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15 Worst Performing Currencies of 2023 – Yahoo Finance

In this article, we discuss the 15 worst performing currencies of 2023. If you want to read about some more worst performing currencies, go directly to 5 Worst Performing Currencies of 2023

A rise in interest rates by the Federal Reserve in the United States was expected to push the US dollar, the official currency in the country and the most popular globally, lower this year. However, robust economic data from the US, as well as a slowdown in major economies around the globe, has fueled rebound growth in the US dollar. This growth has also pressured the economics of prominent world powers, like China and Japan, who have been forced to resort to stimulus measures aimed at shoring up their local currencies. 

Prominent financial stocks in the US like Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) have all jumped in value due to the prevailing economic conditions. Per data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the net short bets on the dollar shrank to $7.17 billion in early September, from $21.28 billion in late July. The July figure was a two-year high. Market experts, like Vassili Serebriakov, a foreign exchange and macro strategist at investment bank UBS, believe the data highlights the strength of the US economy against the rest of the world. 

The strength of the US dollar can be viewed in context of the challenging economic conditions in China and loose monetary policy in other developing countries. Surging global prices for energy and food are also contributing to this strength in the dollar as other currencies go on a downward spiral. Japanese and Chinese authorities, as well as governments around the world, are stepping up regulations on foreign exchange markets to stop the rut. Edward Moya, a senior market analyst with OANDA and a veteran global currency strategist, believes that actions need to follow statements from fiscal chiefs. 

Per Moya, the markets are not convinced of Japanese attempts to deal with currency rates and that attempts to limit the liquidity of the yuan are likely not to overcome the pressure a weakening economy has placed on the currency. The strength of the US dollar can be measured by the US dollar index, which measures the performance of the USD against a basket of global currencies. In the past four weeks, this index is up by nearly 3%, to the highest levels seen since March. The past week has been especially kind on the index as it registered a jump of nearly 2% in a few days. 

The strength of the dollar has hit currencies in developing nations. Coupled with rising inflation, inaction on parts of central banks, and trade deficit numbers, several currencies have nose-dived in value over the past few months. Government in these nations, like Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Syria, have all been forced to look to international lenders like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for dollar inflows to stabilize the worsening economic conditions. Whether these bailouts are effective in the face of loose monetary policies is still up for debate.

Our Methodology

In this article, we will list the 15 worst performing currencies of 2023. The ranking is calculated by calculating the percentage decrease in value of the currencies in terms of the US dollar value. The currencies in which the percentage decrease in value in terms of the US dollar are the highest are considered the worst performing. Data for this purpose has been taken from foreign exchange company XE. An initial data set comprising the 50 worst currencies with the highest value against the US dollar on January 2, 2023 was used. The percentage decrease was calculated by comparing this value against the worth of the currency against the US dollar on September 15, 2023. Digital coins were excluded from the list. 

15 Worst Performing Currencies of 202315 Worst Performing Currencies of 2023

15 Worst Performing Currencies of 2023

Pixabay/Public Domain

Worst Performing Currencies of 2023

15. Zambian Kwacha

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 18 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 20

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 11%

The Kwacha is the currency of Zambia, a country in Africa that borders Zimbabwe. The country used the British pound as the legal tender till 1964 before shifting to Kwacha. The Kwacha has taken a hit against the US dollar in recent months as private sector spending contracts, inflation hits record highs, and the central bank of the country raises interest rates to around 10% to combat rising prices. The Zambian currency is subject to uncertainty due to debt restructuring and dwindling copper production. 

Top firms like Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) have all warned investors of the unstable economic situation in Zambia. 

14. South African Rand

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 17 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 19

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 11%

South African Rand is the official currency of South Africa. One of the reasons for the bad performance of the Rand this year has been the interest rate hikes in the US that have had a net negative impact on emerging economies. Another important factor has been Chinese influence in the country. China is the biggest trading partner of South Africa and reports of a slowdown in the Chinese economy have hit the currency throughout the year, although fresh stimulus measures from Beijing have provided some monetary relief in recent weeks. 

