Market News

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Moody's upgrades India's sovereign credit rating - Edward White

MOODY's has upgraded India's sovereign rating on expectations of continued progress for economic and institutional reforms. The upgrade from Baa2 to Baa3 by MOODY's follows sweeping changes under PM NARENDRA MODI, including the introduction of a goods and services tax and a controversial demonetisation programme. MOODY's said it expects "continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will, over time, enhance India's high growth potential and its large and stable financing base for government debt, and will likely contribute to a gradual decline in the general government debt burden over the medium term". MOODY's also changed its outlook for India's sovereign bonds from positive to stable, adding that while the country's high-debt burden remained a constraint on its credit profile, reforms already in place have reduced the risk of a sharp increase in debt "even in the event of shocks". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Comcast approached 21st Century Fox to discuss possible deal - James Fontanella-Khan

COMCAST has approached 21st CENTURY FOX to explore a potential combination, as it has become increasingly clear to large industry players that RUPERT MURDOCH is prepared to break up his media empire, sources said. One person said COMCAST's decision to initiate talks came after it emerged last week that WALT DISNEY had held talks with FOX about buying its movie studio, cable channels and international business. The talks between the sides have been described as "exploration" and "early" by two sources. COMCAST and FOX are aware that any combination would face serious regulatory hurdles, requiring big carve-outs, those sources added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ISDA declares Venezuela, PDVSA in default on their debts - Robin Wigglesworth

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has ruled that Venezuela and state oil company PDVSA have defaulted on their debts, which will trigger insurance-like contracts on its bonds. Venezuela has been taking advantage of the "grace period" for late payments on its bonds for weeks as the country tries to stay current on its obligations. But following the late or non-payment on some bonds and bond coupons, a committee set up under ISDA voted on Thursday that both the government and PDVSA are in default. The decision will trigger credit-default swaps that track Venezuela and PDVSA's debts, with the details of how they will be settled yet to be decided by ISDA's determinations committee. Committee members voted 15-0 that a "failure to pay credit event" had taken place for both Venezuela and PDVSA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Saudi oil minister signals support for supply-cut extension - David Sheppard

Saudi Arabia's energy minister, KHALID AL FALIH, yesterday indicated he will push for a further extension of the OPEC and Russia-led cuts when the group meets in two weeks, but cautioned that they did not want to see oil prices rise too high. FALIH said the market would not be balanced by the time the current deal to remove 1.8m barrels a day from the market expires in Mar. "We don't want any spikes in prices that shock the market. We don't want any price movements that are unhealthy for demand. We don't think we've seen any of that yet but that's a potential especially if God forbid we have disruptions in any major country. We're hopeful none of this will happen", FALIH said. OPEC is widely expected to try to extend production cuts through 2018 at its Nov. 30 meeting. Some Russian companies have groused about low production with prices recovering and new projects set to come online. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US House of Representatives advances tax bill - Jessica Dye

US lawmakers yesterday took the first step towards advancing tax reform, with a majority of the House of Representatives voting to approve that chamber's version of the bill. The final vote in the House was 227 to 205 The Senate is still working on its bill to overhaul the US tax code, which hit turbulence on Wednesday after two critical senators expressed misgivings about its contents. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK govt close to abandoning plans to enshrine Brexit date in law - Henry Mance

The UK government appears close to giving up on plans to enshrine a specific Brexit day in domestic law, after a cabinet minister promised to "listen to ideas" on the matter. Pro-EU MPs are opposed to the proposal to put a specific date for leaving the bloc - Mar. 29, 2019 - into legislation, arguing that it limits the government's ability to extend talks with Brussels. That made it unlikely that the government could get the measure through the House of Commons. Justice Secretary DAVID LIDINGTON yesterday said there had been "various constructive suggestions" on the issue, and the government would "listen to ideas". He said the government was merely seeking to recognise the timings put down in Article 50, which sets a two-year period for negotiations. Article 50 would allow an extension to talks if all 28 EU states, including the UK, were to agree. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's downgrades GE - Jessica Dye

MOODY's yesterday downgraded GE's rating from A1 to A2, with a stable outlook, citing the "severe deterioration in the financial performance" of its power segment, which the agency said it expects to persist until at least 2019. It is the first major ratings action involving GE since the company rattled investors earlier this week with a 50% cut to its dividend and a warning that earnings in 2018 were on track to be about half the level the company had previously suggested. S&P and FITCH have both assigned GE ratings of AA-. In Oct., S&P placed GE's rating on review for a possible downgrade, citing its weak operating results. FITCH also switched its outlook on GE's rating to negative from stable last month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Deutsche Borse appoints Theodor Weimer as new CEO - Olaf Storbeck

THEODOR WEIMER, the current boss of Munich-based lender HYPOVEREINSBANK, has been appointed CEO of DEUTSCHE BORSE, the exchange's supervisory board announced yesterday. The appointment comes just three weeks after the resignation of CARSTEN KENGETER, who will leave the group at the end of Dec. after a Frankfurt judge blocked a settlement with criminal prosecutors into alleged insider trading by the DEUTSCHE BORSE chief. WEIMER will take on his new role on Jan. 1, with a three-year contract. As part of a pay scheme approved by the supervisory board, KENGETER in Dec. 2015 bought DEUTSCHE BORSE shares worth €4.5m just weeks before the start of formal merger talks with LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE. The share prices of both companies jumped when the negotiations were made public. Prosecutors had offered to end the criminal probe against KENGETER if he made a personal payment of €500 000 and if the company paid a fine of €10.5m. German financial market regulator BaFin was critical of the settlement, which was then blocked by a judge. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Siemens to cut 6 900 jobs - Adam Samson

SIEMENS yesterday announced it will cut 6 900 jobs as it responds to "unprecedented" change in the power generation market. The company unveiled the plans as part of a "consolidation" that will affect three power-related divisions, and aims to "increase capacity utilisation at production facilities, drive efficiency and enhance expertise by bundling resources". The power generation industry is experiencing disruption of unprecedented scope and speed", said LISA DAVIS, member of the managing board of SIEMENS. Roughly half the job cuts will be made in Germany, with the process to take place over "several years". "The cuts are necessary to ensure that our expertise in power-plant technology, generators and large electrical motors stay competitive over the long term", DAVIS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 08/11/2017

At 11h46 on 08 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.20 ZAR/EUR 16.75 ZAR/GBP 18.81 Gold 1282.47 Platinum 932.00 Brent Crude Oil 61.37 All Share 60005.59

FirstRand's acquisition of Aldemore to help free up funding - Lameez Omarjee

FIRSTRAND plans to integrate its UK business segment into its acquisition of UK lender ALDEMORE GROUP, which will help free up funding needed to grow its South Africa and rest of Africa operations. ALDEMORE is a retail bank listed on the LSE, which offers financial services to SMEs, homeowners, landlords and savers. As at Sep. 30, its total assets amounted to £9.6bn. FIRSTRAND this week said the £1.1bn acquisition of ALDEMORE is subject to court approval, and is expected to come into effect on or before Apr. 30 2018 or at a later date agreed upon by both parties. FIRSTRAND said the business segment at the London-branch MOTONOVO FINANCE will be integrated into ALDEMORE to form a separate pillar. MOTONOVO, a motor finance offering, contributed 4% or R727m of FIRSTRAND's total normalised earnings of R18.1bn for the FY to end-Jun. MOTONOVO will eventually stop forming part of FIRSTRAND's operating activities as ALDEMORE will not be a subsidiary of FIRSTRAND. "The bank believes that the transaction would have the additional benefit of freeing up funding and liquidity capacity on the bank's balance sheet". These funds will instead by directed to FIRSTRAND's SA and rest of Africa growth strategies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Retail sales robust but credit downgrade could slow down momentum - Lameez Omarjee

Retail sales growth remained robust in Sep., but FNB senior analyst JASON MUSCAT has warned that a credit downgrade could derail the momentum in the sector. Statistics SA this week said the annual growth rate was 5.4% in Sep., but the m/m change from Aug. was down 0.7%. "Should a local currency credit rating downgrade be tiggered before the first half of next year, the sector's momentum will almost certainly be derailed on even lower consumer and business confidence", MUSCAT said. He added that tax hikes to be announced in the Feb. budget would also hold back any acceleration in the medium term. All retail categories reported growth, except for hardware which fell by 4.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB unlikely to change repo rate - Fin24

The SARB's Monetary Policy Committee is likely to hold the repo rate at 6.75% at its next meeting on Nov. 23 and adopt a hawkish stance, according to CREDIT SUISSE analyst CARLOS TEIXEIRA. In a statement, TEIXEIRA noted that since the MPC's last meeting in Sep., the rand has weakened sharply, international oi prices have surged and domestic agricultural prices have risen. Meanwhile, the probability of a significant electricity price hike for 2018 has increased, SA's fiscal policy has become more expansionary and the looming risk of credit downgrades to sub-investment grade has escalated. TEIXEIRA argued that SARB is likely to raise its forecast for CPI notably and for real GDP growth moderately. CREDIT SUISSE expects CPI will end 2017 at 5.1% and reach 5.4% at end-2018. Potential risks to baseline forecasts would come from MOODY's and S&P both publishing their year-end credit reviews on Nov. 24, the result of the ANC elective conference, NERSA's decision on electricity tariff hikes for ESKOM for 2018/19, and SA's main 2018 budget. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dutch parliament warns govt to plan for 'chaotic' Brexit - Mehreen Khan

The Dutch parliament has warned its government to start making serious contingency plans for a "no deal" Brexit, highlighting increased nervousness in some EU countries that stalled talks could lead to the UK crashing out of the bloc in 2019. A report compiled by senior Dutch MPs said the "unthinkable" was now possible - "a chaotic scenario in which the UK on 29 March 2019 departs abruptly from the EU, with no exit agreement or transition period [in place]". After Ireland, the Dutch economy is one of the most vulnerable to Britain's exit from the EU on the back of its strong trade links and physical proximity. The Dutch report urges the EU27 to begin internal discussions on trade talks and negotiations over a transition. The assessment was compiled after Dutch MPs met with senior UK government ministers, including then-former deputy Brexit secretary DAVID JONES, earlier this year. The report said the Brexit billw as proving to be "the most important political obstacle" but urged both sides to compromise to stop the issue from blocking vital talks on trade. It also called on the country's industries to begin preparing for the impact of a "no deal" on their businesses and called for more transparency on the European side about the state of talks. With Brexit looming, the Dutch report urges the country to forge new partnerships with like minded free-trading countries and not sit in "cold fear" of the Franco-German partnership. It also hinted at the Brexit boon that could be delivered to the Dutch economy after the UK's departure, noting that the UK's exit would mean the Netherlands will become a "logical gateway" to the rest of Europe. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bridgepoint to buy UK Burger King franchise - Nicholas Megaw

Private equity group BRIDGEPOINT has agreed a deal to take control of the BURGER KING brand in the UK, pledging to ramp up its expansion and "reinvigorate" its operations in the country. BRIDGEPOINT will control the newly-formed BURGER KING UK, which will be the master franchisee for the UK, giving it control over the brand and the right to roll out new stores. RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL will maintain a minority stake in the business through its Switzerland-based BURGER KING EUROPE affiliate. BRIDGEPOINT will also purchase CASPIAN UK GROUP, which is one of the largest local franchisees with 74 outlets. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source said BRIDGEPOINT had agreed to pay more than £50m. The new business will be chaired by industry veteran MARTIN ROBINSON, the chair of CASUAL DINING GROUP and former chair of WAGAMAMA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US industrial output rises by most since Apr. - Mamta Badkar

US industrial production rose in Oct. at the quickest pace in six months, rebounding after hurricanes weighed on activity in the previous two months. Industrial output rose 0.9% in Oct., the quickest increase since April, when it rose by 1.1%, the Federal Reserve said. That exceeded expectations for a 0.5% rise, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. The report showed that while the index for utilities rose 2%, mining output fell 1.3% "as Hurricane Nate caused a sharp but short-lived decline in oil and gas drilling and extraction". Meanwhile, manufacturing output rose 1.3%, showing signs of momentum in the industry that has benefited from weakness in the US dollar and more stable oil prices. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Norway's $1tn wealth fund proposes dropping oil, gas stocks - David Sheppard

Norway's trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund has proposed dropping its investments in oil and gas stocks, saying the country already has enough exposure to petroleum. The Norwegian central bank, which runs the Oslo-based fund, said its view was that dumping investments would make the country's wealth "less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil and gas prices". The Norwegian SWF has about 6% of its money invested in oil and gas stocks. The Norwegian central bank said the fund did not need the holdings given the country's own oil revenue through its stake in STATOIL. The proposal would need to be approved by government and parliament. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK retail sales post first y/y fall since 2013 - Adam Samson

UK retail sales fell for the first time since Mar. 2013 in the FY to end-Oct., but the figures were stronger than economists had forecast. The quantity of goods excluding auto fuel bought by British consumers fell 0.3% y/y, data from the Office for National Statistics said. While it was the first drop in more than four years, it was slimmer than t he 0.4% fall forecast by economists. The m/m figures look brighter - total volumes rose 0.3%, or 0.1% excluding the fuel component. That beat expectations for a rise of 0.1% and no change, respectively. The ONS said that average prices at food stores were up 3.5% y/y. Growth was slower for non-food stores, which clocked in growth of 2.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Virgin Money slides after margin warning - Nicholas Megaw

Shares in VIRGIN MONEY fell more than 5% in early trading on Thursday morning after the challenger bank warned it expects to make a smaller return on customers' deposits next year despite the Bank of England's recent decision to start raising interest rates. The lender said it expects growing "competitive pressure" in the UK mortgage market to weigh on its market share and profit margins in 2018. The challenger bank said its share of gross lending will be at the "lower end" of its previously-guided range of 3% to 3.5%, while its net interest margin will fall to between 1.65% and 1.7%. Shares in VIRGIN MONEY recovered slightly after their initial slide, but were still down 3.2% to 266pps by yesterday afternoon. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Virgin Money to enter small business banking market - Naomi Rovnick

VIRGIN MONEY has confirmed its long-held plans to enter the small business banking market in a boost to the UK government's battle to lift competition in the sector. The challenger bank in Feb. said it was looking to launch an SME unit. Yesterday, CEO JAYNE-ANNE GADHIA announced what she called "the start of our journey into SME banking". VIRGIN MONEY is launching a new SME savings account in Jan., it said, which will "enable us to start developing relationships with business customers and lay the foundations for potential broader future development in this attractive, but poorly served market". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nkwe resumes trading on ASX - Esmarie Swanepoel

NKWE PLATINUM has resumed trading on the ASX after nearly a year, following the lifting of a Section 47 notice on its Garatau project, in Limpopo. The Department of Mineral Resources issued the Section 47 notice in Oct. 2016, threatening to suspend or cancel mining rights under law. NKWE yesterday said it had since made various presentations to the DMR and was subsequently instructed to implement a social and labour plan before mining operations could start. This led to a delay in the lifting of the notice, as the lifting was conditional on the agreed programmes being implemented. NKWE is planning an underground platinum mine capable of producing some 330 000oz/y of platinum over an initial 17-year mine life. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP eyes two-year exit from shale; also selling nickel - Reuters

BHP BILLITON yesterday said it hopes to fully divest its troubled US shale business in around two years and is also seeking a buyer for its nickel business in Australia. "Nickel West is non-core, shale is non-core", CEO ANDREW MACKENZIE said following the company's AGM in Melbourne. "We do consider we will see reasonable oil prices going forward, which is good for the businesses we retain and also the sales process". BHP entered the shale business at the height of the fracking boom in 2011 and invested billions developing the operations. A subsequent fall in oil prices resulted in pre-tax writedowns of around $13bn. BHP acquired Nickel West in 2005 and several attempts in the past to sell it have failed. "We are just finding the right time in the market to offload", MACKENZIE said. In shale, BHP recently sold a small portion of the onshore shale acreage, kicking off plans for a full exit over time. MACKENZIE made it clear there was little chance BHP would retain any exposure in shale. "At this stage I see no way back". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mediclinic profit falls on Middle East, Switzerland weakness - Justin George Varghese

MEDICLINIC INTERNATIONAL reported an 11% drop in underling profit in H1 FY2018, hurt by weakness in its Middle East and Switzerland units. The company said underlying earnings fell to £84m, or 11.3pps for the HY to end-Sep., from £94m or 12.8pps y/y. MEDICLINIC said revenue in its Middle East business fell 5% to 1.48bn dirhams. The group's total revenue rose 10% to £1.41bn. The AL NOOR deal in the Middle East helped to double the group's exposure to the UAE, but has been hurting its operating performance due to new health insurance regulations in the region. A co-payment system for private healthcare in Abu Dhabi weighed on the company's operations in the UAE. Revenue from Swiss-based HIRSLANDEN, which accounted for 46% of group revenue, was flat after a decline in inpatient revenue was offset by a rise in outpatient revenue. A decline in revenue contribution from SPIRE, the UK's second-largest healthcare company in which MEDICLINIC owns 30%, also hit results. MEDICLINIC last month made an offer to take over SPIRE, which the latter rejected. "Although discussions have continued, no agreement has yet been reached on any of the key terms of an offer", MEDICLINIC said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chubb to sell all its shares to S African business - Megan van Wyngaardt

CHUBB will sell 100% of its South African business to a BEE consortium led by KILIMANJARO CAPITAL, following which the entity will be rebranded. The move follows the passing of the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill, which proposes that multinationals relinquish 51% or more of their shareholding to local investors. STANDARD BANK is financing the deal, for which a purchase price has not been disclosed. "As a bank committed to assisting entrepreneurs and commercial entities to increase opportunities efficiently we were happy to facilitate this major transaction. This is the introdution of a black owned company into the 'real economy' business", STANDARD BANK head of commercial banking CRAIG POLKINGHORNE said. New CHUBB SA CEO YAGAN NAIR said while the company was still in the process of making key appointments and finalising implementation, it had ambitious plans to grow into the future - notably by harnessing the vast national footprint of CHUBB. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gold Brands to mitigate tough economic conditions with unique concepts - Megan van Wyngaardt

While GOLD BRANDS' revenue for the HY to end-Aug. fell 72.6% to R27.6m y/y, due to losses experienced from store closures incurred by lease expiries, the company's gross profit margin rose from 30.9% to 47.3% thanks to a more aligned sales mix and ongoing revision and implementation of stricter controls. It said the significant decline in revenue was also a result of the economic slowdown, compounded by management's restructuring of GOLD BRANDS' portfolio, the internal restructuring of management's supply chain and the relocation of the company's remodelled Chesanyama stores into higher-demographic areas. The benefits of the streamlining exercise contributed to a 79.1% reduction in cost of sales y/y. Operating expenses also fell y/y by 25.1% to R19.4m, with the company continuing to achieve lower transport costs as a result of better route planning and tighter controls, which resulted in a reduction of its fleet, fuel costs, insurance premiums, finance charges and wear and tear. GOLD BRANDS' financial results show the company incurred a net loss of R2.69m, with current liabilities having exceeded the current assets by R19.7m at the end of the period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom execs, managers to undergo lifestyle, conflict of interest audits - Anine Kilian

ESKOM will implement independent audits on its leadership, with members of the executive committee, as well as divisional executives and senior general managers to undergo regular independent lifestyle and conflict of interest audits, interim CEO SEAN MARITZ announced yesterday. "[W]e have adopted a five-path plan to rebuild a robust governance process and preserve our core value of integrity. This includes strengthening our general internal ethics and fraud framework where we have reviewed and approved our ethics and fraud management policy", he said at the last leg of public hearings into ESKOM's application for tariff increases, in Gauteng. MARITZ said the utility has launched an educational programme which will inform the board, leadership and employees about their responsibilities towards ethical conduct and reporting. He explained that this included providing safe avenues for staff to blow the whistle on governance irregularities and crime. Further, the utility is terminating all irregular supplier contracts and work. ESKOM has also implemented additional governance structures for tender approvals, "creating the opportunity to increase the focus and time for robust scrutiny". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chalco plans to launch Guinea bauxite mine by early 2018 - Reuters

A unit of China's biggest state-run aluminium firm, CHINALCO, plans to start producing bauxite at its project in Guinea later this year or early in 2018, a company executive said yesterday. Guinea's mines ministry in Aug. said CHALCO was set to invest $500m to churn out bauxite in the country's north. "It is predicted that at the end of this year or the beginning of next year we will launch", LU DONGLIANG, senior VP at CHALCO, said. He added that CHALCO would increasingly turn to overseas markets such as Australia, Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia to secure suppliers of bauxite, with China holding only around 3% of global reserves. CHALCO already holds interests in bauxite mines in Laos and Indonesia, although its mining in the latter has been suspended since 2014. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Orion initiates high-tech regional exploration in Northern Cape - Martin Creamer

ORION MINERALS will from Nov. 26 initiate an airborne survey across a large area of the Northern Cape as part of a regional exploration programme that will make use of the latest available technology in an area last explored in the 1980s. Electromagnetic methods have advanced since the last systematic exploration took place in the area, and CEO ERROL SMART believes ORION has a rare opportunity to enhance value by carrying out advanced and early stage projects at the same time. The 962km² electromagnetic survey of the Areachap Belt will scrutinise a long stretch of highly protective outcropping across many historically recorded zinc/copper occurrences. While resource delineation drilling at the company's Prieska remains the prime focus, new discoveries are envisaged as satellite operations to a Prieska Project production centre at Copperton. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pallinghurst director takes up position as Jupiter Mines CEO - Anine Kilian

PRIYANK THAPLIYAL has been appointed CEO of JUPITER MINES, in which PALLINGHURST RESOURCES holds an 18.4% stake. THAPLIYAL has therefore resigned as executive director of PALLINGHURST, with his responsibilities to be absorbed by the other executive directors. JUPITER yesterday said the Tshipi Kalahari Manganese Mine was on track to exceed its 3mt-year production target for the 2018 FY, with the company haling already shipped 1.88mt in the first seven months of the year. If current manganese prices hold up, Tshipi could distribute a further R600m to shareholders for H2 of the FY, with $25m to be distributed to shareholders in April 2018. Meanwhile, Tshipi's shareholders have terminated a dual-track sales process for Tshipi, with JUPITER's board of directors having resolved to consider strategic options at the JUPITER level. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kibo upgrades MCPP MoU - Anine Kilian

KIBO ENERGY has upgraded its existing MoU with the Tanzania Ministry of Energy and the TANZANIA ELECTRIC SUPPLY COMPANY regarding a power purchase agreement for the development and implementation of the Mbeya coal-to-power project, to provide a more streamlined process with materially shorter time lines for PPA finalisation. All stakeholders have recognised that the development and implementation of a PPA for the project must be expedited, and all parties involved agreed to replace the original MoU and update it to streamline the process for conclusion of the PPA. The updated MoU has subsequently been approved and confirmed in writing by the board of TANESCO, and authorised for immediate implementation. The approved and updated MoU has now been submitted to all other concerned parties. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Angola in mild recovery but challenges remain - IMF - Stephen Eisenhammer

The Angolan economy is set to grow 1.1% this year as the country enjoys a mild recovery, the IMF said this week following a 10-day visit to the country. But visit leader RICARDO VELLOSO said macroeconomic imbalances remain that need to be tackled by a new government. In a statement, he highlighted the wide spread between the parallel and official market exchange rates and a backlog in forex purchase requests in commercial banks as points of continuing concern. VELLOSO said the team met members of the new government under President JOAO LOURENCO, which it felt understood the challenges facing the economy, and gave a thumbs up to the administration's six-month economic plan which is focused on the goals of stepping up fiscal consolidation efforts, introducing greater exchange rate flexibility and improving governance and the business climate to promote faster and inclusive growth as well as economic diversification. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hosken expects jump in interim earnings - Sens

HOSKEN CONSOLIDATED INVESTMENTS yesterday advised that basic EPS will rise by 71%-81% for the HY to end-Sep., to between 640.6ps and 678.1cps, from 374.6cps y/y. HEPS of between 589.0cps and 646.2cps will be reported for the period, 3%-13% higher than the 571.8cps reported y/y. The increase in basic EPS is mainly as a result of consolidated losses on disposal of certain subsidiaries and the impairment of assets in anticipation of dispoal of a subsidiary operation recognised during the y/y period which did not recur in the current period. Interim results will be published on Nov. 22. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Reinet H1 NAV drops - BDpro

REINET yesterday said its NAV dropped €604m to €5.4bn in the HY to end-Sep., partly reflecting a drop in the value of its investment in BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO. The share price of BAT, which makes up two-thirds of REINET's asset value, fell to £46.72 during Sep., from £53 in March. The weaker pound against the euro in the review period also knocked the value of REINET's investment in BAT. REINET holds 68.1m shares in BAT, which represents 2.97% of BAT's issued share capital, a decrease from 3.65% at Mar. 2017. This drop is as a result of the increase in BAT's share capital after acquiring REYNOLDS AMERICAN. NAV was €5.51bn in the y/y period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Peregrine HY earnings up 6% - BDpro

PEREGRINE yesterday reported a 6% rise in its H1 headline earnings to R272m, boosted by its underlying businesses. Annuity earnings grew 20% to R163m in the HY to end-Sep., accounting for 79% of the aggregate earnings of the operating entities. Assets under management at wealth management business CITADEL rose to R45.9bn from R44.95bn. CITADEL's headline earnings rose 14% to R94m, helped by higher performance fees earned. PEREGRINE CAPITAL's asset base grew to R8.5bn from R8.1bn y/y, mainly as a result of investment performance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Woolies eyes robust Christmas shopping season - Robert Laing

WOOLWORTHS will need strong Christmas sales for its interim turnover growth to outpace inflation, it said yesterday morning. The company said its overall sales for the 20 weeks to Nov. 12 grew 2.6%, with weak performance from its Australian department store chain DAVID JONES dragging down strong growth fro its South African food division. "The difficult trading conditions experienced in both SA and Australia during the last quarter and the previous financial year have continued into the current period", the retailer said. The food division grew sales by 9.3%, double its internal inflation of 4.5%. Excluding new stores, the unit grew sales by 5.3%. The fashion, beauty and home division - previously called clothing and general merchandise - grew sales 0.9%, lagging inflation of 0.9%. Excluding a retail space expansion of 4.2%, sales fell by 2.4%. Sales at DAVID JONES fell 5.3% in Australian dollars. Its trading space was reduced by 2.2% as "we continue to drive space optimisation". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sappi raises annual dividend as HEPS rise - Karl Gernetzky

SAPPI's share price rose 3% yesterday after it upped its dividend for the FY to end-Sep. to 15 US cents from the prior period's 11cps. HEPS rose 10% to 64cps during the period, despite overall flat volumes in its core paper business. EBITDA increased 6% to $785m, with an additional $20m due to an extra accounting week in this FY. Higher paper pulp prices and the negative effects of a stronger rand weighed on performance, but was offset by lower interest charges and reduced operational costs. Net profit for the period rose to $338m from $319m, with the European business experiencing a strong Q4 due to expanded volumes. SAPPI shares were trading at R97.89 yesterday afternoon, up 3.04% on the day. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tech investment eats into profit of Investec's UK unit - Robert Laing

Strong growth in INVESTEC's Southern African banking division offset declines in its UK specialist banking and SA asset management divisions. Interest income grew 18% to £1.23bn and its fee and commission income grew 12.4% to £754m in the HY to end-Sep. from the y/y period. After-tax profit grew nearly 20% to £238m. INVESTEC raised its interim dividend by 5% to 10.5pps. INVESTEC's largest division, Southern Africa specialist banking, reported a 44% surge in operating profit to £165m, helping the group's total grow 10% to £372m. The UK specialist banking division suffered a 22% decline in operating profit to £74m. This was partly due to "particularly strong investment banking and client flow trading activity levels in the prior period", as well as investments in technology. "We have improved and enhanced our digital and online services to complement our strong client centric service model. This spending has further strengthened our franchises in private banking and wealth management", CEO STEPHEN KOSEFF said. The UK asset management division grew operating profit 16% to £50m while its Southern African asset management division saw a 15% drop to £33m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Taste to raise almost R400m in rights issue - Robert Laing

TASTE HOLDINGS plans to raise R398m in a rights issue fully underwritten by its largest shareholder, RISKOWITZ VALUE FUND. The rights issue is at 90c/share, a 20% premium to the 75c that TASTE was trading at yesterday morning. This indicates that RISKOWITZ is willing to buy all the rights-offer shares. Yesterday's statement did not say how many new shares TASTE intends issuing, nor did it give a ratio of how many rights offer shares existing shareholders would be offered. The 90c offer price and R398m capital raising target implies about 442m rights offer shares, which means TASTE's shares in issue will nearly double from the current 459m. TASTE said it would be "issuing more than 30% of its shares in issue at the rights offer record date", which would take it close to its maximum authorised share capital, it needs shareholders to approve an amendment to its memorandum of incorporation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cautious approach leads to Gemgrow meeting forecasts - Alistair Anderson

GEMGROW PROPERTIES remains focused on its core portfolio even as it remains actively pursuing yield enhancing acquisitions. In its maiden FY results yesterday, the company declared a dividend of 26.09c per A share and 19c per B share for the quarter to end-Sep. This brings the totaly dividend for the FY to 101.87c per A share, and 73.51c/B share. COO ALON KIRKEL said the company had to be very cautious and turned down various possible acquisitions in the reporting period. GEMGROW owns a portfolio of 129 retail, industrial and office properties valued at R4.5bn, located across all provinces. During the period under review, GEMGROW acquired properties to the value of R580m at a yield of 11.85%. The transfer of these properties will be effective in the new FY. Vacancies fell from 7.73% to 7.71%, and the company had a low loan-to-value of 20.65%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 17/11/2017

At 06h58 on 17 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.14 ZAR/EUR 16.70 ZAR/GBP 18.67 Gold 1278.46 Platinum 930.00 Brent Crude Oil 61.84 All Share 59549.22

Greenbay FY NAV up 23% - BDpro

GREENBAY PROPERTIES this week said its NAV/share rose 23% to 9.59 euro cents in the FY to end-Sep. y/y. The company said it would continue to evaluate direct infrastructure opportunities available in Europe following an unsuccessful attempt to acquire GROUP FIVE's European assets. A final dividend of 0.2589 euro cents was declared for the period under review. Investors have pushed up the share price 58% to R2.54 on the JSE, giving GREENBAY a market cap of R23.5bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Noble Group starts debt restructuring - Neil Hume

NOBLE GROUP yesterday said it has started restructuring talks with its lenders as it attempts to address a debt load that threatens to sink the company. NOBLE has $1.5bn in bonds and bank loans coming due by the end of May. "NOBLE GROUP LTD announces that as a part of its strategic review, it has commenced discussions with various stakeholders regarding potential options to address the company's capital structure and liquidity position". NOBLE said it is prioritising short-term liquidity. It made no reference to plans to sell a further $1bn of assets to pay down debt. That idea was touted by the company's chair, PAUL BROUGH, when NOBLE filed Q3 results last week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Old Mutual Wealth to rebrand ahead of IPO - Oliver Ralph

OLD MUTUAL WEALTH is to rebrand as QUILTER when it floats next year. The company yesterday said the QUILTER name, which dates back to 1771, stands for "quality, personal service and dependability". The name will be applied to both of the company's main divisions - advice and wealth platforms. The future of OLD MUTUAL WEALTH's active asset management business is still under discussion, with several bidders interested in buying it. OLD MUTUAL said that "internal and external structures' for the business were being assessed. OLD MUTUAL WEALTH aims to float as early as possible in 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent reports 57% jump in earnings - Louise Lucas

TENCENT has kept up the pace with tech rivals with a 57% y/y jump in Q3 earnings as the company boosted ad revenues on the back of its popular mobile games and social media apps. Earnings rose to Rmb22.75bn, while monthly active users on its WeChat and Weixin platforms hit 980m. Revenues at TENCENT were up 61% y/y at Rmb65.2bn, well above analysts' forecasts of Rmb60.99bn. Consensus forecasts had called for operating profit of Rmb19.77bn. TENCENT shares have doubled so far this year and the group is worth $470bn. Its Honour of Kings game helped the online gaming unit turn in revenue of Rmb26.84bn, up 48% y/y. "Our video platform gained audience and revenue market share, we believe it has become China's top online video platform in terms of mobile daily active users and subscriptions", TENCENT chair and CEO PONY MA said. "We believe this success reflects our increasing investment in self-commissioned video content, our improved selection of licensed video content, and our scheduling and audience management initiatives". However, margins continued to be whittled back, with the operating margin down from 36% to 35%. Subscribers on its QQ platform also continued to dip, with monthly active users down 3.8%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

LSE scraps meeting with investor TCI in spat over leadership - Philip Stafford

The LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP has cancelled a planned meeting this week with THE CHILDREN'S INVESTMENT FUND, the activist shareholder demanding the removal of chair DONALD BRYDON and the extension of XAVIER ROLET's contract as CEO. The LSE said its board's offer of a meeting was sent before TCI requisitioned an extraordinary shareholders' meeting. Triggering a formal circular as TCI has done means all shareholders should have equal access to the board, sources said. TCI founder SIR CHRISTOPHER HOHN triggered the EGM after becoming frustrated that ROLET was not able to explain why he was leaving the exchange next year. The LSE said ROLET would end his tenure next year after nine years, sparking allegations from TCI that ROLET was being forced out against his will. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Russia agrees to restructure $3.2bn of Venezuelan debt held by Moscow - Henry Foy

Russia has agreed to a deal to restructure $3.15bn worth of Venezuelan debt held by Moscow. Caracas this week suffered what is expected to be the first in a cascade of defaults on more than $60bn of international bonds. The government is already overdue on another $420m of interest payments on other sovereign bonds, which will also soon be in default, as will payments on debt from PDVSA, the state oil company. Russia has emerged as the country's most prominent foreign supporter, with loans and financial assistance to the country and its oil company through ROSNEFT. Russia's foreign ministry yesterday said it had agreed to restructure the debt into a new schedule spread over 10 years, with "minimal repayments" the first six years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Philippines Q3 GDP rises 6.9% - Alice Woodhouse

The Philippines' economy grew at a faster rate than forecast in Q3 on strong government spending. The economy grew 6.9% y/y in the quarter to end-Sep., coming in above a median of economists' estimates compiled by Reuters of 6.5%. That was up from a revised 6.7% growth seen in the previous quarter. In q/q terms, the economy grew 1.3%, lower than the 1.6% growth forecast by economists. CAPITAL ECONOMICS expects growth to slow to 6% in 2018, against the government's target of 7%-8%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

VW announces $11.8bn electric vehicle plan in China - Emily Feng

VOLKSWAGEN will invest €10bn to develop new energy vehicles within China by 2025, its China head said today. VW will launch 40 locally-produced vehicles in China, JOCHEM HEIZMANN said. Production of electric vehicles will begin during H1 2018 with VW's new JV partner, ANHUI JIANGHUAI AUTOMOBILE GROUP (JAC MOTORS). China has been pushing for low emissions vehicles and is planning an eventual ban on all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. VW forged its venture with JAC MOTORS in May 2017 with the express purpose of manufacturing electric cars and has previously stated it plans to sell 1m EVs by 2025. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chiina outbound investment down nearly 41% in 2017 - Hudson Lockett

China's outbound non-financial investment fell 40.9% during the 10 months through Oct., Ministry of Commerce figures showed this morning. Outbound investment for the period totalled $86.3bn. That put outbound investment for Oct. at $8.3bn, according to FT calculations based on official data, for a y/y fall of 26.5%. Regulators clamped down on outbound deals following an unprecedented flood of offshore acquisitions in 2016 that drained the country's forex reserves. In Aug., China's cabinet formalised a new framework that encourages deals that fit Beijing's strategic priorities and discourages deals in entertainment, sports and luxury real estate. In early Nov. Beijing further tightened controls over outbound investment by requiring regulatory approval for some foreign acquisitions conducted through an offshore entity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Netcare shares slip after trading update - Karl Gernetzky

NETCARE's share price fell 5% yesterday morning after the company warned EPS would decline as much as 135% for the FY to end-Sep. following weaker trading conditions in the UK. NETCARE late on Tuesday said recognition of onerous lease conditions had also weighed on results, with EPS expected to decline to between 159.4cps and 165.5cps. In a supplementary statement yesterday, NETCARE said adjusted HEPS were expected to be 22.5%-27.5% lower at between 44.9cps and 54.9cps. The adjusted HEPS figure excluded impairments, which the company said it believed was a more appropriate indicator of financial performance. Shares in NETCARE were down 5.35% at R23.90 yesterday morning, down 24.94% for the year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brait posts 31% decline in portfolio value - Robert Laing

