By NKOLE MULAMBIA
THERE was an impressive trading activity on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) last week with turnover rising to a huge K50.3 million.
According to LuSE weekly stock news update for August 15, a total of 3,253,231 shares were transacted in 120 trades resulting in total turnover of K50, 301, 229.
This is in comparison with over 460,588 sharesÂ that were transacted in 75 trades resulting in a total turnover of K1,079,611 during the week ending August 8, 2014.
Overall trading activity occurred in 11 listed firms: Puma, Copperbelt Energy Corporation, Atel, Lafarge, Real Estate Investment of Zambia, National Breweries, Standard Chartered Bank Zambia, Zambian Breweries, Zanaco, Zambia Sugar and Prima Re.
On the other hand, the LuSE All Share Index (LASI) closed last week at 6,225.08 points down by 0.01 percent compared to the previous weekâ€™s close of 6,225.92 points.
The index, which is a simple guide to gauge performance of the stock market, declined due to gains in most listed firms.
Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange closed firmer on Friday, but was off the dayâ€™s high, after unconfirmed reports of violence in the Ukraine sent jitters across world equity markets.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that Ukrainian troops attacked a Russian convoy that had entered its territory overnight.
While details were still sketchy, the newswire quoted the Moscow Times, which said that the British called in Russiaâ€™s ambassador on reports that Russiaâ€™s military had entered Ukraine.
By 17:00 hours, the all-share index had added 0.36 percent, ending the day at 51,257.72 points from a high of 51,482.21 points earlier. The blue-chip top 40 index closed up 0.42 percent.
The markets gains were supported by news from diversified mining giant BHP Billiton, which said on Friday that it planned to divest from a range of its assets such as aluminum and manganese to focus more on commodities like iron ore, copper and coal, where it derives the bulk of its profits.
International lender UBS estimates that the unbundled entity, which would include South Africaâ€™s coal operations, could be valued at about US$8 billion.
â€œThe combination of a possible share buyback and the restructuring, which means a more focused group, really pushed the share price up today,â€ Momentum Asset Managementâ€™s Wayne McCurrie said.
The stock closed up 2.85 percent at R365.10, paring earlier gains due to the weaker rand.
And the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) recorded a turnover of 1.367 billion shares worth N13.295 billion in 23,973 deals that were traded last week by investors.
The weekly stock market report for August 15, 2014 says the financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.053 billion shares valued at N7.267 billion traded in 11,551 deals; thus contributing 77.05 percent and 54.66 percent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
The NSE All-Share Index and market capitalisation depreciated by 2.86 percent to close on Friday at 41,380.05and N13.664 trillion.
And the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange (ZSE) market commentary for August 14, 2014 says the industrial index rallied 0.60 points (0.31 percent) to close at 195.85 points.
ZSEâ€™s mining index was up 9.01 points (10.77 percent) to close at 92.66 points.
By NKOLE MULAMBIA