- The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top 40 index closed up 1.37% at 62,382 points yesterday, while the broader All-Share index closed up 1.25% at 69,132 points. Gold and platinum companies were the biggest gainers for the second day in a row. Gold prices approached a five-month high on Thursday. Anglo American Platinum closed 7.23% higher, followed by Anglo American Plc’s local listing, up 5.8%, and Impala Platinum Holdings, up 5.4%.
- The rand gained and local bond yields fell on Thursday after the government pledged to cut the budget deficit and reduce debt in its medium-term budget plan. At the close of trading, the rand was trading around R15.29 against the dollar, 0.95% firmer. Despite bubbling tax revenues and growing calls for the introduction of a new basic income (BIG) for the unemployed, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana did not give much space to the idea in his first Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) speech on Thursday.
- Gold trended flat this morning but was on track for its biggest weekly rise in six months as high US consumer prices fueled interest in the metal. Consumer prices boosted interest in the metal as a hedge against inflation. Meanwhile, oil prices slipped today, erasing gains from the previous session, as the dollar rose further on bets that the Federal Reserve will bring forward its plans to raise interest rates to curb inflation. On the demand side, there are positive signs as air travel is growing rapidly, but tighter monetary and fiscal policy and the impending northern hemisphere winter will prove to be dampeners
Mediclinic’s first-half profit more than triples
Hospital chain operator Mediclinic International said Thursday its profit more than tripled in the first half ended Sept. 30 from a year earlier, approaching pre-pandemic levels as people returned for non-Covid treatment. However, the London-based, South African-owned company did not resume dividend payments, which had been suspended for a year, as it sought to preserve cash. Mediclinic, with hospitals in southern Africa, Europe and the Middle East, reported earnings per share – the main measure of corporate profit in South Africa – of 8.8 pence, compared with 2.4 pence in the same period last year. The company reported a 12% jump in revenue to 1.58 billion pounds ($2.14 billion) for the first half of the year compared with the same period last year.
TFG returns to profit as it resumes dividend payout
South African fashion retailer TFG said on Thursday it had returned to profit in the first half of the year. The company has recovered from Covid-19 restrictions that led to the closure of stores in its markets. TFG, formerly known as The Foschini Group, announced it was resuming dividend payments after suspending them last year, declaring an interim payout of 170 cents per share. The clothing, homeware and jewellery retailer said earnings per share (HEPS), the key profit metric in South Africa, was 393.4 cents in the six months to September 30, compared with a loss of 83.3 cents in the same period last year. The group’s retail sales rose 51.8% to R19 billion ($1.26 billion).