Even after writing the value of NEW LOOK down to zero, JSE investors think BRAIT is only worth about three-quarters of its book value. BRAIT's closing price on Tuesday was R48.69, or 73% of its R66.62 NAV/share on Sep. 30. BRAIT said the overall value of its portfolio fell by 31% to R40bn from R58bn following its decision to discount NEW LOOK from R18.7bn to zero. Its investment in VIRGIN ACTIVE grew 10% to R17.7bn and in ICELAND FOODS by 11% to R8.5bn. Its South African FMCG group, PREMIER, declined in value by 11% to R12bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bottle stores help Spar counter slowing grocery sales growth - Robert Laing

Double-digit liquor sales growth outweighed lower grocery sales for THE SPAR GROUP in the year to end-Sep. SPAR, which cut its interim dividend to 240cps from 255cps as it struggled to turn its Swiss business profitable in H1 of the FY, compensated for this by raising its final dividend to 435cps, from 410cps y/y. This took its total dividend for the year to 675cps, up 1.5% y/y. SPAR said overall revenue grew 5.4% to R97bn, while pretax profit was up 1% to R2.5bn. Its Southern African stores grew revenue by 4.6% to R65bn, contributing 67% of the group's total. Before-tax profit declined by 3.4% to R1.9bn, which accounted for 78% of the group total. Liquor chain TOPS was the top performer, growing retail turnover by 12.4% to R10bn and wholesale turnover by 11.2% to R5.8bn. SPAR grocery stores grew retail turnover by 4.5% to R76.5bn and wholesale turnover by 4.2% to R51.7bn. BUILD IT grew retail turnover by 4.3% to R12.2bn and wholesale turnover by 2.1% to R7.1bn. Measures in euros, the Irish division grew turnover by 1.5% to €1.4bn, but measured in rand, the division suffered an 11% decline in turnover to R21bn, contributing 21% of the group's total. Turnover from the Swiss stores rose 72% to R11.2bn while before-tax profit grew 4% to R92m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Life Healthcare appoints new CEO - Andries Mahlangu

LIFE HEALTHCARE has appointed SHREY VIRANNA as its new CEO. A medical doctor by training, VIRANNA was a partner at MCKINSEY, where he spent 12 years working across the pharmaceutical, private and public healthcare industries. VIRANNA also worked for DISCOVERY, where he was both the CEO of DISCOVERY VITALITY and DISCOVERYCARD. He will start his new job in Feb., replacing ANDRE MEYER who left the company after three years at the helm. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore close to creating a mining royalty company - Thomas Wilson

GLENCORE is close to finalising a $700m deal with the ONTARIO TEACHERS' PENSION PLAN to create a new base-metals royalty company, according to sources. GLENCORE will bring royalty agreements from about 10 mines, while ONTARIO TEACHERS' will contribute about $350m in capital to allow the company to buy further royalty streams fro other projects. GLENCORE and ONTARIO TEACHERS' will each have a 50% stake in the new vehicle and the deal is expected to close in the next few weeks, sources said. The largest royalty stream included in the package is GLENCORE's 33.75% stake in Antamina in Peru, which produces copper, zinc and silver. GLENCORE will also contribute several smaller streams it owns from other mines in South America and Canada, sources said. While royalty and streaming companies such as FRANCO-NEVADA and WHEATON PRECIOUS METALS have been successful in precious metals, there's no large royalty company specialising in base metals. The royalty deal comes as bankers and brokers say large investors are looking to return to industrial metals after several years on the sidelines. Some investors have even placed bets on copper returning to record highs above $10 000/metric tonne. GLENCORE and ONTARIO TEACHERS' could eventually seek to list the vehicle, one source said, but added that there were currently no concrete plans for an IPO. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Growthpoint makes operational management changes - Creamer Media Reporter

Owing to a revised operational management structure, GROWTHPOINT CEO NORBERT SASSE will become group CEO from Mar. 1 next year. SASSE's main focus will be on the strategic direction of the company, aligned with GROWTHPOINT's internationalisation strategy, and overseeing and representing GROWTHPOINT's interests in local and international subsidiaries and associated companies. GROWTHPOINT MD ESTIENNE DE KLERK will become CEO of GROWTHPOINT SA, with a dedicated focus on directing the company's South African operations and in which he will continue to support the Group CEO in relation to group strategy and oversight of strategic investments. Meanwhile, the company noted that HUGH HERMAN had retired as non-executive director, effective Nov. 14. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Altron disposes of Powertech Transformers for R250m - Natasha Odendaal

ALLIED ELECTRONICS has reached an agreement to dispose of its 80% stake in POWERTECH TRANSFORMERS to a BBBEE consortium for R250m. The consortium comprises Europe's SGB-SMIT and local black-owned company POWER MATLA GROUP. POWER MATLA already has a 17.5% stake in POWERTECH. The deal forms part of ALTRON's strategy of shedding noncore assets, CEO MTETO NYATI said. The deal remains subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approvals. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAB's BBBEE scheme disburses R2.6bn over 7 years - Natasha Odendaal

SOUTH AFRICAN BREWERIES' BBBEE scheme SAB ZENZELE has disbursed R2.6bn to its three shareholder groups. About 40 000 black shareholders hold a collective 8.45% in the company through the R7.3bn SAB ZENZELE, which benefits SAB employees under the SAB ZENZELE EMPLOYEE TRUST, qualifying black-owned liquor and soft drink retailers through SAB ZENZELE HOLDINGS FOR RETAILERS, and the SAB FOUNDATION for the broader South African society. "In designing the SAB ZENZELE transaction, SAB was determined to look beyond traditional business approaches and search for pioneering solutions to black economic empowerment that would deliver real benefits to the lives of many thousands of South Africans", SAB ZENZELE chair DR PENUELL MADUNA said. Further, the scheme was "enhanced" when SABMILLER and AB INBEV merged at end-2016, which resulted in the introduction of a R10.3bn guaranteed minimum value in 2020 for its more than 40 000 beneficiaries. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Standard Bank, ICBC launch programme to spur growth through tourism - Anine Kilian

To further cement trade ties, boost investment flows and encourage tourism between SA and China, STANDARD BANK and the INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA have launched the I Go South Africa loyalty programme in partnership with South African Tourism. The initiative was unveiled in Johannesburg on Wednesday, and forms part of ICBC's I Go Global rewards scheme for its card holders in China. "The I Go South Africa campaign combines both Chinese and South African advantages, as ICBC credit card holders can enjoy a convenient, comfortable and cost effective shopping, travelling and leisure experience", ICBC banking card department GM WANG DUFU said. At the same time, a similar campaign, I Go China, will attract STANDARD BANK cardholders to enjoy tourist and shopping experiences in China. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dipula weathers tough economic conditions to post increase in FY dividends - Megan van Wyngaardt

DIPULA INCOME FUND has "overcome tough macroeconomic conditions" to post a 5.8% rise in combined dividends a share for the FY to end-Aug., driven entirely by organic growth. DIPULA's revenue edged over the R10bn mark, with the property portfolio valued at R6.9bn at year-end. Distributable earnings for the year grew by 11.3% to R428m. Vacancies in the overall portfolio remained stable y/y at 8.5%. Retail vacancies improved from 8.5% to 7.1%, while industrial vacancies improved from 5.9% to 5.4%. Leases worth R631m, covering over 179 000m², were concluded across all sectors. PETERSEN added that rental escalations remained above inflation at 7%. DIPULA sold 27 properties during the year for a combined R295m at an average yield of 10%. The sale proceeds would be used towards debt repayment and recycled into the REIT's redevelopment programme. DIPULA said it should post dividend growth of around 5% for the FY to end-Aug. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Go Life in bid to acquire Brittan Healthcare - Megan van Wyngaardt

GO LIFE INTERNATIONAL intends to acquire 100% of the shares and claims in medical device company BRITTAN HEALTHCARE for R10m. GO LIFE said BRITTAN offers an instant market in the whole of Southern Africa via its own range of products and services and, going forward, through additional byproducts and services offered by ELYSIUM. "The acquisition of BRITTAN HEALTHCARE incorporates a well-known medical device, equipment and consumable products supply brand in the hospital and clinic space that will be of immeasurable value to carry ELYSIUM products into this lucrative market", GO LIFE said. The purchase price for the BRITTAN shares comprises R2m for 40% of the shares from EAGLE QUEST, settled via the transfer of 2.66m existing GO LIFE shares at 75c apiece and the balance of 60% from its founder in return for the option to acquire up to 4m existing shares in GO LIFE at 75cps. This option will be based on the performance of BRITTAN for the FY to end-Dec. 2018 under the management of the founder. GO LIFE has further agreed to provide funding and to acquire existing claims of R8m, which will be settled ia a cash injection into the business of R1.9m through a loan account and the balance by way of the transfer of existing shares in GO LIFE INTERNATIONAL; R3m through the transfer of 4m shares to ZWELETHU EQUITY CAPITAL; R800 000 to be settled through the transfer of 1.06m shares t the past and present BRITTAN employees; and R2.3m to be settled through the transfer of 1.33m shares in GO LIFE to BRITTAN creditors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nampak FY headline earnings expected to increase - Natasha Odendaal

NAMPAK expects its HEPS for the FY to end-Sep. to increase by 11% to 17% to between 119.4cps and 125.9cps, compared with 107.6cps y/y. EPS are expected to contract by 84%-88% to between 30.5cps and 40.7cps y/y, compared with 254.5cps reported y/y. The reported HEPS excludes capital profits and impairments, but includes forex losses and onerous contract provisions, while EPS excludes capital profits, forex losses, onerous contract provisions and asset impairments. NAMPAK further expects its trading profit for the FY to edge up by 1% to 4% to between R1.93bn and R1.99bn. "Total impairments and an onerous contract provision and related costs, which are included in the above figures, are likely to be between R720m and R760m, compared with R360m in the prior year", NAMPAK said. Forex losses are expected to decrease by 74%-78% to between R150m and R180m for the FY under review. Results will be published on Nov. 28. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trade conditions remain constrained in Oct. - Natasha Odendaal

The latest SACCI Trade Conditions Survey shows that trade conditions remain constrained, with the Oct. Trade Activity Index still in negative territory at 46. The survey recorded a two-point m/m decline and a five-point contraction y/y in the seasonally adjusted TAI, confirming "tougher overall trade conditions" and "real trade constraints" in Oct. "The tough trade conditions in September and October suggest a decline in the value added by the wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, as well as lower import and export volumes. New vehicle sales and foreign trade, however, performed better than general trade conditions indicate", SACCI said. The seasonally adjusted Trade Expectations Index remained stable improving by one point to 51 in Oct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gemgrow delivers maiden FY dividend - Natasha Odendaal

GEMGROW PROPERTIES has declared an FY dividend, exceeding its earlier forecasts, of 73.51cps for each B share and 101.87c for each A share as the REIT delivered its maiden FY results. The REIT, previously named SYNERGY INCOME FUND, ended the FY to end-Sep. with a 20.65% loan-to-value ratio, a strong balance sheet more than 90% hedged debt, vacancies of 771% and revenue of R666m. GEMGROW's portfolio is now valued at R4.5bn, a significant rise on the R2.4bn as at end-Sep. 2016. GEMGROW also completed R580m in acquisitions at a weighted average yield of 11.85%, with the final transfers set to take place early in the new FY, GEMGROW COO ALON KIRKEL said. The entire secured debt funding for the acquisitions is hedged at 9.74%, in line with GEMGROW's efforts to mitigate exposure to fluctuations in interest rates in a volatile environment. Some R525m in loans had been refinanced at a forward hedge five-year rate of 9.39%. GEMGROW forecast a 7%-9% growth in dividends for its B shares and a lower 5% of consumer price index growth rate for its A shares during the 2018 FY. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cartrack reaches subscriber milestone - Megan van Wyngaardt

CARTRACK has reached 700 000 active subscribers, it said yesterday. The company attributed the robust subscriber growth to its dedicated workforce focusing on consistent customer engagement and the ability to better meed demand for the company's technology. CARTRACK currently has a presence in 24 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia Pacific, as well as in the US. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vale CEO cuts investments in low-return segments - Reuters

VALE will halt new investments in low-return segments like its nickel business, CEO FABIO SCHVARTSMAN said yesterday. SCHVARTSMAN told investors at a conference in New York that he expects nickel prices to recover over the medium term, as demand for the metal rises thanks to demand from battery producers. SCHVARTSMAN said he expects VALE's share discount to its peers to shrink in the coming months, as the company migrates to a single class of stock. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Resgen will have funding to commission Boikarabelo - Megan van Wyngaardt

A proposed funding facility currently under negotiation is intended to provide the total funds required to complete the construction of RESOURCE GENERATION's Boikarabelo mine in SA to the point of commissioning. The facility does not include the costs of building the rail link or the costs of ramp-up to full coal production. "Those proposed lenders have completed their due diligence investigations of the project and the company and are currently engaged in their respective internal credit approval processes", RESGEN said. Once those credit approvals have been obtained, the parties propose to execute term sheets recording the principal terms of the proposed funding. "Although the credit approval processes are ongoing; at this stage, the company is unable to forecast with any certainty when credit approvals and a signed terms sheet will be obtained from all proposed lenders, but a further announcement will be made when that occurs", RESGEN said. Ramp-up costs for Boikarabelo are estimated to be about R300m. Management believes these funds can be raised when required from the commercial banks, as the project will have been substantially derisked at that point in time. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Orion's shares rise Prieska testwork update - Megan van Wyngaardt

ORION MINERALS' share price on the JSE rose 6.15% yesterday after the company announced the positive results from initial metallurgical testwork at its Prieska zinc/copper project, as well as the extension of a loan facility. ORION and TEMBO CAPITAL have agreed to extend the term of a $6m bridge loan facility from Dec. 15 to May 31, 2018. The facility was agreed with TEMBO in Aug., while TEMBO affiliate NDOVU CAPITAL subscribed for 73m ordinary ORION shares to raise $1.75m at an issue price of 2.4cps. Under the terms of the agreement, ORION agreed it would use its best endeavours to undertake a capital raising by Dec. 15 to raise additional equity to progress the Prieska project's bankable feasibility study and to continue its South African exploration programmes. That deadline has now been extended to end-May next year. ORION reported that the initial phase of metallurgical testwork at the Prieska project has yielded positive results that show the potential for it to produce high-quality marketable zinc and copper concentrates. The deposit is amenable to concentration by froth flotation to produce saleable concentrate products, while testwork indicates potential to match or exceed historic mine metallurgical performance. Further, a deep sulphide target achieved rougher recoveries exceeding 89% for copper and 93% for zinc, for a differential flotation flow sheet aimed at producing separate copper and zinc concentrates. The subsequent phase of metallurgical testwork, which is starting now, is directed at developing optimum cleaner conditions, comminution characterisation, variability assessments and other design testwork required to formulate the most profitable processing design. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Walkabout buys Lonmin's Northern Ireland exploration portfolio - Esmarie Swanepoel

WALKABOUT RESOURCES this week announced its plans to diversify its exploration portfolio, with the acquisition of LONMIN's Northern Ireland exploration portfolio. Under the terms of the deal, WALKABOUT acquired LONMIN's Northern Ireland exploration portfolio and assets for $100 000, which was paid in two installments. The portfolio included gold, lithium and base metals tenements, as well as a 50% stake in an active gold JV with UK-based KOZA in the Dalradian gold belt. On the start of commercial production from LONMIN's former licences, WALKABOUT would also be liable for a 2% net smelter return on minerals and metals extracted from these assets. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Indonesia amends contracts with 13 coal mining companies - Reuters

Indonesia has amended contracts with 13 coal mining companies, including some of the country's biggest producers of the fossil fuel, as part of a shift towards a new mining permit system it expects to boost government revenues. Indonesia's 2009 mining law requires companies to transfer from so-called contracts of work to newer special mining permits that generally follow prevailing law. The changes are intended to simplify regulation of the sector, but the transaction has proved complicated and legally difficult with some companies threatening international arbitration. Among the companies that signed contract amendments this week were PT BUMI RESOURCES TBK units PT KALTIM PRIMA COAL and PT ARUTMIN INDONESIA. Under the amendments, coal mining companies agreed to pay 13.5% royalties on coal sales as a cash lump sum. The firms will be allowed to apply to extend their current contracts by up to two years. Amendments for 'generation 1' contracts of work also increase land rent to $4/ha from $1/ha previously, and will take effect immediately. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IAPF mulling ASX listing - Roy Cokayne

The management of INVESTEC AUSTRALIA PROPERTY FUND believes the total portfolio valued at around A$942m is at a scale where it could consider a listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. IAPF CEO GRAEME KATZ said listing on the ASX was a natural evolution for the fund as it looked to grow and access alternative sources of capital. "A listing on the ASX has the potential for the IAPF to re-rate and will put the fund in a unique position to access capital from two mature property markets". KATZ said the fund had grown 6.4 times since listing on the JSE in Oct. 2013, and had built a valuable platform of properties supported by strong underlying fundamentals that would be difficult to replicate given current direct asset pricing and the continuing flow of offshore capital. IAPF this week reported a 3% rise in distributions a share to 4.95c pre-withholding tax for the HY to end-Sep. from 4.81cps y/y. Its occupancy rate improved to 98.4% from 94.6% in Mar. IAPF maintained its FY distribution growth guidance at between 3% and 4% pre-withholding tax. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Coal suppliers braced for working capital hit as Eskom falters - David McKay

The liquidity crisis at ESKOM would have "a serious knock-on effect" on working capital inflows across SA's coal sector, although the major suppliers were financially robust enough to withstand the pressures. This is according to senior bankers from two of the mining sector's major lenders. "ESKOM has always had a very predictable payment cycle - like absolute clockwork - any change to that, just a few days or a week delay, for example, would have a significant knock-on effect on the working capital cycle across the whole coal industry", one banker said. "As it is obviously considered 'too big to fail', there is the inherent expectation that the State will step in if things do get out of hand, but it probably does mean that there is a higher risk that 'short term' supplier payment issues could develop one day", the other source said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dangote tells Nigerian noodle plants to rival for $12m - Chijioke Ohuocha

DANGOTE NOODLES LIMITED, a unit of DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS, has sold two production lines to rival pasta maker DE UNITED FOODS INDUSTRIES for 3.75bn naira, the company said yesterday. DE UNITED said it has signed an agreement with DANGOTE NOODLES to buy plants at its Ikorodu and Calabar factories. It would also buy stock worth 383.94m naira. The deal comes after DANGOTE sold a small stake in its cement business to foreign investors in a one-off stock market deal valued at 27bn naira. DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS has said it wanted to quit the noodles business to focus on flour and paste production. Shares in DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS have more than doubled so far this year after rising 276% last year. DUFIL PRIMA FOODS, the parent of DE UNITED FOODS, is a privately held company set up over two decades ago, which has grown to become the largest pasta maker in West Africa. DE UNITED said the deal had been approved by both companies and regulators. A banking source close to the deal said DE UNITED would continue to produce noodles under the DANGOTE brand for two years after the acquisition. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya's Uchumi posts narrower FY pretax loss - Maggie Fick

Kenya's UCHUMI SUPERMARKETS yesterday said its pretax loss narrowed to 1.66bn shillings for the FY to end-Jun., from 2.67bn shillings previously The chain closed some outlets last year, and is selling assets after it sunk into deep losses. It is also seeking fresh funds from shareholders, including the Kenyan government. Net sales fell by more than half to 2.6bn shillings from 6.4bn shillings y/y, UCHUMI said. It added that the overall improved loss position for the year was due to "cost management implementation". It did not give details. Analysts say UCHUMI could stand to benefit from the implosion of privately held Kenyan supermarket chain NAKUMATT, which owes creditors more than $300m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dongfang Electric, Power Construction Corp sign deal for Zim plant - Muyu Xu

China's state-owned DONFANG ELECTRIC CORP has signed a contract with POWER CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION OF CHINA to supply engines for the Hwange thermal power plant in Zimbabwe. The country earlier this year said it plans to expand the Hwange power station - the country's largest with an installed capacity of 920 MW, at an estimated cost of $1.5bn. DONFANG will supply three major engines for two 335 MW coal-fired power units at the plant. It did not disclose other details of the contract, which was signed last Friday. CHINAPOWER sealed the engineering, procurement and construction contract with Zimbabwe for expanding the power station in early July. Zimbabwe's military seized power early yesterday targeting "criminals" around President ROBERT MUGABE but gave assurances that the leader and his family were "safe and sound". It was not immediately clear whether work on the power project would be stalled considering the swift political developments. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's retail sales rise 5.4% y/y in Sep. - Mfuneko Toyana

Retail sales rose by 5.4% y/y in Sep., after increasing by a revised 5.4% in Aug., data from Statistics SA showed yesterday. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 4.5% y/y increase in retail sales in the month. On a m/m basis, sales were down 0.7% and expanded 4.1% in the three months to Sep. compared with the same period a year ago. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurobonds account for fifth of Nigeria's foreign debt - Chijioke Ohuocha

Eurobonds make up more than a fifth of Nigeria's total foreign debt portfolio of $66.63bn as of Sep. and more than half of interest paid in Q3, the Debt Management Office said yesterday. Foreign debt stood at $59.82bn a year earlier. The DMO said domestic debt stood at 20.37tn naira by Sep., compared with 16.88tn naira last year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore offers Chad new plan to repay more than $1bn loan - Julia Payne

GLENCORE has offered Chad a grace period from principal repayments on a more than $1bn cash-for-crude loan and extended the deadline for full repayment to 2025 from 2022, a letter seen by Reuters showed. Chad is under pressure to restructure its GLENCORE debt for a second time after the IMF said this year that the country's external commercial debt, mostly to GLENCORE, was unsustainable. GLENCORE said in the letter to Chad's finance minister that it hoped the proposal would satisfy the IMF. The letter, dated Nov. 14, offered Chad a grace period from principal repayments until the last quarter of 2019, with the interest rate in that period lowered to 4% from 6.75%. In addition, the firm offered to release Chad from its call on $1bn worth of the country's crude during the next three years. GLENCORE and a consortium of bankers had lent CHAD's state oil firm $1.45bn in 2014 in exchange for crude. The deal was restructured in 2015 following the crash in global oil pries. Chad still owes around $1.3bn. Negotiations on the loan became fraught last month after Chad decided to divert some crude being marketed by GLENCORE to EXXONMOBIL. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya Airways completes $2bn debt restructuring - Duncan Miriri

KENYA AIRWAYS has finished restructuring $2bn of debt, the carrier said yesterday, completing a key part of its turnaround plan after heavy losses. The carrier's top shareholder, the Kenyan government, and 11 local lenders converted the bulk of their debts into shares, helping to relieve cash flow pressure. "This has been a $2bn restructuring", MBUVI NGUNZE, former KENYA AIRWAYS CEO who has been advising on the transaction since June, told Reuters. That figure includes full commitments to financiers and operating aircraft leasing companies, which are not normally reflected in the balance sheet. As part of its assistance to the company's revival efforts, the government also offered contingent guarantees for $750m of the airline's debt for 10 years. The Nairobi Securities Exchange yesterday suspended trading of KENYA AIRWAYS shares for two weeks to allow the listing of additional shares created in the restructuring. The financial restructuring diluted all existing shareholders by 955. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Angola president dismisses Sonangol chair - Stephen Eisenhammer

Angolan President JOAO LOURENCO yesterday dismissed ISABEL DOS SANTOS as chair of SONANGOL, in a dramatic move against the family of the former president. Analysts said the change was likely aimed at cementing LOURENCO's power and trying to avoid a decline in output at Angola's biggest company, which has come under fire from international partners for delays in approving projects. The daughter of JOSE EDUARDO DOS SANTOS was replaced by CARLOS SATURNINO, the president's office said in a statement. SATURNINO, an oil veteran who was sacked by ISABEL DOS SANTOS from SONANGOL last year, was most recently Secretary of State for Oil. LOURENCO also replaced six other board members. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 16/11/2017

At 04h45 on 16 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.40 ZAR/EUR 16.99 ZAR/GBP 18.97 Gold 1279.00 Platinum 929.00 Brent Crude Oil 61.51 All Share 59185.21

More retrenchments loom for Group Five - Business Report

Further retrenchments are looming at GROUP FIVE following the revision by the company of its strategy. Among other things, GROUP FIVE last week said it would migrate its construction operations into streamlined, smaller businesses that had a competitive advantage and planned to dispose of its manufacturing businesses "in due course". But CEO THEMBA MOSAI this week confirmed that those businesses that did not fit the revised strategy would be exited. This would obviously ideally be through a sale but MOSAI said the company would update the market on that process. He conceded that some businesses may need to be closed, which would have an impact on employment by the group, but it would only be able to provide more information once they updated the market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Naspers CEO marks 'several billion' for tech investments - Giles Turner, Bloomberg

NASPERS is keen to continue its search for e-commerce and tech investments. "We have several billion in cash and underutilised credit facilities", CEO BOB VAN DIJK said in an interview with Bloomberg. NASPERS has become one of the world's largest investors in e-commerce ventures as it tries to build on the success of its early stage investment in TENCENT - a company now worth $472bn. VAN DIJK has been accumulating internet tech acquisitions since taking the helm from chair KOOS BEKKER in 2014. Over two rounds in Sep., NASPERS invested $1.2bn in Germany's DELIVERY HERO, and has been involved in 14 deals worth $1.9bn this year alone. Much of this deal spree has been funded by the sale of Polish online auction site ALLEGRO for $3.25bn last year. Although VAN DIJK added that future investments will be "opportunistic", there is no indication spending will slow down. Alongside e-commerce, VAN DIJK flagged fintech as a particular area of focus. In Oct. NASPERS announced that its fintech invstment division PAYU led a $115m investment round in REMITLY, a digital remittance startup in the US. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's debt costs leap on record R3.3bn sale - Colleen Goko

The Treasury had no trouble selling a record amount of debt at its weekly fixed-rate auction yesterday, but at a cost. Primary dealers placed orders for more than three times the amount of debt on sale, snapping up yields as much as 75 bps higher than were available two months ago. The sale attracted bids of R10.9bn for the R3.3bn of notes of four maturities, with clearing yields on all four bonds jumping. Securities maturing in 2044 were the most popular, with demand of four times the amount on offer. The clearing yield of 10.405%, however, was 46 bps higher than when the notes were last sold on Oct. 17. Bonds due 2031 cleared at 9.985%, up 75 bps since the last auction of the debt on Aug. 29. The Treasury also sold debt maturing in 2037 and 2048. The Treasury increased issuance at the weekly auction from R2.65bn to raise an additional R122bn of debt needed over the next three years to plug the widening fiscal deficit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IEA trims oil demand forecast on higher prices - David Sheppard

The International Energy Agency yesterday lowered its oil demand forecast for this year and next, saying the rally in prices since June was likely to reduce consumption. In its monthly oil market report, the IEA lowered its 2018 demand growth estimate by almost 200 000 and cautioned that supplies outside OPEC were expected to increase rapidly next year. "The reality is that even after some modest reductions to growth, non-OPEC production will follow this year's 0.7m b/d growth with 14m b/d of additional production in 2018 and next year's demand growth will struggle to match this. "This is why, absent any geopolitical premium, we may not have seen a 'new normal' for oil prices". The IEA said: "Using a scenario whereby current levels of OPEC production are maintained, the oil market faces a difficult challenge in the first quarter of 2018 with supply expected to exceed demand by 0.6 m b/d followed by another, smaller, surplus of 0.2m b/d in the second quarter of 2018". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurozone industrial output growth slows in Sep. - Cat Rutter Pooley

Eurozone industrial production growth slowed slightly in Sep. after a bumper annual reading in August. Seasonally adjusted production rose 3.3% y/y, according to data from Eurostat, a notch above analysts' forecasts of 3.2%. That compared to an upwardly-revised annual figure or 3.9% in Aug., which had trounced expectations of a 2.6% rise that month. The rise was driven by production of durable consumer goods while energy production fell, reflecting trends reported at the national level. But m/m, durable consumer goods production fell, along with capital goods, energy and intermediate goods, dragging down eurozone output by 0.6% in Sep. from a 1.4% rise in Aug. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Venezuela debt default ruling postponed for third time - Robin Wigglesworth

A finance industry committee convened to discuss whether Venezuela's state oil company has defaulted on a bond has elected to kick the can for a third time, pushing a decision to Nov. 16. However, it will consider whether the government itself is in default later today. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association organises groups of finance industry representatives involved in trading "credit-default swaps" to decide in each case whether the CDS should be triggered. The ISDA "determinations committee" accepted the case last week, but decided to punt a final decision on PDVSA's late payment of a $1.1bn bond at its meetings on Nov. 10, 13 and 14, most likely due to the complexity of the situation. PDVSA belatedly made the bond payment late last week, but that raises questions of whether a CDS-triggering "failure to pay" has really occurred". Separately, ISDA accepted a request to make a decision on Venezuela itself after S&P said the country had defaulted after missing $200m of payments due late on Monday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Venezuela slips deeper into crisis after default - John Paul Rathbone

Venezuela has suffered what is expected to be the first in a cascade of defaults on more than $60bn of international bonds after missing several interest payments. The country on Monday missed a deadline to make $200m in interest payments on two of its government bonds, spurring S&P to declare the first of what are expected to be many defaults. Caracas is already overdue on another $420m of interest payments on other sovereign bonds, which will also soon be in default, as will payments on debt from state oil companY PDVSA. Venezuelan bond prices had begun to recover from the fight of the default announced yesterday but fell back to trade at cents on the dollar. A $2.5bn bond due in Oct. 2018 - one of the bonds now in default - lost almost a fifth of its value to trade at 25.7c/$. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil's Natura sees revenue growth after Body Shop deal - Andres Schipani

Brazilian comestics giant NATURA yesterday saw its net revenue grow thanks to a contribution from THE BODY SHOP, which it acquired earlier this year. Net revenue rose 24.3% y/y, topping R$2.4bn versus last year, including one month of revenue from TBS. NATURA reported a positive net income of R$61m in Q3 2017, down 16.6% from R$73m y/y. NATURA in Sep. finalised the purchase of THE BODY SHOP from L'OREAL for an enterprise value of €1bn. With the acquisition of TBS, the NATURA group will generate 54% of sales outside of Brazil, mainly in Latin America, the UK and the US. Following the financing of its most recent purchase, NATURA also wants to deleverage, returning to its end-2016 net debt:EBITDA ratio of 14 times from its current level of 3.6 times by the end of 2022. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan Q3 GDP growth solid - Hudson Lockett

Japan's economy grew at a solid pace in the quarter through Sep., notching a seventh consecutive quarter of growth as exports helped compensate for underwhelming domestic demand. A preliminary reading on GDP from Japan's Cabinet Office reported annualised growth of 1.4% in Q3, down from a revised pace of 2.6% in Q2 (2.5%) but coming in above a median forecast of 1.3% from economists polled by Reuters. On a q/q basis, GDP rose 0.3%, slowing from a 0.6% expansion in the quarter to end-Jun. Domestic demand shrank 0.2% q/q, pushing down headline quarterly GDP growth by 0.2 percentage points as private consumption registered a 0.5% contraction. Capex growth of 0.2% q/q came up short against expectations of a 0.3% rise. However, external demand boosted the headline quarterly growth rate by 0.5 percentage points besting an expected contribution of 0.4 percentage points as exports registered a 1.5% sequential rise and imports shrank 1.6%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Foxconn shares drop after Q3 profits slashed - Edward White

Shares in APPLE partner HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY, also known as FOXCONN, opened lower today after the company posted a 39% drop in Q3 profit overnight following production issues for the latest iPhone. HON HAI was down 2.8% as the Taiwan Stock Exchange opened. The fall came after the company reported net income for the three months to end-Sep. at NT21.03bn, down 39% y/y. Taipei-listed shares in HON HAI are still up 23.5% for the year to date. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Capital Appreciation declares maiden dividend - BDpro

CAPITAL APPRECIATION yesterday declared a maiden dividend of 2cps, after increasing its H1 net profit by 124% to R60.13m. Earlier this year, the investment firm spent nearly R1bn to buy AFRICAN RESONANCE, RINWELL and SYNTHESIS, which gave it entry into the financial technology sector. CAPITAL APPRECIATION said AFRICAN RESONANCE continued to expand its market reach through several new client contracts, which resulted in an increase in its market share and growing penetration within its traditional banking and financial institutional client base. Meanwhile, SYNTHESIS continued to post "solid growth" and enjoyed an "extraordinary" reputation with its client base. Group revenue rose to R224.4m in the HY to end-Sep., from R39.7m y/y, while HEPS came in at 4.02cps, up 87% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investec Property Fund raises dividend - Karl Gernetzky

INVESTEC PROPERTY FUND yesterday upped its dividend per share by 12.2% to 98.37cps for the HY to end-Sep., bolstered by a one-off antecedent dividend from INVESTEC AUSTRALIA PROPERTY FUND. On a normalised basis, core y/y dividend per share growth was 7.2%, with the fund's NAV/share remaining stable since Mar. 2017 at R16.94. The fund's base portfolio revenue grew 7.4% during the period, with core rental growing 7%. Vacancies across the office, industrial and retail portfolios increased to 2.6% during the period from 1.4%, however, a letting of a warehouse after the period ended had resulted in vacancies dropping to 1.6%. IPF said guidance provided in May was unchanged for the FY, with dividend growth expected to be between 7% and 8% on a normalised basis. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Edcon reports improvement in profit despite drop in sales - Robert Laing

EDCON yesterday reported that its net profit rose by 3.8% to R2bn, although sales fell in the Sep. quarter y/y. Overall retail sales suffered from "fierce price competition through ongoing promotions by competitors" and its decision to close unprofitable stores. Sales at Edgars fell 0.9% to R2.46bn during the quarter to Sep. 23, while JET's sales fell 1% to R2.28n. EDCON's speciality division, which houses CNA and Edgars Shoe Gallery, posted a 41.5% decline in sales to R463m because the comparative period included Legit, which was sold in Jan. Excluding Legit, the unit suffered an 11.4% decline in sales. "Our trading environment remains challenging as consumer demand is weak on the back of tight credit conditions, low growth in consumer disposable income, political uncertainty and restrictive fiscal policy", EDCON CEO BERNIE BROOKES said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim army says 'this is not a takeover' - Associated Press

In an extraordinary statement after taking over the state broadcaster amid a night of unrest, Zimbabwe's army early today sought to reassure the country that "this is not a military takeover" and that although President ROBERT MUGABE was safe and sound, the military was targeting "criminals around him" who have sent the nation spinning into economic despair. "As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy", the army spokesperson said. He urged other security forces to "cooperate for the good of our country", warning that "any provocation will be met with an appropriate response". It is not clear where MUGABE and his wife were today. "Their security is guaranteed", the army statement said. Last night, the ruling ZANU-PF party issued a statement accusing army commander CONSTANTINO CHIWENGA of "treasonable conduct" saying his comments were "clearly calculated to disturb national peace and stability" and were "meant to incite insurrection". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zwane will support 'collective' on nuclear deal - Amanda Khoza

Mineral Resources Minister MOSEBENZI ZWANE yesterday said he would follow the lead of the collective in supporting the nuclear build programme. "I will support any programme of government that we have agreed on in Cabinet. As an individual, I cannot stand against the agreement of the collective", ZWANE said on the sidelines of a bilateral meeting between the Russian and South African governments in Pretoria. He said the delegations had not discussed the nuclear deal. "The Minister of Energy (DAVID MAHLOBO) is the most relevant to comment on that aspect but we will support him on whatever he may need from us because we work together", ZWANE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Treasury says tariff hike could save Eskom - Yolandi Groenewald

Treasury says NERSA's decision on whether to grant ESKOM a tariff hike, as well as R60bn in clawback tariffs, could help improve the utility's liquidity squeeze. Local media on Monday reported that ESKOM's poor governance had left it teetering on the brink of insolvency, with only R1.2bn in liquidity reserves expected to be in hand at the end of Nov. Treasury confirmed to Fin24 that it had received the Q2 report this week. "The team is still reviewing it", Treasury said, adding that ESKOM was exploring alternative sources of funding. It said NERSA still has to pronounce on the tariff hike for 2018/19 and to also implement the Regulatory Clearing Account clawbacks, which will assist ESKOM's liquidity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

