Investors at the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières reaped the peace dividend in 2013.
Less than two years after the end of its second civil war, stability has returned to Cote d’Ivoire. And Ivorian companies, which dominate the BRVM’s main index, propelled the Abidjan-based market to a 46% return in US dollar terms.
Here’s a countdown of the top performers.
The BRVM’s Five Best Stocks of 2013
5. Vivo Energy CI +130.3% (Local currency: +120.5%)
Vivo Energy operates Shell filling stations in 16 African countries. It runs 120 of them in Cote d’Ivoire, almost half of which are in and around the bustling capital, Abidjan. It also boasts a number of contracts to supply asphalt to road-building projects and, in 2012, won three tenders for the supply of jet fuel.
Vivo’s sales revved up 41% during the first half of 2013. The gain resulted from an improved economy and new filling stations acquired from cash-strapped independent operators.
Earnings were down significantly, however, due to a one-off charge. Thus, the company’s a lot cheaper than its 24x earnings multiple would suggest.
4. Bollore Africa Logistics CI +138.8% (Local currency: +128.6%)
Bollore Africa’s Ivorian subsidiary operates the shipping container terminal at the port of Abidjan and the railway that links it to Burkina Faso. It also owns a fleet of trucks and a slew of warehouses. All of which are in high demand since the country’s return to stability.
In the first six months of 2013, the company’s earnings rose 39%. This comes on the heels of a three-fold profit gain in 2012.
Bollore’s future in Cote d’Ivoire looks rosy, too. It’s a member of a consortium that recently secured a contract to build and operate a new container terminal at Abidjan port, doubling the facility’s capacity.
3. NEI-CEDA +143.9% (Local currency: +133.5%)
This company is 12%-owned by the Ivorian government and publishes school books and novels for young readers (think Junior Scholastic).
With a market cap of roughly $6 million, it’s very small and very thinly traded.
Revenues increased 12% during the first half of the year, but it also reported a big earnings loss.
Data on the company is scarce, so your guess is as good as mine as to why the stock shot up 144%.
2. Servair Abidjan +153.0% (Local currency: +142.2%)
A subsidiary of Air France-KLM, Servair Abidjan refuels, caters, and cleans all commercial jets at Abidjan’s Felix Houphouet-Boigny International Airport.
The company has seen its business take off since the end of hostilities in 2011. A new domestic airline, Air Cote d’Ivoire, opened for business. Ethiopian Airlines increased the frequency of its flights. And Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines added Abidjan to its list of destinations.
This was all good news for Servair. In the first half of 2013, the company’s profit soared 39.9% and management predicted another good result for the remainder of the year.
1. Uniwax +579.0% (Local currency: +550.0%)
If you’ve ever traveled in West Africa, you’ve no doubt noted the colorful wax-print fabric that women often wear. These fabrics are part of a rich history. At one time, the prints expressed their wearers’ tribal affiliation, religion, and social standing.
With current production levels at 20 million yards per year, Uniwax is Cote d’Ivoire’s leading wax-print manufacturer.
What on earth did it do to merit a 579% increase to its share price?
Well, it rebounded from a $1.5 million dollar loss to a $1.9 million dollar profit in the first half of 2013 thanks in part to efforts to combat counterfeiting of its designs. It also started selling fabric in Angola and announced plans to boost its production capacity by 50% over the next three years.
Which stocks will top next year’s list of the BRVM’s best performers? Let us know in the comments!