South Africa’s unpredictable economic landscape witnessed some phenomenal highs in 2022. Despite global instability and rising inflation, certain stocks and companies demonstrated impressive resilience and growth.

    Nedgroup Investments, an asset management firm with over R350 billion of assets, has compiled data on the year’s top performers. Let’s take a closer look at these industry leaders.

    Absa Group Leads the Charge

    Banking titan Absa Group ascended the financial summit, recording a whopping 53.1% change in share value – the highest in 2022. The significant surge is largely due to Absa’s robust local market standing, enticing price-to-earnings ratios, consistent dividend history, and dynamic leadership.

    Global publication DailyInvestor highlighted the resilient nature of the banking sector amidst uncertain economic times. Banks capitalised on rising interest rates, bolstering their revenue and profit margins through increased loan interest payments. This trend is in stark contrast to the low earnings of 2020, when lower interest rates stifled the sector’s profitability.

    Heavyweights and High Flyers

    Multinational commodity trading and mining company Glencore came in second with a 51.2% change, closely followed by Exxaro, an energy firm, that saw a 48.8% change. Other notable performers include Investec Plc (39.6%), Standard Bank (38.8%), and Nedbank (38.3%). The remaining top ten performers were Investec Ltd, Bidvest, Woolworths, and Shoprite, each recording commendable gains, albeit below 40%.

    These companies exemplify the endurance and adaptability needed to navigate the challenging economic waters of 2022. Each had to grapple with global instability, supply chain disruptions, and domestic rolling blackouts, demonstrating significant resilience and innovative strategies.

    The Other Side of the Coin

    However, 2022 wasn’t rosy for all listed companies. Several stocks recorded a disappointing performance. Pharmaceutical giant Aspen suffered a 40.5% decrease, the steepest drop for the year. Other companies in the bottom ten included Mr Price, Prosus, Mondi, and MTN. Northam, Anglo Gold, Old Mutual, Sibanye, and Richemont also posted negative results. These figures underline the volatile market conditions of 2022 and the challenges that numerous sectors faced amidst rising inflation and supply chain disruptions.

    Braving Uncharted Waters

    Nedgroup’s revelation of the most recent investment trends reflects the economic fluctuations within South Africa in 2022. Although the year was marked by numerous challenges, these top-performing companies rose to the occasion, demonstrating the potential within the nation’s diverse economic landscape. Investors and market analysts alike will surely be watching these firms with keen interest.

    While the rapid monetary policy tightening cycle by global central banks, coupled with political instability and economic disruptions, have presented significant obstacles, many South African companies have defied odds. The phenomenal growth of companies like Absa, Glencore, and Exxaro serve as compelling reminders of the opportunities that can arise even in turbulent times. Their exceptional performance paints a hopeful picture for the South African stock market in the years to come.



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