13. Rwandan Franc

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 1070 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 1207

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 12.8%

Rwandan Franc is the official currency of Rwanda, a country in Africa that borders Uganda. Stubborn inflation has forced the central bank in the country to raise key interest rates this year, resulting in a downward spiral with regards to the currency. Despite the rate increases, inflation numbers in the country continue to make headlines. In August 2023, the annual inflation rate in Rwanda increased to 17.4%, up from 17.3% in July. 

12. Lao Kip

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 17279 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 19949

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 15%

Lao Kip is the legal tender in Laos, a Southeast Asian country bordered by Myanmar and China. Kip has been the official currency in the country since 1955. A spike in commodity prices and a tightening of global financial conditions have resulted in Kip losing value against the US dollar this year. The proximity to China and the impact of a slowing Chinese economy have also made it harder for the Kip to gain in value. External liquidity pressures, a widening circular debt, and large external debt repayments all continue to haunt the currency. 

11. Sierra Leonean Leone

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 18854 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 22457

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 19%

Sierra Leonean Leone is the official currency of Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa that borders Guinea. High energy and food prices, partly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have forced the poor African country to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loan programs. Foreign exchange reserves of the country are also dwindling, forcing further pressure on the local currency. This situation is expected to continue in the coming months and the country remains at risk of debt distress. 

10. Congolese Franc

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 2036 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 2466

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 21%

Congolese Franc is the official currency of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The currency has depreciated against the US dollar this year as the government amps up spending to fight the M23 rebel group. Salary arrears payments and rising inflation have contributed to this decline as well. The economy of the country is reliant on imports and this has also increased economic instability. Per the World Bank, the country is one of the poorest in the world, with about two-thirds of the population of 100 million living on less than $2.10 a day. 

9. Egyptian Pound

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 24 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 30

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 25%

The Egyptian Pound is the official currency of Egypt, the 14th-most populated country in the world, and the third-most populated in Africa. The annual urban inflation rates in the country have skyrocketed in recent months, touching 37.4% in August this year, up from 36.5% in the previous month. These figures remain significantly above the target range of the central bank and market expectations. In a country where a disproportionately large number of inhabitants live in urban areas, this inflation, coupled with macro pressures and a shortage of foreign currency, has resulted in a strong depreciation of the currency. 

8. Pakistani Rupee

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 226 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 296

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 31%

Pakistani Rupee is the official currency of Pakistan, a South Asian country that borders India and China. Persistent inflation, an import economy, and a large circular debt crisis are some of the reasons why the Rupee has faced strong headwinds in recent months. A debt restructuring plan by the government, which included going to the IMF for help, has also been on the radar of investors who want to put money into the Pakistani economy. The Rupee has been gaining against the US dollar in recent weeks but it is not clear whether these gains will translate to meaningful stability in the economic domain. 

7. Russian Ruble

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 71 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 96

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 35%

Russian Ruble is the official currency of Russia, the largest country in the world that has a huge geopolitical influence on Europe and Asia. The Russian invasion of Ukraine last year forced Western countries to impose tough sanctions on Russian imports. These sanctions even had an impact on top Russian exports such as energy and food, driving up global inflation numbers and contributing to a freefall in the value of the Ruble against the US dollar. These pressures remain intact this year, as Moscow deals with internal rebellions over the war. 

6. Burundian Franc

Price Against 1 USD on January 2, 2023: 2070 

Price Against 1 USD on September 15, 2023: 2832

Percentage Decline in Price in 2023: 36%

Burundian Franc is the official currency of Burundi, a country in Africa that borders Rwanda. Burgeoning government debt, persistent inflation, and rising food prices have all contributed to a decline in the value of the local currency against the US dollar this year. Governmental policies to tackle economic instability, which include the issuing of new 5,000 and 10,000 Burundian franc banknotes, have not been met with the expected reaction, as shortages lead to mass protests and increased economic skepticism. 

Top firms like Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) have all warned investors of the unstable economic situation in Burundi. 

Click to continue reading and see 5 Worst Performing Currencies of 2023.