GEPF says it is over-exposed to SA economy - Liesl Peyper

The GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PENSION FUND is "over-exposed" to the South African economy and this needs to be addressed, says ABEL SITHOLE, the fund's principal executive officer. The GEPF has had an exposure of close to R500bn in local bonds issued by government and SOEs as at end-Mar. 2017. At end-Mar., GEPF's investments in government bonds amounted to R327bn and R163bn in SOE bonds. Its exposure in ESKOM alone is R84bn. The GEPF said the fund - "like any other pension fund in the country" - invests in government and parastatal bonds. SITHOLE, however, admitted that there is an "over-exposure to the South African economy in whatever form", which needs to be addressed. The GEPF's strategic asset allocation as at end-Mar. 2017 this year was as follows: cash and money markets 4%; domestic bonds 34%; domestic property 6%; domestic equity 49%; Africa equity 1%; foreign bonds 1%; foreign equity 5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Court allows mining communities to join CoM's case against DMR - Lameez Omarjee

The North Gauteng High Court has ruled that mining-affected communities can join the application of the Chamber of Mines to have the Mining Charter reviewed. The urgent application was launched by three mining communities - Mining Communities United in Action, Women from Mining Communities United in Action and Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of SA - after the Chamber did not consent to them joining its main application against the Department of Mineral Resoures. In their papers, the communities clarified that they do not support the case of the CoM and solely wanted to intervene on the basis of the exclusion of mining-affected communities during the drafting of the 2017 Charter. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA banks prepare for worst as junk rating looms - Renee Bonorchis, Bloomberg

SA's banks are preparing for the worst when it comes to the threat of another downgrade of the country's debt. "FIRSTRAND anticipated the downgrades since 2015 and has been working on a number of proactive strategies to mitigate the impact", FIRSTRAND treasurer ANDRIES DU TOIT said. The measures included adjusting credit origination and boosting liquidity and capital buffers. In a move to help establish a sizeable offshore base, FIRSTRAND last month offered to buy all of the UK's ALDERMORE for around £1.1bn. Although the deal won't save FIRSTRAND from higher costs in SA, it's a step to creating a platform to source offshore funding and to earn income in a currency other than the rand. At stake for the country's lenders is the credit assessment on the country's local-currency bonds, which account for 90% of the government's issued debt. S&P GLOBAL RATINGS and MOODY's, which are both due to announce their latest reviews on Nov. 24, still rate rand-denominated debt as investment grade. A change in either one of those ratings could see SA removed from some indices tracked by global investors, triggering outflows and pushing up borrowing costs. NEDBANK has been applying conservative lending policies with high levels of provisions, high capital buffers and diversified funding sources. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Foskor still contesting Competition Tribunal price findings - Megan van Wyngaardt

In response to reports that FOSKOR had been prevented form setting the domestic phosphoric acid price at a level higher than the international price by the Competition Tribunal, the phosphates and phosphoric acid producer tells Engineering News that it is still in talks to contest the Tribunal's earlier decision. FOSKOR and OMNIA have been in a legal dispute over pricing since 2014. "The Competition Tribunal has not instructed FOSKOR to lower its prices. In fact, FOSKOR is currently involved in proceedings before the Competition Tribunal to have the consent order varied so that it may charge a competitive price, taking into consideration current market conditions. FOSKOR believes its cost-plus pricing method is competitive and in accordance with local competition laws", FOSKOR marketing VP SIMILO SIBISI said. He added that the recent High Court findings pertained to the interpretation of the consent order and did not deal with the questions of whether FOSKOR's pricing was excessive. "FOSKOR's price to OMNIA was based on cost-plus pricing, as opposed to the international market price. FOSKOR reverted to cost-plus pricing because the international price was lower than its cost of production. FOSKOR cannot be expected to subsidise its customers", SIBISI said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brown blocked Koko's suspension - ANA

Public Enterprises Minister LYNNE BROWN took instructions from the GUPTAS and ordered the ESKOM board not to suspend MATSHELA KOKO as CEO of the utility, a witness told the parliamentary inquiry into the utility. KHULANI QOMA, the now suspended spokesperson for the ESKOM board, said he had earlier this year urged chair ZETHEMBE KHOZA to suspend KOKO because of the reputational damage he believed he was inflicting on the parastatal. QOMA said KHOZA agreed fairly readily that it should be done, but warned that former chair EN NGUBANE had also wanted to move against KOKO but was blocked by BROWN. "He says to me because Minister BROWN is captured, Minister BROWN reports to the GUPTAS and then he tells me about the new board members. He says on June 23... four board members are going to be announced and those board members have been appointed by the GUPTAS", QOMA told the portfolio committee on public enterprises. QOMA said KHOZA then switched to Zulu and added that the board members were so young that they looked like school children. "He then tells me that actualy Dr NGUBANE came very close to suspending KOKO but was stopped in his tracks by Minister BROWN". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Only half of CT putting 'efforts into saving water' - News24Wire

Only half of Cape Town is saving water, the City revealed on Monday as it appealed to residents to get on board and beat the drought. To make matters worse, recent hot and windy weather has led to a 1% drop in dam levels over the past week alone. Mayor PATRICIA DE LILLE said noted that only 51% of Capetonians "have put tremendous efforts into saving water", while she has appealed to the remaining 49% to help the City beat the drought. City of Cape Town storage dam levels are currently at 36.8%, with only 26.8% of usable water remaining. Residents' collective water usage fell by 20m litres, to 582m litres per day. The figure is still 82m litres above the target of 500m litres/day. The City will partly fund seven additional water projects at a cost of R2bn, including desalination plants, aquifer projects and water recycling. Meanwhile, Western Cape local govenrment spokesperson JAMES-BRENT STYAN said Western Cape dam levels fell from 36.3% last week Monday, to 34.8%. For the same period in 2016, the province's dams stood at 59%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Govt can't keep track of multiple probes into State rail - ANA

There were so many investigations by different service providers into corruption at PRASA that government could not keep track, Transport Minister JOE MASWANGANYI said yesterday. "There are so many investigations there some we don't even know what they are doing", MASWANGANYI said while briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on transport. Without going into specifics, the minister said reports by the Treasury and private attorneys on probes as ordered by former Public Protector THULI MADONSELA after finding former PRASA CEO LUCKY MONTANA and officials guilty of financial mismanagement, were still outstanding. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom says has healthy coal stockpiles ahead of strike - Reuters

ESKOM on Monday said it had healthy stockpiles across its coal-fired power stations and was building them further ahead of a potential coal wage strike by the NUM. "To mitigate the impact from this impending strike, the utility is working tirelessly to reclaim coal from current stockpiles, as well as build up operational stockpiles", ESKOM said. NUM is aiming to strike from Sunday after wage negotiations broke down last week at mines run by ANGLO COAL, DELMAS COAL, EXXARO and GLENCORE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ghana opens talks with Exxon on deepwater drilling contract - Reuters

Ghana has opened talks with EXXONMOBIL to allow the US company to undertake deepwater exploration off its coast, deputy energy minister MOHAMED AMIN ADAM said on Monday. ADAM said the government had opted for direct negotiation with EXXON without open competitive tendering due to the peculiar nature of the field, and because Ghana has yet to pass regulations to back open competitive tendering. A new petroleum law requires that oil contracts should be awarded through open and competitive tender. It allows direct negotiation when necessary and justifiable. "Ultra-deepwater exploration is beyond the reach of current technology and we believe operators with strong research and development capability such as EXXONMOBIL are needed to unlock the potentials", ADAM said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tharisa expects higher earnings - Martin Creamer

THARISA yesterday informed the market of higher upcoming FY2017 earnings. The company expects substantially higher EPS and HEPS in US cents of 21-23c, compared with last year's 5c and 6c in the FY to end-Sep. While the PGM basket price remained relatively flat y/y, the company said it realised average chrome concentrate price increases to $200/t on record chrome production. Reef tonnes mines from THARISA's opencast mine on the western limb of the Bushveld Complex totalled 5mt in the period, up 3.9% y/y. Reef tonnes milled rose 5.6% to 4.9mt in the FY to end-Sep., on increased availability and feed consistency of the RoM ore stockpiled ahead of the plants. The increase in reef milled together with the improvement in PGM recoveries resulted in an 8.3% rise in PGM production at 143 600oz on a six-element basis. Record chrome output of 1.3mt was achieved, 323 100t of which was speciality grade concentrates. THARISA is guiding a production of 150 000oz PGMs and 1.4mt of chrome concentrates in the 12 months to end-Sep. 2018, of which 350 000t will be speciality grade chrome concentrates. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kusasalethu employees return to work - Creamer Media Reporter

Workers at HARMONY GOLD's Kusasalethu mine have returned to work after two days of unprotected industrial action. Employees reported for work on the night shift on Monday. The unprotected strike by employees started on Nov. 10, after six employees were dismissed following an extensive disciplinary process. "For Kusasalethu to be profitable, discipline has to be restored and focus needs to remain on safety and productivity. We call on all unions' leadership and employees to accept this shared responsibility", HARMONY CEO PETER STEENKAM said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

De Beers reports uptick in demand ahead of Christmas - Creamer Media Reporter

An uptick in demand for diamonds ahead of Christmas has contributed to DE BEERS reporting sales of $455m for its ninth sales cycle of 2017, compared with sales of $376m in the previous sales cycle. However, this was lower than the sales of $476m achieved in the ninth sales cycle of 2016. DE BEERS hosts 10 sightholder sales annually. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mountain Province reports Q3 net income of C$27.7m - Henry Lazenby

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE DIAMONDS has reported a Q3 net profit of C$27.7m, or C$0.17/share, representing a profit during the first full operating quarter of its 49%-owned Gahcho Kue mine, since declaring commercial production on Mar. 1. Revenue recognised in the quarter to end-Se. totalled C$65.22m, derived from the sale of 764 000ct of attributable output. The average sales price per carat fell to $69/ct compared with the $75/ct average achieved in the period under review. Revenue per carat from the eighth and final diamond tender of the year was only marginally better at $60/ct, compared with the previous sales price of $59/ct. MOUNTAIN PROVINCE said it expects to meet or exceed its revised FY guidance of 2.72mt processed and 5.5m ct produced on a 100% basis. The company also expects to sell at least 2.4m ct of diamonds this year, with the potential to exceed the top end of its FY guidance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye declares US resource under Proudly South African code - Martin Creamer

SIBANYE-STILLWATER has completed a Competent Person's Report on its PGM mineral assets, in Montana in the US. The report has been compiled under the South African Code for the Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves and the 2016 edition of the South African Code for the Reporting of Mineral Asset Valuation. A PGM mineral resources of 80.8m 2E ounces at a grade of 16.8g/t has been declared for the first time for the US PGM assets under the Samrec Code. The mineral resources comprises 49.4m 2E oz at a grade of 16.6g/t in the inferred category and 31.3m 2E oz at a grade of 17g/t in the measured and indicated categories. PGM mineral reserves of 22.2m 2E oz at a head grade of 16.3g/t have been declared, a 5% rise from those declared by the STILLWATER MINING COMPANY in 2016. The average 2E prill split a the US PGM operaitons is 78% palladium and 22% platinum. The Competent Person's Report includes a Samval-compliant mineral asset valuation of the US PGM assets of $2.7bn, which compares favourable to the $2.2bn equity price paid for STILLWATER. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Atlatsa incurs $292m loss - Martin Creamer

ATLATSA RESOURCES incurred a net loss of $292.6m in the nine months to end-Sep., when its liabilities exceeded its assets by $142.5m. The main reasons for the loss were a decrease in production volumes at ATLATSA's Bokoni mine as well as the impairment of property, plant and equipment. Bokoni's operations remain cash negative after capital expenditures and Bokoni shareholders are no longer able to continue funding the mine's losses, given the absence of reasonable turnaround prospects in the short to medium term. Following Bokoni being placed under care and maintenance on Oct. 1, all mining and concentrating activities have ceased and an employee retrenchment process has been concluded. A team will carry out are and maintenance at the mine until end-Dec. 2019, until which time RUSTENBURG PLATINUM MINES will fund the care and maintenance. ATLATSA's asset disposal involves RUSTENBURG PLATINUM MINES acquiring the company's Kwanda North and Central Block prospecting rights for R300m cash and writing off all debt owned by ATLATSA, including net debt incurred during care and maintenance. RPM has extended a R521m loan to ATLATSA for the duration of the care and maintenance period to enable ATLATSA to fund its 51% share in Bokoni's care and maintenance costs. Bokoni's production fell by 31.3% q/q to 253 115t in the quarter to end-Sep. and PGMs output fell to 31 427oz compared with 44 463oz produced. Primary development fell by 7% q/q to 1 402 m and re-development by 11.4% to 2 030 m. Recoveries at the concentrator plant remained consistent at 90.2% for the Merensky concentrate and decreased by 0.3% to 86.8% for the UG2 concentrate. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alphamin eyes AltX listing - Natasha Odendaal

ALPHAMIN RESOURCES is working to jump the final funding hurdle for its Bisie tin project, in the DRC, through a secondary inward listing on the AltX. The company has already raised or secured commitment for about $140m, including a new $80m credit facility and a prior $22.3m equity fundraising, of the $172.1m peak funding required to build the significant tn project. The INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIOn has committed to investing $13.7m at the project level, while existing major shareholder TREMONT MASTER committed to investing $24.7m in ALPHAMIN's proposed R56.1m private placement. With 81.4% of the total capital now secure, ALPHAMIN is now aiming to raise a portion of the final $31.4m required to build the ALPHAMIN Bisie Mine project via the AltX listing and final equity raising by the end of 2017. Under ALPHAMIN's control budget estimate, the net present value of the ABM project is $402.2m and the real, after-tax internal rate of return is 49.1%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Finbond group's rating upgraded - Business Report

GLOBAL CREDIT RATINGS has upgraded the long term national scale rating of FINBOND GROUP to BBB(ZA) and affirmed its short-term national scale rating of A3(ZA), with the outlook accorded as stable. FINBOND COO CAREL VAN HEERDEN said the ratings upgrade "is extremely positive for FINBOND. This is particularly so given the ratings downgrade of the five major South African banks and a number of other financial institutions by GCR, FITCH and MOODY's earlier this year". GCR said its long-term ratings upgrade of FINBOND stemmed from the group's notably improved earnings diversification following business acquisitions during the company's FY2017. It said further rating support was derived from the group's "very strong capitalisation and low risk liquidity structure, as well as strong competitive position in a niche market of short term unsecured lending". Commenting on FINBOND's medium term outlook, GCR said: "Positive rating action may stem from continued enhancement of earnings and profit potential, while maintenance of strengthened asset quality and capital metrics may be positively considered". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's Senate approves Buhari's request to seek $5.5bn in foreign loans - Camillus Eboh

Nigeria's Senate yesterday approved a request by President MUHAMMADU BUHARI to seek $5.5bn in foreign loans. The external borrowing would include $2.5bn in eurobonds to plug part of the 2017 budget deficit and $3bn to refinance maturing domestic debt to lower the country's funding costs. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bharti Airtel, Tigo merge in Ghana - Kwasi Kpodo

BHARTI AIRTEL has merged with MILLICOM's TIGO in Ghana to become the country's second largest mobile operator, AIRTELTIGO said yesterday. The merger is a bid to increase share in the West African country where mobile phone use is one of the highest in Africa and competition for 37.4m mobile phone users is fierce. MTN dominates with 47.5% of subscribers. The National Communications Authority granted conditional approval for the merger in Sep., following an agreement in Mar. by the two companies to combine their operations. AIRTELTIGO will serve around 10m subscribers with revenues close to $300m, it said in a statement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zamtel expects more than double subscriber numbers by 2020 - Chris Mfula

Zambian telecoms group ZAMTEL will more than double its mobile phone subscribers in the next three years after investing $300m in new infrastructure, the company's spokesperson said on Monday. Zambia has more than 12m mobile phone service subscribers, equivalent to about 70% of the population. ZAMTEL spokesperson KENNEDY MAMBWE said the company's subscriber numbers are expected to increase from about 2.2m to 3m by the end of next year, rising to 4m by the end of 2019 and 5m in 2020. "This will be supported by an investment of $280m by the government and about $20m from the company's internal resources", MAMBWE said. China agreed to lend Zambia the $280m to improve its telecoms infrastructure and increase mobile phone usage over three years, the Chinese ambassador said in Aug. The infrastructure investment will increase the number of ZAMTEL's transmission sites to 1 793 over the next three years from the current 897 to improve voice and data service. Zambia invited bidders for a fourth mobile phone voice service provider after approval of a new licensing regime and will close the tender on Nov. 24. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

StanChart's Kenya pretax profit falls 38% - Duncan Miriri

STANDARD CHARTERED KENYA's pretax profit fell 38% to 6.87bn shillings in the first nine months of this year, it said yesterday. The lender blamed the drop on a government cap on commercial lending rates introduced in Sep. 2016, and an economic slowdown after the Supreme Court nullified an Aug. 8 presidential election and orders a re-run, for the drop in earnings. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom has cash to last 'a few months', won't lay off staff - Mfuneko Toyana

ESKOM has enough cash to pay wages and keep operations going for a few months and does not plan to retrench any workers despite a liquidity crunch, spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE said yesterday. "The finance division has indicated there isn't any hindrance in our ability to make those payments... This is why we've been negating these reports that we only have R1.2bn in our coffers. Although we have not met our target of R20bn in terms of reserves, we still have enough cash to keep us going for a few more months", PHASIWE said without giving a timeframe. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya c.bank governor sees 5% inflation in 2018 and beyond - Tom Arnold

Kenya's central bank governor yesterday said he expects inflation of around 5% in 2018 and beyond, less than half the rate it reached earlier this year. Annual CPI shot to a five-year high of 11.7% in May, mainly because a regional drought drove up food prices in Q1. It dropped to 5.72% last month after rainfall improved food supplies. "Looking forward, inflation is well anchored. There's no reason for it to deviate from where it is", PATRICK NJOROGE said. The government has a preferred band of 2.5%-7.5% for inflation. Policymakers have held the central bank's benchmark lending rate at 10% since Sep. 2016. Kenya also capped commercial lending rates a year ago at 4 percentage points above the central bank rate and imposed a floor on deposit rates of 70% of the central bank rate. NJOROGE said the cap would eventually be removed, but the timing of the move was uncertain. The government has a draft study on the impact of the cap, which bankers want removed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 15/11/2017

At 04h58 on 15 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.36 ZAR/EUR 16.94 ZAR/GBP 18.91 Gold 1280.93 Platinum 924.00 Brent Crude Oil 63.08 All Share 59518.90

Noble includes distribution unit in sale of Americas-focused oil business - Hudson Lockett

NOBLE GROUP has added its US-based petroleum supply and distribution unit to the sale of its Americas-focused oil business to VITOL, raising the base consideration for the deal by $15m. NOBLE said it had agreed to sell NOBLE PETRO INC to VITOL, foregoing the chance to sell its equity interests in the unit to a third party. The troubled commodities trader said both parties had agreed that the base consideration for its sale of NOBLE AMERICAS CORP to VITOL would increase from about $202m to $217m as a result. NOBLE last month confirmed plans to sell the Americas-focused oil business to VITOL for gross consideration of $1.4bn based on $202m base consideration and net working capital of around $1.2m. It said at the time that net proceeds from the sale would amount to around $576m based on total consideration of $582m after transaction costs. Yesterday, NOBLE co-CEO JEFF FRASE resigned in the wake of the sale. NOBLE said WILLIAM RANDALL, currently co-CEO, would take control of the company with immediate effect. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 08/11/2017

At 11h07 on 08 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.44 ZAR/EUR 16.91 ZAR/GBP 18.95 Gold 1272.10 Platinum 926.00 Brent Crude Oil 63.08 All Share 59855.10

Vodafone lifts FY guidance after European sales pick up - Nic Fildes

VODACOM raised its expectations for FY profit and cash flow after it reported stronger than expected revenue growth in Europe in H1 FY2018. It now expects adjusted EBITDA to grow by around 10%, to between €14.74bn and €14.95bn, while it expects free cash flow to be more than €5bn. It had previously said it expected to grow EBITDA by 4%-8% and that free cash flow would be around €5bn. VODAFONE's total revenue for the HY to end-Sep. dropped 4% to €23.1bn because of forex movements and the deconsolidation of its Dutch operations which have been merged with LIBERTY GLOBAL's cable company ZIGGO. Operating profit rose 32% to €2bn and the group raised its interim dividend by 2%. Organic service revenue growth was 1.7% in H1. Growth in Europe was 0.8% and 6.2% in its higher growth African, Asian and Middle Eastern markets. In India, revenue dropped 16% and adjusted EBITDA fell by 39%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tesco-Booker merger gets provisional competition clearance - Cat Rutter Pooley

TESCO's merger with BOOKER has cleared a major hurdle, obtaining provisional clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority. The competition watchdog provisionally concluded that TESCO's acquisition of BOOKER does not raise competition concerns, it said today. It found that the two groups did not compete head-to-head in most of their activities - particularly in supplying the catering industry, where BOOKER makes 30% of its sales and TESCO does not have a presence. The CMA said it had considered the impact of the merger in every area where a TESCO and BOOKER-supplied shop were both present - over 12 000 shops - to see whether the merged group might be able to raise prices or reduce service levels to boost profits, but it concluded that the grocery wholesale and retail markets were now so competitive that such a strategy would not succeed. A final report from the CMA is due by the end of Dec., TESCO said, adding that it expected the merger to complete early next year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German economy grows 0.8% in Q3, topping estimates - Adam Samson

Germany's economy continued growing at a "high rate" in Q3, exceeding economists' expectations and underscoring the strength of the eurozone's biggest economy. GDP rose 0.8% in Q3 from the previous one, according to data from the Federal Statistics Office. That beat the expectations of economists in a FactSet poll by 0.2 percentage points. On a price and calendar adjusted basis, the economy expanded 2.8% from 2.3% in Q2. "German economic growth continues at a high rate", the report said. It cited contributions from higher exports as one factor in the increase. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China investment growth slows as state, private spending soften - Hudson Lockett

Growth in fixed asset investment in China slowed more than expected in Oct. as spending by both the state and private sector edged lower, while retail sales and industrial output also softened more than expected. Urban fixed-asset investment grew 7.3% in the first 10 months of 2017, down from a pace of 7.5% in the year through Sep. and missing a median forecast of 7.4% from economists polled by Reuters. The latest reading on business investment marked a new low for this year and inched closer to a near-18-yar low of 6.3% touched in Dec. 1999. Investment by state-run companies to the end of Oct. rose 10.9%, down from the previous reading of 11%, while that at private companies grew 5.8% for the period, softening from 6% at end-Sep. Retail sales growth also disappointed, dipping 0.3 percentage points to 10% from a month earlier and missing expectations of a rise to 10.4%. Sales at larger businesses slowed to 7.2% from 7.8% in Sep. Industrial production came in at 6.2% y/y in Oct., reflecting a drop of 0.4 percentage points from a month earlier and coming in below a median estimate of a less marked slowdown to 6.2%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S&P declares Venezuela in default after missed payments - Edward White

STANDARD & POOR's has become the first rating agency to say that Venezuela is officially in default after the government's failure to make two interest payments. S&P today said Venezuela had failed to make $300m in coupon payments for global bonds due in 2019 and 2024 within the 30-calendar-day grace period. As a result, the rating agency said it had downgraded the issue ratings on those bonds to D from CC and cut the country's long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating to selective default, or SD, from CC. "Our CreditWatch negative reflects our opinion that there is a one-in-two chance that Venezuela could default again within the next three months", S&P said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rosneft Q3 misses estimates, free cash flow tumbles - Henry Foy

ROSNEFT missed analyst estimates as profit rose 81% in Q3 2017 y/y but free cash flow slumped despite a significant rise in crude oil prices. The Russian oil major said profit for the quarter stood at Rbs47bn, well below forecasts of Rbs66bn. EBITDA rose 27% to Rbs371bn, coming in above estimates. ROSNEFT pumped 5.67m boe in the quarter to end-Sep., up 8.8% y/y, despite curbs on increasing its production agreed by Moscow and OPEC members last winter. However, free cash flow tumbled to Rbs8bn in the quarter, from Rbs48bn y/y. ROSNEFT took a 49% stake in India's ESSAR OIL this year in a $12.9bn deal, has pledged $3bn to Kurdistan for drilling rights and pipeline infrastructure, and has leant Venezuela and its state-owned oil company PDVSA $6bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Abu Dhabi's state oil company to list shares in fuel distribution arm - Simeon Kerr

ABU DHABI NATIONAL OIL COMPANY said it would list at least 10% of shares in its fuel distribution arm in what it expected to be the biggest IPO in the emirate in six years. ADNOC said it planned to offer shares in ADNOC DISTRIBUTION to local and international investors next month on the emirate's Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, subject to regulatory approvals and market conditions. The listing could give the retail service stations and wholesale distribution company a value of $9bn-$14bn, it has previously been estimated. ADNOC DISTRIBUTION has a 67% market share in the number of retail fuel service stations, and the largest market share of wholesale fuel sales. The company is the UAE's largest retailer by number of stores. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Reliance Communications drops to record low after Q3 loss - Kiran Stacey

Stocks and bonds in RELIANCE COMMUNICATIONS dropped to a record low yesterday morning after the company said over the weekend that it had lost Rs12bn in the quarter to end-Sep. RCOM said two weeks ago that it was looking to sell itself to another investor by 2018 after calling off its proposed merger with rival AIRCEL. Until then the company has announced it will not make any debt repayments. Shares in RCOM fell 11.4% yesterday morning to Rs12.45, while a dollar-denominated bond due in 2020 fell 3.5% to 35.9c. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Shell to sell stake in Woodside for $1.7bn - John Murray Brown

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL has agreed to sell down almost two thirds of its remaining stake in WOODSIDE PETROLEUM for $1.7bn. The company yesterday said it had entered into an underwriting agreement with two investment banks to sell 71.6m shares - 64% of SHELL's stake and 8.5% of WOODSIDE's stock - at a price of A$31.10/share, resulting in pre-tax proceeds of around $1.7bn. The disposal, which the company said would help reduce net debt, is part of a $30bn divestment by SHELL as it seeks to improve its financial performance. It will retain a 4.8% stake after the latest deal completes today and has agreed not to sell any of its remaining shares for a minimum of 90 days. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EU agrees sanctions on Venezuelan govt - John Murray Brown

The EU yesterday agreed a range of sanctions on Venezuela, banning arms sales, setting up a system for freezing assets and imposing travel restrictions on some government officials. Foreign ministers from the EU announced the measures after a meeting in Brussels. The bloc said the steps could be reversed if President NICOLAS MADURO made moves to reintroduce greater democracy. The EU's arms ban is aimed at stopping the repression and surveillance of ordinary Venezuelans. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NHI could go same route as e-tolls - DTC - Lameez Omarjee

Uncertainty around how SA's National Health Insurance will work is cause for concern, according to a new report by the Davis Tax Committee, which emphasised the need for proper consultation before the health insurance scheme is implemented. The DTC report, which focuses on the financing of the NHI, was released by the advisory committee on Monday. The committee warned that "inadequate engagement at the early stages of NHI may well create resistance to change in the latter stages of implementation - much like the e-tolls". Government's White Paper on NHI previously said it would require R256bn in annual funding at 2010 prices. By 2025, the committee noted, a funding shortfall of R72bn is expected at an assumed average growth rate of 3.5%. The DTC noted that a real economic growth rate of just 2% would result in a shortfall as large as R108bn by 2025. "The proposed NHI, in its current format, is unlikely to be sustainable unless there is sustained economic growth". The DTC noted that given the magnitude of the funding requirement of the NHIk, it would require "trade-offs" with other National Development Plan programmes, like social security reforms and tertiary education. More realistic costing and a more detailed framework for its implementation is needed, the DTC highlighted, adding: "There should ideally be a fiscal rule to link NHI spending with the availability of fiscal resources". Excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco or sugar-based drinks are not expected to provide the significant funding required by the NHI. Given the size of projected funding shortfalls, substantial increases in VAT or PIT and/or the introduction of a new social security tax would be required to fund the NHI. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

OPEC raises forecast demand for crude in 2018 - David Sheppard

OPEC's in-house analysts have sharply raised their demand forecast for the cartel's oil in 2018, ahead of a key meeting of the company's ministers later this month. Writing in its monthly market report, OPEC said the forecast demand for its oil next year had been increased by around 400 000 bpd from the previous month to 33.4m bpd. The so-called 'call on OPEC' was also revised higher by 200 000 bpd for this year. The increase comes as the strength of demand growth had exceeded many analysts' expectations, helping to draw down inventories that built up during the crude glut since late 2014. The cartel's analysts said demand for OPEC crude is expected to reach 34m bpd in H2 2018 - a level roughly 1.4m bpd above what they pumped last month. OPEC pumped 32.59m bpd in Oct., according to secondary sources, down by 150 000 bpd on the prior month as output in Iraq and Nigeria fell. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Russia GDP growth rate falls in Q3 - Kathrin Hille

Russia's economy grew by 1.8% in Q3 y/y, a marked slowdown from the 2.5% the Federal Statistics Service had reported for Q2. The agency's first estimate for the Sep. quarter does not include any detail, but monthly data published earlier indicates that the deceleration was due to weaker growth in industrial production. Moscow expects GDP for FY2017 to increase by at least 2%. Industrial production had been the first indicator to recover, but it slowed to 1.2% y/y in the quarter to end-Sep. from 3.8% in the preceding quarter. Most other indicators point to a broader recovery ahead. Retail sales, which only stopped shrinking in Q2, picked up pace in the Sep. quarter, and construction was flat for the first time after more than a year of contraction. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

GE to sell locomotives, lighting units under turnaround plan - Ed Crooks

GENERAL ELECTRIC plans to sell its businesses making locomotives and lighting as new CEO JOHN FLANNERY battles to strengthen its fragile cash position. FLANNERY yesterday said the sales of around a dozen businesses worth $20bn or more would include two of its oldest business lines, which both have their roots in the 19th century. The disposal plans came as GE said it would cut its dividend for only the second time since 1938, halving it from 24c/quarter to 12c. FLANNERY said he had "a full recognition of the gravity of this decision, and the effect it has on many people", but that it reflected "where we are as a company right now". Underlying EPS, which GE had been targeting at $2 for next year, are now expected to be in a range of just $1-$1.07, in line with this year's expected earnings of $1.04-$1.12. The company is also borrowing $6bn to pay additional contributions into its pension fund that it expects to be due over 2018-2020. FLANNERY described 2018 as a "reset year", adding: "We know what we need to do, and it's showtime". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AB InBev taps new head for N America - Scheherazade Daneshkhu

ANHEUSER BUSCH INBEV is hoping to stem the fall in US beer sales by appointing a new head for North America. MICHEL DOUKERIS, chief sales officer of the company, is to replace JOAO CASTRO NEVES, an AB INBEV veteran who has spent just two years in the job, on Jan. 1. NEVES' departure comes less than three weeks after the brewer reported a 5.3% drop in quarterly revenues in the US, which BERNSTEIN analyst TREVOR STIRLING said was the worst performance he could remember. Announcing the change, AB INBEV CEO CARLOS BRITO said: "The US is our most important market and we recognise the need to continue to focus on driving topline growth across our portfolio". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IMF predicts Mexico's economic growth will slow in 2018 - Jude Webber

With presidential elections looming and the fate of NAFTA in the balance, Mexico's economy cannot expect to come out unscathed. The IMF has cut its 2018 growth forecast for Mexico to 1.9% from the 2.0% targeted back in July. Mexico's Q3 GDP shrank after the country suffered two earthquakes in Sep. and was lashed by hurricanes. The 2018 budget, which must be approved by tomorrow, expects 2%-2.6% growth for this year and 2%-3% for 2018. The economy grew by 2.3% in 2016. The IMF said it shared Mexican authorities' view that growth should accelerate from the second half of next year "but they were more optimistic regarding near- and medium-term growth". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Old Mutual sells down stake in asset management business - BDpro

OLD MUTUAL yesterday said it now held a 5.5% stake in OLD MUTUAL ASSET MANAGEMENT after selling down its interest as part of a restructuring process. The company has now raised a total $426.4m after selling a 24.45% stake in two tranches to HNA CAPITAL. Consequently, OLD MUTUAL FD INGRID JOHNSON will step down from the board of OMAM. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Argent's interim HEPS down 25.8% - Karl Gernetzky

The share price of ARGENT INDUSTRIAL was unchanged yesterday after the company reported a drop in HEPS of 25.8% to 31.5cps, towards the lower end of recent guidance. The company declared a 10cps dividend for the HY to end-Sep., reporting a total loss of R262m for the period, compared with a R37.25m profit y/y. The decline in large part was due to the economic slowdown in SA, which has led to a number of ARGENT's operations being downsized. It impaired four of its Johannesburg properties by R44.7m. Meanwhile, ongoing strikes and "go slow" industrial action had cost its Toolroom operations an estimated R2.6m during the period. HEPS would have been 37.7cps if this action had not taken place. ARGENT's overseas operations performed to expectations, and the company intends to purchase an additional operation in the UK. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SARB to oppose PPs bid to to delay Bankorp case - Fin24

The SARB yesterday said it would oppose a bid by the Public Protector to delay the so-called CIEX case related to the BANKORP bailout. This after Public Protector BUSISIWE MKHWEBANE said in court papers she would seek to have the start of the case, as well as the date for the latest round of answering affidavits, delayed, as she had recently retained new legal counsel. She said her new legal team could only convene on Oct. 6 "to discuss the matter and the approach to be taken". Her previous legal team withdrew in late Sep. "By this time, the entire legal team had only an overview of the matter as the documents could at that stage not have been studied by the legal representatives". In response to MKHWEBANE's latest affidavit, the SARB said the bid to delay the matter was not made timeously and lacked sufficient reasoning. "The Public Protector is impervious to the significant prejudice that this late in the day application will cause to the parties", the central bank said in its answering affidavit. MKHWEBANE said she intended to argue for the delay in the case on Nov. 17 before the North Gauteng High Court. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DTC: Inquiry needed on SARS laws, appointment of commissioner - Carin Smith

There is a need for a separate inquiry to examine all the relevant legislation affecting the running of SARS, according to a report on the tax system submitted to Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA by the Davis Tax Committee. According to the report, all the relevant legislation affecting the running of SARS are collectively "fundamental to the invariably delicate relationship between SARS and the taxpayer". For this reason, the committee considers that a separate inquiry is needed to examine the inter-relationship between the Constitution of the Republic of SA Act; the Public Finance Management Act; the SARS Act; the Tax Administration Act and the Customs Duty Act. The aim of the study would be to ensure all the relevant legislation "fits together" and that no one piece of legislation is incongruent with another. The DTC notes significant changes had been made to the SARS Act in 2002. The president was given an unfettered discretion to appoint (or dismiss) the SARS commissioner, while the role of the minister of finance was diminished. The nature of the SARS advisory board was also changed so that the minister of finance may appoint one or more specialist committees to advise the commissioner and the minister on any matter concerning the management of SARS resources. These matters may include asset management, HR and IT. There was, therefore, no longer a central board and the mandate of the advisory committees was clearly different and couched in narrower terms that which initially appeared in the act. The DTC strongly recommends the creation of a board to supervise the operation of SARS "with the clear objective of promoting the integrity of its conduct as well as to ensure that it implements systems to collect revenue as fairly and efficiently as possible". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vodacom's M-Pesa ambitions heat up post Safaricom deal - Natasha Odendaal

Following the R35bn acquisition of a 34.94% stake in Kenya's SAFARICOM, VODACOM plans to drive the development of its newly revamped M-Pesa platform. CEO SHAMEEL JOOSUB yesterday said the new acquisition had boosted an otherwise lacklustre profit performance during the HY to end-Sep. Underpinning the results were SAFARICOM's contribution over the last two months of a profit of R349m and a strong 10.8% expansion of SAFARICOM's customer base to 29.5m customers. JOOSUB highlighted the strong growth in both data and M-Pesa revenue, the latter of which generated 27% of service revenue, as data customers rose by 13.5% to 16.9m customers and 30-day active M-Pesa customers rose by 9.5% to 19.3m. Going forward, VODACOM has prioritised three work streams to drive value across both businesses. Going forward, VODACOM has prioritised three work streams to drive value across both businesses. "We will be driving development of M-Pesa across all markets, expanding our enterprise opportunity across East Africa, and driving big data initiatives across the two organisations... We expect the SAFARICOM transaction will further drive M-Pesa development and penetration outside of South Africa". M-Pesa, excluding SAFARICOM, reported revenue growth of 14% and boasted a subscriber base of 14m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ascendis, Remedica settlement reduced - Anine Kilian

