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World shares track Wall Street retreat, US futures edge up – The Zimbabwe Mail

A nearly empty trading floor as preparations are made for the return to trading at the New York Stock Exchange on May 22, 2020. © REUTERS

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares slipped in Europe and Asia on Friday after a retreat on Wall Street that left the Nasdaq composite down 2.5%.

Germany’s DAX lost 0.6% to 15,928.83 and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.7% to 7,145.19. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1% lower to 7,556.29. On Wall Street, the future for the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 both were 0.1% higher.

China reported its global trade surplus surged nearly 30% in 2021 to $676.4 billion. The trade surplus in December swelled 20.8% over a year earlier to a monthly record of $94.4 billion, customs data showed Friday.

Exports rose to $3.3 trillion in 2021 despite shortages of processor chips for smartphones and other products as global demand rebounded from the pandemic. Manufacturers also were hampered by power rationing imposed in some areas.

South Korea’s central bank raised its key interest rate to 1.25% from 1%, acting to counter inflation. But while it is dialing back monetary stimulus, having raised the benchmark rate twice so far, the government announced 14 trillion won ($11 billion) in extra spending Friday, mainly to help small businesses recovering from the impact of waves of coronavirus outbreaks.

Inflation surged to 3.7% in December, and the latest rate hike “gives a strong signal that the Bank is prioritizing clamping down on inflation and financial imbalances,” Alex Holmes of Capital Economics said in a report. “It’s pretty clear that more hikes are imminent,” he said.

In Asian trading, South Korea’s Kospi declined 1.4% to 2,921.92.

The Shanghai Composite index lost 1% to 3,521.26 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.2% to 24,383.32. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.3% to 28,124.28.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 1.1% to 7,393.90.

India’s Sensex was 0.1% lower.

Technology companies led a sell-off on Wall Street Thursday that pulled the major indexes into the red for the week.

The S&P 500 fell 1.4% to 4,659.03. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped 2.5% to 14,806.81. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 36,113.62.

Smaller company stocks also fell. The Russell 2000 slid 16.62 points, or 0.8%, to 2,159.44.

The selling came as investors gauged company earnings reports and new data pointing to rising prices at the wholesale level. The Labor Department on Thursday reported that its producer price index, which measures prices at the wholesale level, surged by a record 9.7% for all of 2021. The increase set an annual record and provides further evidence that inflation is still present at all levels of the U.S. economy.

Inflation has been a key focus for investors as they try to gauge how rising prices will impact businesses, consumers and the Federal Reserve’s policy on interest rates in 2022.

U.S. benchmark crude oil bounced back, gaining 50 cents to $82.62 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 52 cents to $82.12 on Thursday.

Brent crude, the basis for pricing international oil, picked up 77 cents to $85.24 per barrel.

The dollar weakened to 113.83 Japanese yen from 114.18 yen. The euro rose to $1.1464 from $1.1457.

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Retail participation on ZSE rising – The Zimbabwe Mail

Experts in the capital markets are projecting further growth in retail investor participation on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in 2022 on enhanced access to trading at a time foreign participation has been on a decline.

While foreign participation slowed in the past year, the introduction of easy-to-access platforms for trading has increased participation by retail investors, a trend that stockbrokers EFE Securities see continuing.

In 2021, foreign participation remained sluggish with disposals accounting for 19 percent of the total turnover while purchases claimed a mere 4 percent of the same as foreigners continued to shy away from the Zimbabwean stock market due to delays in movement of international payments.

However, local investors spurred activity both on the buy and sell-side as they piled stocks to hedge against economic volatility, subsequently accounting for 81 percent and 96 percent of the sell and buy-side respectively.

Platforms such as ZSE Direct and C-Trade, have allowed ease of buying and selling of shares by retail investors.

During the first half of the year 2021, the C-Trade platform also spurred trades by retail investors although the values still remained low. With more liquidity coming from the anticipated economic growth spurred by agriculture and mining, more retail investors are expected to turn to stocks as a viable investment option.

On ZSE Direct (an online trading platform run by the ZSE) the growth in retail investor participation on the stock market has been phenomenal. The platform, which was launched in September 2021 and closed the same year with 3 149 total users, has since grown to 9 121 total users.

Active users at 939 for the four months to December 2020, closed 2021 much higher at 4 737 reflecting the growing interest from retail investors. The growth in active users was also reflected in the growth in the number of trades from 1 766 for the four months to December 2020 to 31,142 for the year to December 2021.

The total value of trades, which was at $14,3 million in the four months to December 2020, ballooned to $248,4 million in the 12 months to December 2021. The introduction of easy-to-use trading tech platforms such as ZSE Direct and C-Trade has also added to the attractiveness of equities as an asset class.

On C-Trade the total number of registrants or first-time investors shows a significant uptake comparable to the approximately 7 500 active investors accrued since dollarisation.

Such an exponential increase signals a market poised for growth as happened last year when the number of participants on C-Trade grew by 60 percent from the previous year. C-Trade has approximately 26 000 users currently.

