- Johannesburg-listed stocks closed slightly firmer on Wednesday, with the Top 40 index up 0.26% and the All-Share index 0.18% higher. Among the biggest gainers in the blue-chip index were tech investor Prosus and AngloGold Ashanti, while retailers Mr Price and Woolworths were among the losers.
- More news: Cabinet has approved a replacement for the 56-year-old Safari-1 nuclear reactor at Pelindaba, which catapulted South Africa to world leadership in the production of medical isotopes for cancer treatment.
- The rand gained on Wednesday, supported by data showing a slight acceleration in consumer price inflation to 5.0% last month. At the close, the rand was trading 0.87% firmer at R14.40 to the dollar. Although the rise in the consumer price index in September was in line with analysts’ forecasts, it was further evidence to some traders that pressure is mounting on the central bank to raise interest rates.
- Gold prices edged higher this morning, extending gains for the third trading session as the weaker dollar made the metal cheaper for buyers holding other currencies. Oil prices rose this morning, extending gains from the previous day, as U.S. crude oil and fuel inventories continued to decline and gasoline stocks hit a two-year low, indicating strong demand. U.S. crude inventories fell by 431,000 barrels to 426.5 million barrels in the week to Oct. 15, while analysts had expected an increase of 1.9 million barrels in a Reuters poll, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
Pick n Pay loses nearly R1bn in sales due to unrest in July
Supermarket group Pick n Pay (PnP) says it has lost R930 million in revenue due to the unrest in July. However, most of the losses will be covered by insurance, which has already paid out about R600 million. The revenue losses had a significant impact on the group’s results for the six months to 29 August 2021, with PnP reporting muted revenue growth of 4.1% to R46 billion and a 3.4% decline in gross profit to R8.4 billion, pushing its gross profit margin down to 18.2% of revenue. Despite the drop in revenue due to trading disruptions, the group reported a 40% increase in earnings per share (Heps) to 61,28 cents (2020: 43,78 cents) for the period.
MultiChoice Nigeria may appeal $4.4bn tax demand
A Nigerian tax court has allowed MultiChoice, Africa’s largest pay- TV provider, to appeal a disputed $4.4 billion tax claim in Nigeria, people familiar with the case said. The South African company’s local unit was allowed to proceed after paying an 8 billion naira ($19.4 million) bail, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the details were not made public. The decision came as something of a reprieve for the Johannesburg-based company, as the West African country’s tax authorities had said in August that the company would have to pay half the claim, or $2.2 billion, to make its case. The stock plummeted after the news, but recovered and is now trading at a three-month high.