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Disclosure. None. 15 Worst Performing Currencies of 2023 is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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All set for Quiz finals after dramatic group stage battles – The Herald

Malvern Nkomo

Herald Reporter

Four schools have made it to the finals of the 2023 Capital Markets High Schools Quiz competition to be hosted this Friday by our sister publication Business Weekly in partnership with UK-based Financial Markets Indaba.

These schools include: Errymaple International School which won in Pool A, Marist Nyanga High School from Pool B, Midlands Christian College which won in Pool C and Cygnet Private College from Pool D.

The schools, which battled it out on Thursday and Friday last week will now have to compete to be champions in the final quiz competitions at the Management Training Bureau in Harare.

Representing Errymaple International School, Team Captain Calvin Makanza, said, “Participating in the quiz was a bit tough but also felt great considering that there were four teams battling for first place.”

He also said being part of the competition requires one to be tactical in terms of speed and accuracy.

“The lessons I have learnt from participating is that we need to advance our knowledge and be well prepared.

“Now that we have made it to the finals we now have the duty to polish up the areas we were struggling with so that we emerge the winners of the overall quiz competition,” said Makanza.

Errymaple International School is based in Zvishavane, the Midlands Province in Zimbabwe.

Learner, Emmanuel Chidzimba representing Marist Nyanga, said: “It feels really great to be part of the quiz. We started on a low note but we still managed to recover and we managed to win.

“The goal now that we have secured our place in the finals we have to keep on moving forward and keep the concentration for us to be crowned the champions.

“This is our first time participating, last year we did not know that these competitions existed,” said Chidzimba.

“As a commercials student, this competition helps me in my studies and subjects like Economics and Accounting. One of my ambitions is to become part of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange that is why I am majoring in these commercial subjects.

“I am glad these competitions are educational because it is not always about competition but it is about what you are going to learn and the experiences that you acquire.

“The pressure now is a bit low but we still have the finals ahead of us and we need to prepare ourselves,” he said.

Midlands Christian College team captain, Tashinga Denga said; “Being the winner of pool C feels quite great. Some of my team members were quite anxious but at the end of the day we pushed through and hopefully, we will do the same thing when we come back for the finals.”

Anesuishe Sasa from Cygnet Private College said; “It is a privilege for me and my colleagues to have won in this round and the lesson we derived from participating is that it is never too late to do the right thing. So winning this competition gives us hope and we now have to prepare for the finals so that we become the ultimate winners.”

Headline sponsor Old Mutual said; “Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG) is delighted to sponsor this year’s Capital Markets High Schools Quiz as the headline sponsor. The Quiz, which Financial Markets Indaba hosts in partnership with Business Weekly, provides a vital platform to motivate, inspire, encourage, and reward High School students in their quest for knowledge and give them the opportunity to celebrate their achievement as part of a high profile, national competition.

“Old Mutual views the quiz as an essential platform to educate high school students and the entire nation on the critical role played by capital markets in fostering a savings culture among the general populace, which savings will contribute towards economic development. Old Mutual runs an extensive financial education programme, and this sponsorship enhances our reach, particularly to high school students.

“Our view is that every individual ought to have some level of appreciation or understanding of financial products offered in Zimbabwe. This is to ensure that every investment or savings decision is informed, with clarity on the financial benefits to be derived and the amount of risk inherent in those products,” said Old Mutual.

“At Old Mutual, we are passionate about financial education and participation by all categories of investors in financial and capital market activities, hence our sponsorship of this year’s event. As a key player in the financial and capital markets, we offer a wide range of affordable investment products for a range of investors. Our product suite enables investors to choose products that best suit their investment objectives, risk appetite and investment horizon,” it said.

Olivine Industries through their Buttercup brand was also the headline sponsor of the 2023 quiz competition.

POSB public relations manager, David Makacha said; “As POSB we are proud to be part of the Capital Markets High School Quiz initiative which seeks to educate and empower the next generation of investors and entrepreneurs. The Bank is committed to providing affordable and accessible banking solutions to all Zimbabweans, especially the youths to promote financial inclusivity.