“In the ensuing year we expect more activity in the market mainly coming from retail investors, due to availability and accessibility of trading platforms and new listings,” said EFE Securities in their FY2021 Review and 2022 Outlook. In the prior year, retail investor activity improved, therefore, bringing more liquidity in the market. Foreign outflows continued to outstrip inflows on the market, therefore depressing prices as locals failed to cope with the supply. However, with a better foreign currency allocation system we expect a turnaround in this space with more foreigners gaining confidence to buy in the local market,” said the stockbrokers.

While most counters were affected by Covid-19 due to lockdowns, it is the hospitality industry that suffered the most as travel restrictions were imposed, while clothing retailers also lost weeks of trading during the first quarter of the year. However, the blue-chip counters have continued to be the markets’ favourites as they provide a good hedge against currency depreciation.

“The heavy cap counters that offer diversified goods like consumer staples are well-positioned for growth in the Covid-19 era, for example, National Foods is poised for growth as it offers commodities with inelastic demand.

“Econet continues to grow as most personnel have adapted to work from their home and schools also now offer lessons online,” said EFE Securities.

According to the stockbrokers, the market’s momentum stocks Meikles, Delta, Econet, CBZ and Innscor proved their mettle as they emerged the most liquid stocks on the bourse accounting for a combined 55 percent of the annual market spend.

Meikles, Delta, and Econet were the standout performers for the year with respective contributions of 20 percent, 12 percent and 9 percent as investors continued to cherry-pick in the heavies. starafrica, Dawn, and RTG drove the market’s volumes performance with a contribution to total volumes of 37 percent, 29 percent, and 8 percent in that order on the back of corporate transactions that saw major shareholding structural changes in the three companies. Overall, market cap closed the year at $1,32 trillion with telecoms giant Econet being the biggest counter by total value accounting for 17 percent of total market value by the close of 2021.

Fifty-one counters closed the year in the positive, led by logistics group Unifreight which surged 16 011 percent to close at $29,96. CBZ was the only counter to close the year in the negative with an 11 percent decline to $75,16. The banking group once reached a high of $123,61 during the year. – Sunday Mail

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Presidential garden flourishes in Mat South village – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
FOR the first time in their lives, villagers in Jinjika village in Mangwe District, Matabeleland South, have opened bank accounts to receive payments for their efforts at Sekusile-Makorokoro Nutrition Garden, a project falling under the Presidential Rural Development Scheme.

Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr Anxious Masuka stresses a point during the tour of Presidential Rural Horticulture Scheme in Jinjika village in Mangwe district yesterday.

On December 15 last year, President Mnangagwa launched the Presidential Rural Development Scheme in the remote Jinjika village which is tucked deep in semi-arid Matabeleland South.

Government intends to replicate the same programme across 35 000 villages countrywide.

The programme entails communities using resources within their villages to uplift themselves and Arda and Agritex are the agronomists for the projects.

The programme is part of Government’s efforts to improve rural economies and end poverty among the rural folk in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

During the launch the President sold the first bundle of spinach produced at the Sekusile-Makorokoro Nutrition Garden to off-takers for US$1.

The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) has already started establishing offtake agreements with buyers of fresh produce from the garden, which was established two months ago.

With 163 beneficiaries, Sekusile-Makorokoro Nutrition Garden has already started generating money in its first eight weeks of establishment.

Arda said the scheme will generate at least US$163 000 every year.

In interviews with Chronicle yesterday, villagers said the horticulture project has become transformational to their lives.

The villagers in Jinjika said they have opened bank accounts to get paid for the work they do at the Presidential Horticulture Scheme garden in the Makorokoro area.

So far, they received payments for rape and spinach they planted in December and have started harvesting tomatoes and about 4 000 cabbages will be ready in mid-February.

The garden is being managed by Mr Mlungisi Ncube with Agriculture extension officers providing consultancy work so that crops do not fail.

Mr Ncube yesterday took Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka through a tour of the garden narrating their successes as well as challenges.

A villager engaged in the scheme, Ms Linda Moyo said after receiving her payment last month, she was able to buy groceries for her family.

“I managed to buy items including rice, sugar, soap among other things.

We have been able to relieve pressure from our husbands who are working outside the country.

As a woman, I’m now able to enter a bank and make a withdrawal and this is through the payments I get from working here.

We are looking forward to improved profits when we scale up productivity,” said Ms Moyo.

A local village head Mr Morgen Ndebele expressed gratitude to Government for extending the project to their community.

He said the project will help in ensuring that locals don’t skip the country’s borders as payments that villagers are receiving are transforming lives.

“We believe this will contribute to more of our children not leaving the country to seek greener pastures in other countries.

Villagers now balance between working in their fields and also working here where they get paid. We believe this project will uplift our community,” said Mr Ndebele.

In his speech, Dr Masuka, said it was important that he follows up on the programme that President Mnangagwa launched in December so that glitches are reduced in spreading the programme countrywide.

“We visited here to see progress with the project. I’m extremely pleased with what we have seen so far.

All the 163 villagers are working here and have been paid and they have started generated more than $100 000 in their first month.

Certainly, this project is on course to achieving targets and they have even started selling the cabbages, they have an incredible crop of tomatoes, rape and spinach.

