Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which had reached record highs by early last week, fell as commodity prices cooled. The benchmark All-Share index closed Friday down 0.28% at 73,686 points and the blue-chip Top 40 index closed down 0.36% at 67,331 points. However, the decline in the indices was partially cushioned by the country’s well-capitalised private banks, whose shares had risen on solid earnings. The banking index closed up 2.62% on Friday.
The rand trended firmer Friday after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of progress in talks with Ukraine, despite reports that Ukrainian forces were regrouping around Kiev. At the close of trading, the rand was trading R15.05 firmer against the dollar, or 0.03%. The rand had gained strength against a backdrop of higher commodity prices and a continued positive inflow of foreign funds into the debt and equity markets, while concerns about Russia increased.
Oil prices continued last week’s slide, falling about $4 a barrel in early trading today after a U.S. official said Russia was showing signs that it might be willing to engage in substantive negotiations over Ukraine. Meanwhile, gold prices fell this morning, weighed down by firmer U.S. Treasury yields and improved risk appetite on hopes for peace between Russia and Ukraine.
STANDARD BANK GROUP LIMITED – Results for the year
Standard Bank Group Limited (SBG or Group) increased its profit by 57% to R25.0 billion in the twelve months to 31 December 2021 (FY21), driven by a recovery in customer activity, an improvement in customer balances and real growth in our underlying business. Return on equity (ROE) improved to 13.5% (FY20: 8.9%). Revenues increased 5% and operating income before provisions increased 5%, both with double-digit growth in the second half of the year (2H21 vs. 2H20). Net asset value increased by 13% and the Group ended the year with a Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of 13.8% (December 31, 2020: 13.2%). The Board of Directors approved a final dividend of 511 cents per share
SA CORPORATE REAL ESTATE LIMITED – trading statement
The company expects that the full year results for the twelve months to December 31, 2021: distributable income will increase by more than 6% year-on-year; and the group’s robust financial position will allow for a normalised payout ratio and per share distribution for the twelve months to December 31, 2021 (including the 10.27 cps distributed for the first half of 2021) of between 21 and 23 cents per share, an increase of between 17% and 28% compared to 17.92841 cents per share for the prior year ended December 31, 2021.