By ETimes

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange gained significantly on Thursday on heavyweight surge. This comes as the unwelcome return of food price pressures has put policymakers and investors on high alert, worried what it means for inflation more broadly as the economy faces risk of new waves in the absence of herd immunity.

In the past few days, the market was characterised by the surge in prices of goods and services. Telecommunication firms NetOne and Econet have increased the cost of their data bundles citing rising operating costs. Struggling telecoms firm Telecel is expected to follow suit.

ZUPCO hiked fares for buses and kombis by 25%.

Any price increase on cost drivers like utilities, rates, fuel has a direct negative impact of fueling price hikes on basics and non-basic commodities.  The most discerning part is the continued decimation of incomes as the forex parallel market rates run.

At close of trades, turnover stood at ZWL$160.74 million with 4.19 million shares traded.  In value terms, the conglomerate Innscor share was the highest at ZWL$47.81 million, with the share gaining 7.86% to close at 20,493.36 cents.

On the indices, gains in BAT, Hippo, Meikles and Delta saw the All Share Index gain 6.88% to close at 12,312.57pts. The Top 10 index gained 9.28% to close at 7,827.02pts, reflecting the surging performance in several big caps.

Cigarette manufacturer BAT led the top gainers with a 20% rise to close at 275,098.88 cents, leaving its YTD at 400.18%. Hippo climbed 15.25% to close at 31,600.00 cents leaving its market cap at ZWL$60.99 billion. Meikles added 14.17% to 18,669.00 cents while beverage maker Delta rose 12.28% to 17,810.11 cents.

The Medium Cap Index advanced 1.53% to 23,237.68pts on seed maker SeedCo which gained 16.73% to 14,262.74 cents.

Insurance group Zimre Holdings, which doubled its premiums to ZWL$2.38 billion in HY21, gained 1.75% to settle at 399.93 cents. ZHL is in the process of significant restructuring that includes integration and reorganisation of Fidelity Life Assurance to ensure that the business is focused on core business, business acquisition and innovation and reorganisation of the regional reinsurance operations that will positively impact their competitive capital. Also the reconfiguration of business units to anchor and propel wealth management activities. But it did not declare a dividend.

Farming implements manufacturer Zimplow, which is trading under cautionary, led the top fallers with a 14.48% loss to close at 2,122.79 cents. Axia followed, slumping 6.30% to 4,216.66 cents. Analysts say the depreciation of local currencies in Zambia and Malawi remains a cause for concern as they negatively impact the net assets of the consolidated business.

Construction firm Masimba was 2.42% lower to 5,366.66 cents. Hotelier African Sun fell 1.64% to 1,000.00 cents. StarAfrica, which is currently trading under caution, was down 1.27% to 158.58 cents and completed the top five losers set.

The Small Cap Index retreated 4.61% to 325,699.73pts – Harare

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