Friday, February 20, 2009

Zimbabwe Stocks May Soar as Bourse Reopens in Dollars

Two from Bloomberg:
Zimbabwe shares, battered by the world’s highest inflation rate and a decade-long recession, may rebound after the stock exchange reopened yesterday from a three- month suspension with listings re-denominated in U.S. dollars.

While prices are bound for an initial fall as investors who were prevented from selling seek an exit, shares will probably more than double by year-end, according to the Harare-based unit of Renaissance Capital, the investment bank with brokerages in ex-Soviet and African countries. Companies are priced at a third of their breakup value on average after an 86 percent drop in the two months before the Nov. 21 shutdown, said BoE Private Clients, South Africa’s second-biggest private-client asset manager....MORE


Stocks Drop From Tokyo to London; Stoxx 600 Falls to 5-Year Low

Stocks tumbled around the world, sending the MSCI World Index to its biggest weekly drop since November, Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index to a five-year low, and Japan’s Topix Index to the worst level since 1984.

Anglo American Plc decreased 16 percent as the mining company suspended its dividend and share buybacks. Bridgestone Corp., the world’s largest tiremaker, fell 7.4 percent after saying profit will slide 71 percent this year. Lowe’s Cos., the second-biggest home-improvement retailer, declined 4 percent on a profit forecast that trailed analysts’ estimates.

The MSCI World Index sank for a ninth straight day, retreating 1.3 percent to 780.23 at 12:38 p.m. in London. The index of 23 developed countries has lost 6.8 percent this week.

Sentiment “is staggeringly bad,” said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin Securities Ltd. in London. “There is renewed pressure on equity markets.” Brewin Dolphin oversees about $24 billion.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 1.8 percent. U.S. stocks dropped yesterday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a six-year low, as concern about rising credit-card defaults dragged financial shares to the lowest level since 1995....MORE