Local market update
- European stock markets closed lower on Monday at the start of the first full trading week in October. The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed 0.4% lower, with technology stocks falling more than 2.1% to lead the losses. Euro zone finance ministers met yesterday to discuss, among other things, the EU stimulus, banking union and fiscal policy. U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury rose 3.3% as speculation continued that the company will be sold after rival Morrisons was sold to US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD &R).
- The main indices posted sharp losses at the start of the week as investors continued their move away from technology stocks in the face of rising bond yields. Major tech stocks such as Apple, Nvidia, Amazon and Microsoft fell as investors looked to bond yields. The rise in interest rates at the end of September hurt highly valued tech stocks. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds rose slightly on Monday, trading at 1.48%. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries hit 1.56% last week, the highest since June, as investors worried about inflationary pressures and tighter monetary policy.
- Asia-Pacific stocks fell in early morning trading after Wall Street suffered losses overnight, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite down more than 2%. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 2.77%, while shares of Fast Retailing fell 6.98%. The Topix index also slipped 1.75%. This morning’s declines have the Nikkei in correction territory, down more than 10% from its mid-September high.
Ascendis falls 4.5% after shareholders approve recapitalisation
The share price of troubled health and wellness company Ascendis Health fell just over 4.5% on the JSE on Monday. This came after the debt-laden small-cap company announced that it had received majority shareholder approval at its annual general meeting for a much-needed recapitalisation to pay down its 7.7 billion rupee debt mountain. Although the stock fell due to the expected dilutive effect of the capital increase on current shareholders, executives spoke of the strong support for the move as a “vote of confidence” for a newly formed company.
Class action lawsuit looms over allegations Telkom routinely overcharged customers for insurance
A class action lawsuit has been filed in the Gauteng High Court against Telkom and its insurance provider Mutual & Federal Risk Financing, which is part of the Old Mutual group. It is alleged that Telkom customers were routinely overcharged for insurance premiums. One of the plaintiffs, Nozipho Mkubu, had signed up as a Telkom Mobile customer in October 2019 and agreed to a monthly fee of R132.45. When the full policy documents were submitted, the policy amount had been increased to R151 per month. When the Telkom bill arrived, an amount of R152.32 was charged, an even higher surcharge of almost R20 per month.