“We are delighted to sponsor the Capital Markets High School Quiz Competition, which aligns well with our vision of creating a financially inclusive society. We believe that this competition will inspire and equip young people with the necessary financial literacy and skills to participate in the capital markets and create self-jobs when they leave school,” he said.

Other sponsors of the quiz include Milano Office Chairs, Glass Creations, Tika Shoes, Tigere Property Fund, AFC Holdings, Chicken Inn, C-Trade, Management Training Bureau and National Foods through their Nutri Active brand.

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First Mutual : Unaudited HY Results -September 25, 2023 at 02:51 … –


During the first half of the year macroeconomic developments continued to be negatively impacted by price and exchange rate volatility, particularly in Q2 2023. Significant policy interventions were implemented by Government towards the end of the period aimed at stabilising the Zimbabwe dollar and reducing inflationary pressures. However, the impact of these measures is likely to be fully felt post June 2023. Blended annual inflation had increased to 175.8% as at June 2023 compared to 101.5% in January 2023 and the ZWL also lost its value as the official exchange rate advanced from USD1:ZWL669 to USD1:ZWL5,739 by the end of the period. The Government revised its GDP growth estimates for 2023 from 3.8% to 5.3% on the back of better than anticipated agricultural output from tobacco. Moreover, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe expected the blended annual inflation to close the year at between 60%-70% from an initial estimate of between 10%-30%. The ratio of USD to ZWL bank deposits rose to 80%:20% in the first half of 2023 compared to a ratio of 64%:36% last year.

As the local economy increasingly dollarised, FMHL continued to expand its USD based product portfolio to maintain product relevance. In addition, the Group maintained its stance of diversifying its pool of investment assets with a skew towards real assets to minimise the impact of the volatility i in the macro-economic environment. Save for the VFEX listed equities, there was a positive real return on the remaining components of the investment portfolio, including ZSE listed shares, investment property and alternative investments.


During 2022, the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) instituted a forensic investigation on First Mutual Life Assurance Company (FML), a subsidiary of FMHL. The forensic investigation related to the separation of assets between the policyholders and shareholder during the period 1 February 2009 and 31 December 2021. The investigation formally commenced on 26 August 2022 following the appointment of BDO Zimbabwe to conduct the exercise. On 10 May 2023, FML received a copy of the forensic investigation report from IPEC. At the direction of IPEC, FML submitted its response to the forensic investigation report to the Ministry of Finance on 8 June 2023.

As at the date of issuing these results, the half year audit review of the Group interim financial statements is incomplete pending the finalisation of the forensic investigation and, consequently, the Group will not be in a position to publish audit reviewed financial statements in line with the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listings requirements and approved timelines. In the interim, the board of directors, in consultation with the ZSE, has decided to publish the financial information in the form of a preliminary report.


The International Financial Reporting Standard IFRS17 – Insurance Contracts (IFRS 17) was issued by the International Reporting Standards Board in May 2017. This standard replaced IFRS 4 on accounting for insurance contracts effective 1 January 2023. IFRS 17 requires a company to measure insurance contracts using updated estimates and assumptions that reflect the timing of cash flows and any uncertainty relating to insurance contracts. This requirement will provide more transparent reporting on the financial position and risk of insurance entities. The Group financial highlights and performance have been analysed in line with the requirements of this new standard.


In October 2019 the Public Accountants and Auditors Board concluded that the conditions for applying International Accounting Standard IAS 29 – Financial Reporting in Hyperinflation Economies had been met in Zimbabwe. The historical cost financial results have been restated to consider changes in the purchasing power of the local currency during the year. Effective February 2023, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency ( ZimStat) ceased the publication of the ZWL Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) and replaced them with the weighted average consumer price index also known as blended indices in line with the Statutory Instrument 27 of 2023 which requires the inflation rate to be calculated as the weighted average of the ZWL and USD rates. This created challenges for financial reporting purposes as the weighted average consumer price index does not comply with the International Accounting Standard (IAS) 29 which requires the use of a General Price Index (GPI) of the hyperinflationary currency (ZWL) as a basis of restatement. FMHL has continued to apply IAS 29 for the half-year ended 30 June 2023 with the CPI estimated using the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) movement. The inflation adjusted financial results therefore represent the main financial statements with historical cost financials provided as supplementary information:


