The local market was quiet this week, with the NSX Local index flat at 635, and the NSX Overall Index up 1.08% at 1410. As at 23 April, FirstRand Namibia was the largest local company on the exchange, with market capitalization of N$ 10.8 billion, followed by Namibia Breweries with N$ 10.1 billion, Trustco Group with N$ 9.5 billion, and Capricorn Investment Group with N$ 8.3 billion. Agra Ltd lead the market this week with growth of 5.96% to close at N$ 1.60 per share, with Trustco Group in second place, closing at N$ 9.69 per share after growth of 2.11%. In terms of volume Trustco Group lead the market with N$ 669 000 worth of shares traded, with Capricorn Investment Group in second place with N$ 179 000 worth of shares traded. The local currency lost 1.88% against the US Dollar, to close at N$ 14.30 per USD, and lost 0.98% against the British Pound, to close at N$ 18.50 per GBP. It closed at N$ 16.05 against the Euro, a loss of 1.36%.
The Bank of Namibia released an update to its economic outlook, indicating that it projects Namibia’s economy to recover to marginally positive growth of 0.3% in 2019, before improving to 1.9% in 2020. The recovery in 2019 will mainly be driven by improvements in the construction, hotels and restaurant sectors, while it is expected that the contraction in wholesale and retails trade will slow down. The reduction in growth estimates from 1.5% in December to 0.3% now is due to lower than expected growth estimates for diamonds, uranium and metal ores. Continued risks that they have identified include a persistently low uranium price, as well as the erratic rainfall patterns which hamper the agriculture sector. Continuing US/China trade tensions will also affect the demand for Namibian minerals.