Lower precious metals prices dragged the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) into negative territory yesterday. The JSE’s top 40 index fell 0.25% to 60,874 points and the broader all-share index lost 0.21% to 67,475 points. Gold and platinum stocks were the day’s biggest losers, while some companies benefiting from a weaker rand gained. Blue Label Telecoms, the majority owner of Cell C, South Africa’s fourth-largest mobile operator, closed 0.46% higher after Cell C returned to profit after a first-half loss of $513 million loss last year.
The rand slipped more than 1% on Wednesday, weighed down by subdued precious metals prices and deeper power outages at state-owned utility Eskom. At the close of trading, the rand was trading R15.08 weaker against the dollar, or 1.54%. The yen and euro were on the decline in early trade today as traders looked for possible catalysts from meetings of the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank.
Gold prices consolidated near the key $1,800 level this morning, supported by a drop in U.S. bond yields supported as investors awaited central bank meetings to see if they would consider tightening monetary policy sooner than expected. Oil prices fell for a second straight session today, with Brent crude hitting its lowest level in two weeks after official figures showed a surprise rise in U.S. crude inventories
Royal Bafokeng Platinum shoots up almost 20% after takeover bid from Implats
Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s (RBPlat) share price shot up almost 20% in early morning trading on Wednesday after the company jointly announced with Impala Platinum (Implats) that talks were underway for a takeover by Implats. RBPlat was trading at around R113 per share, while Implats was almost 3% weaker at R205,50 after the news was announced. If the takeover is successful, RBPlat will be another company to deregister from the JSE. “RBPlat and Implats shareholders are advised that the parties are in discussions regarding a non-binding offer by Implats to acquire 100% of the issued ordinary shares of RBPlat, excluding treasury shares held by the RBPlat Group to acquire treasury shares held by it under a scheme of arrangement in terms of Section 114 of the Companies Act, 71 of 2008,” the group said in a statement issued by Sens.
Famous Brands bounces back at half-year with 140% rise in profit
A steady recovery is emerging for South African franchisor Famous Brands. The company reported a 140% jump in profits for the six months ended 31 August, supported by an increase in takeaway and delivery sales. In a Sens statement on Wednesday, the JSE-listed company reported earnings per share (Heps) of 97 cents for the current period, compared with a loss of 240 cents in the previous corresponding period. The group also reported a 46% increase in revenue from its retail business to R105 million from R72 million in the previous period. This, the group said, is in line with the increasing popularity of home consumption