The stock markets were up. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top 40 index rose 0.58% to 61,158 points and the broader All-Share index closed 0.46% higher at 67,782 points. Shares in Massmart, a retailer majority-owned by Walmart, rose 8.56% after the company reported higher comparable sales and cost savings for the first nine months. More news: South Africa’s central bank will weigh whether to raise interest rates at a meeting later this week.
The rand slipped on Tuesday as markets awaited the first results of Monday’s local elections and ahead of several key global central bank meetings that could set the tone for risk appetite heading into next year. At the close of trading, the rand was trading around R15.44 against the dollar, 0.15% weaker.
Counting of votes in the local government elections began on Tuesday. Initial counts put the ruling African National Congress (ANC) on 46% of the vote, with results from just over a quarter of polling stations.
Gold prices edged lower this morning as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting on how the central bank will combat rising inflation and ease concerns about the economic recovery. Meanwhile, oil prices fell today as industry data pointed to a sharp rise in crude and distillate inventories in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, and pressure mounted on OPEC to increase supply. U.S. President Joe Biden blamed the rise in oil and gas prices on the refusal of OPEC nations to produce more crude at a climate summit in Glasgow.
Massmart rises more than 8% as turnaround gains momentum
Shares in JSE-listed retail and wholesale group Massmart rose 8.56% on Tuesday to close at R68 after the group announced in a Sens sales report that it had achieved R1.3 billion of its R1.9 billion cost savings target in the 39 weeks to 26 September. The market reacted positively to the news as the owner of Game, Macro and Builders Warehouse stores pushes ahead with its turnaround under CEO Mitchell Slape. This is despite the impact of the July riots on the retailer and restrictions on alcohol sales during the trading period. The company noted in its sales update that “overall retail sales in August were subdued following the July riots as retailers assessed the damage and began to restore operations.”
Net1 acquires fintech company worth R3.7 billion
JSE and Nasdaq-listed Net1 UEPS Technologies has agreed to acquire South African fintech company Connect Group for R3.7 billion. The acquisition is described as “transformative” for the company. In a statement, Net1 described Connect Group as a “profitable, high-growth and leading South African fintech company” and said the acquisition will help it become “South Africa’s leading fintech platform”. Connect Group, which is led by CEO Steven Heilbron, was founded in 2006 and provides fintech solutions to around 44 000 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in southern Africa. (SMMEs) in Southern Africa, many of which operate in the informal sector.