The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Blue Chip Shares Spur Industrial Index

BLUE chip shares lifted the industrial index yesterday for 10 straight sessions, while the mining index also advanced on gains in Bindura Nickel Corporation. The mainstream index rose 0,75 percent or 1,20 points to 161,80 points, bringing its year to date gains close to 7 percent.

The mining index added 0,89 points or 1,23 percent to 73,14 points, lifting its year to date gains of above 10 percent.

Daily turnover was US$3,3 million on decent volumes in Delta Corporation and Econet Wireless.

Since the beginning of the year, there has been active participation on the stock market by foreign investors, particularly in heavyweight stocks.

Market analysts say compliance by big foreign-owned companies with the indigenisation and empowerment laws has renewed confidence in the market.

Last week, Impala Platinum Mines -- the world's second largest platinum miner -- agreed to turn over 51 percent shareholding to indigenous Zimbabweans, in a deal worth US$971 million.

Other big companies that have complied with the law include Old Mutual, BAT Zimbabwe, Mimosa Platinum Mines and Unki Mine, owned by Angloplat -- the world's biggest platinum miner.

"The level of compliance has regenerated some confidence and we may see foreign buying taking place for some time, especially in well capitalised firms," said one analyst.

Econet, the second largest company in terms of market value, rose US20,90c to US506,01c, lifting its year to date gain above 13 percent. The company said its subscriber base has risen to 8 million. Seed Co was US3,01c firmer at US77,01c.

Innscor advanced US1,09c to US78,10c. Clothing retailer Edgars was up US0,50c to US8,50c.

On the downward side was OK Zimbabwe, which lost US0,25c to US15,60c while Truworths shed US0,10c to US2,50c.

Bindura gained US0,10c to US2c. The company said it would restart milling operations next month, which will pave the way for concentrate exports.

The company, which operates Trojan Mine, the largest nickel mine in the country, would restart the milling circuit which is in the final stages of refurbishment.

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