Archive for the 'Company results' Category

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange launches great investor relations (IR) drive

Congratulations to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (www.zimbabwe-stock-exchange.com) on its excellent new website, launched last month, including a very useful listed companies’ data terminal. This is good work by the ZSE team and Rob Stangroom’s work at African Investor Relations and related websites. The site opens up great access to a wide range of Zimbabwean listed companies annual reports, together with trading and other useful data.
Congratulating the ZSE, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Tendai Biti commented: “The ZSE has come of age and it is moving in the right direction with this new functional data portal. It creates a platform for international investors to obtain the latest information on investment opportunities in Zimbabwe, and we are in effect, promoting and branding Zimbabwe properly as an attractive investment destination. There is now more transparency than ever before and stakeholders’ information requirements are being met.” This is quoted in the ZSE press release on the new system
According to a post by Rob: “The new Zimbabwe Stock Exchange website / data portal has a number of unique notable features not least of which is the complete availability of all corporate data, corporate actions and company information – all of it disseminated using push technology and social media (Twitter and Facebook). Notable is the Investorpass function supplied by B2i Technologies in the USA, which enables each registrant to have their own secure repository (for 7 years) of all communications received from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
“The new ZSE data portal has some handy online share charting tools for retail investors to compare the share price performance of the top 10 companies by market capitalization and any companies that are in the same sector. This may not seem significant other than the fact that information like this usually has to be paid for in Africa’s other stock exchanges.”
In the ZSE press release, Mrs Eve Gadzikwa, Chairperson of the ZSE, said: “The ZSE recognises the role of the Internet in communications in investor relations and, as part of our capacity building exercise, we are now able to respond to the needs of stakeholders who have been looking for a mechanism to obtain almost real-time information at the click of a button. Even though our organisation is a small institution, we are adopting a different approach in data dissemination which has meant a significant input into data collection, implementing functionality that ensures we achieve our objectives. We have teamed up with www.africanfinancials.com , Africa’s largest portal of online annual reports, to ensure that every annual report is available for viewing and download online immediately it is released. This is not something done in other markets. Compared with other data portal sites in Africa, ours is undoubtedly a notch above the rest.”
“Certainly, from a cost perspective, we can do away with hardcopy communications, which will save listed companies a significant amount of money and increase efficiency. On our side is international online investor relations precedent and best practice, high Internet penetration in Zimbabwe, so the pillars are there and it is a case of us getting online experience and taking it from there,” she said.
CEO of the SEC, Tafadzwa Chinamo, said he is impressed that the ZSE is now in control of its information and in charge of communicating relevant data to its stakeholders. “We can see that the necessary steps have been taken to ensure the ZSE’s online information dissemination is of a high standard and as a regulatory body, we look forward to the continued progress the Exchange will undoubtedly make in disseminating information timeously to all its stakeholders.”
According to Rob: “My involvement in online investor relations in Zimbabwe over the past 5 years has been rewarding and the launch of the ZSE Data Portal the pinnacle of this journey. I look forward to taking our integrated communications services to more listed companies and want to urge investors to consider Zimbabwean listed companies as an investment opportunity. In the ZSE Data Portal stakeholders in Zimbabwe now have a comprehensive tool to make more informed investment decisions.
Martin Matanda, Acting CEO of the ZSE, added: “The exchange is pursuing a bigger picture than just efficient information dissemination. It will be moving to a fully electronic communications’ platform.
View the ZSE data portal on www.zimbabwe-stock-exchange.com.
In January Rob’s team announced that stock exchange information was available on smart phones. The African IR App is a smartphone application that allows African stock-exchange-traded companies to optimize their investor relations (“IR”) content for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices. The African IR App is powered by the IRapp™, the leading investor relations app platform engine. He said that 8%-10% of investor relations website traffic came from smartphones.

Revolution at Egyptian Exchange – innovations to boost liquidity

The Egyptian Exchange (www.egyptse.com) is to introduce new products and trading innovations, including remote orders placed abroad, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), intraday trades and short selling. Mohamed Abdel Salam, chairman of the Exchange, told Reuters that transparency was up and political uncertainty was down in Egypt since the political uprising that overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak and this is bringing more investor confidence.
The trading changes had been delayed as the political mandate of the old government decreased. Some innovations could be introduced in July and talks on remote orders are to resume with the London Stock Exchange (www.londonstockexchange.com) on 20 June.
Mohamed Abdel Salam told Reuters in an interview on 13 June: “There are indicators that show the market is improving because of the revolution. First, it reduced political risk. In the past, things were vague. If the president were to die, would his son take over, or would the army? Many people have started trusting us now, and we are also trying to reduce transaction costs on foreign investors … so I think we will now introduce short-selling and intraday trade in the first days of July.”
He said that companies had been on time in publishing quarterly results, indicating the effects of the revolution on their earnings, and this improved the country’s credibility. In addition, since the changes institutional investors had become more prominent: “The market is becoming more stable, because institutional investors have begun to outnumber individual investors, who used to cause sharp market moves by their emotional trading.” Egypt is one of the African exchanges with very many active local individual shareholders.
He said the aim of the changes is to bring new energy into the exchange: “Egypt’s market is in need of new blood to be pumped in; it needs new products … It is unarguable that this is a main way to increase liquidity and volume.” Previously there had been moves to introduce short selling in 2008 but this had not been introduced in 2010 as scheduled.

