Zambian economy strengthens

Zambia’s currency might gain 18% and stocks of Africa’s biggest copper producer were likely to rally 15% this year as the nation’s economy and earnings improved, Renaissance Capital (Rencap) said yesterday.

The Lusaka Stock Exchange all share index might climb to 3200 by the end of the year, up from 2794,89 at the end of last year, after gaining 12% last year, the Moscow-based brokerage wrote in a research report.

Zambian shares traded at 9,8 times estimated earnings, Rencap said, compared with 12,95 times for the MSCI emerging markets index, according to Bloomberg.

“Economic growth is likely to remain strong in 2010, at about 6,3%,” said the note.  “We expect earnings for 2010 to surprise on the upside as corporates recover from the low base in 2009.”

The Zambian kwacha might appreciate to about 4000 to the dollar by year-end as “foreign direct and portfolio inflows improve and copper prices remain high,” the analysts wrote


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