By ETimes

Econet Wireless, the country’s largest mobile phone operator, makes strides by becoming a new entrant in the latest African Financials Sub-Sahara Africa Top 30 companies, replacing Nigerian Breweries, a founding Top 30 member.

The report which excludes South Africa is an update as of March 2022 and covers the Top 30 companies in SSA by market capitalisation.

MTN Group topped the list with a market cap of US$24.5 billion and left its return on equity (ROE) at 12.9%. Safaricom came second with a market cap and ROE of US$11.89 billion and 52.9%.

Dangote Cement followed with a market cap of US$11.21 billion and a ROE of 37.4%.

MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa had a market cap of US$10.47 billion and US$6.89 respectively.

At number 29, new entrants Econet Wireless Zimbabwe had a market cap of US$916 million and ROE of 27.4%.

Notwithstanding the reasons behind the fall of Nigerian Breweries, Economist Yona Banda thinks “it is a fair reflection of the incredible rise of Econet since its inception.”

On Wednesday 20 April, Econet expectedly dominated the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) market turnover with 963 700 shares valued at ZWL$215.86 million as investors look for safety against the rising exchange rate volatility. The stock gained 2.85% to close at ZWL$224.00 with market cap of ZWL$580.28 billion and left its year to date gain at 163.53%. For the third quarter ending 30 November 2021, Econet’s data and voice traffic grew by 43% and 6% respectively.

Africa Oil completed the top 30 list with a market cap of US$846 million and a ROE of 15.1%.

The market capitalisation of the Top 30 companies for March 2022 was US$117 billion, up 0.1% in February.

Meanwhile, 10 of the 14 SSA’s (excluding South Africa’s) stock markets have positive US$ returns year to date, according to African Financials.

Zimbabwe takes the top spot among the 14 sub-SSA stock markets which have positive US$ returns year to date. The country had an YTD return of 22.1%.

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Analysts believe that there is an actual lack of investment options due to currency issues. This comes as there are few Zimbabwean dollar assets and exchange rate movements are forcing investors to dispose of their money quickly or put it on the ZSE as a way to hedge against inflation.

Report findings show that Zimbabwe followed by Nigeria at 9.4%, Tanzania at 6.5% and BRVM Côte d’Ivoire came in at 6.1% – Harare

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