accessed by both large and small to medium size businesses. “Going forward my government will ensure that the platform is adequately resourced and that the relevant authorities enhance efficiencies within the system.”

While the coming in of foreign currency auction system managed to ease the situation a bit, it is reportedly that it takes at least a month for successful bidders to receive their allocations.  Backlog of foreign currency allocation in the auction system has resulted in spiraling of the parallel market rate as companies buy currency at the alternative market to minimise disruptions. On the parallel market, one US dollar can sell for ZWL$180.

President Mnangagwa said this year’s projections indicate an over 7.8% economic growth. “The higher predictions are premised on the good 2020/21 agriculture season; firm international mineral commodity prices, stable inflation and exchange rate as well as the containment of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Reviewing Thursday’s index performance, gains in the big three: NatFoods, Simbisa and OK Zimbabwe saw the All Share Index rising 1.30% to 9,298.45pts. In the same vein, the Top 10 Index gained 1.53% to 5,510.05pts. NatFoods added 10.42% to 132,500.00c. Simbisa was up 6.65% to 7,377.87c while retail giant OK Zimbabwe gained 5.70% to 2,106.78c.

Unifreight, which announced the holding of its 51st Annual General Meeting towards the end of this month, led the risers gaining 16.63% to 3,499.00c. Shareholders are poised to approve the final dividend of 42.26ZW cents per share as proposed by the Directors and among other issues.

Afdis was 5.56% higher to 9,500.00c. As a result the Medium Cap Index advanced 0.99% to 20,513.57pts.

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ZHL appeared on the fallers table after losing 4.51% to 359.18c.

The Small Cap Index recovered 0.54% to 259,935.30pts.

Fidelity Life suffered the biggest drop at 11.01% to close at 800.00c. Medtech followed, slumping 8.18% to 23.33c. Media group Zimpapers eased 3.22% to 300.00c and completed the top five losers set.

Nickel miner Bindura fell 9.72% to 514.50c. Turnover stood at ZWL$248.34 million after 5.41 million shares traded.-HARARE

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