Inflation adjusted

Historical cost







Insurance contract revenue





Insurance service result





Rental income





Net Investment return





Profit/(loss) after tax





Financial position and Cashflow highlights

Inflation adjusted

Historical cost







Total assets


606,413,469 1,341,292,649 193,725,861

Total equity





Investment contract liabilities

without DPF





Share performance

Inflation adjusted

Historical cost



Market price per share (ZWL)





Basic earnings per share (ZWL)





Headline earnings per share (ZWL)







Insurance contract revenue

During the period under review, Insurance Contract Revenue (ICR) at $199.5 billion, grew by 105% compared to prior year (a growth of 750% to $106.4 billion compared to the prior year in historical cost terms). The growth in comparison to the same period last year was largely driven by the continued revaluation of ZWL insurance policy values to ensure adequate cover for clients as well as a migration of more policies to the USD for value restoration in case of the occurrence of an insured event. The proportion of the USD business being written by the Group constituted 74% of the total ICR at USD 45.8 million.

Insurance service result

The Insurance service result declined by 65% to $11.2 billion compared to the prior year (1,379% to a negative insurance service result of $37.1 billion compared to prior year negative result of $2.9 billion in historical cost terms). The deterioration was as a result of increases in direct insurance expenses despite the growth in ICR as well as significant foreign denominated business written mostly in Q1 2023 and translated to ZWL at a lower exchange rate against the claims expenses that were settled at a higher exchange rate during the course of the period as the ZWL rapidly depreciated. The underlying pure USD business was profitable.

Rental income and Investment return

During the period under review, rental income grew by 117% to $7.9 billion compared to the prior year (658% growth to $3.7 billion compared to the prior year in historical cost terms). The growth arose from a combination of factors which included a migration to the USD denominated leases as well as inflation driven adjustments on ZWL rentals. The occupancy levels stood at 88.10% compared to prior year of 89.99% and the average rental/square metre was $4.02/ square metre compared to prior year of $3.3/ square metre. The overall Group net investment returns amounted to $109.3 billion ($159.3 billion in historical cost terms) that was 1,701% above prior year. The positive investment outturn was mainly due to fair value gains on the ZSE and the ZWL depreciating at a faster rate than the USD fair value losses on the VFEX.

Profit for the period

The Group achieved a profit for the period of $386.4 billion which represented a 19,409% increase relative to the prior year (a growth of 1,330% to $486.7 billion compared to the prior year in historical cost terms). The increase is attributable to the increases rental income, net fair value gains in investment properties and listed equities.


The Group’s total assets grew by 125% to $1.4 trillion in inflation adjusted terms and 591% to $1.3 trillion in historical cost terms compared to 31 December 2022. The growth in both inflation adjusted and historical cost terms was mainly driven by positive fair value adjustments on investment properties and the impact of the depreciation of the ZWL on USD denominated current assets including balances with banks, insurance contract assets.

In recent periods, the investment properties have witnessed significant growth in Zimbabwe dollar values and this was the case for the period under review. The ZWL continued to decline in comparison to the USD for the period under review, which had an impact in the forward- looking information utilised in the valuations by property experts, hence the net fair value gains of $510.3 billion in inflation adjusted terms and $746.6 billion in historical cost terms. The total investment property value grew by 147% compared to last year in inflation adjusted terms and 670% in historical cost terms.


The Group has prioritised the sustainability agenda not only from a risk management perspective but also considering the various aspects in Group operations that include value creation and maximisation, potential growth and compliance with reporting requirements as well as fulfilling the good corporate citizenry mandate as a governance tool. The Group’s objective to create sustainable economic value is a pillar of our corporate strategy and core values.

