Malawi Stock Market Commentary – Week Ending October 5, 2012


Turnover increased to MWK 84.4m from MWK 5.6m registered last week. Active counters during the week were OML (MWK 600, +9.1%), Standard Bank, Real, PCL, Nico (MWK 14.30, -4.7%), NBM, Mpico and FMB. MASI closed the week at 5,915.97 representing a decline of 0.2% w/w. YTD the MASI has gained 10.2%.

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor has warned Malawians to expect a bumpy road to recovery, arguing that the fruits of monetary policy decisions effected this year will be seen in 2013. RBM, the custodian of monetary policy, effected a number of decisions such as the removal of foreign exchange controls, inflation targeting, devaluing the kwacha by nearly 50%, and subsequently floating it, and hiking the bank rate, now at 21%, twice since May.

The monetary policy decisions have seen the kwacha further losing value by another 20%, banking liquidity problems resulting in the RBM introducing a non-collateralised discount window rate for stressed banks and increased inflation currently at 25.5% as of August, further pushing up the cost of living and eroding Malawians purchasing power.

Mpico Limited management has agreed to postpone the release of its half-year results to allow the property giant’s shopping mall called Gateway to be valued before the financials are out. The Malawi Stock Exchange-listed company is building a multi-million kwacha mall in Lilongwe’s Area 47 suburb, expected to be finished in 2013.

The Malawi government will revise the country’s projection for 2012 further downwards following poor tobacco revenue and the struggling manufacturing sector, but expects the economy to bounce back in 2013 when economic growth is projected to reach 5.5%.

This was revealed at the official opening of the Common Approach to Budget Support review meeting in Lilongwe where the preliminary assessment shows that the economic performance will be slower than 4.3% as initially projected.

Malawi’s major donors stated that there have been substantial improvements in political, economic and democratic governance since President Joyce Banda took over in April, but expressed concern about reports of abuse of public resources.

Common Approach to Budget Support co-chairperson, who is also Norwegian Ambassador, mentioned that the improvements have resulted in a new trust between development partners and the Malawi Government. He stated that the donors are still concerned about revelations of abuse of public resources at the National Audit Office which they say is affecting the perception of accountability in use of public resources.

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