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Illovo counts listing gains

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Frank Harawa

Share price for Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)- listed Illovo Sugar Malawi moved from K2.10 about 25 years ago when it first entered the local bourse to K500.10 this month, figures provided show.

This comes at a time the sugar-making company is celebrating the silver jubilee of being listed on MSE.

The company was listed in November 1997 with a market capitalisation of around K1 billion, which has grown to over K300 billion.

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Speaking at an event marking the celebrations, Illovo Sugar Malawi Managing Director Lekani Katandula said the journey has not been easy but fruitful.

Katandula said over the years, the company has gone through thick and thin but, with sound strategies in place, it has remained resilient.

He said the firm will continue pressing towards continued sustainable growth.

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“We cannot foretell what the future holds but what we are sure of is that we have a strategy that we believe in. We are implementing it well and we believe that we will continue to get good results,” he said.

Between 2014 and 2020, the firm saw its profits lowering, where it was not able to declare dividends and its share price dropped.

MSE Chief Executive Officer John Kamanga said coming in of Illovo on the stock market was a boost to the market and gave Malawians a chance to invest.

Kamanga urged other companies to list on the market, adding that even if it is not about listing, they can utilise the market by raising capital through offering bonds.

“Government has already shown the way by utilising the market to raise funds. Last week, government listed bonds of up to K1.1 trillion; therefore, that is a demonstration that the market is a fertile ground for raising funds,” he said.

Minority Shareholders Association of Listed Companies General Secretary Frank Harawa applauded the company for providing an opportunity to Malawians to invest in it.

Harawa urged Malawians to utilise the market for wealth creation, indicating that it is a safe path.

Illovo Sugar Malawi was incorporated in May 1965.

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