In order to achieve the above, the Group makes an allowance for environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) aspects in its strategy. FMHL has also laid out processes to ensure that the impact of sustainability is not only limited to core operations but also stretches to other areas of the business.


First Mutual continues to actively support the communities in which we operate including the ongoing provision of educational support through the First Mutual Foundation to deserving students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This includes tuition fees, stationery, laptops, uniforms and other ancillary support as necessary. The recipients are spread across primary and secondary schools as well local universities.

As part of expanding the tertiary bursary programme, FMHL partnered with Africa University and established the First Mutual Scholarship Fund, which supports an additional 6 students under this initiative which is cognisant of the Group’s diversity policy and incorporates students with vulnerabilities.

Additional community support was implemented through donations to charitable causes as well sponsorship of industry bodies as the Group believes that this is an integral part of thought leadership and capacitating industry to ensure a vibrant and sustainable business environment.


The strategic assumptions for the outturn of the economic environment have remained largely unchanged however policy fluidity may lead to temporary negative outcomes during the realignment period. With that background, the various business units within the Group will deploy their strategies accordingly and adjust as appropriate to new policy measures but maintaining the aim to achieve sustainable real growth into the future. FMHL will continue to pursue value enhancing initiatives such as investments in real assets to preserve and grow the net assets of the Group.


There were no changes to the directorate during the period under review.


On 13 September 2023 the Board resolved that an interim dividend of 0.068 US cents per share amounting to USD500,000 be declared from the profits of the Company for the half year ended 30 June 2023. Further details on the payment of the dividend will be communicated in a separate dividend announcement.


On behalf of the FMHL Board, I would like to thank our clients and stakeholders for their continued support. I also extend my appreciation and gratitude to FMHL employees and management for their commitment to serve our clients and ensuring that the Group continues to adapt to operate sustainably in a challenging environment. I would also like to extend my gratitude to my fellow board members for their continued support, including their valuable contributions, insight and guidance to management as we pursue the realisation of the Group’s strategy.

Amos Manzai


13 September 2023


The operating environment continued to be volatile with high inflation and a depreciating local currency during the review period. The country experienced significant Zimbabwe dollar exchange rate depreciation between May and June 2023 driven by both demand and supply factors. The demand factors mainly reflected elevated demand for foreign currency for purposes of value preservation. The effect of the high demand for foreign currency on the economy was coupled with the sudden decline in the demand for local currency. The measures instituted by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), which included further liberalisation of the exchange rate, tighter monetary policy and the introduction of gold-backed digital tokens bore fruit as evidenced by the recovery of the ZWL and relatively stable exchange rate. As at 30 June 2023, the exchange rate stood at USD1:ZWL5,739 compared to USD1:ZWL4,516 at 31 July 2023. The blended month-on-month inflation moved in sympathy with exchange rate with a steep increase from 15.7% in May 2023 to 74.5% in June 2023 followed by a significant reversal in July 2023 to minus 15.3%. Similarly, the blended annual inflation, which had risen from 86.5% in May 2023 to 175.8% in June 2023, fell to 101.3% in July 2023.

During the first half of the year 2023 the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) registered nominal gains which tended to track money supply dynamics rather than fundamental corporate performance. The ZSE registered a return of 779.3% which was behind both official and alternative market exchange rate movements for H1 2023. The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) All Share Index was characterized by bearish sentiments during the period and declined by 23.1% in the first 6 months of the year.

This was despite its market capitalization rising due to new listings on the bourse.

The Botswana economy continues to be stable despite the BWP weakening against the USD. In Mozambique, the economy has maintained signs of growth as evidenced by a stable exchange rate and declining inflation.


The commentary below relates to the unconsolidated performance of each business unit in both inflation adjusted and historical cost terms for the period ended 30 June 2023. All the figures are in ZWL except where another currency is indicated.