ASCENDIS HEALTH has amended the repayment terms for its R4.4bn acquisition of REMEDICA HOLDINGS, reducing the deferred payment from €90m to €86.2m. The company in May announced it would acquire the entire issued share capital of REMEDICA from MARGRIT PATTICHIS, CHARALAMBOS PATTIHIS and GOLDBOND TRADING AND INVESTMENTS. Initially, a deferred payment of €90m was payable to the sellers on Aug. 25, 2019, however, the company yesterday announced it had decided to settle a portion of the deferred payment ahead of its due date. The sellers have agreed that this portion may be settled at a discount to its outstanding value. Therefore, ASCENDIS has entered into a deed of variation with the sellers to amend the terms of the deferred payment, reducing it to €86.2m from €90m and accelerating the repayment of €46.2m of the reduced deferred payment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

No free higher education, cost-sharing more feasible - Heher Report - ANA

The Heher Report, commissioned by President JACOB ZUMA to explore the feasibility of making higher education free, found that government alone would not be able to foot the bill for such a reality. The report by the commission, chaired by Justice JONATHAN HEHER, is in favour of a cost-sharing model that includes both government and banks. "The commission recommends that all undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at both public and private universities and colleges, regardless of their family background, be funded through a cost-sharing model of government guaranteed income-contingency loans sourced from commercial banks... Through this cost-sharing model, the commission recommends that commercial banks issue government guaranteed loans to the students that are payable by the student upon graduation and attainment of a specific income threshold. Should the student fail to reach the required income threshold, government bears the secondary liability". The commission further recommended that registration and application fees at universities and colleges be "scrapped across the board". Funding for postgraduate students should be funded through the National Research Fund, based on NRF criteria and merit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Datatec puts disappointing H1 behind it, looks forward to improvements - Megan van Wyngaardt

DATATEC yesterday said trading in H1 FY2018 had been disappointing, with the company posting EBITDA of $39m for the HY to end-Aug., compared with $69m y/y. The decrease was attributed to losses made by its Westcon business, with around $20m lost, while Logicalis contributed $4m in losses. However, DATATEC has now sold its Westcon-Comstor businesses in North America and Latin America, and a 10% stake in the remaining part of Westcon-Comstor to SYNNEX CORPORATION for $630m in cash, with the potential for an earn-out of up to $200m in cash. Following the disposal of Westcon Americas, the remaining business, Westcon International, would be directly managed by the DATATEC management team. This business will be reshaped via a combination of cost-reduction measures and business efficiency initiatives. DATATEC said the proceeds from the sale to SYNNEX would be used to return $350m to shareholders via a special cash dividend, with a scrip alternative. The company said it now expected a "much better" performance from Logicalis in H2, bolstered by the unit expecting to benefit fro the contribution of PACKET SYSTEMS INDONESIA, which was acquired in Sep. and a major multiyear contract win in Latin America, which will underpin the performance of Logicalis in that geography. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Global gold flows stable in Oct.; gold-backed ETFs add 3.35 of bullion - Reuters

Gold-backed ETFs have added 3.3t of gold to their global holdings during Oct., as outflows from North America mostly offset inflows in Europe, the latest data from the World Gold Council shows. Global ETF gold holdings now total 2 347.6t. According to the WGC, Europe led inflows in Oct., as investors added 11.2t of gold through funds listed in the region. There were outflows in North America of 8t, reversing some of its Sep. gains. Asia funds gained 800 kg, and ETFs in other regions lost 700 kg. The combined liquidity of ETFs increased modestly m/m to $1.37bn/day, an increase of 6% when compared with the year-to-date average liquidity of $1.29bn a day. So far this year, global gold-backed ETFs collectively held 347.6 t at end-Oct. Funds added 182.2t of gold year-to-date, equivalent to $7.8bn, which represents an increase of 8% of the global AUM from Dec. 2016, the WGC said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lucapa recovers eighth 100ct+ stone from Angola mine - Anine Kilian

LUCAPA DIAMOND COMPANY and local partners have recovered a high-value 129.58ct diamond from the Lulo project in Angola. The stone was recovered from alluvial mining block six along with another large high-value diamond weighing 78.61ct. Testing on the Yehuda colorimeter has confirmed that both diamonds are premium Type IIa D-colour gems. LUCAPA MD STEPHEN WETHERALL said the latest recoveries reinforced the extraordinary nature of the Lulo diamond field and its potential to yield large diamonds. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Harmony's Kusasalethu hit by wildcat strike - Reuters

HARMONY GOLD's Kusasalethu mine has been hit by a wildcat strike triggered by the sacking of six leaders of trade union AMCU for their role in a violent work stoppage earlier this year. HARMONY GOLD spokesperson MARIAN VAN DER WALT said the strike began on Friday and only a fraction of the 4 500-strong workforce showed up for work yesterday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Caledonia's Q3 output rises 7% y/y - Anine Kilian

CALEDONIA MINING produced 14.396oz of gold in Q3 to end-Sep., a 7% y/y increase. The higher production was mainly the result of higher grades and contributed to higher revenues and a substantial increase in profit. Revenues grew to $18.23m, compared with $17.64m y/y, while net profit attributable to shareholders in the quarter was $3.1m, almost three times higher than that of Q3 2016 and over four times higher than in Q2 2017. All-in sustaining costs fell sharply in the quarter to $774/oz, compared with $855/oz in Q2 and $1 004 in the third quarter of 2016, owing to the higher gold output, which results in fixed costs being spread across more ounces. The y/y change in AISC was also owing to lower general and administrative expenses and the recognition of the export incentive credit which is paid by the Zimbabwean government at a value of 3.5% of the Blanket mine's revenues. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fortescue Metals ends power supply agreement with TransAlta Corp - Reuters

FORTESCUE METALS GROUP yesterday said it has terminated a power supply agreement with TRANSALTA CORP for its Port Hedland operations in Western Australia. The company said it was not satisfied that TRANSALTA's obligations under the South Hedland Power Purchase Agreement have been met. Talks with TRANSALTA had failed to reach a satisfactory outcome. FORTESCUE added that it continues to obtain full power from other suppliers for its Port Hedland operations. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tullow raises FY output guidance on Ghana fields - Arathy S Nair

TULLOW OIL last week raised its output guidance, thanks to higher production from its TEN and Jubilee fields in Ghana. The company now expects FY West Africa net oil output to come in at 85 000-89 000 bpd, compared with its prior guidance of 78 000-85 000 bpd. FY gross output guidance from Jubilee was raised to around 89 000 bpd while production from the TEN deepwater project is now expected to exceed the original guidance of 50 000 bpd. TULLOW also said it expected to generate around $400m in free cash flow for 2017, helped by strong production and higher oil prices in H2 2017. The company said net debt fell to $3.6bn at end-Oct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PPC gets non-binding CRH bid for controlling stake - TJ Strydom

PPC yesterday said Ireland's CRH is considering an all-cash offer to buy a controlling stake in the cement maker. PPC, which did not disclose the value of the non-binding expression of interest, said it would allow CRH time to conduct due diligence and submit an updated offer next week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Dangote Cement shares trade in off-market deal worth $86m - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's DANGOTE INDUSTRIES sold 128.5m shares of DANGOTE CEMENT at 210 naira apiece on Monday in a one-off stock market deal valued at 27bn naira, traders said. The cement maker has been selling small stakes to increase its free float, which is well below the Nigerian stock exchange's required level. In Aug., DANGOTE CEMENT sold a 2.3% stake in itself to foreign investors in a deal valued at 86.1bn naira. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Treasury head of budget resigns - Mfuneko Toyana

The Treasury yesterday confirmed that Deputy DG MICHAEL SACHS, the senior official in charge of the budget office, had quit the department. "Mr SACHS will not be leaving National Treasury immediately to ensure a proper handover to another senior official", the department said in a statement. Fin24 yesterday reported that SACHS quit last week complaining that President JACOB ZUMA was interfering in the budget process. The rand has weakened since last week on concerns about a possible ratings downgrade should ZUMA announce increased education spending. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 14/11/2017

At 06h59 on 14 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.46 ZAR/EUR 16.89 ZAR/GBP 18.99 Gold 1277.26 Platinum 929.75 Brent Crude Oil 63.20 All Share 59821.19

Rio completes off-market buy-back - Esmarie Swanepoel

RIO TINTO has completed a A$750m off-market buy-back, with all shares purchased to be cancelled. The company in Sep. initiated the buy-back, which was increased from an indicative A$700m, as part of its $2.5bn share buy-back programme, returning the proceeds from the sale of its COAL & ALLIED subsidiary to shareholders. RIO yesterday said it had bought back 11.8m shares, at A$63.67/share, representing about 2.78% of RIO's issued ordinary share capital. Following the completion of the buy-back, the company had about 412.4m shares on issue. The on-market buy-back of RIO shares, up to a maximum amount of $1.95bn, would start on Dec. 27 and would be completed no later than the end of Dec. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mick Davis speculated to be Rio Tinto's preferred new chair - Miningmx.com

Former XSTRATA CEO MICK DAVIS could be heading to RIO TINTO, according to Sky News which said he was the preferred candidate to replace current chair, JAN DU PLESSIS. Were DAVIS to take the chairmanship of RIO TINTO it would potentially put him on a renewed collision course with GLENCORE CEO IVAN GLASENBERG. GLENCORE made a preliminary takeover approach for RIO in 2014. DAVIS and GLASENBERG fought during the takeover of XSTRATA by GLENCORE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Treasury turmoil sends rand to one-year low - Mfuneko Toyana

The rand fell more than one percent while the risk premium on government bonds soared over news of a top Treasury official resignation, financial woes at ESKOM and political jostling in the ANC. A report by a presidential commission that government raise spending on higher education saw muted response from markets, with traders saying it was short on detail. The rand was little changed after it was published. It slipped to a one-year low on Friday amid reports President JACOB ZUMA was preparing to introduce free higher education, which would put added pressure on public finances. At 1120 GMT, the rand was at 14.52/$ having tumbled as much as 1.1% to session-worst 14.5425, its weakest level since Nov. 18 2016. Government bonds due 2026 also weakened, with yields on the paper climbing 14.5 bps to 9.495%, its highest level since May 2016. Treasury yesterday confirmed MICHAEL SACHS' resignation. "The rumour that a senior Treasury official has resigned is obviously the main reason the rand moved lower", BIDVEST BANK chief dealer KUMERAN GOVENDER said. "But there's also reports that ANC Secretary-General GWEDE MANTASHE is under pressure and that hasn't helped either". Local news reported that MANTASHE was facing calls to quit by some members of the party. The ANC denied the claims. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom not insolvent but facing cashflow trouble - Tanisha Heiberg

ESKOM yesterday said it was not insolvent but was facing serious liquidity issues and would be in in "trouble" if the situation persisted. ESKOM spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE said the utility's sales growth had been muted while its operating costs were very high and its tariffs for the current FY were low. "We are not insolvent but we are projecting that if we continue along this trajectory we might be in trouble", PHASIWE said. Fin24 and EE Publishers yesterday reported that the utility's liquidity reserves are expected to fall to R1.2bn by the end of this month compared to a target of R20bn. In its results for the FY to end-Mar., ESKOM reported a score of losses, saying it expected cash and cash equivalents to fall R8.6bn to R20.4bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania threatens to dissolve opposition-run municipal council over transparency row - Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala

Tanzania yesterday threatened to disband an opposition-led municipal council if it continued to defy the government and maintain membership in a global initiative aimed at creating more open government. President JOHN MAGUFULI has been accused by rights groups of cracking down on opposition. He denies this, saying his government respects democracy. The Kigoma Ujiji Municipal Council has vowed to remain in the Open Government Partnership as a sub-national member despite central government's withdrawal. But the government warned the leader of opposition party ACT-Wazalendo, ZITTO KABWE, in Parliament yesterday that his party would lose the municipal council if it did not immediately withdraw. "A municipal council cannot refuse to comply with a decision made by the central government", Tanzania's Good Governance Minister, GEORGE MKUCHIKA, said. "If they continue to communicate with OGP as they are doing now, the government will take stern measures... which may include disbanding the municipal council. Don't force us to go there". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lewis sells more furniture, but more of it is on credit - Robert Laing

The proportion of furniture LEWIS sold on credit in H1 of its current FY widened to 68.8%, from 63.4% y/y, helping it grow sales 5% to R1.3bn. A quarter of total revenue came from finance charges and initiation fees, which fell 7.3% to R678.5m. Insurance revenue fell 15% to R356.4m, while "ancillary services" revenue fell 9% to R328.9m for the HY to end-Sep. y/y. The declines in the fees LEWIS adds to the price for customers who buy furniture on credit saw the group's overall interim revenue decline by 3% to R2.66bn. LEWIS maintained its interim dividend at 100cps despite its after-tax profit falling 18% to R143.4m. HEPS fell 16% to 163.9cps, midway between the company's guidance of a 12%-18% decline. LEWIS increased its marketing expenditure by 9% to R123m, and CEO JOHAN ENSLIN said this would rise further in H2. LEWIS managed to reduce its debtor costs by 11.5% to R444.3m, from R502.1m y/y. Collection rates improved from 74.6% in H1 FY2017 to 76.2% in the current period. Debtor costs as a percentage of net debtors fell from 8.6% to 8%. The level of satisfactory paid customers at 67.7% is in line with last year's 67.9%, LEWIS said This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Green shoots visible for Tongaat Hulett - Tammy Foyn

TONGAAT HULETT is starting to see the positive effects of the end of a devastating drought that hit its operations in KwaZulu-Natal, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The company posted a 9% rise in operating profit for H1 to end-Sep., and forecast strong increases in sugar production in the medium term. Group operating profit of R1.471bn was up 9% y/y, despite revenue falling 4.5% to R8.2bn. Sugar contributed R835m to operating profit, little changed from R825m y/y. Land sales realised an operating profit of R441m - up from R269m y/y. After-tax profit was R791m, up 15% from R687m y/y. TONGAAT HULETT said it would like to produce enough sugar cane to fully use its annual milling capacity of 2mt. It forecast output to increase to between 1.161mt and 1.209mt in FY2017/18, from 1.056mt in the previous year. It is pencilling in output of 1.403mt-1.51mt in 2018/19. An interim dividend of 100cps was declared, unchanged y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vodacom H1 earnings inch up - Nqobile Dludla

VODACOM GROUP posted a 1.1% rise in H1 earnings today, while net profit increased by 7% to R6.7bn, boosted by the acquisition of SAFARICOM. HEPS came in at 445cps in the HY to end-Sep., up from 440cps y/y. VODACOM declared an interim dividend of 390cps, slightly changed from the previous year. Revenue was up 4.6% to R42.0bn, supported by strong demand for smartphones, the company said. VODACOM's active customer base rose 11.8% to 71m across the group. VODAFONE consolidated two of its African interests in May with the transfer of a 35% stake in SAFARICOM to VODACOM. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AIA climbs 6% on China's pledge to open finance sector - Hudson Lockett

Shares in Asia-focused AIA gained as much as 6.1% this morning on Beijing's plans to ease limits on foreign ownership in China's financial sector. Among plans announced on Friday for lifting caps on ownership in China's financial sector, only those for insurance JVs came with a clear timeline - the limit will be raised to 51% in three years and removed entirely in five years. Shares in AIA were still up 5% in morning trade at HK$64.65, while the Hang Seng had risen 0.3%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mattel shares jump 23% on report of Hasbro takeover approach - Mamta Badkar

MATTEL shares rose late on Friday after a report that HASBRO has made a takeover offer for the company. Shares in MATTEL rallied more than 23% to $18.08 after the Wall Street Journal reported that HASBRO had approached the company about a takeover. HASBRO shares rose 3% to $94.50. The report comes after MATTEL late last month suspended its quarterly dividend amid a sharp drop in sales and HASBRO issued a disappointing outlook. Following its results, MATTEL was junked by S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, which cut its ratings from BBB- to BB with a negative outlook, noting that they expect the company will "continue to experience heightened business risk over the next few years". MATTEL shares are down 47% so far this year, while HASBRO shares are up 18% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Argentina scores VW investment as Coca-Cola ponders withdrawal - Benedict Mander

Just as VOLKSWAGEN on Friday announced it would invest $650m in boosting its production in Argentina, COCA-COLA was reportedly considering withdrawing part of a $1bn investment in protest against tax hikes on soft drinks. The report comes as the government prepares to send a tax reform bill to Congress later today, which will slash corporate taxes overall but also bump up taxes on soft drinks from 8% to 17%. Sources at COCA-COLA said the company was also considering halting purchases of lemon juice from Argentina. COCA-COLA was one of the first companies to make a major investment announcement, for $1bn, shortly after President MAURICIO MACRI took power two years ago. VW's announcement to ramp up production of SUVs comes as the country's car output climbed 15.9% in Oct. y/y after its sixth consecutive month of growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US consumer sentiment gauge cools in Nov. - Jessica Dye

A gauge of US consumer sentiment dipped in Nov. m/m, while still remaining at its second-highest level since Jan. The University of Michigan's Survey of Consumers preliminary results for Nov. came in at 97.8. A Thomson Reuters survey had predicted the reading to come in at the same 100.7 registered in Oct. While it is a 2.9% drop from the prior month, November's preliminary reading was still 4.3% ahead of the same month in 2016. The losses were still "quite small", with the sentiment index sitting at its second-highest point since Jan. Survey of Consumers chief economist RICHARD CURTIN said a record number of consumer respondents mentioned an improving labour market as a reason for their optimism, while anticipation of growth in wages hit the highest two-month level in 10 years. However, the positive sentiment was tempered by a "slight rise in year-ahead inflation expectations and a growing consensus that interest rates will increase during the year ahead". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK growth quickens, putting economy on track for 0.5% Q4 growth - NIESR - Cat Rutter Pooley

UK economic growth quickened in the most recent three months and the economy is expected to close 2017 stronger than it started, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The think-tank's latest monthly estimate of UK GDP suggested output expanded by 0.5% in the three months to end-Oct., ahead of the official first reading for the quarter to end-Sep. of 0.4%. Real GDP growth for Q4 2017 is also expected to be 0.5%, NIESR forecast, ahead of economists' consensus of a 0.3% increase. Growth has been lacklustre so far in 2017 as sold growth in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote - of 0.6% in Q3 2016 and 0.7% in Q4 - has faded. "Although economic growth is likely to be stronger in the second half of this year compared with the first, it is important to note that activity as slowed since last year and this at a time when growth in other OECD countries has strengthened", NIESR head of UK macroeconomic forecasting, AMIT KARA, said. NIESR said a shift in UK demand towards international trade in response to stronger global growth and a weaker sterling, and away from struggling domestic demand should help support growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazilian inflation ticks up but door still open for further rate cuts - Andres Schipani

Inflation in Brazil picked up in Oct. with the largest monthly rise in prices in more than a year, but the annual rate remained below the central bank's target. The IPCA index - Brazil's extended measure of CPI - rose 0.42% in Oct., up from 0.16% the prior month, national statistics agency IBGE said on Friday. Consumer prices rose 2.7% y/y - up from 25% the previous month but still below the central bank's inflation target range of 4.5% plus or minus 1.5 percentage points. GOLDMAN SACHS economist ALBERTO RAMOS said: "The benign current and prospective inflation outlook, well-anchored inflation expectations, sizeable output and labour market gaps... should together allow the central bank to ease monetary policy a bit further. Overall, following the 675 bp in Selic policy rate cuts since October 2016, we expect the Copom to end the long and deep easing cycle with a 50 bp cut at the December 2017 meeting. This would drive the Selic policy rate to a clearly stimulative and record-low 7.00%". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 08/11/2017

At 09h30 on 08 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.40 ZAR/EUR 16.72 ZAR/GBP 18.76 Gold 1276.60 Platinum 930.26 Brent Crude Oil 63.49 All Share 59954.00

Next Vedanta boss could come from oil industry - Neil Hume

The next CEO of VEDANTA RESOURCES could come from the oil industry, chairperson ANIL AGARWAL said on Friday. The company is looking for a new head to replace TOM ALBANESE, who stepped down in Aug. However, that person does not have to come from the mining industry, AGARWAL said. VEDANTA has expanded from industry metals into oil and gas via the acquisition of CAIRN INDIA. "We are in the process of interviewing various people", he said, while not being drawn into giving a timeframe for an appointment. VEDANTA on Friday announced plans to invest $850m in the oil business, a move that will lift its output by as much as 300 000 bpd by 2020, from 184 000 at present. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pound tipped to fall further after dip in Asia trading - Edward White

The pound fell in early trading in Asia today following reports that a group of Conservative lawmakers had agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in PM THERESA MAY. Sterling fell as much as 0.7% to $1.3105 against the dollar. It later trimmed its losses to be down 0.5% on t he day at $1.3122. WESTPAC senior currency strategist SEAN CALLOW attributed the pound's fall to a report in The Times saying that 40 MPs had agreed to sign the letter amid concerns about MAY's handling of Brexit. CALLOW said it "wouldn't be surprising to see some early London selling towards recent lows [of around $1.3085]". However, he did not expect the currency to extend as far as its early Nov. low of $1.3040. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Anglo's biggest shareholder says miner should not be broken up - Neil Hume

The biggest shareholder in ANGLO AMERICAN, Indian metals tycoon ANIL AGARWAL, is not in favour of a break-up and thinks the company should invest more money into its South African operations in spite of a volatile political climate in the country. AGARWAL said ANGLO should cherish its South African assets and "make them better and better". "I like the structure as it is at this point in time", he told the FT in an interview. Through a family trust, AGARWAL has amassed a 20% stake in ANGLO. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trafigura boosts investment in Terrafame - David Sheppard

TRAFIGURA has agreed a $200m funding package with Finnish miner TERRAFAME, becoming the latest trader to invest in nickel and cobalt to meet future demand for electric vehicle batteries. The new agreement, which follows a €250m investment in the ramp-up of the Finnish mine in Feb., is aimed specifically at the electric vehicle market, as miners scramble to tout the need for more nickel, cobalt and other metals to meet this new source of demand. "The new funding package now agreed on is a significant factor enabling TERRAFAME to move from established industrial operations to investing in new business opportunities associated with the electric vehicle battery segment", the parties said. The funding will come from GALENA ASSET MANAGEMENT, a branch of TRAFIGURA, as well as the parent company. The GALENA fund and external investors control 15.9% of TERRAFAME. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kobe Steel blames fake data scandal on corporate culture - Leo Lewis

KOBE STEEL has sought to blame at least a decade of data fabrication across multiple production facilities on a closed corporate culture, over-pursuit of profits and "unbalanced" factory management. The company's explanation for the scandal came with a series of pledges for improvements to internal controls and better automation of the quality testing process. They include the establishment of an internal committee that will oversee" quality-related governance". KOBE apologised for the "enormous amount of trouble we have caused out customers, suppliers, shareholders and many others". The apology accompanies the results of an internal probe into the history and extent of a problem that has mainly involved KOBE selling aluminium, copper and steel products where product specifications had been tampered with so that they would appear to meet customers' demands. Although the report details a number of specific problems, analysts said its explanations bore "Striking resemblance" to reports that other Japanese companies have produced in the wake of their own scandals. The report said the KOBE falsification had been carried out "in a severe management environment", whereby departments were held to exacting profit targets - very similar language to that used when TOSHIBA tried to explain seven years of fraudulent accounting. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK trade deficit narrows in Sep. on higher goods exports - Adam Samson

The UK trade deficit narrowed in Sep. m/m, driven by an increase in goods exports. The trade gap contracted by £700m to £2.75bn, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. Goods exports rose to £29.51bn from £28.24bn in Aug. Offsetting the increase, imports of goods ticked up to £40.76bn from £40.59bn. The goods deficit of £11.25bn was smaller than the £12.8bn forecast by economists in the Reuters survey. ONS said the rise in exports of goods was "primarily due to unspecified goods (including non-monetary gold)". Despite the monthly improvement, however, the deficit still expanded over Q3 overall. ONS senior statistician KATE DAVIES said the quarterly change was "mainly due to large increases in imports of machinery, gold and fuel, partially offset by falling imports of aircraft". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK industrial production beats forecasts for second month in a row - Nicholas Megaw

The UK's industrial sector ended Q3 on a strong note, comfortably beating economists' forecasts as output rose for a fourth straight month. Industrial production rose 2.5% in the 12 months to Sep., the strongest y/y figure since Feb. Output increased 0.7% on a monthly basis, and increased 1.1% over Q3 as a whole. The results were better than even the most optimistic estimates among economists polled by Reuters, thanks mainly to "robust growth" in production of cars and medical equipment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ArcelorMittal offers bullish assessment of global steel market - Michael Pooler

ARCELORMITTAL notched up a slight increase in Q3 earnings as it offered an optimistic assessment of the global steel market. The company posted a 1.4% y/y rise in core profits to $1.9bn in the quarter to end-Sep., as measured by EBITDA. Sales were 21.5% higher at $17.6bn y/y. CEO LAKSHMI MITTAL said favourable market conditions "have supported another solid quarterly performance, with EBITDA for the first nine months considerably improved year-on-year". "Operating conditions continue to improve, with key indicators... implying a positive outlook for 2018". European regulators last week opened a full-scale probe into whether ARCELORMITTAL's proposed €1.8bn acquisition of Europe's largest steel plan, Ilva in Italy, will reduce competition. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

French industrial output recovers in Sep. - Cat Rutter Pooley

French industrial output rebounded in Sep. after an unexpected drop in Aug. Output in the sector as a whole rose by 0.6% in the month after a 0.2% contraction in Aug., data from Insee showed. In manufacturing, output also picked up, increasing 0.4% in Sep. following on from a 0.3% fall. Over the past 12 months manufacturing output expanded "sharply", Insee said, up 2.7% in Q3 y/y. On a q/q basis, output in manufacturing and overall industry grew 0.6%, with the biggest increase in transport production, which continued a strong run. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Net1 eyes global expansion - Fin24

NET1 UEPS has employed a fintech veteran to spearhead its global expansion plans. With 22 years of experience in the industry, CARL SCHEIBLE will lead and partner in the development and implementation of a global expansion and deployment of large scale UEPS/EMV projects for the NET1 group, specifically targeting already identified developing economies. SCHEIBLE previously served as Chief Commercial Officer at ENETT INTERNATIONAL, a leading provider of B2B travel payment solutions, based in London. Prior to that, he held senior positions at MONEYGRAM and PAYPAL. "CARL has intimate knowledge and experience across multiple geographic markets as well as the payments industry, and will lead a dedicated effort to execute our strategy", NET1 CEO HERMAN KOTZE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Telkom eyes business portfolio review - Natasha Odendaal

TELKOM plans to continue seeking a sustainable growth framework, reviewing its business portfolio and prioritising strategic initiatives. This includes a review of the company's legacy network and IT systems, noncore assets and product portfolio. TELKOM on Friday reported that its operating revenue for the HY to end-Sep. declined by 0.6% to R20.1bn, while net revenue was down 0.9% to R15.7bn and EBITDA by 1.9% to R5.2bn. HEPS decreased by 7.4% to 303.9cps. BCX took the biggest hit during the period under review, while the company's fibre and mobile subsidiaries delivered strong performances. "It is imperative for the group to continue to invest in key growth areas to ensure that we do not compromise our medium-term prospects. This is the primary reason for the increased investment in fibre and mobile", TELKOM CEO SIPHO MASEKO said. "BCX will continue with its cost-conscious approach in order to preserve profit and margins. Our business portfolio review process will positively change the quality of our earnings and revenue mix", MASEKO said. Meanwhile, OPENSERVE is reviewing its own network technology, while optimising its network footprint, analysing the current deployed network and upgrading, decommissioning and using alternative technologies to modernise, transform and commercialise the network. At the same time, TELKOM Consumer will embark on a product rationalisation process to discontinue legacy products, with the range of Unlimited, Freeme and Smart broadband products forming the bedrock of its sales and marketing advances in future. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New acquisition boosts Dipula's portfolio value - Natasha Odendaal

DIPULA INCOME FUND plans to acquire a mixed portfolio from an undisclosed seller for R1.27bn. The portfolio comprises two retail properties in Gauteng - Chilli Lane and Chilli on Top - boasting an aggregate 18 433m² of space; five office properties across Gauteng and the Western Cape; and three redevelopment properties. DIPULA will also acquire a 50.1% stake in a portfolio comprising mostly industrial properties for R209m. The transaction, along with R277m in concluded transactions earlier this year, will take DIPULA's total portfolio value to more than R8.5bn. The weighted average lease expiry profile of the portfolio is defensive at over four years and 97% of the gross lettable area is let to multinational, national and strong regional tenants. DIPULA highlighted the acquisition's minimal vacancies of 0.8%. The forward yield of the acquisition is 11.7%. The acquisition remains subject to certain conditions precedent. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AMSA lifts Q3 output, sales - Megan van Wyngaardt

ARCELORMITTAL SA increased its liquid steel production by 11.2%, or 125 000t, in Q3 to end-Sep. despite tough trading conditions, due to higher production at Saldanha Works as a result of the mini reline in Q3 2016. However, this was partly offset by lower production at Newcastle Works following a cutback in output as a result of high input costs and poor market conditions. The capacity use for Q3 increased to 81% compared with 73% y/y. Local sales stood at 49 000t, or 6% higher y/y, owing to higher local demand for flat products as a result of the implementation of safeguards on hot rolled coil since the start of Aug., while long product sales decreased by 15.5% following strong competition from scrap users in relation to manufacturers that use raw materials in their production process. Imports fell by 142 000t as a result of safeguards, a weaker local market and high stock levels. Export sales increased by 66 000t, or 48.5%, with flat product sales up by 22 000t and long steel products by 44 000t. In the commercial coke section, AMSA recorded a 3 000t increase in sales. "The volatility in the rand/dollar exchange rate will continue to have an impact on our financial results", the company said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MTN receives notice of regulatory hearing in Benin - Natasha Odendaal

MTN BENIN on Friday confirmed the receipt of a notification from the telecoms regulator ARCEP for a review into nonpayment of outstanding frequency fees. The company said it would continue to engage the regulatory authorities in Benin to "find an amicable solution to this matter". ARCEP has initiated a review to determine why MTN BENIN has not paid outstanding invoices on frequency fees for 2016 and 2017. In March, the company was issued fees invoices by the government for about $213m for the period Mar. 2016 to Dec. 2017. "MTN BENIN has contested this amount on the basis that, besides others, the amount is excessive, which has been confirmed by an independent benchmark report commissioned in terms of MTN BENIN's licence", MTN said. "While the licence agreement prescribed the calculation methodology for frequency fees, it also provides that fees should take into account regional benchmarks, international practices and the local economy", MTN BENIN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tough economic environment keeps Telkom H1 financials flat - Natasha Odendaal

TELKOM's H1 results have been marred by a tough economic climate and increased competition that have muted overall growth across the board for the HY to end-Sep. Lower spend from government placed a further damper on ICT spend in the public sector, TELKOM CEO SIPHO MASEKO said. The company posted a 7.4% drop in HEPS to 303.9cps for the HY to end-Sep., owing mostly to lower revenues, while basic EPS decreased by 7% to 316.9cps. Lower revenue also led to a 1.9% contraction in EBITDA to R5.2bn, and a margin of 25.9%. Operating revenue fell 0.6% to R20.1bn. TELKOM's mobile business continued its growth trajectory, supported by strong growth in active customers and stable average revenue per user, which had resulted in a 43.2% rise in mobile service revenue. MASEKO said TELKOM remained cognisant of the group revenue pressure and said it would maintain diligence in sustainable investment. Overall capex for the HY under review increased by 9.2% to R3.97bn, with capex to revenue of 19.8% in line with the company's guidance. An interim dividend of 118.1cps was declared. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA mulls welfare cuts to fund free higher education - report - Reuters

The government is considering a range of budget cuts that could include slashing social grants for the most vulnerable in order to pay for free tertiary education, the Mail & Guardian reported on Friday. The rand weakened after comments by President JACOB ZUMA raised concerns about higher spending on education. The newspaper said a presidential fiscal committee had presented a document to ZUMA outlining possible cuts to fund free higher education for lower-income students as well as plugging a rising budget deficit. Options include cuts to social grants and slashing the budgets for housing, infrastructure and the armed forces. A freeze on civil servant wage hikes was also on the cards, the M&G reported. The Presidency and Treasury did not respond to requests for comment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Small independent watch shops are doomed - Richemont CFO - Thomas Mulier, Bloomberg

The clock is ticking for small independent watch stores, according to luxury giant RICHEMONT. "The traditional wholesale trade, especially in watches, will disappear... It's a tough place out there", RICHEMONT CFO BURKHART GRUND said on Friay. Watch retailers are going out of business as the bigger players consolidate, an online watch market emerges and producers try to gain more control over the final sale. The obsolescence of small independent watch shops follows the disappearance of third-party distribution of other luxury-goods products, such as fine pens and leather goods. RICHEMONT on Friday announced that EMMANUEL PERRIN, head of international sales at CARTIER, will become head of distribution for RICHEMONT's watch brands. His job will be to make sure third parties are clearing out their inventory levels as the company focuses on key distributors. RICHEMONT has no programme to "actively shut down" any accounts, PERRIN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Telkom says govt has identified potential buyers of stake - Loni Prinsloo

TELKOM executives have met with government officials to discuss plans to sell a 39% state-owned stake and were told that potential buyers have been identified. "They have communicated that they have identified a buyer of buyers to sell to", TELKOM CEO SIPHO MASEKO said on Friday, adding that the sale "will most likely be done through a private placement". Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA last month said he planned to dispose of a portion of the shareholding, currently worth around R10.4bn. The PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION already owns around 11% of TELKOM and has been touted as a possible buyer of the stake. MASEKO said Pretoria has "assured us that the sale will be done in a disciplined manner". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

HSBC shuts down accounts linked to Gupta front companies - Fin24

HSBC on Friday said it "has been reviewing its exposure to the GUPTAS for some time, and has closed a number of accounts for associated front companies wherever we have found them", the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Morningstar reported. The announcement follows a WSJ article on Friday, in which it revealed how it reviewed documents that showed that the GUPTAS had used HSBC accounts in Dubai to transfer money through firms linked to suspected kickbacks for the sale of Chinese locomotives in 2013. HSBC has denied that it sanctioned money laundering, while the GUPTAS have previously denied wrongdoing. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investec adds life insurance cover to SA offering - Tehillah Niselow

INVESTEC launched its life cover product on Thursday, which is aimed at attracting upper income clients with several tailored products to suit professionals, high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs. The niche financial services company said it plans to offer a fresh, new perspective to log term insurance, which is often seen as a grudge purchase. The new product offering will be available to INVESTEC's 77 000 clients in SA at first, with the possibility of this being extended to external clients at a later stage. The life cover product will allow a client's family to select either a lump sum pay-out or monthly instalments. The bank will also offer disability cover, income protection cover and severe illness cover. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nambia Rare Earths expands metals portfolio - Henry Lazenby

NAMIBIA RARE EARTHS has signed an agreement with private firm GECKO NAMIBIA to acquire a controlling stake in a portfolio of seven metals properties, thereby expanding its focus from heavy rare earths to include cobalt, copper, zinc, lithium, graphite, tantalum, niobium, nickel and gold. The company will issue 64m shares to GECKO, which in return, together with its chair GERALD MCCONNELL, have each agreed to complete a private placement with the company for C$250 000 at $0.05/share, for gross proceeds to the company of C$500 000. NAMIBIA RARE EARTHS will also issue 10m common shares under the private placement, subject to TSX-V approval, representing 43.75% of the company's outstanding equity. The deal provides NRE with a high quality, diversified portfolio of critical metals and at the same time has secured access to an experienced strategic partner. The deal will expand NRE's ground holdings in Namibia from 221 km² to mover then 6 850 km². It will acquire GECKO's 95% stake in a portfolio of exploration properties comprising 14 exploration prospecting licences, four of which are pending, one mineral deposit retention licence and GECKO's rights under an option agreement to acquire a 60% stake in a further exploration prospecting licence which interest may, subject to the terms of the option agreement, be increased to 80%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Jubilee's aspiration to enter mid-cap space tangible - Megan an Wyngaardt

