Times of Eswatini

Business confidence slowly increasing


MBABANE – The optimism that businesses have about their current and future operating and financial conditions is slowly increasing.

Business confidence is influenced by several factors including economic conditions, consumer confidence, demand, and operating conditions. Export demand increased by 5.6 per cent in January due to the global demand of vegetable commoditie­s and inflation decreased in the same month.


Inflation contracted by 0.3 per cent for the month of January and the Eswatini Stock Exchange (ESE) all share index increased by 1.44 per cent from 453.58 in January 2022 to 460.11 in January 2023. According to ESE’s monthly report for January 2023, the month of January 2023 had nine trades, three of them were at zero considerat­ion, one special bargain and one transfer of ownership which was considered as a zero considerat­ion. ESE said the value traded increased exponentia­lly from E0 in December 2022 to E215 126 in January 2023. They said the local equity market’s capitalisa­tion remained constant at E4 364 278 514 in December 2022 to the end of January 2023.

“Likewise, there was no change in the market capitalisa­tion because all the trades for the period under review did not cause share prices to change. Year-on-year, the market capitalisa­tion realised a 1.44% gain from E4 302 346 581 in January 2022 to E4 364 278 514 at the end of January 2023,” mentions the report. It was also indicated in the report that Corporate Bonds value decreased by 0.3 per cent from E1 705 304 419 in December 2022 to E1 700 185 043.75 in January 2023 due to two bonds (Corporate bond SML800 and Corporate bond FIN300) that matured. The listing company mentioned that as of January 31, 2023, total government bonds stood at E6 068 828 000. They increased by 2.41 per cent from E5 925 730 000 in December 2022 E6 068 828 000 in January 2023.


The increase in Government Bonds was a result of four bonds re-opening, and on a yearly basis there was a 4.38 per cent increase from E5 813 947 000 in January 2022 to E6 068 828 000 in January 2023.

Economist Thembinkos­i Mavimbela said ESE should consider adding more equity companies to increase the value traded, which affects the all share index. He said this was imperative as it would enable businesses to record investment growth and acquire equity financing. “With equity financing, there is no loan to repay. The business does not have to make a monthly loan payment which can be particular­ly important if the business does not initially generate a profit. This in turn, gives you the freedom to channel more money into your growing business,” added the economist. Worth noting, SBC Limited declared an interim dividend of E30 000 000 comprising 31 cents per share, to ordinary shareholde­rs who were registered in the company’s share register at the close of business on or before February,13 2023. Payment of dividend is expected to be no later than February 23, 2023. Normal and withholdin­g tax will be deducted from dividends paid to local shareholde­rs and non-resident shareholde­rs respective­ly, where applicable.

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