First Mutual Life Assurance Company (Private) Limited

Insurance contract revenue (“ICR”) for the period amounted to $15.7 billion in inflation adjusted terms which was 343% above the prior year $0.7 billion in historical terms representing a growth of 1,457% against the prior year). The year-on-year growth in the ICR was driven by the regular revisions in sums assured with the objective of retaining the value of policyholder benefits. Growth in premiums from the retail segment was largely due to significant growth in USD denominated premiums on the Eternal Life Plan and E-FML Gold Funeral products. In the corporate segment, growth in premiums was attributable to growth in the Group Life Assurance portfolio arising from new business and organic growth. The organic growth stemmed from the effect of employee salary increases, as employers sought to attain the target financial security benefits of this product.

The business achieved a profit for the period of $103.8 billion in inflation adjusted terms that reflected a growth of 202% compared to the prior year and a 1,257% growth in historical cost terms to $132.8 billion. The profit after tax growth was driven by increases in premiums as noted above and net investment returns (investment property and quoted and unquoted equities).

First Mutual Health Company (Private) Limited

For the period ended 30 June 2023, the business achieved an ICR of $82.1 billion which represented a growth of 117% compared to prior year in inflation adjusted terms (in historical cost terms the ICR grew by 714% to $40.3 billion). The growth in both inflation adjusted and historical cost terms was largely driven by the regular exchange rate linked reviews to premiums in response to increased medical benefit costs in order to cushion members from the negative impact of shortfalls driven by price increases effected by medical service providers. There were also modest adjustments of USD premiums on account of rises in USD costs of medical benefits by service providers. There was a gradual growth in pure USD medical policies as members are migrating to a more stable product.

The unit generated a profit for the period ended 30 June 2023 amounting to $33.1 billion in inflation adjusted terms representing a growth of 1,410% against prior year. In historical cost terms, the profit for the period amounted to $41.8 billion, 2,319% higher than the prior year. The positive outturn arose from significant fair value gains on the equity portfolio and a positive operating result.

The business continues to roll-out medical services facilities (clinics, pharmacies, dental and optometry services) as a long-term strategic priority. Our objective in this space is to complement government efforts to provide greater access to Zimbabweans to quality healthcare at affordable prices.


NicozDiamond Insurance Limited

The ICR grew by 35% to $44.1 billion in inflation adjusted terms and 465% to $23.2 billion in historical cost terms. The revenue increase was primarily a function of increased migrations to USD denominated policies, organic growth as well as the continued review of statutory covers in line with exchange rate linked reviews.

The business recorded a profit for the period ended 30 June 2023 in inflation adjusted terms of $49.6 billion which represented a growth of 78% against the prior year. The historical cost terms profit for the period amounted to $23.9 billion a 3,003% rise above the prior year. The improved performance was mainly driven by a notable growth in the ICR as well as growth in net fair value gains in equities and investment properties.

Diamond Seguros – Mozambique

Diamond Seguros recorded an ICR of $4.2 billion which was 133% above the prior year in inflation adjusted terms (55% growth to $0.6 billion in historical cost terms). The growth was mainly driven by continued improvements in broker business reflecting increasing market confidence. In Mozambican Metical (MZN) terms, an ICR growth of 57% to MZN99.9 million was recorded compared to prior year.


FMRE Property and Casualty (Proprietary) Limited – Botswana

The ICR for the period went up by 169% to $40.4 billion in inflation adjusted terms and 977% to $22.6 billion in historical cost terms. In Botswana Pula (BWP), the year-on-year growth was 16% at BWP134.4 million compared to BWP116.3 million in the prior year. The double-digit growth was partly attributable to improved local and international treaty participation and growth of specialist lines of business under the casualty segment. The BWP stood at USD1:BWP12.9 to the USD at the beginning of the year, closing at USD1: BWP13.5 as at 30 June 2023, shedding almost 5% of its total value against the USD. However, this movement in the exchange rate was lower than the growth in the ICR in both BWP and ZWL terms.

First Mutual Reinsurance Company Limited – Zimbabwe

The business recorded an increase of 447% to $20.4 billion in the ICR in inflation adjusted terms and 1,936% to $11.1 billion in historical cost terms for the period ended 30 June 2023. The increase in ICR was attributed to the significant increases in demand for USD policies by clients, which consequently led to more business for reinsurers as there was limited USD underwriting capacity at local direct insurers.