Describing the FY to end-Jun. as an exceptional period of growth for JUBILEE, chair COLIN BIRD on Friday said the company had established itself as a diversified producer of metals, including platinum and chrome. JUBILEE is now well on track through the ramp-up of its Dilokong Chrome Mine operations, which delivered its first FY of output with total chrome concentrate production o 78 588t. The Hernic project produced 808oz of PGMs by end-Jun. The company's Tjate platinum product was also awarded a mining licence. BIRD said Tjate "represents an extremely large PGM metal resource and, in terms of the fourth generation of new platinum mines, is favourably positioned in terms of depth, grade, continuity and is relatively geologically untroubled compared to its peers". JUBILEE said its group loss for FY2017 from continuing operations, excluding one-off items, decreased by 61.87% at £3.1m, from £3.41m y/y. Further, the company reported a group loss a share from operations of 0.25p, while operating expenses from continuing operations fell by 26.69% to £3.44m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Judgment reserved in CoM's application for declaratory order regarding continuing consequences of ownership - Anine Kilian

The Chamber of Mines on Friday advised that its application for a declaratory order on the principles applicable to the assessment of the ownership element of the Mining Charter was heard by a full bench in the High Court on Nov. 9 and 10. All parties presented their respective arguments over the two days and judgment has been reserved. "The CoM remains fully committed to the meaningful transformation of the South African industry and believes the continuous assessment of the progress made in this regard is vital. As such, the chamber recently carried out a survey of its members to assess the progress the industry has made in terms of the 2010 Mining Charter's transformation pillars during 2016", it said. In total, 28 mining companies covering all sectors and representing 70% of the industry and 67% of employment participated in the survey. According to the outcomes of the survey, ownership of the industry by historically disadvantaged South Africans stood at 39% in 2016, which is significantly above the Charter target of 26%. Further, in 2016 alone, around R2.2bn flowed to HDSAs in dividends from the surveyed companies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Caledonia to extend depth of Blanket's Central shaft - Creamer Media Reporter

CALEDONIA is planning to extend the depth of the Central shaft at its 49%-owned Blanket mine in Zimbabwe by 250 m to 1 330 m. The extension, which will cost around $18m, is expected to be commissioned by Q1 2020. CALEDONIA is still constructing the Central shaft and states that extending the shaft before it has been completed, equipped and commissioned is cheaper, quicker and less disruptive than a subsequent extension after commissioning. The extension will add two further production levels than those already planned. "The creation of an additional two levels will increase the mining flexibility and further derisk the target production of 80 000oz/y from 2021. This leaves CALEDONIA with a distinct window of opportunity to continue with its investment", CEO STEVE CURTIS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Employees demand Solidarity's recognition as trade union at Lonmin - Anine Kilian

On Friday, members of trade union Solidarity and other employees of LONMIN demanded that the recognition of Solidarity and other representative unions be reinstated with immediate effect. Since Nov. 5, AMCU has been the only union recognised by LONMIN. Solidarity mining industry deputy general secretary CONNIE PRINSLOO said the Labour Court's rejection, on Nov. 3, of Solidarity's urgent application to have its recognition rights at LONMIN reinstated was a setback, but that the union would not allow that to weigh it down. "With UASA and the National Union of Minerworkers, we represent the majority of the skilled LONMIN employees", PRINSLOO said. He said it was every employee's constitutional right to belong to the trade union of his or her choice. Therefore, workers are fully entitled to reject the undemocratic and exclusive agreement now unilaterally enforced on them by LONMIN. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Buffalo's Q3 loss widens - Creamer Media Reporter

BUFFALO COAL's run-of-mine production fell by 20.4% y/y to 319 000t in Q3 to end-Sep. RoM output from the Magdalena underground mine fell by 36.4% y/y to 178 000t as a result of difficult geological mining conditions and pit-room constraints. Production at the Aviemore mine rose by 16.5% y/y to 121 000t. In line with the lower RoM production, BUFFALO's saleable coal output fell by 16.1% to 249 000t in Q3. Bituminous coal and anthracite product sales fell by 21.1% to 195 000t in the quarter. BUFFALO's headline loss for the period widened to R29.36m, compared with a headline loss of R25.54m in Q3 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUM says coal strike to begin on Nov. 19 - Ed Stoddard

The NUM will begin a strike over wages in the coal sector on Nov. 19, it said on Friday. According to the Chamber of Mines, the companies involved in the wage negotiations account for about half of SA's coal production and employ 14 000 people, 20% of the labour force in the sector. NUM represents some 70% of these employees. The two sides are not far apart. The larger companies have offered a staggered increase of R1 100 for year one for lower-paid employees, and an increase of 7.5% for the higher categories. The smaller companies have offered increases ranging from 5%-7.5%. The NUM has been demanding a once-off payment of R1 100 this year and an 8% increase for 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's economy faces major challenges - Kganyago - Joe Brock

SARB governor LESETJA KGANYAGO last week said SA's economy faces major challenges and government needs to win back the confidence of businesses and investors by tackling policy uncertainty and corruption. KGANYAGO said weak business confidence had shaved an estimated one percentage point off the country's GDP growth last year. He said the central bank would like to see CPI expectations anchored at around 4.5%, compared with 5.1% at present, adding that the volatile rand is the biggest risk to inflation forecasts. KGANYAGO said CPI would remain in the target zone for the next two years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Botswana's Minergy plans UK listing for 2018 - Zandi Shabalala

MINERGY plans to list in London next year to give it access to a pool of capital that it could tap at a later date to fund its expansion, the company said on Friday. CEO ANDRE BOJE said the company, which is already listed in Botswana, could look to raise around £700 000, mainly to cover the cost of the listing. MINERGY owns the Masama Coal Project, which is projected to produce 2.4mt of thermal coal for export to SA and mainly Asian markets. BOJE said the first phase of development was fully funded, but the company could come to the market for its expansion. The listing is planned for Q3 2018, after MINERGY gets its mining licence from the Botswana government. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 13/11/2017

At 06h03 on 13 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.35 ZAR/EUR 16.73 ZAR/GBP 18.91 Gold 1275.60 Platinum 926.00 Brent Crude Oil 63.60 All Share 59776.12

Vedanta profits up 40% on higher production and commodity prices - Neil Hume

VEDANTA reported a near 40% jump in H1 earnings aided by higher production and prices for some of its key commodities. In the HY to end-Sep., the company reported EBITDA of $1.7bn, up from $1.2bn y/y. Aluminium, zinc and copper posted gains of more than 20% this year helped by strong global economic growth and tight supplies. Revenue rose 39% in the period to $6.8bn due to higher volumes and commodity prices, while net debt increased by $500m to $9bn due to special dividends paid to its subsidiaries. Pretax profits were $675m, up from $426.5m y/y. VEDANTA declared a dividend of 24cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Burberry to shift further upmarket in bid to boost profit margins - Mark Vandevelde

BURBERRY plans to move even further upmarket and establish itself "firmly in luxury" as it seeks enhanced profit margins that have proved elusive under outgoing designer CHRISTOPHER BAILEY. The group reported pre-tax profits of £127m in H1, a 24% rise y/y but behind analyst expectations. Same-store sales rose 4%, enabling H1 revenues to hit £1.3bn. MARCO GOBBETTI, who took over as CEO in July, vowed to accelerate and deepen the cost cuts begun under BAILEY, and now plans to save £120m a year by 2020. But he plans to splurge that money, and more, on an investment programme that will "transform our in-store experience". Capex could be as high as £160m in 2019, increasing the £210m a year over the "medium term". Describing high-end luxury as the "most rewarding, enduring segment of the market", BURBERRY said it needed to "invigorate" its fashion content and "convey new energy" in its communications, as well as sprucing up its stores. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AstraZeneca brightens forecasts as sales decline slows - Nicholas Megaw

ASTRAZENECA said its profits are unlikely to fall as far as previously feared this year, after the drop in sales of its older drugs slowed in Q3. Revenue in the quarter to end-Sep rose 9% y/y to $6.2bn, slightly above consensus forecasts of $6bn. The company said the impact from the loss of exclusivity on some of its main products receded over the period, with product sales falling only 3%, compared with 11% over the first half of the year. The improvement was not enough to prevent a fall in core EPS, but a decline was widely expected, and a 15% drop to $1.12/share left EPS slightly above a consensus forecast of $1.09 among analysts polled by FactSet. As a result, the company said its FY fall in profit is likely to be slightly less severe than predicted. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sales recovery boosts Richemont profits - Ralph Atkins

RICHEMONT said a broad recovery in watches and jewellery sales help lift operating profits by 46% to €1.17bn in the HY to end-Sep. The group's strong results highlighted the recovery in Swiss watchmaking, which has been hit in recent years by slow global economic growth, a clampdown on corruption in China, and the rise of the APPLE watch. Sales were up 10% to €5.6bn. RICHEMONT said most of its markets were in positive territory, led by mainland China, Korea, the UK and "notably a return to growth" in Hong Kong. The results were flattered by the exceptional measures RICHEMONT was forced to take in the y/y period - including buying back watches and destroying them to reduce excessive inventory. Excluding the prior period's one-time charges of €249m, operating profits rose by 11%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China to ease limits on foreign ownership for finance companies - Hudson Lockett

China today announced plans to open its financial sector to greater foreign investment by easing some restrictions that had prevented offshore companies from holding controlling stakes. Vice finance minister ZHU GUANGYAO said China would raise the ceiling on foreign ownership of securities, fund management and futures trading JVs to 51% and remove all limits on foreign investment in such companies after three years. He said a 20% ceiling on foreign ownership of Chinese banks and financial asset management companies and a 25% limit on total holdings in the same would be ended as well. ZHU said foreign investor ownership of insurance JVs would be limited to 51% after three years and removed entirely after five years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba falls on reports of pending capital raise - Peter Wells

Shares in TOSHIBA sank today amid reports the company is considering a share sale to bolster its capital position. Shares in the group were down as much as 8% in early trading in Tokyo before pulling back to be down 4.5% at Y299. Citing unnamed sources NHK, Japan's national broadcaster today said TOSHIBA was considering a capital injection of Y600bn by offering new shares. TOSHIBA responded in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange by reiterating that "the company aims to recover its financial base by closing the sale of TOSHIBA MEMORY by the end of March 2018 and, in parallel, is also considering capital strategy options to respond to changing circumstances, but no decision on capital strategy options has been made of today". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Walt Disney down on disappointing earnings - Jessica Dye

WALT DISNEY shares took a hit yesterday after the company took Wall Street by surprise with a 3% drop in quarterly revenue, thanks in part to a sharp decline in sales and income from its studio entertainment segment. Shares fell 3% after the earnings release for the quarter to end-Sep. Revenue came in 3% lower y/y at $12.8bn, while net income registered a 1% drop y/y to $1.7bn. Diluted EPS rose 3% to $1.13, but when adjusted for certain items, EPS of $1.07 was 3% lower y/y. Analysts were looking for revenue of $13.3bn and net income of $1.8bn. EPS were expected to come in at $1.14. Among its major sectors, only parks and resorts saw revenue rise y/y ni the quarter, up 6% to $4.6bn. Studio entertainment booked the biggst drop, with revenue down 21% and operating income fallign 43%, while the media networks division saw revenue fall 3% to $5.4bn y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AT&T CEO: Regulators never demanded CNN sale - Shannon Bond

US regulators have never told AT&T it needed to selL CNN as a condition for the approval of its $84.5bn takeover of TIME WARNER, the telecom giant's CEO said yesterday. "I have never been told that the price of getting the deal done was selling CNN. Period", AT&T CEO RANDALL L. STEPHENSON said. "And likewise I have never offered to sell CNN. And as I said yesterday there is no intention of selling CNN. We were both a little disturbed yesterday by leaks and information that came out". STEPHENSON added that AT&T is committed to completing the deal, even if it means fighting in court. "Since the day we announced this we've been preparing to litigate this deal. We are prepared to litigate now". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Uranium miners spike after Cameco suspends output at flagship mine - Neil Hume

Shares in big uranium miners spiked yesterday after news that the world's biggest mine will be closed for most of 2018. In response to tough market conditions, CAMECO said it would suspend operations at its McArthur River mine for 10 months from Jan. due to a supply glut. CAMECO CEO TIM GITZEL said with the continued state of oversupply in the market "and no expectation of change on the immediate horizon", it does not make economic sense for the company to continue producing at McArthur River and Key Lake "when we are holding a large inventory, or paying dividends out of proportion with our earnings". Analysts said the 10-month suspension at McArthur Rier would remove 13.7m lb of production from the market, the equivalent of 9% of estimated global demand this year. CAMECO also said it will reduce its annual dividend from C$0.40 to C$0.08, a move that will save the company C$125m/year. Shares in URANIUM ENERGY and NEXTGEN ENERGY both rose 20%, while CAMECO gained almost 6%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 08/11/2017

At 10h58 on 08 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.29 ZAR/EUR 16.64 ZAR/GBP 18.78 Gold 1283.94 Platinum 935.00 Brent Crude Oil 63.80 All Share 60076.70

Noble posts $3bn loss - David Sheppard

NOBLE GROUP yesterday posted a $3.05bn net loss for the first nine months of 2017 as it sells off businesses and scales back operations in a bid to pay down a debt load that has threatened to push the company into bankruptcy. The company's shares hit a 17-year low of 27c prior to the release of its Q3 results, valuing the company at less than $265m. NOBLE said it was reclassifying its accounts after selling off its oil and gas trading operations. The remaining rump business of coal, iron ore, LNG and freight trading posted an adjusted net loss of $518.8m for the quarter, while the discontinued operations posted an adjusted net loss of $652m. NOBLE chairperson PAUL BROUGHT warned of the possibility of further writedowns. NOBLE said its net debt has increased by $833m during the first nine months of 2017 to $3.7bn, which it said was due to "negative cash flow from underlying activities". Net debt declined in Q3 by $112m due to lower working capital requirements after selling the oil business. NOBLE has $380m of bonds maturing in Mar. followed by a $1.1bn bank loan that it must either repay or refinance in May. The covenant waiver on the bank loan expires next month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Investors applaud Tradehold's results - Robert Laing

The share price of TRADEHOLD rose 5% to R18.38 yesterday morning after it reported nearly tripled revenue and asset value. The company grew interim revenue 165.5% to £55.5m during the HY to end-Aug. y/y. Finance costs of £27m saw its after-tax profit fall 23% to £12m. Its total assets at end-Aug. were £994m, 161.7% higher than the £380m level of the y/y period. During the period under review, TRADEHOLD's UK subsidiary, MOORGARTH, acquired the shopping centre net to Edinburgh's main railway station, Waverley Mall, for £24.7m in partnership with the MOOLMAN PROPERTY GROUP. In Namibia, TRADEHOLD recently completed the £29m Dunes Mall in Walvis Bay in partnership with ATTERBURY PROPERTY GROUP. "Bedding down the restructuring of TRADEHOLD into two fully independent and focused entities will be a major objective of senior management in the coming months. As its financial services division at this stage represents only about 6.5% of total assets, the aim will be, once it is on its own, to grow this business strongly over time both organically and through acquisitions", TRADEHOLD chair CHRISTO WIESE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Net1's virtual-card technology to be rolled out in India - Thabiso Mochiko

NET1 UEPS TECHNOLOGIES yesterday said its virtual-card technology would be used in India for "one of the world's largest virtual-card programmes". ONE MOBIKWIK SYSTEMS launched the virtual-card scheme in partnership with IDFC BANK and VISA, using NET1's proprietary technology. "More than 260m users will eventually have access to MOBIKWIK's virtual VISA pre-paid card in phases, with 65m existing users part of the first phase", NET1 said. "The successful roll-out of one of our flagship products at such a scale in India further reinforces our focus and investments in India", NET1 CEO HERMAN KOTZE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

World Bank to propose solutions for SA economy - Yolandi Groenewald

Solutions on how SA could dig itself out of its current low growth hole are likely to take centre stage when the World Bank presents its 10th edition of SA Economic Update in Pretoria today. The presentation is likely to tout private investment as SA's saviour yet again. The bank will provide updated reports on recent economic developments in countries and highlight the role of innovation in productivity, growth, job creation as well as poverty reduction. It will propose interventions the World Bank recommends for policy makers to harness SA's innovation potential, which will be proposed to boost both productivity and inclusiveness. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Consumer, business confidence in economy still falling - BETI - Fin24

Declining transactional activities reflected in BANKSERVAFRICA's Economic Transaction Index for Sep. and Oct. are concerning for SA's main economic drivers, according to economist MIKE SCHUSSLER. Economic transactional activity in SA fell for the second consecutive month in Oct., the latest BETI shows. SCHUSSLER said this is likely to continue with weakening levels of confidence in the economy growing. The BETI shows transactional values fell again on a m/m basis in Oct. This was also evident on a q/q basis. "Despite October having more weekdays than most months this year, economic transactions still declined, indicating business and consumer confidence is still lacking in the economy", SCHUSSLER said. On a y/y basis, the BETI is still up by 0.8%, in line with the expected GDP growth rate a year ago. In contrast to the real decline in the BETI, the average size of the economic transactions increased to R8 632, which is up sharply from Sep. 2016 when it was unusually low. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA manufacturing declines, but could recuperate in new year - Megan van Wyngaardt

Difficult trading conditions in SA are reflected in SA's latest manufacturing numbers, with production having decreased by 1.6% y/y in Sep. The decrease was spurred by a 7% drop in the wood and wood products, paper, publishing and printing sector; a 2.5% drop in the petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products industry; and a 4% decline in the motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment industry. Seasonally adjusted manufacturing output also fell by 0.8% in Sep. compared with August. This followed m/m changes of 1.4% in July and 0.3% in August. Seasonally adjusted manufacturing output increased by 1% in Q3 2017 compared with the prior quarter. Six of the ten manufacturing divisions reported positive growth rates over this period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Telkom appoints CEO of property management unit - Megan van Wyngaardt

TELKOM has appointed LESIBA MALOBA as CEO of its property management business unit, GYRO GROUP, with effect from Nov. 13. GYRO was established on Apr. 1 to unlock value by commercialising the TELKOM property portfolio. MALOBA holds a masters degree in urban planning from the University of Cincinnati and his career in property spans research, property development and management, as well as property investment and transactions for the PIC, OLD MUTUAL PROPERTIES and ERNST & YOUNG AFRICA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Challenging trading conditions hurt Sephaku - Megan van Wyngaardt

SEPHAKU HOLDINGS yesterday reported a R10.45m drop in group net profit to R14.8m for the HY to end-Sep. This was accompanied by a 5.2c drop in basic EPS to 7.29cps. SEPHAKU's NAV increased by 25.45cps to 488.49cps. CEO Dr LELAU MOHUBA said the company's cement division had a weak performance in H1, recording a loss of R16m owing to a 5% decrease in sales volumes, partially as a result of the heavy rainfall in Feb. "However, I am pleased to report that there was recovery in the cement sales volumes during the third quarter, as well as increased prices. This, coupled with improved cost control, saw cement achieving a profit of R32m for the third quarter, of which SEPHOLD's equity earnings were around R12m", MOHUBA said. SEPHAKU CEMENT's average price per tonne was 1.4% higher. However, volumes fell by 4.9% y/y, resulting in the revenue decreasing by 3.6% to R1.104bn for the HY to end-Jun. On the METIER side, group EBIT were R33.9m, with SEPHOLD's operational expenses at R10.83m due to lower volumes. Gross profit for the period stood at R184.87m compared with R190.04m y/y, owing to the challenging trading conditions which resulted in the subsidiary continuing to experience intense price competition for supply contracts, resulting in limited ability to improve prices. METIER's EBITDA margin fell to 13.01% and EBIT from R60.85m y/y to R50.53m due to lower volumes and marginal increase in overhead expenses from the 12th plant that commenced production in Mar. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Forecasters raise odds of La Nina to 65%-75% - Emiko Terazono

US meteorologists have raised the chances of a La Nina weather phenomenon occurring at the end of the year and persisting into Q1 2018. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration yesterday raised the probability to a 65%-75% chance, up from 55%-65% last month. La Nina can bring droughts in South America and increased rainfall in Southeast Asia and Australia. For the US, NOAA said the outlook favoured above-average temperatures and below-median precipitation across the southern parts of the US, while the northern part of the country could see below-average temperatures and above median precipitation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Coty shares jump as CEO hails 'stabilisation' in business - Scheherazade Daneshkhu

COTY reported a net loss in Q1 but said an improvement in underlying trends represented "stabilisation" after the $11.6bn acquisition of PROCTER & GAMBLE's beauty brands a year ago, that included Cover Girl make up and Wella hair dye. CEO CAMILLO PANE said the current year "is a year of stabilisation. We expect to continue to deliver on synergies, finalise the streamlining of our brand portfolio and deliver an improved net revenue trend, organically, for the remainder of the year". The comments sent shares in COTY up nearly 14% in pre-market trading. A net loss of $19.7m in the quarter to end-Sep. was heavily affected by restructuring costs and expenses related to the acquisition. Excluding these costs, net income was $76.3m, which was 3% down y/y. The group has promised $750m of synergies over four years to 2020 at a one-off cost of $1.2bn. Net revenues grew by 7% to $2.2bn, or by 5% at constant currencies. Excluding the acquisitions last year of GHD, the haircare business, and online cosmetics start-up YOUNIQUE, revenues were 2% lower. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

One of world's major miners about to go coal free - Bloomberg

RIO TINTO has been steadily backtracking from coal to focus on better assets, and is now looking for buyers for its remaining coal mines in Australia. Such a sale will mark a complete exit from the fuel. RIO's potential coal-free future is in stark contrast with many of its rivals. GLENCORE this year increased its exposure by agreeing to pay $1.1bn plus royalties for a large stake in Australian assets sold be RIO. Coal is one of BHP's main strategies, while ANGLO AMERICAN has pulled back on plans to sell out of the commodity. RIO's decision is mainly to do with its coal mines not being able to compete with its other assets, rather than pressure from climate-change or divestment campaigns. RIO sent out preliminary information on the Hail Creek and Kestrel coal mines to potential buyers last month and asked for indicative bids by early Dec., sources said. The company has been shedding its Australian coal assets since dismantling its energy division in 2015. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alrosa says total diamond sales up to $337.6m in Oct. - Reuters

Total diamond sales of ALROSA was at $337.6m in Oct., the Russian state-owned diamond producer said yesterday, up from $309.7m in Sep. Polished diamond sales came to $10.9m in October. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Global gold demand hits 8yr low in Q3 - Natasha Odendaal

Global gold demand fell to an eight-year low in Q3 2017, following a "softer quarter" of demand in the jewellery sector and much lower inflows into ETFs, the World Gold Council said yesterday. The Gold Demand Trends report for Q3 shows a 9% y/y drop in gold demand to 915t, the lowest level since Q3 2009. The year-to-date gold demand fell by 12%. Global jewellery demand contracted by 3% to 479t during the quarter, accounting for 175 of the y/y decline, as the newly introduced 3% goods and services tax and tighter anti-money laundering regulations around transactions in India deterred buyers. This deterioration marked the weakest Q3 in the WGC's 17-year data series for jewellery demand, the report noted, with year-to-date demand of 1 457.3t - only 3% higher than in 2016. After three consecutive quarters of growth, demand in India fell 25% y/y to 114.9t in Q3, while gold jewellery demand in mainland China recovered to 159.35, a 13% improvement y/y. China's recovery remains weak from a longer-term perspetive, with demand 15% below the five-year quarterly average of 187.1t. While ETFs recorded positive inflows of 18.9t, this was 87% lower than the unprecedented high of 144.3t recorded in Q3 2016. Total gold supply fell by 2% in Q3 2017 to 1 146t, while mine production fell 1% y/y. Recycling activity continued to normalise with a 6% contraction to 335t after jumping in 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MTN, Ericsson to collaborate on 5G - Creamer Media Reporter

MTN and ERICSSON have teamed up to trial a range of 5G use cases and applications in SA. The parties signed an MoU to start trials of use cases and applications during the first quarter of 2018, followed by the eventual deployment of 5G technologies across the country. The duo would work to identify 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of industry verticals such as mining, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and utilities. ERICSSON provides end-to-end 5G capabilities in support of MTN SA's growth, 5G and enterprise monetisation ambitions. MTN will trial a range of 5G use cases and application in its Test Bed laboratory for proof of concept. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rebosis' portfolio expands by 45.3% in FY2017 - Anine Kilian

REBOSIS PROPERTY FUND grew its portfolio by 45.3% to R18.82bn in the FY to end-Aug. The growth is attributed to the acquisitions of the Baywest Mall and Forest Hill City shopping centres. REBOSIS' local retail portfolio comprises six high-quality malls with strong anchor tenants delivering income streams escalating at 6.8%. The office portfolio comprises 42 buildings in nodes that are attractive to government tenants. REBOSIS said net profit rose to R2.64m in the FY under review, from a profit of R1.87m y/y. It declared a final dividend of 120.4cps for the HY to end-Aug., which, along with the dividend of 120.41cps for H1 amounts to a total dividend of 240.82cps for the FY, up 5% y/y. Meanwhile, the company's borrowings decreased to R10.2bn as a result of the disposal of a 31.6% shareholding in NEW FRONTIER PROPERTIES. During the FY, REBOSIS decreased its stake in NEW FRONTIER to 36%, from 67.6%, via a vendor-financed loan to a BBBEE consortium. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mining tech gets boost from new Wits-Sibanye partnership - Martin Creamer

Mining technology is being given a Fourth Industrial REvolution boost via the new partnership struck between SIBANYE-STILLWATER and the Wits Mining Institute. WMI director Professor FRED CAWOOD yesterday said SIBANYE-STILLWATER's R15m investment had resulted in the creation of the SIBANYE-STILLWATER digital mining laboratory, which would host the institute's chair in digital mining and mine automation. In addition, the institute had established a steering committee to align research with the university's plans that action 21st century mining advances. Tranches of R5m over the next three years to 2019 will be channelled into the DigiMine project, the mining automation chair, student bursaries, laboratory enhancement and strategic research in to the mine of the future. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rockwell subsidiaries' liquidation application postponed to Mar. - Natasha Odendaal

With the liquidation application for three of ROCKWELL DIAMONDS' subsidiaries postponed to Mar. 2018, ASCOT DIAMONDS can now continue its bid for the subsidiaries and, subsequently, the acquisition of N9C RESOURCES, one of ROCKWELL's Cayman Islands subsidiaries. ROCKWELL yesterday said ASCOT's preliminary offer was structured to acquire the business as a going concern, and included an offer of compromise of creditors and claims which would enable ASCOT, through subsidiary ISTOTRON, to take over the Wouterspan mine and restart it. The subsidiaries were placed into provisional liquidation in Sep. with applications initiated by the business rescue practitioners added to the initial Nov. 2016 application by C-ROCK MINING. Earlier this year ASCOT proposed two rescue transactions for the distressed South African assets and the subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, with the court's decision to postpone the liquidation application allowing the transactions to proceed. The sale of these companies would be subject to creditor and shareholder approval. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mining production contracts while sales soar - Megan van Wyngaardt

Local mining output fell by 0.9% y/y in Sep., Statistics SA said yesterday. The largest negative contributors were PGMs, with output down 8.3%, followed by iron ore which was down 7.5%. Nonmetallic minerals and manganese ore made positive contributions, at 32.2% and 35.8%, respectively. Seasonally adjusted mining output fell by 7% in Sep. compared with August. This followed m/m changes of 6% in Aug. and 0.5% in July. On the sales side, mineral sales rose by 18.2% y/y in Aug., boosted by coal, which was up 16.1%; manganese ore up 127.15; gold up 20% and PGMs up 10.3%. Seasonally adjusted mineral sales at current prices rose by 4.7% in Aug. compared with July. This followed m/m changes of 2.7% in July and -1% in June. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trans Hex reports H1 loss - Anine Kilian

Sales revenue from TRANS HEX's South African operations fell by 45.6% from R275.3m to R149.7m for the HY to end-Sep. The average US dollar diamond price contracted by 20.1%, mainly due to a weaker market and a decrease in average stone size. Sales were negatively affected by an 11.8% strengthening of the rand against the dollar and a 22.9% decrease in carats sold. Total sales amounted to $27.7m at an average price of $531/ct. Marginal price increases are expected for the remainder of the calendar year, with prices set to recover towards the start of 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ivanhoe expects new mineral resource estimate for Kakula by year-end - Anine Kilian

IVANHOE MINES expects a new mineral resource estimate for the entire Kakula discovery, in the DRC, by the end of 2017, based on the current delineated strike extent of at least 12km. The new evaluation will expand the May 2017 estimate and include an initial resource estimate for the Kakula West discovery and the saddle area between the existing Kakula mineral resource area and the Kakula West discovery. Ten rigs are currently focused on expanding and upgrading copper resources at the Kakula discovery, while four rigs are testing other targets on the 400 m² Kamoa-Kakula mining licence. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria plans $2.3bn in oil asset equity restructuring - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria plans to raise 710bn naira via restructuring its equity in JV oil assets and increasing private sector participation, the Debt Management Office said yesterday. Oil majors including EXXONMOBIL and CHEVRON operate in Nigeria via JVs with NNPC. The government has considered selling stakes in these JVs for more than a decade. The current plan was captured in the 2018 budget proposals and is aimed at providing revenue to the government to be used to create new assets, the DMO said. In Mar., the government said it expected to earn 35bn naira from the sale of some assets, including oil JVs, and reducing stakes in other oil and non-oil assets. Nigeria has been holding talks with oil companies regarding new financing agreements for JVs since last year as it struggled to fund its portion of such partnerships through cash calls which have often been delayed in parliament. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin adds more security due to protests around mines - Zandi Shabalala

LONMIN yesterday said workers employed by community shareholder Bapo Ba Mogale were protesting around the company's operations, leading to delays in production at two shafts. "We are experiencing minimal challenges as some buses to our E2 and E3 shafts are running later than usual. We are monitoring the situation and have added security to assist with the safe transportation of our workers", LONMIN spokesperson WENDY TLOU said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tradehold says close to listing Namibian business on Windhoek bourse - Wendell Roelf

TRADEHOLD said it was in talks that could lead to the listing of its Namibian assets on that country's stock exchange. "Discussions with key investors were under way and, if successful, would result in a listing by the end of the 2018 financial year", joint CEO FRIEDRICH ESTERHUYSE said. TRADEHOLD recently completed developing the Dunes Mall in Walvis Bay at a cost of £29m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 10/11/2017

At 07h06 on 10 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.24 ZAR/EUR 16.59 ZAR/GBP 18.73 Gold 1285.66 Platinum 935.00 Brent Crude Oil 63.80 All Share 59862.11

Rand weaker on rumour Zuma to announce free education - Alexander Winning

The rand weakened yesterday on speculation that President JACOB ZUMA is preparing to announce a controversial plan for free tertiary education. By yesterday afternoon, the currency was down 0.78% against the greenback at 14.265, after earlier trading more than 1% weaker on the day. ZUMA told parliament that he would make an announcement on higher education soon. The Times, citing sources, reported this week that ZUMA was planning to introduce free education across the board. "That's credit negative. Unless ZUMA has a tree with 200 rand notes somewhere we can't afford it", RMB currency trader JAN SLUIS-CREMER said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim budget deficit widens sharply on runaway govt spending - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Zimbabwe's budget deficit will soar to $1.82bn or 11.2% of GDP this year from an initial target of $400m, new Finance Minister IGNATIUS CHOMBO said yesterday. Last month, former finance minister PATRICK CHINAMASA said Harare planned to cut the deficit by half next year to 4% of GDP, an ambitious goal at a time when the country is expected to hold a presidential election. CHOMBO said government spending would accelerate beyond the initial target of $1.4bn this year. "This would raise the Budget deficit for the FY from $400m to $1.82bn, mainly financed through Treasury bills and recourse to overdraft at the Reserve Bank", CHOMBO said, adding that this was unsustainable and "undesirable". He didn't say how the government intended to put brakes on runaway spending. Analysts say government's borrowing from domestic banks could ultimately fuel inflation, which CHOMBO said could reach 2.5% next year. He warned of a build-up in inflationary pressures in the medium term. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moz needs IMF, open to new probe on hidden loans - finmin - Manuel Mucari

Mozambique needs financial support from the IMF and is open to another probe into $2bn of undisclosed debt to hasten the restoration of aid, Finance Minister ADRIANO MALEIANE said yesterday. The IMF cancelled its funding last year after the emergence of the loans to three state-owned companies that were not approved by parliament or disclosed publicly. "We need money, we need an IMF programme, this must be clear. We need the programme because all the fiscal consolidation will demand money", MALEIANE said. The Fund last month said it was not in talks with Mozambique over a new aid programme for next year as the government was yet to explain gaps on how the previously hidden loans were spent. An independent audit of the debt showed in Jun. that questions remained on how the $2bn was used and roughly a quarter of the money remained unaccounted for. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AfDB approves $172m financing for Nedbank - Wendell Roelf

The African Development Bank has approved a $172m financial package for NEDBANK GROUP for infrastructure, banking and housing projects, it said yesterday. The package comprises of a R2bn subordinated loan, and a R30m unfunded Risk Participating Agreement facility that will benefit African issuing banks in 20 regional member countries. "The sub-debt will strengthen NEDBANK's balance sheet and contribute towards the realisation of its strategy to finance among other sectors, infrastructure... digital banking and affordable housing", the AfDB said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA working to preserve fiscal discipline after IMF visit - Treasury - Alexander Winning

SA has been working hard in recent days to finalise measures to preserve fiscal discipline and debt sustainability, as well as to support growth, the Treasury said yesterday after an IMF visit to the country. Treasury added that the Fund's comments on the visit signalled that there was a difficult period ahead for the country, where decisive actions to grow the economy and create employment are required. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's Sep. manufacturing output down - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA's manufacturing output fell 1.6% y/y in Sep. after rising by a revised 1.8% in the prior month, Statistics SA said yesterday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing volumes would rise by 0.65 y/y in Sep. Factory output on a m/m basis was down by 0.8%, but was up 1% in the three months to September compared with the previous three months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye-Stillwater signs 3-yr wage agreement with unions - Fin24

SIBANYE-STILLWATER today said it signed a three-year wage agreement at its Kroondal operations. "The increase represents an average escalation of about 7% in the wage bill for the Kroondal operations", the company said. The agreement is effective from Jul. 1, and includes a R1 000/month increase y/y for the next three years for category B employees, with CPI related increases for the next three years for category A employees. Medical aid subsidies will also increase from R300 by R50/month y/y for three years for category A and B employees. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US regulators demand CNN sale to approve AT&T-Time Warner deal - James Fontanella-Khan

AT&T has been told by the US Department of Justice that it needs to sell CNN, TIME WARNER's cable news network, to get its $84.5bn acquisition of the media company approved. The sale of TURNER BROADCASTING and its corn jewel CNN is one of two potential options put forward by the US antitrust authority in order to sign off on the deal, those involved in the talks said. AT&T is opposed to selling the TV network and is preparing to take the TRUMP administration to court to argue the deal with TIME WARNER does not pose any threat to competition. The second option proposed by the DoJ is the sale of DIRECTV, AT&T's satellite broadcaster, but people involved say the company thinks neither demand is realistic. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Germany's trade surplus widens in Sep. - Adam Samson

Germany's trade surplus grew slightly in Sep., with imports declining more than exports compared to the prior month. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the surplus clocked in at €21.8bn in Sep. from €21.3bn in Aug., official data from the Federal Statistics Office showed. The widening ame as exports fell 0.4% to €107.5bn and imports declined 1% to €85.7bn. The surplus was €20.2bn a year ago. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China iron ore imports slump to lowest level in over 1 year - Neil Hume

Chinese iron ore imports slumped last month to the lowest level in more than a year as mills prepared to cut output to comply with production curbs ordered by Beijing. Shipments of ore to China fell 23% m/m in Oct. to 79.5mt, with volumes hit by the "winter heating season" cuts as well as a combination of the Golden Week holiday and the National People's congress meeting. Beijing has ordered heavily polluting industries operating in smog-prone provinces to reduce output and curb emissions, demanding strict cuts to steel production for the Oct.-Mar. winter heating season. Iron ore prices were unmoved by the data. Ore with 62% iron content rose 20c to $62.50/t, according to data from Steel Index. Traders said the slowdown was expected and followed a record month in Sep. when China purchased 102.8mt, as steel mills cranked up output ahead of the winter cuts. Moreover, imports are still up 6.3% this year to 896mt. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 08/11/2017

