Technology stocks weighed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s top 40 index. It fell 0.48% and the broader all-share index closed 0.49% lower. The tech index fell 3.24%, led by market heavyweights Naspers and its subsidiary Prosus, which both fell more than 3%. Bucking the downtrend was MTN, which rose 13.15% after Africa’s largest mobile operator (by subscribers) received approval in principle to operate its mobile money service MoMo in Nigeria. In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark 2030 government bond fell 6 basis points to 9.45%.
The rand firmed on Friday along with other emerging market currencies after a volatile week of price swings due to domestic politics and US monetary policy. At the close of trading, the rand was trading around R15.04 against the dollar, 1.11% firmer. The rand was supported by strong US jobs data, which added to optimism about the global economic recovery. However, the rand’s gains were held back by a poor showing by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in local elections.
Oil prices rose this morning after Saudi Arabia’s state oil producer Aramco raised the official selling price of its crude, suggesting demand remains strong at a time of tightening supplies. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, known collectively as OPEC +, agreed last week to stick to their plan to increase oil production by 400,000 barrels a day from December. Gold prices continued to rally, hitting a two-month high today as the declining dollar bolstered the precious metal’s appeal.
Purple Group expects profits to jump more than 180%
Purple Group expects earnings per share of between 4.38 cents and 4.54 cents in the 12 months to August 31, compared with earnings per share of 1.54 cents in the previous period, an increase of between 185% and 195%. The financial services and technology group said in a trading statement released on Friday that attributable profit improved to between R43,5 million and R45,0 million in the current period from R14,4 million in the previous period. EasyEquities’ profit will increase by 676% to 703%, resulting in an attributable profit of between R54.5 million and R56.4 million for Purple Group shareholders, compared to R6 million in the previous period.
Pepkor expects total earnings per share to increase by over 94% in 2021
Pepkor expects headline earnings per share to increase by 94,7% to 114,7% (127,5 cents to 140,6 cents) for the financial year ending 30 September 2021. In its trading statement on Friday, Pepkor attributed the increase to several factors, including improved trading performance compared to FY20, which was impacted by Covid 19 trading restrictions, lower finance costs due to a significant reduction in the company’s net debt and impairment charges recorded in FY20 that specifically impacted earnings per share. Another factor was the gains from the amendment of leases in terms of IFRS 16 as a result of favourable lease extensions and the consolidation of retail space at certain retail brands.