Market up 257% and growing… in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange seemingly takes no orders from the global financial crisis. The market has shown record growth of more than 250 percent a day – but Wall Street traders are unlikely to flock to Johannesburg.

The astounding growth rates are just a result of Zimbabweans switching to equities to try and save their cash from galloping inflation – the worst in the world. The national currency may drop in value 30 times over the weekend.

“People are forced to come on the stock market,” said Emmanuel Munyukwi, chief executive of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. “They believe that after hard currency, the stock market is the only viable option where you can get a bit of a return.”

Zimbabwe has been in a lasting financial and humanitarian crisis for a long time. The situation is worsened by the political struggle between President Robert Mugabe and opposition parties ever since the election in June.

Spotlight: Mugabe’s Zimbabwe