At 09h43 on 08 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.16 ZAR/EUR 16.43 ZAR/GBP 18.61 Gold 1283.71 Platinum 931.00 Brent Crude Oil 63.46 All Share 60117.43

Trump pledges to change "out of kilter" US-China trade relationship - Demetri Sevastopulo

DONALD TRUMP today pledged to change a US-China trade and economic relationship that is "far out of kilter" as he began a day of meetings in Beijing with Chinese counterpart XI JINPING. "The US really has to change its policies because they've gotten so far behind China... It's too bad past administrations allowed it to get so far out of kilter", TRUMP said. In his remarks to the US president, XI warned that "cooperation is the only viable choice" for the world's two largest economies. The two presidents are scheduled to witness the signing of corporate deals with a total value of $250bn. They include a "joint development agreement" between the state of Alaska, CHINA PETROCHEMICAL CORP., China's wealth fund and BANK OF CHINA "involving total investments of up to $43bn". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent-backed Sogou prices shares to raise $585m in IPO - Hudson Lockett

Chinese search engine company SOGOU has priced its American depository shares at $13, coming in at the top of the expected range and putting the size of its Nov. 9 IPO at $585m. The company provided the pricing for its 45m shares, to be traded on the NYSE under the ticker "SOGO", in an announcement on Thursday evening in New York. They had been expected to price within a range of $11-$13. The total set to be raised by the offering does not account for a greenshoe option, which allows underwriters to sell an additional 6.75m shares to cover over-allotments. TENCENT is a major shareholder in SOGOU, which it uses as the default search engine for its mobile brower in China. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba to speed up memory chip investment as earnings beat forecasts - Peter Wells

TOSHIBA will boost and speed-up planned investment in its memory chip operations by half as it handed down a set of earnings that came in ahead of market forecasts. The company is still racing to complete the sale of its semiconductor manufacturing unit to a consortium led by BAIN before the end of Mar. to avoid a possible forced delisting from the Tokyo bourse. It said TOSHIBA MEMORY CORPORATION planned to invest Y600bn in its flash memory production facilities in Yokkaichi, an increase of 50% from its prior estimate, and would bring forward part of the investment that had been scheduled to take place in its next fiscal year. For the HY to end-Sep., TOSHIBA reported sales of Y2.38bn, in line with its own forecasts, while both operating profit of Y231.8bn and a net loss of Y49.8bn were better than expected. Sales and operating profit were more than double the level of a year ago, thanks to ongoing demand for memory chip products. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Siemens misses Q4 revenue forecasts on trouble at power and gas division - Patrick McGee

Q4 revenue at SIEMENS missed forecasts as the conglomerate displays trouble at its power and gas division and newly-integrated renewables energy unit. Earnings for the industrial businesses fell by 10% to €2.2bn, driven by falling orders in its power and gas unit and a €92m loss at SIEMENS GAMESA, the wind division it acquired in Apr. Net income last quarter rose by 9.9% to €1.29bn, but revenues rose by 2% to €22.3bn, missing forecasts at €23.4bn. For all of 2017, revenues were up 4% to €83bn, versus forecasts of 5.7% growth to €84.2bn. Industrial business profit rose 8% to €9.5bn on operating margins of 11.2%. SIEMENS said it expects "modest" organic revenue growth in 2018 and a profit margin between 11% to 12% in its core industrial businesses. EPS, which were €7.44 in 2017 as net income rose 11% to €6.2bn, are projected in a range of €7.20-€7.70 - the same range as 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

M&S quadruples HY earnings as shake-up rumbles on - Mark Vandevelde

MARKS & SPENCER yesterday reported pre-tax profits of £118m in the HY to end-Sep., four times its result for the y/y period, as it announced the departure of CFO HELEN WEIR and scaled back its ambitions to open new food stores. Revenue in the clothing business had stopped falling, M&S said, and full price sales increased 5.3% as the retailer scrapped two clearance sales events and cut back on promotions. But the company revealed signs of deterioration in its high-end food business. Gross margins in groceries fell 25 bps due to input cost inflation and "higher than anticipated waste", and M&S said it was scaling back planned store openings. Just last year it said it would add 200 new food stores by the end of 2019, even as one in four of its 300 clothing stores would shut down. But it now says that "only the highst returning sites will qualify". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hermes sales growth picks up amid 'favourable winds' in China - Harriet Agnew

Revenue growth at HERMES accelerated to 11.3% in Q3 2017, with sales increasing across all of its divisions and geographical regions. The French luxury house said total like-for-like sales in the quarter to Sep. grew 11.3% y/y to €1.34bn, compared to 8.3% q/q. Sales in Asia were up 10.9% in the quarter, led by a large increase in mainland China. A rebound began in Hong Kong and Macao and Taiwan is also doing well, CEO AXEL DUMAS said. Sales in HERMES' home market of Europe were up 13.2% and the Americas gained 8.2%. Among its different divisions, sales in leather goods and saddlery were up 9.3%, while ready-to-wear and fashion accessories gained 11.9%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Influential council warns German economy at risk of overheating - Claire Jones

Germany's influential Council of Economic Experts has warned that the eurozone's largest and most powerful economy is in danger of overheating. The council said the economy would expand by 2.2% in 2018 following several years of high growth. It believes Germany's long-term potential growth rate is 1.4%. However, inflation at 1.8% would remain low despite evidence that production capacities were becoming over-utilised. The council called on Berlin to use any fiscal surplus that would result from strong growth to pursue growth friendly reforms, such as equipping workers to better deal with digitalisation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ConocoPhillips boosts capex, extends share buybacks - Pan Kwan Yuk

CONOCOPHILLIPS has set its capex budget for 2018-2020 at around $5.5bn a year, up 22% from 2017. The higher capex spending plans come amid a sharp rally in crude oil prices over the past month. Both Brent and WTI are trading at over two-year highs this week after climbing 11.5% and 12.4% over the past month. CONOCO said the spending budget was based on WTI staying at around $50/barrel. The US benchmark was trading at $57.03/barrel on Wednesday. CONOCO also announced plans to extend its $1.5bn/year share buyback for an additional year to 2020. It added that it aimed to cut its debt to $15bn by the end of 2019. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fitch warns of rising risks for European high-yield bond market - Nicholas Megaw

Record high prices coupled with more risky corporate bond supply is creating "increasing uncertainty" and raising the chances of a sharp turnround in the European high-yield credit market, FITCH RATINGS has warned. Yields on the most popular benchmark for European junk bonds fell below 2% for the first time ever last week, but FITCH warned that recent market calm and the distorting impact of central bank monetary policy "obscure the true risk-return dynamics faced by investors". It said the proportion of newly-issued bonds with the lowest credit ratings - CCC+ or below - has risen to its highest level since 2013, when average yields were more than 5%. Investors have voiced concerns about excessive risk-taking, but many have continued to buy the riskier bonds due to a shortage of alternatives. "The ECB's bond purchases have anchored the low-volatility conditions and sustained record low yields; a situation that is likely to be maintained through most of 2018 despite a scaled-down but extended bond buying programme. However, record low spread volatility juxtaposed against riskier bond supply increases the risk of an inflection point later in 2018, despite robust technical support", FITCH said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US oil inventories post unexpected gain - Jessica Dye

US crude oil inventories rose last week, confounding forecasts for a decline even as gasoline and distillate stockpiles registered larger-than-expected declines. For the week ending Nov. 3, crude oil stockpiles rose by 2.2m barrels, while gasoline inventories fell by 3.3m barrels. Inventories of distillate fell by 3.4m barrels, data from the Energy Information Administration showed. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected crude oil stockpiles to drop by 2.8m barrels, gasoline to fall by 1.9m barrels and a 1.3m barrel draw for distillates. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Stefanutti H1 HEPS down 15% - BDpro

STEFANUTTI STOCKS today reported a 15% decline in H1 HEPS to 44.81cps, partly due to a higher tax rate. The company grew revenues by 18% to R5.2bn in the HY to end-Aug. y/y. Operating profit came in at R119m, up 18% y/y. Capex was R255m, of which R203m relates to the roads, pipelines and mining services business unit. Of the total capex, R219m went to expanding capacity. The order book for the review period was R13.9bn, of which one-third comes form outside SA. STEFANUTTI's order book remained relatively constant between R13bn and R14bn over the past two years. No interim dividend was declared. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Purple Group sinks deeper into the red - BDpro

PURPLE GROUP's losses widened in the FY to end-Aug. as a result of poor investment decisions. The HLPS widened to 6.42cps, from 0.37cps y/y. PURPLE owns online stockbroker Easy Equities, OTC derivative trading businesses GT247.com and GT Private Broking, and Emperor Asset Management. "The market conditions over the past 12 months, characterised by low volatility and reduced investor confidence, were not ideal for our speculative trading businesses... This coupled with the significant client outflows experienced by Emperor Asset Management has resulted in a 35% decline in revenue during the year", PURPLE said. Easy Equities opened 59 550 new accounts, up 91.6% y/y. Client assets totalled R1.13bn, which was up 58.9% and partner funds under administration were R291m, up 83%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brait rebounds after trading statement assures that New Look is solvent - Robert Laing

BRAIT's share price rebounded 4% to R49.80 yesterday morning after the market reacted to a trading statement it issued after the JSE closed on Tuesday, reassuring investors its New Look chain in the UK remained solvent. BRAIT said it expected to report on Nov. 15 that its NAV/share had fallen as much as 37.7% at end-Sep. from the prior year's R105.06. Measured in euros, the drop was as much as 40%. It did not provide guidance on what it expected the change in its basic or headline EPS to be for its FY to end-Sep. It said the drop in NAV was mainly due to the sharp devaluation of New look. "In accordance with BRAIT's valuation policies, until such time as New Look's turnaround strategy has taken shape, BRAIT's investment in New Look is valued at nil... Despite the tough trading period, New Look retains an adequate liquidity position with £242.5m total cash, liquidity and operating facilities available at September 23, its half-year reporting period. BRAIT remains committed to being a long-term shareholder of New Look". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Afrimat takes secondary listing on A2X - Sens

AFRIMAT yesterday announced that its shares have been approved for inclusion in the list of qualifying equity securities to be traded on A2X with effect from Nov. 9. The company will retain its primary listing on the JSE and its issued share capital will be unaffected by the secondary listing on A2X. AFRIMAT shares will be available to be traded on both the JSE and A2X from today's listing date. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent buys minority stake in Snap - Marie Mawad, Bloomberg

TENCENT bought 145.8m non-voting shares in SNAP INC, saying it plans to work closely with the social media company. In an SEC filing yesterday, SNAP said TENCENT bought the shares on the open market. CNBC earlier reported the stake to represent 10% of the company. Shares in SNAP rose as much as 34% in pre-market grading on the news but then retreated. TENCENT's purchase is not seen as a hostile move, sources said. SNAP CEO and co-founder EVAN SPIEGEL sees it as an opportunity to learn from the Chinese group, the source added. TENCENT President MARTIN LAU said the company plans to share "ideas and experiences" with SNAP. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

No new cases of bird flu in W Cape over past week - Allison Jeftha

The spread of the bird flu virus that has decimated parts of the Western Cape's poultry industry may be slowing down, according to ALAN WINDE, provincial MEC for Economic Opportunities. WINDE yesterday said no new cases of bird flu have been reported in the province in the past week. Almost 3m commercial poultry birds have been culled in the province since Aug. 9. "We are still investigating a small number of suspect cases, but the infection rate appears to be slowing down", WINDE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Omnia welcomes High Court finding on Foskor litigation - Megan van Wyngaardt

The North Gauteng High Court has dismissed FOSKOR's appeal against OMNIA with costs. OMNIA yesterday said the ongoing legal dispute, which started in 2014, was based on FOSKOR's position as the sole producer of phosphoric acid in the region, and FOSKOR having sole access to the import/export terminals at Richards Bay, which set the domestic phosphoric acid price at a level higher than the international price. OMNIA FERTILISER sourced all its phosphoric acid from FOSKOR and the company claims that this practice took place despite a Competition Tribunal order aimed at preventing it. "The effect of this practice resulted in overcharges by FOSKOR for the supply of phosphoric acid to OMNIA and OMNIA has claimed a substantial refund from FOSKOR for such amounts", the company said. In Oct. 2015, the High Court offered judgment in favour of OMNIA by enforcing the Competition Tribunal order. Subsequently, in Mar. 2016, FOSKOR lodged an appeal that resulted in that judgment being suspended and FOSKOR being granted leave to appeal to the full bench of the High Court. The recent dismissal of FOSKOR's appeal by the full bench of the high Court is the third time that FOSKOR has failed to convince the courts of the merits of its case. OMNIA will now pursue the matter through the courts to ensure that the High Court judgment is upheld and that FOSKOR's pricing is in accordance with the judgment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zim invites investment in underground chrome mining - Martin Creamer

Zimbabwe yesterday invited chrome mining investors to focus on underground operations rather than cheaper strip mining operations, from which most of the country's chromium ore is currently extracted. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development MUNESUSHE MUNODAWAFA expressed the view that the future of chrome mining in the country lay in underground mining rather than the current opencast methods, which he described as being limited in both quantity and quality. MUNODAWAFA urged investors in underground chrome-mining operations to consider partnerships with Zimbabwe's small-scale miners. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Joburg faces R17bn electricity infrastructure challenge - Megan van Wyngaardt

The undoings of the previous administration has resulted in the City of Johannesburg requiring an investment of around R17bn over the next decade to upgrade its ageing electricity infrastructure. CoJ Mayor HERMAN MASHABA said his administration was facing serious infrastructure backlog challenges, compounded by an ageing network infrastructure, theft and vandalism, a backlog in asset renewal and bulk tariff trajectory. "We have one electricity substation that supplies the entire inner city of Johannseburg. It is 75 years old, 30 years past its useful lifespan", MASHABA said, referring to the Cleveland substation, which is now undergoing a R180m refurbishment. MASHABA also noted that theft and corruption remained significantly challenging and was costing the city millions each year. Around R76m was spent on security measures in a bid to curb cable theft and vandalism in the 2016/17 FY. Low-voltage overhead copper conductors are also being converted to aerial bundle conductors with the aim of solving the problem of power outages caused by cable theft. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Angola Cables to establish second PoP in SA - Natasha Odendaal

ANGOLA CABLES plans to establish a second point of presence in SA as it continues to expand its presence since entering the market a year ago. BY the end of this year, the company will launch a new PoP in Cape Town to further expand its network reach, attend to local Internet and content demand and enhance peering capabilities. ANGOLA CABLES opened its first SA-based PoP infrastructure at TERACO, in Johannesburg, in Dec. 2016. The second PoP comes after nearly a year of operations in SA, with the company experiencing exponential growth in its customer base. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Volvo Financial Services launches in SA - Irma Venter

VOLVO FINANCIAL SERVICES has announced the launch of the service in Southern Africa. VFS SOUTHERN AFRICA will provide financial services to customers of VOLVO GROUP SOUTHERN AFRICA, which includes UD TRUCKS, VOLVO BUS, VOLVO TRUCKS and VOLVO CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT brands. "This is what we need to sell trucks - we need finance", VGSA President TORBJORN CHRISTENSSON said. He regards the formation of VFS Southern Africa as a "milestone" in VGSA's existence. VFS was formed in 2001 and is headquartered in North Carolina, US. It manages a net credit portfolio of more than R213bn, providing customer-financing in over 45 countries. One in three units sold in the VOLVO GROUP globally is financed by VFS. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

City of Joburg needs R12.5bn to fix water infrastructure - Megan van Wyngaardt

The City of Johannesburg has revealed it will need around R12.65bn over the next 10 years to renew and replace the city's ageing and decrepit water infrastructure. Joburg Water is in the process of building nine new water reservoirs and towers that will serve 163 800 households in various areas. Funds will also be allocated to the renewal and replacement of 633km of water pipes and 456km of sewer pipes. However, the utility firstly needs to secure the funds to upgrade water and sewer capacity, water pump stations, rehabilitation reservoirs, replace water pipes and refurbish wastewater treatment works. The ageing infrastructure is further being exacerbated by theft of brass water meters. The city is considering establishing first-line response teams to assist in reducing time of water wastage when pipe bursts occur to reduce the direct cost of these leaks. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SANRAL denies writing off R3bn debt in unpaid e-toll fees - ANA

SANRAL yesterday denied that it had written off impairment losses of R3.6bn for unpaid e-toll debts older than three years, compared to R92m in 2015/16. This comes after the roads agency on Tuesday appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Transport to submit its Integrated Annual Report. OUTA on Tuesday said SANRAL was finding it difficult to collect the Gauteng e-toll debt from motorists, with increased loss for the 2016/17 year at just under R5bn. According to OUTA, this 2016/17 loss was up from the loss of R1.2bn SANRAL posted last year, with the bulk of the loss of about R3.6bn arising from the toll operations. OUTA said the R3.6bn was the equivalent of 50% of all toll revenues for the fist 15 months of Gauteng e-toll operations and is substantially more than the prescribed debt. However, SANRAL CEO SKHUMBUZO MACOZOMA said reports that the agency had written off debt were "incorrect". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Indluplace delivers on FY targets - Anine Kilian

Despite tough market conditions, INDLUPLACE PROPERTIES had a "very good year" in the FY to end-Sep., CEO CAREL DE WIT said yesterday. Headline earnings for the FY were up 13% to R247.43m, compared with R218.22m y/y, while revenues rose to R409m compared with R349m y/y. INDLUPLACE's investment property increased from R2.4bn to R2.9bn during the period. The increase was mainly as a result of the acquisition of DILUCULO PROPERTIES for R475m. The acquisition comprised 1 319 residential units across eight properties. The Garden Views complex in Randburg was also acquired for R25m during the period. INDLUPLACE's residential units totalled 6 859 at the end of the reporting period. Post year-end, the REIT acquired a further 2 803 residential units from the BUFFET GROUP for R1.4bn. Vacancies remained stable during the reporting period at 3.5%. INDLUPLACE declared a dividend of 24.48cps for the quarter to end-Sep., bringing the total dividend for the year to 97.75cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aon now trading as Minet - Anine Kilian

AON has started trading as MINET, the professional risk consultancy firm said yesterday. It recently announced its decision to change the ownership structure of its operations across several sub-Saharan African countries. The various conditions have now bee fulfilled and, effective Nov. 3, AON's shareholding across certain sub-Saharan African operations was transferred to CAPITALWORKS. The deal spans 10 countries and regulatory approvals have thus far been obtained in Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Uganda and Zambia, with the approvals for the remaining countries expected in Q1 2018. MINET SSA CEO JOE ONSANDO said the company was poised to benefit from Africa's growth and that it would embrace new technology and innovation to expand its African footprint. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kinross posts 35% dip in Q3 earnings on lower sales - Henry Lazenby

KINROSS GOLD has posted a 35% drop in Q3 profit as metal sales fell, it advised yesterday. The company reported adjusted net earnings attributable to common shareholders for the quarter to end-Sep. of $84.1m, or $0.07/share, compared with $128.7m or $0.10/share for the same period in 2016. KINROSS attributed the decrease to lower revenue and income tax recovery. Net earnings attributable to common shareholders were $60.1m, or $0.05/share, compared with $2.5m or $0/share y/y. Revenue fell 9% y/y to $282m. Gold equivalent ounces sold were 5% lower y/y at 645 235oz, compared with 680 327oz y/y. The average realised gold price fell 4% to $1 283/oz, from $1 336/oz y/y, while all-in sustaining costs per gold-equivalent ounce sold, on a by-product basis, fell 6% to $937/oz. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Prieska project delivers further positives - Creamer Media Reporter

ORION MINERALS yesterday reported further positive results from its ongoing drilling programme at the Prieska zinc/copper project, in the Northern Cape. ORION said the assay results received confirm significant zinc and copper mineralisation over the wide sulphide intersection. "While drilling within the confines of historically drilled mineralisation continues to verify the grade and width as historically reported, our additional exploration drilling on strike and dip extensions, is intersecting significant extensions to previously drilled mineralisations", ORION MD and CEO ERROL SMART said. "The wide zone of mineralisation in this area represents a key finding as it confirms exploration potential outside the mineralised zone defined by historical drilling and emphasises the value of modern geophysical methods applied by ORION", SMART said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eastplats could lose mining rights as shareholders relinquish BEE interest - Megan van Wyngaardt

EASTERN PLATINUM could be facing regulatory challenges with the Department of Mineral Resources, following the relinquishing of interests by its BEE shareholders. EASTPLATS yesterday said GUBEVU CONSORTIUM INVESTMENT HOLDINGS' and LION'S HEAD PLATINUM's shareholders have relinquished their interests in varying amounts to SERINA SERVICES and INGWENYA INCORPORATED. GUBEVU is EASTPLATS' BEE partner in BARPLATS INVESTMENT, while LION'S HEAD is a BEE-compliant corporation in the company's Mareesburg project. The BEE shareholders originally acquired these shares from SERINA and INGWENYA, which have now been reverted back. "Neither EASTPLATS nor our subsidiaries were parties to these purported transactions and we have not been provided with direct confirmation of or further information regarding these transactions", EASTPLATS said. "We are working to understand the nature and possible implications of the above transactions and, if necessary, to reorganise or remedy our BEE arrangements". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore extends lockout at Australia coal mine - Reuters

GLENCORE has extended a lockout of 190 workers at a coal mine in eastern Australia for a further two weeks after the latest attempt to end a long-running labour dispute failed, the company said yesterday. The Oaky North mine is largely being operated by non-union staff and contractors during the lockout, which started in June, with no impact on output. GLENCORE and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union have made little headway in reaching an enterprise work agreement for the mine since the last one expired in mid-2015, despite sitting down at the negotiating table 23 times. The dispute is focused on wages, benefits, working conditions and hiring practices. GLENCORE's proposals include lifting wage rates, which average A$180 000/year including retirement funds by 8.24% over the term of the new agreement. CFMEU district president STEPHEN SMYTH said GLENCORE ordered the lockout despite the union making some concessions on issues regarding workplace representation and the resolution of workplace disputes. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Truworths invests millions to fight blindness - Business Report

TRUWORTHS INTERNATIONAL is investing R3.6m towards improving eye healthcare services in the Gauteng province. This investment is in partnership with international NGO Orbis Africa and the Gauteng Department of Health. The public-private partnership will support the Department of Health's efforts to address the significant backlog of cataract surgeries in the province. The backlog is estimated to be in the region of 2 500 surgeries, with patients living in Soweto waiting up to 12 months ot undergo surgery in state-owned facilities. In response, the Department of Health has identified the need to establish dedicated cataract surgical centres that will take the pressure off Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. A similar centre is already established by the Department in Bheki Mlangeni Hospital. The investment from TRUWORTHS will strengthen cataract surgical services at Lenasia South Community Health Centre. The funding is being used to renovate the existing eye clinic, purchase diagnostic and surgical equipment, procure medical supplies and train the full eye healthcare team. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Imperial disposes of German chemicals unit - Nqobile Dludla

IMPERIAL HOLDINGS yesterday said it will sell its German chemicals unit, SCHIRM GMBH and related assets, to AECI for €110.5m as it focuses on developing its core businesses. IMPERIAL has sold off assets, including a short-term insurance business as it aims to make the group less vulnerable to swings in the value of the rand. Under the deal, IMPERIAL CHEMICAL LOGISTICS GMBH will retain the customer warehousing, transportation and distribution services on sites on which SCHIRM operates. For a period of one year from the closing date of the deal, SCHIRM will continue to have an option to acquire four warehouses at the SCHIRM plant in Schonebeck from ICL for a maximum of €9m. "The specialisation and capital requirements of chemical contract manufacturing are not aligned with IMPERIAL LOGISTICS' capabilities and stated objective of reducing capital intensity", IMPERIAL said. AECI will pay €3.5m to lease warehouse capacity at the Wolfenbuettel site to meet SCHIRM's finished goods storage requirements, IMPERIAL said. The proceeds will be used to reduce short-term debt and to invest in the expansion of the company's core businesses. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Steinhoff shares down after Reuters report on undisclosed deals - TJ Strydom

STEINHOFF INTERNATIONAL's JSE-listed shares hit a 10-week low yesterday after Reuters reported the company did not tell investors about almost $1bn in transactions with a related company despite laws that some experts believe require it to do so. Shares in the company fell to R56 in early trading, but recovered to R59.46 by midday, around 3.9% weaker than its closing price on Tuesday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria bonds shrug off Moody's downgrade as investors seek yield - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's bonds were flat yesterday, shrugging off a downgrade by MOODY's, since investors had already factored in issues that triggered the rating change and were buying debt at a discount to book profits, traders said. MOODY's cut Nigeria's long-term foreign-currency bond to B1 from Ba3 and kept its outlook stable, saying the country's efforts to broaden non-oil revenue had been unsuccessful. The local currency rating was unchanged at Ba1. Domestic bonds traded unchanged after some foreign investors booked profits before the rating decision. Yield on the benchmark 20-year bond rose 10 bps to 15.03%, traders said. On the eurobond market, yields on Nigeria's $500m of bonds due 2018 rose to 3.60% yesterday from 3.08%. Yield on its latest $1.5bn issue due 2032 rose to 6.8% from 6.7%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria plans record spending in 2018 - Paul Carsten

Nigeria's President MUHAMMADU BUHARI presented a record 8.6tn naira budget for 2018 this week to foster shaky growth in the economy as it emerges from recession. "Mostly, I think that they are setting themselves yet more unattainable goals", CAPITAL ECONOMICS Africa analyst JOHN ASHBOURNE said. "The federal government falls short on its revenue and expenditure targets every year, and BUHARI always responds by writing an even more ambitious target into the budget for the following year". With 2.4tn naira of intended capex, the budget forecast a deficit of 2.005tn naira, down from last year's 2.36tn naira. To help plug the gap, BUHARI said the government would borrow 1.699tn naira, half of it from abroad. The new budget is about 16% higher than the prior year's, while BUHARI said inflation for 2018 is expected to be 12.4%. He told parliament that the budget was based on an exchange rate of 305 naira to the dollar, and a projected oil output of 2.3m bpd at an assumed price of $45/barrel. BUHARI said he was targeting Jan. 1 for passage of the new budget and that the deficit is expected to be 2.005tn naira, with real economic growth estimated at 3.5% for 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Business confidence steady in Oct. - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA's business confidence index was largely unchanged in Oct. from the prior month, with subdued economic performance limiting business opportunities. SACCI's monthly Business Confidence Index stood at 92.9 in Oct., from 93.0 in Sep. "The BCI reflects the neutral sentiment in the market place... It appears that South Africa is not currently in a position to take advantage of the improving global economic climate", SACCI said. Positive m/m movements were evident in five of the 13 sub-indices of the BCI in Oct., though five sub-indicators reflected negative moves and three did not change from the Sep. reading. Higher merchandise import volumes made the largest positive impact on the Oct. BCI, followed by merchandise export volumes and increased real retail sales. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NUM plans coal sector strike - Ed Stoddard

The NUM plans a coal sector strike after wage negotiations with mining companies deadlocked, it said yesterday without giving a date for the action. NUM spokesperson LIVHUWANI MAMMBURU said the union had been granted a strike certificate by the CCMA. A protracted strike in t he coal sector could impact power supply as about 85% of SA's electricity is generated from the fossil fuel. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's Senate approves report exonerating MTN Nigeria over forex transfers - Camillus Eboh

Nigeria's Senate yesterday approved a report largely exonerating MTN GROUP's Nigerian unit, after the business was accused of illegally repatriating $14bn to its parent. But the Senate report also asked Nigeria's central bank to sanction STANBIC IBTC BANK "for improper documentations in respect of capital repatriation and loan repayments" on behalf of MTN. MTN said it welcomed the report and will study it. STANBIC IBTC did not respond to requests for comment. The Senate probe did not receive proof of collusion to contravene Nigeria's forex laws, according to the report. "There was evidence of massive capital outflow but that fact alone is not conclusive that a crime has been committed". As for the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Senate committee said its failure to properly regulate forex should be condemned. The central bank should propose amendments to current regulation to foster economic growth and improve the country's foreign currency inflows, the report stated. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 09/11/2017

At 06h58 on 09 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.14 ZAR/EUR 16.40 ZAR/GBP 18.57 Gold 1281.00 Platinum 928.00 Brent Crude Oil 63.46 All Share 60078.03

US signs investment compact with Ivory Coast - Lesley Wroughton

The MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION this week said it had signed a $524.7m investment compact with Ivory Coast to build schools and improve roads around the busy port in the commercial capital Abidjan. The five-year compact was signed at the State Department between Ivory Coast President ALASSANE OUATTARA and JONATHAN NASH, the MCC's acting CEO. MCC investments are aimed at showcasing countries with good policies and the body's seal of approval is meant to attract foreign investors. The MCC said its grant funding would help build 84 secondary schools and train teachers to boost education in the country. It said its investments in the Abidjan Transport Project will help rebuild the road network around Abidjan's port, among the busiest in sub-Saharan Africa, and reduce transport costs. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tullow raises FY output guidance on Ghana fields - Arathy S Nair

TULLOW OIL raised its output guidance yesterday, aided by higher output from it TEN and Jubilee fields in Ghana. The company now expects FY West Africa net oil output to come in at 85 000-89 000 bpd compared with its previous guidance of 78 000-85 000 bpd. FY gross production guidance for Jubilee was raised to around 89 000 bpd, while production from TEN is now expected to exceed the original guidance of 50 000 bpd. TULLOW further said it expected to generate about $400m in free cash flow for 2017, helped by strong production and higher oil prices in H2 2017. It said net debt fell to $3.6bn at end-Oct. TULLOW said it had formally commenced the refinancing of its reserves-based lending facility in Oct. and was on schedule to complete the process before the end of the year. It also cut its 2017 capex guidance by around $100m-$300m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oracle borrows $10bn in one of 2017's biggest corporate bond sales - Eric Platt

ORACLE borrowed $10bn yesterday in one of this year's largest corporate bond sales. The deal spanned five maturities from five to 30 years, sources said. ORACLE sold $1.25bn of new 5.25-year debt with a yield of 2.637%; $2bn of 7-year bonds with a yield of 2.975%; and $2.75bn of 10-year paper with a yield of 3.263%. Longer-term 20- and 30-year bonds worth a combined $4bn were priced with yields of 3.827% and 4.027% respectively. ORACLE's existing debt maturing in 2026 traded hands at a yield of 3.1%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CBA climbs after bad debt falls 10% in Q1 - Hudson Lockett

COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA rose as much as 1.2% yesterday after it reported Q1 profits up 10.4% y/y while bad debts had fallen 10.3%. Unaudited cash profits for the quarter to end-Sep. rose to A$2.65bn, CBA said today, while troublesome and impaired assets fell to A$6.1bn. The bank's common equity tier one ratio stood at 10.1%, up 0.6 percentage points from the previous quarter. CBA said the higher net interest margin for the period had been "driven by asset repricing and reduced liquid asset balances", although these were partly offset by the impact of a banking levy, higher funding costs and competition. Shares in CBA were up 1.1% in morning trade in Sydney at A$79.07. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trump tells N Korea not to 'underestimate' US - Demetri Sevastopulo

President DONALD TRUMP yesterday cautioned North Korea not to "underestimate" the US, addressing its leader directly from the parliament in Seoul with a warning that "the weapons you're acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger". TRUMp told North Korea not to interpret US restraint as weakness, saying it would be a "fatal miscalculation" as his administration was very different from its predecessors. "We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. We will not be intimidated", TRUMP said as he reminded Pyongyang that the US had positioned serous military assets in the vicinity of the Korean peninsula. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China Literature shares climb as much as 100% on debut - Hudson Lockett

TENCENT's CHINA LITERATURE rose as much as 100% during its first morning session in Hong Kong as investor demand left unsatisfied by the unit's heavily oversubscribed offer sent the stock's price soaring beyond expectations. Shares in the ebook business touched a peak of HK$110, marking a rise of 100% from their final offer price of HK$55, before pulling back slightly to end morning trade up 90% at HK$104.30. The float is the first in a series of IPOs planned by TENCENT. SOGOU, the TENCENT-backed search engine and text input software company, will list later today in New York. Bankers expect TENCENT will also list its subsidiary TENCENT MUSIC, the world's third-biggest music streaming service by subscriptions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China export growth dips more than expected in Oct. - Hudson Lockett

China's exports rose less than expected in Oct. but still managed to pull the country's trade surplus up from a half-year low even as import growth remained well into the double digits. The dollar value of outbound shipments from China rose 6.9% y/y in Oct., down from 8.1% in Sep. and missing analysts' forecasts of 7.2%. Import growth decelerated to a y/y pace of 17.2% for the period, down from a revised rise of 18.6% m/m but failing to slow to an expected rate of 16%. Those trade flows resulted in China's trade surplus rising almost 10% to $38.2bn from September's revised six-month low of $28.6bn ($28.5bn previously). This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Deutsche Bank CE hints at thousands of job losses - Laura Noonan

DEUTSCHE BANK CEO JON CRYAN has given his clearest hint yet that the bank could cut tens of thousands more jobs as it turns to technology to bring costs into line with sharply lower revenues. "We employ 97 000 people. Most big peers have more like half that number", CRYAN told the FT. The lender mas made about 4 000 of the 9 000 job cuts promised under a five-year restructuring plan announced in late 2015. CRYAN said many of the additional cuts would come through using technology to boost efficiency in the bank's processes. He noted that the ratio of front office, revenue-generating staff to back office people was "out of kilter" at DEUTSCHE. CRYAN said there was a lot of scope to close branches, suggesting many POSTBANK customers could be shifted online. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German industrial output slips in Sep. after Aug. rise - Adam Samson

Production across German industry fell in Sep. after a strong rise in the prior month, with steep falls reported in both capital goods and energy. Industrial production was down 1.6% in Sep. m/m, worse than expectations in a Reuters poll of a 0.8% drop. The fall came after a 2.6% jump in the prior month. Production of capital goods slid 2.7%. Energy production fell 4.3%, while construction declined 0.4%. Falls were smaller for intermediate and consumer goods at 0.8% and 0.3%, respectively. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ABF posts double-digit profit rise - Cat Rutter Pooley

Primark continued to power sales and profits at ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODS, which posted a double-digit rise in FY revenues and profits yesterday. Sales at Primark were 19% ahead of last year at reported exchange rates, driven by a 1.5m square foot expansion in store retail space and net 30 new store openings. That helped lift the group to a 15% overall rise in revenue to £15.4bn for the FY to Sep. 16., and 22% rise in adjusted operating profits to £1.36bn. At constant currencies, group revenue rose 6% and adjusted operating profit 13%. Adjusted pre-tax profits rose 22% to £1.31bn and adjusted EPS 20% to 127.1pps. For FY2018, a further expansion of selling space at Primark should boost retail profits, ABF said, adding that it expected progress in its grocery, agriculture and ingredient divisions. But in the sugar business, despite a strong recovery in profits in FY2017, higher volumes and lower costs would only partially mitigate the effect of "much lower EU prices", ABF said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Currency boost insulates Imperial Brands from falling cigarette sales - Naomi Rovnick

IMPERIAL BRANDS reported a rise in annual revenues after favourable currency movements insulated it from falling tobacco sales. The FTSE 100 company said FY net tobacco revenues - which excludes tax on cigarettes - rose 8.2% to £7.8bn. This would have been a 2.6% fall at constant currencies. The number of cigarettes IMPERIAL sold during the FY fell 4.1% to 265.2bn. Pre-tax profits more than doubled from 2016 to £1.9bn, driven by hgher total revenues and lower finance costs. CEO ALISON COOPER described the tobacco market as "particularly tough" and promised new launches in the company's "next generation" range that includes vaping technologies and trials of heated tobacco products. "We are well placed to continue to enhance shareholder value by building on the momentum in our tobacco business and realising opportunities in next generation products", COOPER said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

G4S slips after forecasting weaker than expected sales growth - Adam Samson

G4S slipped in early trading yesterday after it forecast FY sales growth that was weaker than analysts were expecting. The company said it expects to post organic sales growth this year of 3%-4% - weaker than the consensus estimate in a FactSet survey of 4.6%. G4S said its organic revenue growth was 4.4% in the nine months to end-Sep., with "All regions growing apart from the Middle East and India region". Excluding those two regions, growth would have been 6.1%. Shares in G4S fell 4.1% to 268p in early London trading yesterday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 08/11/2017