The business achieved an inflation adjusted profit for the period of $28.2 million, 727% above the profit for the same period in prior year and $34.5 million which represented a growth of 6,225% in historical cost terms. The growth in profit was driven by increases in ICR and exchange gains.


First Mutual Properties Limited

Rental income for the period ended 30 June 2023 grew by 121% to $7.9 billion in inflation adjusted terms and 668% to $3.6 billion in historical cost terms. The growth compared to prior year is largely attributed to the migration to USD foreign denominated leases with those maintained in the local currency being adjusted for inflation linked reviews. This growth in revenues occurred despite a decrease in the occupancy rate to 88.10% in 2023 compared to 89.61% in 2022. Independent investment property valuations as at 30 June 2023 resulted in net fair value gains of $744.4 billion.

First Mutual Microfinance (Private) Limited

The interest income grew by 304% to $4.2 billion for the period ended 30 June 2023 in inflation adjusted terms and 1,697% to $2.4 billion in historical cost terms. The growth was principally due to increases in the USD loan book which was 92% of the total loan book as at 30 June 2023. The corresponding interest costs amounted to $1.3 million in inflation adjusted terms, 214% above prior year and $0.7 billion in historical costs terms which represented an increase of 1,157%. The business turned a corner and attained critical mass leading to a profit for the period ended 30 June 2023 of $1.9 billion 1,161% above the prior year in inflation adjusted terms and 7,069% growth to $2.4 billion in historical cost terms.

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Property Invest Forum Sector Seeks To Consolidate Recovery And … –

ZB Bank Aug 2023

Zimbabwe’s property and real estate players continue to exhibit resilience as they navigate the post-pandemic and inflationary operating environment. The observation has been made by industry experts ahead of the annual ZIMREAL forum on September 27th.

Charity Chirume, Development Manager for Terrace Africa, cited a series of pocket developments, at various stages of completion, as evidence that players in the sector are being innovative.

“Some players are taking advantage of the new financial vehicles, such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) to raise capital,” she said.

Rising inflation during the first half of 2023 has seen most rentals denominated in US dollars, as property owners try to preserve value.

However, this has impacted rental growth.

“The operating environment has affected tenants’ rent-paying capacity in hard currency,” explained Gibson Mapfidza, Managing Director of ZSE-listed Mashonaland Holdings. “Dollarized rentals have only helped partially to hedge against hyper-inflation because, in real terms, rentals have struggled to match inflation.”

Chirume and Mapfidza will speak at the upcoming ZIMREAL 2023, which will discuss some of the challenges affecting the sector and seek to exploit opportunities.

“The property market has remained resilient as it devises ways to deal with the pass-through effects of the economic challenges. We see exciting opportunities in student accommodation, tourism and health facilities,” Mapfidza noted.

His upbeat outlook is shared by Chirume who added that demand for strategically located quality retail space and integrated mixed-use developments present more exciting emerging prospects.

Some changes to existing policy and updating of local and master plans are being encouraged to attract more investment into the sector.

“The local plan which designated E D Mnangagwa Road as a development corridor has spurred huge investment in the area and bears testimony to the impact that clear and coherent policies can have on the property market,” Chirume explained.

She went on to say: “Whilst it is evident that we may be witnessing the commencement of a construction boom as PPC reported a 42% volumes increment in its’ operating update for the five months ending August 2023, the availability and quality of infrastructure such as roads, sewer and water becomes a critical enabler for sustainable economic growth. There is a need for collaboration between Local government and private developers for long term solutions potentially through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and rebate programs”

Mapfidza concurred adding that there is need for modern energy, water, transport and ICT infrastructure.

“In the long-term, the property industry requires significant infrastructure investment if it is to sustain its return generation capacity into the future, and to maintain the general ambience of the cities,” he said.

Central Government, local authority and private sector players will be in attendance at ZIMREAL, where they are expected to share ideas on how to improve the policy environment.

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