Remote orders with FIX
The Egyptian Exchange aims to allow investors to place orders from abroad although trading would still have to be executed through a local broker. Investors could use the Financial Information eXchange (FIX) protocol (www.fixprotocol.org) to place orders and secure the details until the transaction was completed by the broker. The first link was due to be introduced via London in mid-2010, reports the agency, followed by links to centres in the Gulf. The Chairman said the delays had been caused by technical problems at the LSE and talks would resume this week on 20 June.
Another plan is for dual-listings with exchanges such as Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. Abdel Salam said: “There are Gulf companies that expressed a desire to enrol in the Egyptian stock exchange but I cannot disclose names now.” Several exchanges have been vying to form the centre of Arab trading.
Commodity trading in gold could be established through a fund and talks are on with Egypt’s Chamber of Metallurgical Industries. The Chairman said: “We want to introduce a new way to trade gold called ETC, standing for Exchange Traded Commodities; this should facilitate trading of raw gold, and Egypt is a strategic gold producer, so we should make use of it.”
The Egyptian Exchange was closed from 27 January to 23 March after the popular uprising and it faced turbulence and pent-up demand when it did open. The benchmark EGX 30 Index closed on 13 June at 5,550.22, down 17.5% since the revolution although the trend has been positive since a low of 4,850.41 on 8 May.

Rwanda’s bubbling brewer – profits soar 63%

Rwanda’s biggest brewer, the Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda BRALIRWA (www.bralirwa.com), says post-tax profit leapt by 62.8% in 2010, driven by increased sales, higher pricing and improved cost management. BRALIRWA was the first listing on the Rwanda Stock Exchange which opened on 31 January.
BRALIRWA’s Initial Public Offer (IPO) last November was 174% oversubscribed. It has encouraged Government to push ahead with privatization plans outlined in the current 5-year plan.
According to a report on Reuters,Chief Executive Officer Sven-Erik Piederiet said in a statement on Tuesday: “I am confident that BRALIRWA remains well positioned to capitalise on the attractive growth opportunities in Rwanda.”
Net profit for the year to 31 December increased 63% to RWF 10.3 billion ($17.5 million) against the previous year (RWF 6.34bn)and in a press release the company says this was “driven by robust operating profit growth, lower interest expense and lower income tax expense”. EBIT was up 49.2% “driven by a strong volume performance, higher pricing and effective cost management”. Revenues were up 16% to RWF 52.8 bn through a 13% rise in volumes and higher prices. The brewer is well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities. Earnings per share jumped 62.8% in 2010 to 20.09 francs. Despite the growth plans, the company recommended a 100% payout with a dividend of RWF 20.09 per share, up from RWF 12.34.
BRALIRWA shares closed on 17 May at RWF 228, up 68% on the January launch price of RWF 136, according to a report in New Times newspaper, the price climbed by RWF 21 that day, as investors anticipated the dividends.
BRALIRWA, majority owned by Heineken, is Rwanda’s oldest brewery. It has rights to produce brands such as Guinness and Amstel and branded soft drinks such as Coca Cola. Its main brand is Primus.
Jean Paul Van Hollebeke, Chairman of BRALIRWA’s Board of Directors, said that the brewer achieved compounded average growth in net profit of 56.1% over the period 2007-2010, demonstrating the successful implementation of strategic initiatives. He said a strong operational focus on top-line growth and disciplined cost management, combined with a favourable economic environment and the consistent implementation of constructive government policies drove a robust profit: “BRALIRWA was able to deliver the strong performance owing to a continuous focus on our core values, the talent and commitment of our people, the strength of our brands, the partnerships with our distributors and our ambition to continue to lead the market and promote profitable future growth.”
Rwanda Stock Exchange Operations Manager Celestin Rwabukumba was quoted saying the perception of local investors of the market is now positive because of its transparency, something likely to influence future Initial Public Offerings (IPOs): “It does provide serious confidence in the market and it is likely to influence other companies that may want to list.”