At 10h20 on 08 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.18 ZAR/EUR 16.45 ZAR/GBP 18.64 Gold 1278.45 Platinum 925.00 Brent Crude Oil 63.54 All Share 60145.34

Maersk drops in morning trading after guidance cut - Richard Milne

Shares in AP MOLLER-MAERSK fell as much as 7% in morning trading after the company's performance and share price were hit by the impact of a larger cyber attack and higher fuel costs. The Danish conglomerate said it now expected to make an underlying profit this year but gave no size, a reduction from its previous guidance of a profit greater than $711m. The company trimmed its guidance for MAERSK LINE from ore than $1bn this year ot "around" $1bn, blaming "continuing higher cost to recover services and reliability after the cyber attack" that hit the company in Jun. It said the NotPetya cyber attack had cost it $250m-$300m, mostly in lost business in July and August, but that residual problems had also hit utilisation and driven up costs during Q3. MAERSK said it now expected a positive underlying profit in 2017 against a reclassified underlying loss of $546m y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Around 20 banks applied for EU licences after Brexit - Claire Jones

The European Central Bank' chief banking supervisor has said that around 20 banks have applied for European banking licences in the wake of the UK's decision to quit the EU. Brexit has triggered banks located in the UK to reconsider the structure of their European operations to continue to profit form business opportunities in the EU. DANIELE NOUY, head of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, said the "very sad" decision by British citizens had led to more work for eurozone supervisors. "It's about 20 that have something that is already being assessed. Maybe they have not signed it, but they have made a pretty comprehensive application that can be formalised very fast". NOUY said banks should use digitalisation to cut costs. "It could help them to reduce cost to income ratios that are far too high", she said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurozone retail sales growth fastest in more than two years - Adam Samson

Eurozone retail sales easily beat expectations in Sep., pushing the annual growth rate to the highest level since Jul. 2015 in the latest sign of improving conditions across the currency bloc. The volume of retail sales rose 3.7% y/y in Sep., Eurostat said yesterday. That compared with the 2.9% that analysts forecast. The rate was 2.3% in Aug. September's rise was powered by a 5.1% y/y rise in sales of non-food products with a more mild 3.2% rise in food, drinks and tobacco. Romania, Malta and Ireland posted the fastest growth, while Luxembourg logged a 25.3% fall. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trump harming global economy - Ifo survey - Adam Samson

The TRUMP administration is harming the global economy, according to three quarters of economic experts surveyed by Germany's Ifo research institute. In the survey of 929 experts in 120 countries, 73.9% of respondents said DONALD TRUMP was "negatively influencing the world economy". A slimmer portion - 57.6% - said the adminstration was harming the US economy. Participants in the poll pointed to social justice and climate protection as two of the "hardest hit areas". "Experts in neighbouring countries Canada and Mexico, as well as in Ireland claim that the US has a particularly bad influence on their countries". Economists in the US had a brighter view of TRUMP - only 38% said he was having a negative impact domestically. Despite the concerns, global economic growth has been strengthening over the past 12 months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Valeant Q3 revenues beat forecasts - David Crow

VALEANT yesterday posted Q3 revenues that beat analysts' forecasts, sending its shares up by almost 13% in pre-market trading. The drugmaker said revenues during the quarter were $2.2bn, versus the typical analyst estimate of $2.17bn. CEO JOSEPH PAPA attributed the beat to a strong performance of the company's Baush & Lomb contact lens brand, as well as its Salix gastrointestinal franchise. The group posted adjusted EBITDA of $951m. VALEANT reduced its FY sales guidance and now expects to generate $8.65bn to $8.8bn in annual revenues, versus its previous range of $8.7bn-$8.9bn. In Feb., the company had said it expected $8.9bn-$9.1bn. VALEANT also said it had reduced its borrowings by nearly $6bn since the end of Q1 2016, and that it had exceeded its target of paying down $5bn of debt by Feb. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

OPEC raises oil demand outlook despite clean energy push - Anjli Raval

OPEC sees greater than expected demand for oil by 2022 despite a global push in energy policies promoting cleaner fuels and a rise in technologies such as electric cars, the cartel said yesterday. Global consumption will rise from 95.4m bpd in 2016 to 102.3m bpd in 2022 - an upward revision of almost 2.3m bpd. Demand will rise to 111.1m bpd by 2040, OPEC said. The growth rate will decelerate, however, from nearly 1.5m bpd in 2017 to 810 000 bpd in 2022 and 300 000 bpd by 2040. OPEC said that while oil is anticipated to shrink as a proportion of the energy mix, it is expected to remain the fuel with the largest share, at just under a third by 2040. On the supply side, oil from outside of the OPEC cartel is expected to grow from 57m bpd in 2016 to 62m bpd in 2022. Two-thirds of this growth is expected to come from the US alone. After 2022, however, non-OPEC growth begins to slow, tailing off in 2027 at 63.8m bpd before a further fall to 60.4m bpd by 2040. This means the so-called "call on OPEC crude production" will rise by almost 30% by 2040, reaching 41.4m bpd. The cartel's share of global oil supply therefore increases from 34% in 2016 to 37% in 2040. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Intesa Sanpaolo income boosted by public cash from taking failing banks' assets - Rachel Sanderson

Italian lender INTESA SANPAOLO reported nine-month net income of €5.9bn, boosted by €3.5bn of public cash it received for taking control of the "good assets" of failing banks BANCA POPOLARE DI VICENZA and VENETO BANCA. Excluding the public cash, net income came in at €2.469bn in the nine months to end-Sep., broadly in line with €2.335bn y/y. Net income was €731m in Q3, down from €837m q/q and slightly higher than the €628m reported y/y. It also reported a net capital gain of around €800m from the disposal of AllFunds, which was signed in Q1, and is due to be booked in Q4 2017. INTESA SANPAOLO said results were in line with the commitment made in its business plan to distribute €3.4bn cash dividends for 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Germany pushes for new Eurogroup president election in Dec. - Mehreen Khan

Germany's acting finance minister has said Berlin will not push for a delay in appointing a new president for the Eurogroup despite the country being without a coalition government. PETER ALTMAIER said the job to head up the forum of eurozone finance ministers must go to the best candidate and cannot be decided on political or geographic lines. "If we were to postpone [a decision] every time a coalition is established, we will perhaps never take a decision", ALTMAIER said, when asked if Berlin wanted to delay the vote from Dec. to Jan. Germany is currently without a government after September elections and is in the grip of three-party coalition talks headed by ANGELA MERKEL. No clear favourite has emerge din the race to succeed JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, who will depart after five years as head of the bloc in Jan. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ackman loses bid for board seats at ADP - Lindsay Fortado

Billionaire activist investor BILL ACKMAN has lost his bid for three board seats at US payroll processor ADP, dealing him another blow after a series or disastrous investments. ADP shareholders yesterday voted to re-elect all 10 of its directors at its AGM, rather than elect ACKMAN's nominees, which included himself, VERONICA HAGEN and PAUL UNRUH. ADP CEO CARLOS RODRIGUEZ said the process "has sharpened our focus on the importance of insightful, strategic engagement with our investors, which, over the past few months, has given us a greater appreciation of our owners' perspectives on our business and growth plans". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sky News could be shut down if regulators block Fox takeover - Matthew Garrahan

SKY has threatened to close down SKY NEWS if its ownership of the channel becomes a regulatory stumbling block to the proposed £11.7bn takeover of the European pay-TV operator by RUPERT MURDOCH's 21ST CENTURY FOX. SKY warned in a submission to the Competition Markets Authority that the continued operation of SKY NEWS should not be assumed in light of concerns that the FOX takeover could harm media plurality in the UK. SKY's submission comes amid ongoing questions about the MURDOCH family's ability to close the deal and revelations that the family has held talks with WALT DISNEY regarding a sale of most of its assets - including its 39% stake in SKY. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mr Price shares gain on upbeat interim earnings - Robert Laing

MR PRICE's share price rose 11% to R169.99 yesterday morning after it said interim earnings grew by up to 25%. The retailer said it expected to report on Nov. 20 that its basic and headline EPS for the 26 weeks to end-Sep. grew by 20%-25%. MR PRICE focuses on selling for cash, which appears to have given it an advantage in a tough consumer environment over rivals reliant on advancing customers credit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FSB may seek foreign help in Gupta probe - Renee Bonorchis

The Financial Services Board yesterday said it has started a formal probe into trades in OAKBAY RESOURCES & ENERGY and may seek assistance from international supervisory bodies. A preliminary probe into the Nov. 2014 dealings has been completed, and if needed, the FSB will contact counterparts in other countries, the regulator said. It can approach regulators in more than 100 countries that have signed the International Organisation of Securities Commissions Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding to combat cross-border fraud and misconduct. "International authorities are our only hope", OUTA COO BEN THERON said, adding that local law enforcement agencies "have been particularly quiet and absent". A trove of emails seen by Bloomberg showed that GUPTA money was used to inflate the share price of OAKBAY RESOURCE on its JSE debut three years ago. The family boosted the value of OAKBAY by lending money from a Dubai bank account to a Singapore firm, which then transferred cash to OAKBAY in SA via Hong Kong in exchange for shares. A director at the Singapore company was then instructed by an OAKBAY employee to sell 20 000 securities. On the day trade opened, 20 000 shares changed hands and closed at R10.08, setting OAKBAY's market cap at R8bn - more than 48 times FY revenue. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Telkom to grow zero-rated streaming service, LIT - Kyle Venktess

There might be new developments in the offing for TELKOM's zero-rated data streaming service. Head of product development and management at TELKOM, ERNA KORFF, said to "watch this space" for developments around the service which is believed to include an extension of the service to prepaid, among other new developments. In Sep., TELKOM bolstered its service offering to customers with its zero-rated streaming platform LIT, an add-on to its competitive contract FreeMe packages. LIT allows the network's contract customers to stream TV, videos and music for free with no data cost. KORFF said the FreeMe packages have been received well by the public and the company was looking to expand on the service. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba met World Bank on nuclear plan - Loni Prinsloo

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA met with World Bank representatives last week to discuss financing for development of SA's nuclear power programme, sources said this week. GIGABA met with the Bank on Friday to discuss funding options available to ESKOM for the programme. GIGABA declined to comment yesterday when asked about the meeting. The World Bank didn't immediately respond to questions sent by email but confirmed receipt. GIGABA on Oct. 26 said SA can't afford to build new nuclear reactors for at least five years and that it doesn't need more baseload power capacity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

TFG to acquire UK women's wear brand - Fin24

THE FOSCHINI GROUP yesterday announced it will acquire British women's wear brand HOBBS. TFG said its UK subsidiary, TFG BRANDS, had entered into an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of HOBBS. It did not say what this would cost. "HOBBS currently has 140 outlets comprising standalone stores and concessions in the UK and is stocked in selected departmental stores across the world... It also sells its merchandise online in 49 countries", FOSCHINI said. In 2015/16, the chain had a turnover of £110m. FOSCHINI said the acquisition would help position it as an international brand, and enhance its online presence. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AEEI pleased to record growth in revenue - Fin24

AFRICAN EQUITY EMPOWERMENT INVESTMENTS LIMITED increased group revenue by 43% from R736m to R1.052bn in the FY to end-Aug. Operating profit increased by 111% to R655m and the company said this was as a result of consistent organic and acquisitive growth. Earnings rose by 120% to R477m, which translates to EPS increasing from 44.09cps to 97.10cps y/y. Headline earnings rose by 120% from R212m to R466m, with HEPS rising from 43.13cps to 94.89cps. In line with the company's strategy, the asset base increased by 65% from R1.7bn to R2.8bn. AEEI announced a final dividend of 5.50cps, after paying an interim dividend of 2c in May 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FNB to give millions in data gigabytes free over festive season - Kyle Venktess

FNB will be giving away up to 160GB of data per customer free over the festive season. The bank's virtual mobile network, FNB CONNECT, will give a way the data "to reward customers who use the bank's integrated digital and telco econsystem". The incentive will run from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, 2018. The data rewards are focused on encouraging FNB customers to utilise digital channels and the right banking products. Each FNB customer can get up to 160 GB of data. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New Frontier acquires warehouse facility in Ireland - Anine Kilian

NEW FRONTIER PROPERTIES has acquired Unit 1 of the Stadium Business Park in Dublin, Ireland, for €8.6m, representing a net initial yield of 8.23%. "This purchase in Dublin is in line with our investment strategy to acquire European logistics and warehouse properties to benefit from the increase in e-retailing activity across Europe", CEO MIKE RILEY said. The warehouse facility is located in a strategic logistics position in north-west Dublin near the international airport and Dublin Port Tunnel. The property is let to VIKING DIRECT, a global company forming part of OFFICE DEPOT, on a 20-year full repairing and insuring lease from Aug. 24 2007 at a rent of €743 518/year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gold Brands buys 50% stake in Ed's Diner - Megan van Wyngaardt

GOLD BRANDS will acquire 50% of the rights, trademarks and intellectual property of burger restaurant chain ED's DINER from owner VASILIS LAZARIDIS. GOLD BRANDS and LAZARIDIS will operate the chain in a JV, which will own the exclusive rights to roll out and franchise the ED's DINER concept throughout SA. GBI will also be the exclusive supplier to the new franchise. GOLD BRANDS COO STELIO NATHANAEL says the JV is planning on rolling out ten stores in the next five years, including another restaurant in Pretoria, one on the Gauteng East Rand, one in Johannesburg and a franchise in Umhlanga. "In the immediate term, were taking two stores in the next three, four months. Then we'll take it from there". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PotashCorp, Agrium merger gains Chinese approval - Henry Lazenby

The merger of POTASHCORP OF SASKATCHEWAN and AGRIUM INC has received approval from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. Billed as a "merger of equals", the tie-up will create a new $36bn entity, to be named NUTRIEN. The transaction is working its way through the regulatory review and approval process in several jurisdictions. The Chinese Commerce Ministry attached conditions to its decision, most notably that the parties commit to divest POTASHCORP's minority shareholdings in ARAB POTASH COMPANY and SOCIEDAD QUIMICA Y MINERA DE CHILE within 18 months and ISREAL CHEMICALS within nine months from the closing of the transaction. The companies are allowed to consummate the merger before the divestments. The approval is also conditioned on the commitment to convert POTASHCORP's equity stake in SINOFERT HOLDINGS to a passive investment before closing the merger and ensure that the potash marketing and distribution arm CANPOTEX remains a stable, reliable and dedicated supplier to China. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Harmony ups output, improves margins - Martin Creamer

HARMONY GOLD produced 14% more told in the quarter to end-Sep., when it cut unit costs by 8% and improved the margins of profit at its South African operations. The 14% higher q/q gold output from its underground mines in SA resulted from 10% more ore being milled and a 4% better recovered grade of 5.35g/t. All-in sustaining unit South African underground costs were lowered to $1 151/oz. HARMONY's undrawn debt facilities include $175m on the dollar facility and R1bn on the rand facility, on net debt of R906m. Increased cash flow generated from the South African operations is funding Hidden Valley, where commercial levels of production are expected during next year's June quarter. Ore processing should recommence at the Papua New Guinea operation by the end of Nov., following the completion of the processing infrastructure upgrade and maintenance activities. Also in PNG, the government is being engaged on the granting of a special mining lease for the Wafi-Golpu copper/gold project for which internally generated power, deep-see tailings placement, block-cave reassessment and increased rates of mining are under consideration. An updated Wafi-Golpu feasibility study, due by Mar. 31, is expected to better the business case and support the application for the special mining lease. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Northam appoints Brian Mosehla chair as Zim retires - Megan van Wyngaardt

NORTHAM PLATINUM chair LAZARUS ZIM retired yesterday with immediate effect. He is succeeded by BRIAN MOSEHLA, who has been a nonexecutive director since 2015. MOSEHLA is a member of the NORTHAM investment committee and will replace ZIM as a member of the nomination committee. Meanwhile, NORTHAM has appointed COAL CEO DAVID BROWN and Dr YOZA JEKWA as independent nonexecutive directors. BROWN will also serve as a member of the audit and risk committee, and chair of the investment committee. JEKWA will serve on the social, ethics and HR committee. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trans Hex expects to post H1 loss - Anine Kilian

TRANS HEX expects to post an LPS of 188.4cps for the HY to end-Sep., it said yesterday. Its HLPS is expected to be 195.1cps, compared with HEPS of 31.4cps y/y. Group net loss amounted to r199.2m while sales revenue from wholly-owned South African operations decreased by 45.6% to R149.7m. The company's gross loss from South African land operations amounted to R191m. TRANS HEX will report interim results on Nov. 9. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

RIN disposes of German retail portfolio for €205m - Roy Cokayne

REDEFINE INTERNATIONAL has agreed to dispose of its German retail portfolio for €205m. The company yesterday said it had exchanged contracts with PATRIZIA IMMOBILIEN AG for the sale of the Leopard German supermarket portfolio, comprising 66 retail properties, including a mixture of stand-alone supermarkets, food store anchored retail parks and cash and carry stores totalling more than 138 000m² of lettable area. The disposal, which includes the repayment of €86.1m of debt facilities, was expected to be completed next month. RIN CEO MIKE WATTERS said the disposal capitalises on an exceptionally strong German investment market, resulting in a 10.8% or €20m premium achieved on book value and a 12% premium to the price paid for the acquisition of a controlling stake in Apr. 2017. WATTERS said RIN's exposure to Germany would decline following the deal from 27% to 18% and in line with their strategy, they were consistently looking to realise value by recycling capital at attractive prices. He confirmed that the company was currently in exclusive talks to acquire a portfolio of high-quality assets which, if acquired, would utilise the majority of the disposal proceeds. "The income yield is expected to be commensurate with the yield achieved on the disposal of the Leopard portfolio and will be accretive to shareholder returns over the medium term". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Niger's economy to grow 5.2% in each of 2017 and 2018 - IMF - Joe Bavier

Niger's economy is on course to expand 5.2% this year and continue at the same pace in 2018 on the back of growth in its oil and services sectors, the IMF said on Monday. "Niger's overall macroeconomic performance remains satisfactory, despite security challenges and unfavourable commodity prices, especially for uranium", the Fund said. "Over the medium run, government reform efforts should be rewarded by a pickup in growth". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Group Five widens restructuring - Nqobile Dludla

GROUP FIVE yesterday said it will sell its manufacturing arm and exit some construction businesses as part of a further restructuring to address a slump in its home market. "All clusters and businesses have... been reviewed and evaluated against certain criteria to determine their alignment with the group's revised strategy", GROUP FIVE CEO THEMBA MOSAI said. "Those businesses that have a high probability of meeting or exceeding the group's targeted return on capital will be retained". The company said it was evaluating multiple expressions of interest received for its manufacturing business, which makes building materials, and would sell it because it is a non-core operation. In construction, GROUP FIVE said it will migrate to smaller, streamlined businesses, focusing only on those that have competitive advantages in target client groups. It said its "traditional construction businesses are finding it challenging to secure sufficient levels of revenue to remain profitable... The group has concluded that it will exit construction businesses which the group does not see the potential to turn around on a sustainable basis and which are not core to the revised strategy". These businesses will either be sold or closed, reducing the company's overheads. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nokia joins Vodacom to trial 5G in SA - Nqobile Dludla

NOKIA will trial its 5G technology in SA in collaboration with VODACOM GROUP, they said yesterday. Under an MoU with VODACOM, NOKIA will share its latest 5G innovations including among other things massive MIMO Adaptive Antennas, AirScale Radio Access and end-to-end Mobile Anyhaul transport networks to test how they can be used to meet changing demand in the country. Unlike prior upgrades of cellular standards 2G in the early 1990s, 3G around 2000 and 4G in 2010, 5G standards will link cars, machines, cargo and crop equipment to the internet as well as speed up data times. The companies will first focus on delivering Ultra-HD and virtual reality video services using the enhanced mobile broadband and ultra-low latency capabilities of 5G, VODACOM said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA to probe SARS - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

SA will launch an inquiry into weak tax collection by SARS after receiving the approval of President JACOB ZUMA, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said yesterday. GIGABA said ZUMA had granted his request for an inquiry by a judge into the administration and governance of SARS, adding that the inquiry would be set up soon. "It is critical for government to determine the cause of the tax revenue under-collection in order to enable government to take urgent remedial steps to ensure that SARS is able to meet its revenue targets", GIGABA said. He also addressed concerns about SA, saying liquidity issues at the national carrier had been attended to. Introducing new board members appointed to help turn around SAA, GIGABA said there were many investors interested in taking an equity stake in the airline and that he wanted to consolidate its assets. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Buhari presents 8.612tn naira budget to lawmakers - Paul Carsten

Nigeria's President MUHAMMADU BUHARI yesterday presented the 2018 budget of 8.612tn naira to lawmakers. BUHARI said the budget was based on an exchange rate of 305 naira to the dollar and a projected oil output of 2.3m bpd at an assumed price of $45/barrel. He said he was targeting Jan. 1 for the passage of the 2018 budget, adding that the deficit is expected to be 2.005tn naira and real economic growth is estimated to be 3.5% for 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 08/11/2017

At 07h00 on 08 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.20 ZAR/EUR 16.48 ZAR/GBP 18.72 Gold 1277.48 Platinum 923.00 Brent Crude Oil 63.54 All Share 60182.60

Updated market indicators for 07/11/2017

At 09h38 on 07 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.15 ZAR/EUR 16.41 ZAR/GBP 18.62 Gold 178.561 Platinum 929.00 Brent Crude Oil 64.04 All Share 60557.82

Kenya's finmin cuts 2017 GDP forecast - Katharine Houreld

Kenya's Finance Minister HENRY ROTICH today further trimmed the 2017 economic growth forecast to 5.0% from an initial projection of 5.5%, due to the impact of drought and political uncertainty arising from the prolonged election cycle. The National Treasury had earlier this year trimmed its GDP growth forecast from 5.9%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

World Bank cuts Tanzania's 2016 GDP growth estimate - Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala

Tanzania's GDP growth is seen slowing this year, hurt by cuts in government spending and a private sector slowdown, the World Bank said. It forecast Tanzania's FY GDP growth at 6.6% versus the government's 2017 growth target of 7.1%. "While the economy remains one of the highest performers in the region... real GDP expanded at a slower rate of 6.7% in the first half of 2017 compared to 7.7% over the same period in 2016", the World Bank said in its latest economic update for Tanzania, published yesterday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PPC flags up to 40% jump in H1 profit - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

PPC LTD flagged as much as a 40% rise in HY profit today, citing robust performances in Zimbabwe and Rwanda and lower finance costs. The cement maker said HEPS likely rose by 30%-40% in the HY to end-Sep. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's net foreign reserves fall in Oct. - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA's net foreign reserves fell to $42.486bn in Oct. from $42.651bn in Sep., SARB data showed this morning. Gross reserves edged down to $48.903bn from $49.384bn, the data showed. The forward position was down slightly to $2.99bn from $2.999bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent gains boost Hang Seng closer to decade high - Edward White

Shares in TENCENT rose 3.1% in the morning session in Hong Kong today, driving the benchmark Hang Seng to its highest point in nearly 10 years. TENCENT rose after it announced CHINA LITERATURE had priced at the top of its share price range and was set to bring in $1.1bn with its listing tomorrow. Those gains by Hong Kong-listed shares in TENCENT helped push the benchmark Hang Seng index up 1.1% to its highest point since Dec. 2007. The index is up 31.6% for the year to date. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Australia holds rates at 1.5% for 15th straight month - Edward White

The Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates unchanged yesterday, as expected, marking a fifteenth straight month at the same level. The central bank held its cash rate target at 1.5% at its Nov. meeting, in line with forecasts. The announcement prompted the Australian dollar to gain as much as 0.2% against its US counterpart. RBA governor PHILIP LOWE said: "The central forecast is for GDP growth to pick up and to average around 3% over the next few years. Business conditions are positive and capacity utilisation has increased. The outlook for non-mining business investment has improved, with the forward-looking indicators being more positive than they have been for some time". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent's China Literature sets IPO price at top of range - Hudson Lockett

TENCENT-owned CHINA LITERATURE has priced its IPO at the top of its previously announced range, bringing the amount it will raise via its Hong Kong listing on Wednesday to more than $1bn. TENCENT this morning confirmed that the online reading platform's shares would be spun off on the main board of Hong Kong's stock exchange with a final offer price of HK$55 apiece - at the top of an announced range, the floor of which had been set at HK$48. That takes the total set to be raised by the offering of 151m shares to HK$8.3bn before a greenshoe option, which allows underwriters to sell an additional 22.7m shares. TENCENT said the market cap of CHINA LITERATURE after completion of the global offering would be around HK$49.9m and that shares will commence trading in Hong Kong tomorrow morning. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Avis Budget stalls as outlook shifts lower yet again - Jessica Dye

AVIS BUDGET shares fell yesterday after the rental car company downgraded its FY profit outlook yet again. After sharply lowering the top end of its earnings outlook in Aug., AVIS again pushed down expectations for its FY profit. It said it is now looking for adjusted EPS of $2.45-$2.65, from its previous range of $2.40-$2.85. In the quarter to end-Sep., AVIS revenue grew 4% y/y to $2.8bn, ahead of the $2.77bn analysts surveyed by Factset had expected. Net income of $245m or $2.91 per diluted share, fell short of the $252m or $3.00/share analysts were looking for. Adjusted earnings of $3.10 topped predictions of $3.04/share. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fitch downgrades Teva to junk, citing 'operational stress' - Eric Platt

TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS was downgraded to junk territory by FITCH yesterday as analysts broke from their peers in cutting the Israeli drugmaker out from the investment-grade credit universe. FITCH cut TEVA's rating to BB from BBB- and said it held a negative outlook on the company. The move affected roughly $35bn of debt. "TEVA is facing significant operational stress at a time when it needs to reduce debt", FITCH analyst PATRICK FINNEGAN said. "Pricing pressure in TEVA's North American generics segment and erosion of sales of Copaxone will continue to weigh on free cash flow in the near term, requiring the company to continue to sell assets or find external capital resources to meet debt obligations". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eurozone will focus on debt reduction - Dijsselbloem - Mehreen Khan

Eurozone policymakers will pay increasing attention to the bloc's debt levels as part of its attempts to shore up the public finances of member states during a strong economic recovery. Eurogroup president JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM said reducing government debt levels "is becoming more and more important" at a time when many member states have made impressive progress in reducing their fiscal deficits. He was speaking at the conclusion of a meeting of the EU's 27 finance ministers in Brussels yesterday. Ministers discussed issues including completing the EU's banking union and simplifying the budgetary rules that place limits on debt and deficit levels for eurozone countries. DJISSELBLOEM said there was no immediate plans to change the EU's debt rule as set in the "Stability and Growth Pact", which limits government debt to 60% of GDP. Debt ratios in the eurozone have fallen to 89.1%, the lowest level since the eruption of the bloc's debt crisis in 2011. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US regulator hits Cargill with $10m penalty - Gregory Meyer

CARGILL has been hit with a $10m penalty by a US financial regulator for providing inaccurate information about its derivatives portfolio in a bid to juice profits. CARGILL is a large enough trader in derivatives markets to have registered as a swap dealer, a designation held mostly by Wall Street banks. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission yesterday said CARGILL issued marks on its swaps that concealed from counterparties and swap databases up to 90% of the company's full mark-up for the swaps. CFTC director of enforcement JAMES MCDONALD said CARGILL did so "because of a concern that disclosing its full markup - as it was required to do - could reduce its revenue". CARGILl said it has revised its customer reporting and enhanced internal controls and employee training programmes. It neither admits nor denies the regulator's findings. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mugabe sacks VP, clears path for wife to succeed him - Joseph Cotterill

GRACE MUGABE yesterday moved closer to succeeding her husband as leader of Zimbabwe after President ROBERT MUGABE abruptly sacked her main rival as his vice president. MUGABE fired EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, once one of his most feared enforcers, on Monday after he "consistently and persistently exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability". GRACE MUGABE had openly clashed with MNANGAGWA in recent months as a battle to succeed her 93-year old husband intensifies in the ruling ZANU-PF at the same time as the country's dollar-dependent economy has buckled under a growing cash shortage. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Apple bond sale draws $16bn of orders - Eric Platt

Investor orders for APPLE's eighth bond sale of the year reached $16bn, allowing the iPhone maker to tighten terms on the $6bn transaction. The company, which plans to use the funds to finance its $300bn share buyback and dividend programme, cut pricing on the six-tranche deal as investor orders grew. APPLE was set to sell new 10-year debt with a yield of roughly 75 bps above benchmark Treasuries, or 3.07%, sources said. Earlier in the day, bankers leading the deal had marketed the new 10-year paper with a spread of 85 bps. Maturities for the deal span from two to 30 years. Investors were told the deal would be increased in size by $1bn-$2bn, based on demand. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Siemens Gamesa to cut 6 000 jobs worldwide - Patrick McGee

SIEMENS GAMESA will cut 6 000 jobs as part of a new restructuring plan to increase its competitiveness, it said yesterday. The wind turbine maker announced the job cuts as it released earnings for H2 2017, which showed a 12% drop in sales, reflecting problems in India and an inventory impairment in the US and SA. Adjusted operating profit fell 63% to €192m. GAMESA, the Spanish renewable energy group acquired by SIEMENS earlier this year, had already announced job cuts amounting to 700 positions. But in the "ongoing integration" into SIEMENS, the company revised these cuts to a "maximum" of 6 000 across 24 countries. No specifics on location were given, and discussions with unions will start immediately, it said. In FY results published yesterday, GAMESA said revenues rose 5% to €10.96bn, while operating profits fell 18% to €774m. Operating margins were 7%. For FY2018, GAMESA projected revenues of €9bn-€9.6bn, and it targeted margins between 7% and 8%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ECB set to reinvest €130bn of redemptions in coming year - Kate Allen

The European Central Bank will reinvest €130bn of bonds that are set to mature in the coming year, according to data published yesterday - but the early months of 2018 are likely to see a drop-off in its spending. The bank has for the first time published figures on the value of bonds it holds which are set to mature in the coming months. In total the ECB expects €130bn of redemptions in the year to Oct. 2018, averaging €11bn/month. In Jan., Feb. and Mar. 2018, the ECB will buy less than €40bn of bonds a month, including reinvestments of redemptions, according to yesterday's figures. The first big month of redemptions will come in April, when more than €24bn of bonds held by the central bank are set to mature, taking total monthly purchases to €54bn. The ECB will be able to reinvest the proceeds of each month's redemptions when they fall due or in the following two months, which is likely to smooth out its spending profile once the larger maturities kick in. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mylan nudges FY guidance higher on generic Copaxone gains - Pan Kwan Yuk

MYLAN shares rose in early trading yesterday after the US drugmaker raised its FY guidance following an earlier-than-expected approval for its copycat version of Copaxone, the blockbuster multiple sclerosis treatment. MYLAN said it now expects revenue for 2017 to be between $11.75bn and $12.5bn, up from the $12bn it forecast in Aug. Adjusted EPS for 2017 is seen in the range of $4.45-$4.70, compared to the $4.30-$4.70 range it had previously forecast. For the quarter to end-Sep., MYLAN reported a 2% drop in revenue to $2.9bn, led by a 22% slump in sales in its North American market. Analysts had expected sales to clock a smaller drop to $3.09bn. Sales in North America totalled only $1.17bn during the period, hurt by the rise in competition in the allergy injection market. The company was forced to introduce a generic version of its $600 Epipen in response to sharp criticism over its high price tag and after CVS launched a $109 version of the drug. Gross margin fell to 39%, from 42% y/y. As a result, adjusted net earnings, at $589.7m or $1.10/share also came in below market forecasts of $654.75m or $1.20/share. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Catalan crisis will hit Spanish GDP growth - Mehreen Khan

Spain's constitutional crisis in Catalonia will lower the country's projected economic growth next year, Finance Minister LUIS DE GUINDOS said yesterday. The Spanish minister said the country's GDP growth projection had been lowered by about 0.4-0.5 percentage points to 2.3% next year - "a small impact" as a result of events in Catalonia. Speaking in Brussels on Monday, DE GUINDOS said Madrid's projections would likely match the European Commission's latest economic forecasts due later this week. "If we had not had the Catalan question... surely we would have gone to 2.7% or 2.8%", DE GUINDOS said. He described deposed Catalan president CARLES PUIGDEMONT's actions as a "pantomine" and a "farce". PUIGDEMONT arrived in Brussels last week and was granted bail by Belgian courts after Spain issued a European arrest warrant against him. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Legal challenge to Kenyatta's victory prolongs uncertainty in Kenya - John Aglionby

A former MP has filed a petition with Kenya's supreme court challenging President UHURU KENYATTA's victory in last month's repeat presidential election, prolonging the political impasse in that country. HARUM MWAU is seeking to have KENYATTA's victory in the Oct. 26 ballot nullified as he claims the electoral commission conducted the poll in violation of the constitution, particularly with regard to the nomination process following the voiding of the result of the initial poll. The repeat election was held after the supreme court nullified the result of the original vote in Aug. The judges cited "irregularities" and "illegalities" in the tallying of the results. KENYATTA won 98% of the vote in the repeat election after his main challenger, RAILA ODINGA, withdraw and urged his supporters not to vote in protest of what he claimed was a process rigged in favour of the incumbent. If the supreme court accepts the case, hearings are expected to start around Nov. 13 and last less than a week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Barclays launches first UK bank green bond to fund British assets - Thomas Hale

BARCLAYS has launched the first green bond fro a UK bank used to fund domestic assets, in a further sign of the growth in climate-related debt issuance. The €500m bond, which matures in 2023, had already brought in close to €2bn of orders late yesterday morning. It is expected to come at a yield of mid-swaps plus 55 bps. The BARCLAYS deal paves the way for financial institutions to expand their issuance in the market. BARCLAYS intends to use the funding to refinance mortgages on residential properties in England and Wales "based on the carbon intensity of the underlying residential property", using publicly available data. It added that these mortgages will not be used by the bank as collateral in any other transaction. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Qualcomm set to reject Broadcom's takeover offer - James Fontanella-Khan

QUALCOMM is set to reject BROADCOM's takeover offer, as the US chipmaker views its rival's $130bn proposal as too low and fraught with regulatory risks. BROADCOM made a $70/share cash-and-stock offer yesterday, valuing QUALCOMM at around $103bn, in what could be the largest tech deal in history. As part of the deal, BROADCOM would also assume about $25bn in net debt. The offer is seen as opportunistic and highly risky from an antitrust perspective by QUALCOMM's senior management, according to sources. One person said a $70/sare offer was far from anything QUALCOMM's board would consider seriously. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Broadcom proposes $130bn deal to buy Qualcomm - James Fontanella-Khan

BROADCOM yesterday unveiled a $130bn offer, including net debt, for QUALCOMM, in what could be the largest tech deal in history. Under BROADCOM's proposal, QUALCOMM shareholders would receive $70/share - $60 in cash and $10 in shares of its rival. It would value QUALCOMM's equity at roughly $103bn. The offer represents a 28% premium over QUALCOMM's stock price on Nov. 2, after it first emerged that BROADCOM was preparing an offer. BROADCOM also said its offer stands whether or not QUALCOMM completes its $38bn acquisition of NXP, which has yet to close. If completed, it would be the biggest ever takeover in the tech sector and create a company with a combined market cap of more than $200bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cofco to sell LatAm seeds business to Syngenta - Emiko Terazono

COFCO has agreed to sell its Latin American seed business to SYNGENTA, the Swiss company now owned by CHEMCHINA. "SYNGENTA is well placed to provide NIDERA SEEDS a strong platform for further long-term growth, creating best value for its customers, farmers and employees", COFCO INTERNATIONAL CEO JOHNNY CHI said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the sale helps COFCO draw a line under the accounting issues it discovered since buying NIDERA, the Dutch agricultural commodity trader. At the end of last year it had discovered a $150m hole in the Dutch agricultural commodity trader's accounts. The problems, stemming from NIDERA's Brazilian operations, followed losses caused by a rogue biofuels trader a year earlier. For SYNGENTA, the purchase will further build up its seeds business at a time when consolidation in the agricultural seeds and chemicals industry is creating large scale competitors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Better Q3 for AngloGold puts it on course to meet cost target - Allan Seccombe