They are now going into the second rotation and we can only expect that production will get better,” said Dr Masuka.

He said the project has great potential and Government will chip in to ensure communities access viable markets.

“We still have to finetune the marketing side because the markets are far. And with the increase in product from other villages that are going to be starting this project, I think we have started on the right path,” he said.

He said institutions such as the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Zimtrade, Agriculture Marketing Association and Agriculture and Rural Development Authority are expected to work closely with rural communities in amplifying the transformation agenda.

Dr Masuka said rural industrialisation is the best foot forward if the country is to achieve an upper middle-income status by 2030.

He said the Presidential Horticulture Scheme will create employment for communities.

“Opportunities lie where we are; beneath our feet and here in Jinjika Village we have demonstrated that it is indeed possible for villagers not to go anywhere else to be employed.

They get money every month as employees and at the end of the selling season they become shareholders in the shares.

So, this is an incredible developmental pathway for the attainment of Vision 2030,” he said.

“For these projects to succeed, it is agricultural development that will power rural industrialisation.

And that rural industrialisation will cause rural development and facilitate for the attainment of Vision 2030.

That’s the continuum that we must appreciate, but where it is theoretical a lot of people get lost.

But when the perspective is grounded like this, everyone can see that this is the evidence that we have been building all along.

That it is possible for Zimbabweans to develop where they are because the enabler for development is the land.”

Dr Masuka said the project being implemented at Jinjika will be replicated across the country making Zimbabwe a stronghold in horticulture exports in Africa.

“The President’s vision is that there be 35 000 village models like this so we have the incredible opportunity to become one of the biggest horticulture exporting nations in Africa.

So, this provides diets and nutrition and this is where we are going.

If you complement this with Pfumvudza/Intwasa that provides the cereals, and this provides the relish then this is the greatest combination for rural development and food and nutrition security,” said Dr Masuka.

Mangwe district development coordinator Ms Rorisang Makhurane said chiefs in the district have endorsed the programme and are in the process of identifying land in other villages where the same programme can be implemented.

“You know this part of the country has almost been forgotten, even the network is very poor.

Somehow, they did not have a lot of participation in national programmes, but this project I see it coming up very positively and everyone is now understanding where Zimbabwe is going.

This is the way to go; the villagers are being paid for the work they are doing and they now realise what business is.

What we have even heard from the grapevine is that the traditional leadership in this area want this expanded.

I even had consultations from chiefs who want this model to be spread across the district.

“As you are aware the President has said this should be replicated in the 35 000 villages in the country, chiefs are busy trying to identify land to expand this programme,” she said. — @nqotshili

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African stock outlook for 2022 – a trader's opinion – The Zimbabwe Mail

Investing in Africa differs significantly depending on the region. In terms of oil assets and key industries, Northern Africa is very similar to much of the Middle East in terms of size and scope.

The country of South Africa is considered to be a more developed market because of its robust mining industry.

Sub-Saharan Africa is still considered to be a closed market by foreign financiers. It comprises countries with less developed economies.

However, according to, as markets in other parts of the world begin to mature, Africa as a region is viewed by many investors as an excellent frontier upon which to discover lucrative growth stocks.

In 2022, as global economies still stutter out of the effects of the global pandemic, there are some compelling prospects for African stocks going forward.

Commodities investments continue to be a strong prospect for traders

These countries are endowed with an abundance of natural resources, which range from oil and diamonds to gold and uranium. Many of them remain unexplored as a result of a low human population density, as well as a lack of infrastructure and financial resources.

This creates a strong environment for growth stocks to become more prominent in 2022, as international mining companies begin to prospect throughout the African continent.

Africa is experiencing a bevy of new stock exchanges

Many African countries are enacting legislation that will make their stock exchanges more transparent and more diverse in terms of the securities that are traded on the exchange.

Added to this, many emerging stock exchanges in Africa are embracing financial technology businesses and collaborating with start-ups in order to automate their trading platforms and reduce the regulatory burden placed on publicly traded corporations, among other things.

New stock exchanges are also being established, with Lesotho set to become the first African country to list on a stock exchange.

Ethiopia’s parliament has also given its approval to a proclamation that will pave the way for the establishment of a stock market.

Many African countries are enjoying a growing consumer sector

As of 2021, the population of Africa will account for around 17 percent of the world’s total, with roughly 1.4 billion people residing in more than 60 countries.

As a result, consumer services such as telecommunications and banking gain a significant amount of market share.

The rising consumer economies of Africa provide intriguing potential for global enterprises looking to expand their operations in retail and distribution.

Changing demographics and better business environments across the continent are only two of the causes that will contribute to increased household consumption, which is expected to reach $2.5 trillion by 2030, according to projections.

Seven countries—Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa—will soon account for half of the continent’s population, and 43 percent of Africans across the continent will belong to the middle or upper classes, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

The rising income levels across all socioeconomic classes, as well as the growing demand for goods and services, should inspire firms to consider expanding their operations to the continent.

Investment, production, and distribution options abound throughout Africa, making it a lucrative place to do business and to invest.

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