By Phiwa Sikhondze
The Eswatini Stock Exchange (ESE) witnessed a spectacular surge in December 2023, with its market capitalization increasing by 42.06 percent, from E4.67 billion in November 2023 to E6.63 billion in December 2023.
This was mainly driven by the listing of First National Bank Eswatini (FNBE) on the ESE on 5 December 2023.
According to the ESE month-end report for December 2023, FNBE contributed E1.97 billion to the market capitalization, accounting for 29.7 percent of the total market value. FNBE also recorded the highest share price under banks at E14.83 per share, followed by Nedbank Eswatini at E14.50 per share.
The report notes that the listing by FNBE on the ESE is a significant milestone for the ESE as it increased the number of listed companies to nine and added to the diversity of the market. ESE adds that the listing also demonstrated that FNBE has confidence in the ESE and the Eswatini economy as a whole.
Overall, the ESE recorded an increase in trading activity, with the value traded rising by 489 percent, from E89 720 at the end of November 2023, to E528 399 at the end of December 2023. The report indicated that the increase in trading activity was mainly due to the increased demand for FNBE shares.
The report concluded that the listing of FNBE attracted more investors and issuers to the market and enhanced 44the liquidity and efficiency of the ESE.
“This has invigorated local companies’ appetite to raise capital by listing their securities on the ESE as last month, we also witnessed the listing of Nkonyeni Pre-Cast Limited. Thus, the ESE ended 2023 on a high note where listing bells were ringing while they were silenced across most exchanges in Africa,” the report states.
Worth noting however is that the ESE All-Share Index slightly decreased by 0.11% from 473.27 at the end of November 2023 to 472.77 at the end of December 2023. The report notes that the decline was caused by a decrease in the share price of (SWAPROP). Despite the slight decrease, at the end of November, the All-Share Index increased year on year.
“Year-on-year, the All-Share Index increased by 2.75% from 460.11 in December 2022 to 472.77 in December 2023. The Nkonyeni Pre-cast (NPC) and First National Bank of Eswatini (FNBE) listings did not affect the All-Share Index because they were corporate actions,” notes the report.