2017 was a tough year for South Africa's telecoms stocks listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), with only MTN coming out with a positive return over the year.
MTN's share price grew by 8.3% between the beginning of January and the end of December 2017, according to data from Bloomberg.
So far in early 2018, most telcos' stocks were not fairing much better. MTN's share price, year to date (YTD), was up a miniscule 0.03% at R133.77 per share at the close of the market on 11 January.
Vodacom's share price has fallen 1.5% since the beginning of the year, trading at R141.80 per share. Blue Label has already seen an 11.3% drop YTD to R13.27 per share and Telkom was 1.6% lower YTD at R46.25 per share.
However, the majority of the stocks have performed well over a five-year period. Telkom's stock has grown by 174.5% over five years and Blue Label was up 50.8% over that period. Vodacom shares bought five years ago would now be worth 11.7% more.
The only stock that saw a decrease was MTN, as its share price dropped by 24.2% since January 2013.
% change 2017
% change YTD
Blue Label Telecoms
* Share prices are all as at the market close on 11 January 2018; data from Bloomberg.