The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top 40 index rose 0.34% to 63,481 points yesterday, while the broader All-Share index rose 0.24% to 70,091 points. Shares in beverage maker Distell fell 7% after investors were disappointed with the price of a takeover bid from Heineken.
Local investors will be waiting for domestic inflation data to be released along with retail sales data on Wednesday, as well as the central bank’s monetary policy meeting. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) begins its three-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting today, with a decision on interest rates due on Thursday.
The rand rose on Monday as global sentiment improved after upbeat economic data from China eased concerns about a slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy. At the end of the session, the rand was trading around R15.25 against the dollar, 0.66% firmer.
Gold prices steadied this morning after hitting a five-month high in the previous session as concerns about widening inflation risks kept gold’s safe-haven appeal intact in the face of a stronger US dollar and higher bond yields. Oil prices eased early in the day today as a rebound in Covid-19 cases in Europe raised concerns about demand, while some market participants still fear the United States could release its crude reserves to prevent a spike in gasoline prices. Europe has once again become the epicenter of the Covid 19 pandemic, prompting some governments to consider re-imposing curfews.
Shoprite’s quarterly sales rise more than 9%
South Africa’s largest grocery retailer Shoprite on Monday reported a 9.3% rise in first-quarter sales, helped by robust trading at its supermarkets in South Africa. Shoprite, which operates more than 2 800 stores in 13 African countries, also said its supermarket division in South Africa was on track to open a planned 131 new stores in the current financial year, which began on July 1. That division, the group’s core business, grew sales by 11.6% despite the July riots that saw 135 supermarkets and 54 liquor stores badly affected by looting and arson attacks. Shoprite estimates the book value of the damage to property, inventory, stock and fleet at about R1,25 billion ($81,74 million). Shoprite has taken out R1,5 billion in insurance with the South African Special Risks Insurance Association.
Vodacom adds 6,2 million customers across the group
Vodacom Group – the JSE-listed telecoms giant that is looking to transform itself into a technology company – announced in its latest results released on Monday that the company added 6.2 million new customers in the six months ended 30 September 2021. This is across the group’s business in Africa, including Safaricom on a 100% basis. This addition brings Vodacom’s customer base to 129.9 million, within striking distance of the 130 million mark, which is likely to be surpassed in the current financial year. South Africa’s largest mobile network operator also said in the results that it had added an additional 1.1 million data customers in the country (part of the total growth of 6.2 million customers).