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI reported an improved Q3 performance that kept it on course to deliver its FY production and cost targets. In the quarter to end-Sep., ANGLOGOLD raised gold output to 997 000oz, up by 11% y/y and 9% q/q. The company had $88m of free cash flow for the quarter compared to $41m in outflows during its June quarter as production increased from all its operating regions. Looking at the nine-month results, ANGLOGOLD had cash outflow of $73m compared to inflows of $239m y/y. Capex stood at $705m compared to $529m y/y. All-in sustaining costs rose to $1 071/oz for the nine months, compared to $965/oz y/y. The company said it would hit its FY production target of 3.6moz-3.75moz at an AISC of up to $1 100/oz. Net debt at end-Sep. was $2.06bn, up from $1.97bn y/y but lower than the $2.15bn at end-Jun. 2017. Cash holdings were $100m lower than the same time a year ago, coming in at $177m. Cash from asset sales in SA would be used to repay debt. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sasfin to stay listed after Wiphold deal - Moyagabo Maake

SASFIN intends to remain listed on the JSE even after its now completed deal witH WOMEN INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS that has resulted in the concentration of the group's shares in WIPHOLD and SASFIN's founding family. The SASSOON family owns around 40% of SASFIN after WIPHOLD closed a R413.5m deal to pick up a 25.1% stake last week, with less than 35% in free float. "As a banking and financial services group, we are committed to transparency to all key stakeholders, which the listing facilitates", SASFIN CEO ROLAND SASSOON said. WIPHOLD has nominated directors to SASFIN's board, subject to SARB approval. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Barloworld shares dive after trading update - BDpro

BARLOWORLD shares fell as much as 3% yesterday, suggesting a degree of disappointment with an earlier trading update. The share price has had a good run over the past year, rising from about R84 to R136.02, according to Iress data. BARLOWORLD expects HEPS from continuing operations to rise by 10%-20% in the FY to end-Sep. y/y. The company said the operating performance in all its businesses would be higher than the y/y period. At 15:33 yesterday afternoon, the stock had recovered to a loss of just 0.52% to R137.19 on the JSE, valuing the company at around R29bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nomvula Mokonyane wants private sector to invest billions in water infrastructure - Neels Blom

In what amounts to a policy turnabout, Water and Sanitation Minister NOMVULA MOKONYANE has announced a water investment conference to be held at the end of this month, in which the private sector will be asked to participate in infrastructure investment amounting to at least R14bn. The private investment envisaged by the minister would include large bulk-water and sanitation schemes, municipal delivery systems and what she called capacity-building investment. The Water Resources Group estimates that SA will face a 17% supply-demand deficit by 2030. This equates to 3.8bn kilolitres of water. Asked whether any investment resulting from the conference would not be too late for the Western Cape, MOKONYANE said "better late than never". She assured the people of the Western Cape that the province would not be permitted to run out of water. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAA meeting with banks on debt rollover critical - Amogelang Mbatha, Bloomberg

SAA will meet a group of domestic lenders today to negotiate the refinancing of about R6bn in outstanding loans, new CEO VUYANI JARANA said yesterday. The banks have in principle agreed to extend the loan terms, JARANA said yesterday "We are meeting the banks to discuss the rollover of the loans that have expired and to extend the expiry dates. That will give us the going-concern status that will enable us to renegotiate longer-term contracts... The meeting is critical. We are hoping for an extension of about 12 months or so, that's the minimum", JARANA said. SAA, which doesn't have any bonds, has no plans to enter the debt market, JARANA said. "Given the current outlook of South Africa, it's probably going to be harder for any state-owned enterprise to be able to successfully issue bonds and raise capital". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Standard Bank denied request to access records in forex case - Jan Cronje

The Competition Tribunal has said it will not yet give STANDARD BANK a copy of the records of the Competition Commission's investigation into alleged rand dollar currency manipulation by banks. The lender had asked the Tribunal to rule it could access the records of the Commission's investigations into alleged currency manipulation. The Commission first announced in 2015 that it would refer allegations of collusion to artificially fix the price of the rand by 14 banks to the Competition Tribunal for judgment. The case has been dragging on since then. On Sep. 18 the Tribunal ruled that STANDARD BANK was not yet entitled to the record. It released its decision yesterday. The Tribunal said it would place an undue burden on the Commission to provide STANDARD BANK with all the details. "On the facts of the present Forex case, given the length of the record, the extent of confidential information in it, and the burden it would place on the Commission in preparing it, a reasonable time for production would be at the same time as discovery is made in the forex case", the Tribunal said. It noted that none of the 14 respondent banks had yet filed their answering affidavits. This was because the Tribunal had received objections from some banks on whether it has jurisdiction over them and "whether the referral contains sufficient specificity". These objections will be heard between 24 and 26 Jan. next year. If the case does then go ahead, the banks will be asked to submit their answering affidavits. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cell C to enter VOD game - Memory Mataranyika

CELL C will this month launch a new entertainment platform encompassing sport, kids entertainment Video on Demand and Live TV under its new Black platform offering after it signed a deal with global content provider VUBIQUITY. The new service will launch on Nov. 14 and brings with it "live streaming of five top European football club channels, and services like sports betting and hotel" bookings. Black will cone on board as a new separate division with CELL C which is focused on delivering entertainment and on demand content. The platform will be available across all networks in SA. When it launches, subscribers to Black will be able to access a VOD offering that will include up to 5 000 movies, series, music and documentaries, which will include both international and local content. Costs to access the service range from R59 for the big screen R29 for rentals for the latest releases and R10/day for local and international movies, series and music. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pioneer Foods to acquire all of Heinz Foods SA - Fin24

PIONEER FOODS yesterday announced it is set to acquire full ownership of HEINZ FOODS SA, makers of the famous tomato ketchup. PIONEER said that HEINZ FOODS SA will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of PIONEER FOODS in 2018. "By acquiring full ownership of HEINZ FOODS SA, we look forward to the further growth and development of the portfolio that includes a range of number one or two brands in their respective categories", PIONEER CEO TERTIUS CARSTEN said. The company did not say how much it would be paying for the outstanding 50.1% of HEINZ FOODS SA. The transaction is expected to be completed in Q1 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DRC copper output up 9% - Aaron Ross

Copper production in the DRC was up by 9.3% this year through Sep. at 831 000t, the central bank said yesterday. The central bank also said cobalt output rose by 18% to 59 000t and gold production rose by 5.7% to 23 000kg. Rising production should help the country's economic problems. Inflation is expected to hit around 50% this year, largely due to the lingering effects of two years of low commodity prices. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Strike threat adds to headaches for Lonmin's Magara - Ed Stoddard

The threat of a strike in SA put renewed pressure on LONMIN yesterday as CEO BEN MAGARA sought to reassure investors the miner's underlying business was robust. "There is no risk of closure", MAGARA said yesterday, adding that the disposals of non-core greenfield projects and downstream processing capacity were on the table. Tensions with some of its workers risk adding to the problems facing the company. Solidarity said its members supported plans to go on strike next month or in Jan. in a dispute over how the company handles investor relations. The union would also apply to have LONMIN protected from creditors if the company pleads poverty to cut jobs, Solidarity general secretary GIDEON DU PLESSIS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 07/11/2017

At 06h38 on 07 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.08 ZAR/EUR 16.36 ZAR/GBP 18.56 Gold 1281.01 Platinum 932.00 Brent Crude Oil 62.28 All Share 59975.67

Redefine expands Poland portfolio - Natasha Odendaal

REDEFINE PROPERTIES is in the midst of concluding a strategic acquisition that will expand its international footprint further. The company will buy a 25% stake in an undisclosed €1bn retail portfolio in Poland, while partners PIMCO and OAKTREE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT will each acquire 37.5% of the portfolio, with expectations that the deal, subject to "sensitive negotiations" will conclude by Feb. The REIT anticipates a yield of 7.7% and a pretax return on equity of 15%. Currently, 30% of REDEFINE's international portfolio is spread across Poland via its 39.6% stake in ECHO POLSKA PROPERTIES, which it acquired last year in partnership with PIMCO and OAKTREE. REDEFINE's share of direct assets in Poland is valued at R10.5bn. Now the company has set its sights on further expansion with a portfolio it believes holds a number of value-add opportunities, including the redevelopment or extension of about 60 000 m² of space. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Parliament wants report clearing SARS number two - ANA

Parliament's standing committee on finance yesterday said it had sent official letters to SARS commissioner TOM MOYANE and Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA asking for a copy of a disciplinary inquiry report which cleared senior SARS official JONAS MAKWAKWA. MAKWAKWA was reinstated last week after serving a year's suspension after the Financial Intelligence Centre flagged several suspicious payments into his bank account and that of his girlfriend and fellow SARS employee, KELLY-ANNE ELSKIE. "Although we have no evidence that Mr MAKWAKWA and Ms ELSKIE are guilty of the allegations against them, we still believe that it is in the public interest that the report be released", committee chair YUNUS CARRIM said. MAKWAKWA was suspended last year after the FIC submitted a report to SARS containing some serious allegations against him regarding how large amounts of money ended up in his bank account. SARS then sought an outside legal opinion on the matter after MOYANE took the decision to suspend MAKWAKWA pending an independent probe into the allegations. International law firm Hogan Lovells was appointed to investigate. It submitted an investigation report which recommended that disciplinary action be taken against MAKWAKWA. Hogan Lovells then appointed senior counsel, Advocate TERRY MOTAU, to chair the hearing. "SARS wishes to confirm that Advocate MOTAU, SC, has submitted the final report which found that Mr MAKWAKWA was not guilty of any of the charges levelled against him", SARS said last week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Redefine FY17 distribution up 7% y/y - Natasha Odendaal

REDEFINE PROPERTIES yesterday posted an FY distribution of 92cps for the year to end-Aug., representing y/y growth of 7%. The group's distributable income in rand terms rose by 22.2% to R4.8bn during the FY under review. Revenue for the year was R7.79bn, up 17.3%, compared with the stagnant 0% growth experienced in 2016, on the back of a number of substantial quality acquisitions made in recent years, REDEFINE CEO ANDREW KONIG said. The company recorded a net operating profit of R5bn in the FY under review, up from the R4.2bn reported y/y. The operating margin improved to 82.7%. Meanwhile, REDEFINE's active portfolio vacancy rate fell during the year by 0.3% to 4.6%, while tenant retention reached 92.6%, up from 91.8% y/y. During the period, the group's property portfolio expanded by R11.4bn to R84.1bn, with the local portfolio accounting for R68.1bn and the international real estate investments valuing R16bn of the total property asset platform. REDEFINE also generated R3.5bn from asset disposals and deployed this into assets showing better long-term growth prospects. The comapny expects distributable income a share to grow by 5%-6% for FY2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rolfes appoints new CFO - Creamer Media Reporter

ROLFES has appointed ANDRE BROODRYK as its CFO with immediate effect. BROODRYK was previously CFO of INTERWASTE HOLDINGS and has extensive experience in both the industrial and financial sectors, ROLFES said in a statement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Regulator rejects Vale bid to change output target for railroad - Reuters

Brazil's transportation regulator ANTT has rejected a request froM VALE to change its production goals for the Carajas Railroad this year, according ot a notice by the Official Gazette yesterday. Production goals for Carajas are directly tied to cargo shipments on its railroad there. ANTT's resolution maintains previously defined production goals for Carajas. Neither VALE nor ANTT could be immediately reached for comment. VALE said last month its northern system, which includes the Carajas, Serra Leste and S11D mines in the state of Para, saw record quarterly output in Q3. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PTM, Implats close first phase of Waterberg transaction - Anine Kilian

PLATINUM GROUP METALS yesterday reported it had received a consideration of $17.2m from IMPALA PLATINUm for the sale of an 8.6% interest in its Waterberg project, while JAPAN OIL, GAS AND METALS NATIONAL CORPORATION had received $12.8m for the sale of a 64% stake in the project. "We are very pleased to close the first phase of this transaction and to welcome IMPLATS to the Waterberg team", PTM CEO MICHAEL JONES said. He noted that if IMPLATS exercises its call option to advance to 50.01% interest in WATERBERG RESOURCES, JOGMEC would retain a 5% stake and certain metal marketing rights to final metal related to the project, while PTM would retain a 31.96% direct and indirect stake in WATERBERG RESOURCES. The transaction agreements also provide for the transfer of equity and the issuance of additional equity to one or more BBBEE partner/s at fair value. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sea Harvest subsidiary lands fleet - Kabelo Khumalo

SEA HARVEST on Friday said its Australian subsidiary, MARETERRAM, had acquired two mackerel licence packages comprising an established fishing fleet and support vessels for A$4.9m. The company said the acquisition price would be funded via a combination of debt funding and a conditional placement to qualified institutional and sophisticated investors. SEA HARVEST said the acquisition would give the company about 30% of the Western Australia mackerel managed fishery. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

DP World extends Somaliland presence with economic zone project - Alexander Cornwell

DP WORLD extended its reach into Somaliland yesterday, announcing that it would develop an economic zone in the breakaway Somali region. DP WORLD chair SULTAN BIN SULAYEM, and Somaliland's foreign minister SAAD ALI SHIRE signed the agreement in Dubai on Monday to develop the Berbera Free Zone. A 12.2 km² area has been earmarked for the greenfield economic zone, which will target sectors such as logistics and manufacturing. The project will be developed in phases starting with an initial 4 km². "We look forward to finalising the details of the Berbera Free Zone with the next government of Somaliland and look forward to our continued partnership", BIN SULAYEM said. "Our vision is to make Berbera a trading and transportation hub for the Horn of Africa and we look forward to achieving this together", he added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin to showcase social projects after share price meltdown - Ed Stoddard

LONMIN will unveil new health and road projects in SA today that will be overshadowed by its share price collapse of Friday. The company is facing an uncertain future after irs shares lost 30% on Friday when it delayed annual financials due this month pending the conclusion of a business review. LONMIN said it had adequate liquidity to fund it through a review that could include the sale of assets, job cuts and the renegotiation of loan agreements. Today's ceremony will be held at LONMIN's plush conference centre and game farm, a location that sets it up for a potential public relations "own goal" as Solidarity has urged the company to sell it as it moves to cut over 1 100 jobs. "It is insensitive to retrench mine workers... whilst enjoying the luxury of a game farm", Solidarity general secretary GIDEON DU PLESSIS said. LONMIN plans to show how it is meeting its social and labour obligations. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chad, Glencore to meet in Paris to discuss debt - Madjiasra Nako

Chadian government officials will meet GLENCORE executives in Paris today to discuss restructuring the country's debt, two senior government officials said yesterday. Chad has been trying renegotiating its hefty external commercial debt to GLENCORE, which eats up nearly all of its oil profits. One of the sources said GLENCORE was open to the idea of rescheduling. A Chadian government official said a GLENCORE spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for official comment. Chad wants to hand over crude oil marketing rights currently held by GLENCORE under a $1.4bn loan agreement to EXXON, the biggest oil producer in the country. A sticking point has been a request from Chad for another grace period on principal repayment. The officials said this would be discussed on Monday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kobe Steel execs to decide whether to resign after external probe - Yuka Obayashi

KOBE STEEL executives, including President HIROYA KAWASAKI, will decide whether to resign to take responsibility for a cheating scandal after a report from independent investigators due by year-end, sources said at the weekend. The company also plans to release an internal report on the falsification of product specifications around Friday. KOBE's admission last month that workers had tampered with product specifications for at least a decade has sent global carmakers, airplane manufacturers and other companies racing to check whether the safety or performance of their products have been compromised. No safety issues have so far been identified from the data cheating, which mainly involves falsely certifying the strength and durability of products. KOBE has said it cannot yet fully state what impact the tampering will have on its finances. Last week, it pulled its forecast for its first annual profit in three years for the 12 months through next March. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Raubex looking outside SA for growth opportunities - BDpro

RAUBEX this morning said it was looking offshore for growth opportunities, which will cushion it from SA's slowing economic growth. CEO RUDOLF FOURIE said the company was looking for acquisitions that would bolster its materials division, which accounted for half its profits. Group pretax profit fell 5% to R354.7m in the HY to end-Aug., on revenue down 2% to R4.67bn. The order book contracted by 8.2% to R7.52bn, with 28.8% of it representing contracts outside SA. RAUBEX said the order book from SANRAL was down 26.9% to R1.46bn. However, HEPS were up 0.4% to 131.1cps. The interim dividend was kept steady at 45cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aldermore agrees $1.3bn takeover by FirstRand - Noor Zainab Hussain

ALDERMORE GROUP and FIRSTRAND said they had agreed on a £1.1bn takeover of the British bank. The 313pps offer represents a 22.3% premium to ALDERMORE's closing share price of 245pps on Oct. 12, the day before the companies announced they were in talks. ALDERMORE is among a group of "challenger" banks that emerged after the financial crisis to fill a gap in small business lending and capitalise on problems at bigger lenders such as ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND and LLOYDS. ALDERMORE posted higher nine-month new lending at £2.4bn, citing strong demand from SMEs, homeowners and landlords. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SoftBank Q2 operating profit ahead of forecast - Peter Wells

SOFTBANK enjoyed overall growth in Q2 group revenues as sales at US wireless carrier SPRINT, and UK processor maker ARM, offset declines at its communications business in Japan. The company reported an operating profit of Y395.6bn on sales of Y2.2tn in the quarter to end-Sep., which were both ahead of the mean analysts' forecast in a Reuters survey. Net profit of Y113.2bn was weaker than estimated. SPRINT saw sales up 2.5% y/y to Y837.3bn, but this was a slowdown from Y910.4bn recorded in the June quarter. In a press release ahead of the results, SOFTBANK said it plans to increase its stake in SPRINT from its current level of about 82%. It said it did not intend to raise its ownership to, or higher than, the 85% threshold that would trigger a tender offer for the outstanding shares. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

German manufacturing orders rise in Sep. - Adam Samson

Germany's factory sector revved up for the second consecutive month in Sep., posting a surprise rise in orders. Industrial orders rose 1% in Sep. m/m, according to the federal statistics office. That widely beat ecnomists' forecasts for a fall of 1.5%. The July reading was also revised higher, to a rise of 4.1% from 3.6%. "In the past two months, German companies have received almost as many orders as they did before the economic and financial crisis end of 2007", the report said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 06/11/2017

At 10h32 on 06 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.20 ZAR/EUR 16.49 ZAR/GBP 18.57 Gold 1269.29 Platinum 919.00 Brent Crude Oil 62.21 All Share 59974.66

US payrolls rebound in Oct. - Mamta Badkar

US job creation rebounded in Oct., but wage growth came in substantially below economists' forecasts, data showed on Friday. Employment rose by 261 000 jobs last month, marking the biggest month for jobs since Jul. 2016, the Labour Department said, missing economists' forecasts in a Thomson Reuters poll for non-farm payrolls to grow by 310 000. That compared with a revised 18 000 jobs created in Sep. Employment in food services and drinking places rose sharply, up by 89 000 and mostly offsetting the decrease of 98 000 logged the prior month. The unemployment rate slid further to 4.1%, from 4.2% previously, while the labour force participation rate decreased by 0.4 of a percentage point to 62.7%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Venezuelan bonds tumble as Maduro seeks debt restructuring - Robin Wigglesworth

Venezuelan bonds suffered a drubbing in the wake of the government announcing plans to restructure its $89bn debt pile, as investors fear US sanctions will instead result in a protracted period of financial limbo and distress. President NICOLAS MADURO on Thursday abruptly announced the country would seek to restructure all its debts after one last payment was made on Friday. Despite Venezuelan bonds already trading at deeply distressed levels, the announcement pummeled the debts of the government and state-controlled oil company PDVSA further on Friday. A $3bn Venezuelan bond due in 2022 fell from trading at 45c to the dollar to 32c on Friday, while a $3bn bond issued by PDVSA fell from 49c to 32c. Venezuela's $2.5bn bond maturing in Oct. 2019 slid to 31c on the dollar, from almost 50c earlier in the week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CVC makes comeback bid for Unilever unit - Javier Espinoza

CVC CAPITAL PARTNERS has made a comeback bid for UNILEVER's spreads business having previously fallen out of the hotly-contested private equity race to acquire the $7bn unit. KKR is also looking to acquire the business having made it through the auction process, which saw the completion of its second round late last month. APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT is also thought to have made it through. However, it is believed a consortium made up of BAIN CAPITAL and CLAYTON, DUBILIER & RICE was out of the race. The spreads unit comprises more than 60 countries but UNILEVER is also considering bids for parts of the business. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

EU looks to expand regulations on Russia's Nord Stream 2 project - Rochelle Toplensky

Brussels is proposing to extend EU rules to cover all pipelines importing gas into the bloc, marking the latest move to regulate the Nord Stream 2 project. The new infrastructure would double the gas that Russia could send under the Baltic Sea to Germany. While the company insists the project is commercial, critics argue it is a political move that runs counter to the EU's objective to cut energy dependence on Moscow. The change to the gas directive would legislate the commission's long-frustrated goal of applying the union's gas principles to the controversial Russian project. From the end of 2018, all new and existing import pipelines would have to meet four principles - non-discriminatory tariffs, transparent reporting and at least 10% of the capacity offered to third parties, as well as ownership unbundling, where the pipes are nor owned directly by the gas supplier. Member states would have the power to grant an exemption to pipeline landing in their territory, subject to EU oversight for new pipelines. The European Commission will vote on the proposal on Wednesday. If passed, it will go to the European council and parliament for consideration. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pemex makes biggest onshore oil find in 15 years - Jude Webber

PEMEX, Mexico's state oil company, has made its biggest onshore discovery in 15 years, President ENRIQUE PENA NIETO announced last week. The discovery has volumes of 1.5m barrels of crude equivalent that could represent total proved, probable and possible reserves of 350m barrels in the Veracruz state, PENA NIETO said, adding that the find could be brought onstream "relatively quickly". He added that the discovery contained oil and associated gas. PEMEX said the find has "great economic value" and was strategically located close to existing infrastructure. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CNPC predicts winter supply squeeze for natural gas - Alice Woodhouse

CHINA NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION is preparing measures to protect domestic gas supplies ahead of an expected shortfall this winter in the wake of moves to move users from coal to gas for heating, state media reported this morning. Improved economic conditions in China and a government policy to move users from polluting coal to cleaner natural gas has seen demand for the fuel notch double-digit growth this year, according to a report published in the China Youth Daily. Winter demand for natural gas is expected to grow 11.7% y/y, leading to a shortfall of 4.8bn cubic metres based on current supplies. Sales of natural gas rose 15.9% in the first 10 months of the year, the newspaper reported. Non-resident users requiring gas outside of existing contracts will be directed to the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange, according to the report. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Indonesia Q3 GDP growth misses estimates - Alice Woodhouse

Indonesia's economy expanded at a marginally slower pace than forecast in the quarter to end-Sep. GDP for Q3 rose 5.06% y/y, coming in slightly below a forecast from economists compiled by Reuters of 5.13%. The country had recorded 5.01% y/y growth in Q2. In q/q terms, GDP expanded 3.18%, lower than the 3.23% forecast. CAPITAL ECONOMICS senior Asia economist GARETH LEATHER said: "The gradual acceleration in Indonesia's GDP growth in the third quarter to 5.1% from 5.0%, is unlikely to mark the start of a sustained recovery in the economy. Given the mounting headwinds facing the economy, we expect growth to come in at around 5% over the next couple of years". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Iron ore climbs 15% in China despite steel capacity cuts - Hudson Lockett

The price of iron ore rose as much as 5.7% in China today, briefly climbing above $70/t, as commodities traders appeared to shake off recent concerns that steel output cuts would put a long-term damper on demand. Futures contracts for one tonne of iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange touched an intraday high of Rmb464.50 in morning trade, marking a rise of 10.3% from a more than four-month low reached on Oct. 30. The cost of coking coal rose as much as 3.9% to Rmb1 174.50/t in Dalian, while on the Shanghai Futures Exchange the price for the tonne of steel rebar was similarly buoyed as much as 3.8% to Rmb3 748. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US service sector continued growing in Oct. - Pan Kwan Yuk

Growth in the US services sector continued its upward trend in Oct. The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing gauge came in at 60.1 last month - the highest reading since Aug. 2005. That is up from the 59.8 recorded in Sep. and confounded expectations for a pullback to 58.5. The services sector makes up about 80% of US GDP. The report comes as a separate report from the Commerce Department showed US factory orders rose by a bigger-than-expected 1.4% in Sep. The figure topped expectations for a 1.2% rise and is the biggest monthly rise since June. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nestlé adds to US coffee business with Chameleon cold brew buy - Ralph Atkins

NESTLE has further expanded its portfolio of US coffee businesses by acquiring CHAMELEON, a Texas-based organic "cold brew" producer, for an undisclosed sum. CHAMELEON is the top organic cold brew brand in the US by sales, according to the Swiss group. Its products include ready-to-drink cold brews, concentrates and whole bean coffee. Its acquisition fits with NESTLE's strategy of acquiring expertise in producing and providing premium products pitched particularly at younger consumers. NESTLE US CEO PAUL GRIMWOOD said CHAMELEON was "perfectly positioned to support NESTLE's strategy for coffee, which is to have a variety of offerings in terms of format, taste and price points". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tsogo Sun ranked 3rd most empowered JSE-listed firm - Fin24

TSOGO SUN has been ranked third on the JSE Top 100 Most Empowered Companies for the second consecutive year. TSOGO SUN's majority shareholder, HOSKEN CONSOLIDATED INVESTMENTS, was ranked the most empowered black-owned company in SA in 2017. TSOGO SUN is a Level 1 BBBEE contributor with 135% BBBEE procurement recognition, 62.1% effective black ownership and 34.44% effective black women ownership. The group's performance was verified against the Tourism Sector Scorecard and saw TSOGO SUN receiving 101.52 out of total available points of 111. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Emira launches US real estate investment strategy - Fin24

EMIRA PROPERTY FUND recently announced its new US investment strategy, to be undertaken by its strategic US partners, will focus on grocery-anchored convenience retail centres. EMIRA is already internationally diversified, with 6% of its income derived from its investment in GROWTHPOINT PROPERTY AUSTRALIA. Its US investment strategy will see this growth to an overall 8% with potential to expand to at least 10%. Key to its US strategy, EMIRA will co-invest with RAINIER COMPANIES, a Dallas-based investment and real estate business. Where opportunities meet predefined investment criteria, EMIRA and RAINIER will partner on a 49%-51% equity basis, respectively, at the individual property level. EMIRA will hold its investments through a US-based subsidiary, managed by in-country fund manager CONTINUUM INVESTMENTS LLC, which is headed by CEO RICK MAKIN. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom hike not justifiable, sustainable - Busa - Natasha Odendaal

ESKOM's bid for above-inflation tariff hikes is not justifiable or sustainable in the current climate, Business Unity SA said on Friday. "The proposed tariff increase is not acceptable on a number of grounds, including the immediate impact thereof on the economy and consumers and the longer-term impact on the financial stability of ESKOM", BUSA CEO TANYA COHEN said. Further, the "untenable" proposal failed to indicate how the pressure on the fiscus and on the individual consumer could be mitigated, COHEN said during NERSA's public hearings on ESKOM's revenue application for 2017/18. BUSA also reiterated its calls for tariff applications of a duration of longer than a year, which could provide greater certainty. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin beats guidance, ups cash - Martin Creamer

The LONMIN board has decided to extend the date of the publication of its FY2017 results to afford management the opportunity to give undivided attention to the company's operational review. The decision to extend its reporting date to beyond Nov. 13 coincides with an improved production performance by the company, which has lifted sales for the FY to end-Sep. to 706 030oz, well above guidance of 650 000oz-680 000oz. Currently, the board believes LONMIN's growing net cash position, which rose to $103m at end-Sep. from $75m in Mar., provides adequate liquidity to fund the business through the review process. Shares in LONMIN fell 25% on Friday after the company delayed its annual financial results. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rwanda President sees growth accelerating on banking, mining - Bloomberg

Rwandan economic growth is expected to accelerate this year and next as the outlook for industries including financial services, tourism and mining improves, President PAUL KAGAME said. The pace of expansion is expected to increase to 7% in 2018 from 6% this year, KAGAME said last week That compared with 2016's growth rate of 5.9%. "The driving sectors are services. Financial services, tourism, they are all combined to make this high growth. We are seeing mining activity growing very fast. We are seeing agriculture making a very good contribution, construction has picked up again", KAGAME said. The IMF estimates growth in Rwanda will reach 7.5% by 2022, compared with a forecast 6.8% in 2018. Growth is also being supported by stronger domestic demand and improved prices for metals the country produces including tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold, KAGAME said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Argentina seeks new market for aluminium as US probes imports - Reuters

Argentina is seeking new markets for its aluminium exports as the US probes the national security implications of imports of the metal. ALUAR ALUMINIO ARGENTINO commercial director MIROSLAVO PUCHES said the company was planning to boost shipments to Brazil to 100 000t/y by 2019 from 60 000t/y at present. It is also hoping to expand exports to Asia from the current 60 000t/y. ALUAR, about 10% state-owned, is the sole producer of primary aluminium in Latin America's No 3 economy. It ships an average of 170 000t/y to the US, representing between 2% to 6% of US imports in recent years, according to US International Trade Commission data that the company's lawyers cited in a letter to the US Commerce Department in June. In the letter, ALUAR asked to be excluded from any adverse measure implemented after the probe. PUCHES said the company is planning on exporting the same amount of aluminium to the US next year as it would normally, and that he doubts tariffs will be implemented because of the impact such a move would have on prices for the raw material. In 2018, ALUAR plans to increase its output to close to its installed capacity of 460 000t, up from 430 000t this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Congo State miner failed to log $740m in revenues, report says - Reuters

GECAMINES, the DRC's state mining company, failed to internally register $740m in income between 2011 and 2014, much of which is now untraceable, the Carter Centre said on Friday. The amount makes up two-thirds of the $1.1bn the country was entitled to collect from international mining partners during tat period and there is no evidence how half of it was spent, the US-based democracy watchdog said. GECAMINES and the mines ministry have previously rejected accusations that company funds are misused, insisting that all of the company's revenues are properly accounted for and are not used for political purposes, as its critics have alleged. The report did not suggest that any of GECAMINES' partners had acted improperly in relation to the missing funds. GECAMINES collects significant revenues in the form of signing bonuses, royalties and dividends from its JVs with private investors. But when the Carter Centre compared public disclosures of payments to GECAMINES to records obtained from an internal database maintained by the company, it found a $740m discrepancy in income between 2011 and 2014. The US watchdog was able to trace about half of the money to specific expenditures, including investments in new equipment and asset purchases. However, the remaining half could not be traced and sources inside GECAMINES told the Carter Centre that much of the money was used on political expenditures like financing campaigns. GECAMINES has also failed to publish dozens of mining contracts, amendments and annexes, as required by the law. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PIC secures stake in Sibanye-Stillwater - Natasha Odendaal

SIBANYE-STILLWATER on Friday confirmed it had received formal notification that the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION has acquired a stake in the gold and platinum miner. The total stake held by the PIC amounts to just under 10.83% of the total issued shares of SIBANYE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Orion issues first tranche of shares in capital raising - Natasha Odendaal

ORION MINERALS on Friday issued the first tranche of shares as part of a two-tranche capital raising. The company aims to raise $5.5m at an issue price of 2.4c/ordinary fully paid share to fund the resource drilling campaign at the Prieska zinc/copper project, to continue exploration programmes on its Northern Cape tenements and for general working capital purposes. ORION issued 114.58m shares in the first tranche to raise $3.47m. This will be followed by a second tranche of $2.03m, which will remain subject to shareholder approval at a general meeting planned to be held mid-Dec. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AngloGold confirms two dead, six rescued after Mponeng incident - Natasha Odendaal

Two miners have been confirmed dead, with six others rescued at ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI's Mponeng mine following a seismic activity-triggered fall of ground incident last week Thursday. ANGLOGOLD on Friday confirmed that the rescue team brought two more workers safely to surface late on Thursday night. They were in a stable condition in hospital. The incident had trapped eight workers underground, four of whom were brought to the surface shortly thereafter. All operations, barring essential services, have been suspended until the mine is declared safe and investigations have been concluded. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Treasury says PIC will not invest in national airline - Wendell Roelf

SA has not yet identified a potential equity partner for SOUTH AFRICAN AIRLINES and the PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION will not invest either, Treasury said in response to a question to parliament on Friday. The PIC has not ruled out in SAA, its CEO said last month amid concerns workers' pension savings would be used to keep planes flying. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria does not see devaluation risk in mid-term - Felix Onuah

Nigeria's government expects the naira currency to strengthen and does not see a significant risk of devaluation in the medium term, Finance Minister KEMI ADEOSUN said last week. The currency has been stable across its multible exchange rates for more than three months, while the central bank continues to intervene with dollar sales on the official market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Safaricom's profit growth slows amid political turmoil - George Obulutsa

SAFARICOM reported a sharp drop in profit growth on Friday, hit by a faltering Kenyan economy partly disrupted by political uncertainty. The company also said CEO BOB COLLYMORE has taken a leave to undergo "specialised medical treatment" which will take "a number of months". In the HY to end-Sep., EBITDA rose 6.8% to 54.27bn shillings, which compared with a 30.8% rise to 50.81bn shillings y/y. "Kenya is going through a difficult macroeconomic situation, which is a reality which will affect SAFARICOM", CFO SATEESH KAMATH said. KAMATH, together with JOSEPH OGUTU, director for strategy and innovation, have taken over COLLYMORE's responsibilities during his absence. He said the company was maintaining its FY profit forecast for EBIT to rise between 71bn and 75bn shillings, up from 67bn shillings y/y. H1 revenue from its M-Pesa mobile money transfer service rose 16% to 30bn shillings, while revenue from phone calls rose by 3.6% to 47.35bn shillings. Mobile internet service revenue was up by close to a third at 17.55bn shillings. Total revenue rose to 114.43bn shillings from 102.10bn shillings y/y. EPS rose to 0.65 shillings, from 0.60 shillings y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA not considering IMF bailout for now - Wendell Roelf

SA is not considering an IMF bailout at this stage, a senior Treasury official said on Friday, as the country struggles with weak growth, low tax receipts and rising debt. "Financial markets can behave in very unpredictable ways so all options are on the table but... we are not considering any IMF bailout at this point, it's not necessary", Treasury deputy DG MICHAEL SACHS said. He earlier told parliament that the Treasury had met an IMF delegation that is currently in the country. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ford to invest $211m in SA to boost output - Wendell Roelf

FORD said it would invest R3bn in its South African assembly plant to meet rising domestic and international demand for its FORD Ranger pickup truck, the company said on Friday. "This significant investment reaffirms FORD's ongoing commitment to South Africa as a local manufacturer, exporter and key employer in the automotive sector", OCKERT BERRY, VP operations for FORD Middle East and Africa said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IMF cuts Camroon GDP growth forecast to 3.7% for 2017 - Aaron Ross

Cameroon's economic growth rate is expected to slip to 3.7% this year, down from an earlier forecast of around 4%, due to contracting oil production, the IMF said on Friday. The Fund approved a $666m, three-year extended credit facility in June for the country, which has been hit by the global decline in crude prices. GDP growth came in at 4.5% last year. In a statement at the end of a 10-day review mission, the IMF said it had reached an agreement with the government on economic and financial policy ahead of the first review of the programme, which is expected in mid-Dec. Inflation would remain low this year at 0.5%, the Fund said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 06/11/2017

At 06h56 on 06 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.21 ZAR/EUR 16.50 ZAR/GBP 18.56 Gold 1269.73 Platinum 919.00 Brent Crude Oil 62.05 All Share 59638.21

Luxury brands power L'Oréal's Q3 sales growth - Harriet Agnew

Sales growth at L'OREAL accelerated in Q3 and beat analysts' forecasts, led by double-digit gains in both its luxury division and emerging markets. L'OREAL yesterday said sales grew 5.1% in the quarter to end-Sep. to €6.09bn. That is slightly ahead of the 4.2% increase to €6.07bn forecast by analysts. Performance continued to be driven by the luxury division, which was up 11.2% on a like-for-like basis. Consumer products was up 2.3%, weighed down by continued difficulties in the US and French markets. The highlight was an acceleration in sales in emerging markets, up 10.2% y/y, led by Asia-Pacific, which was up 14.7%. Sales in western Europe rose 2.6%, and by 1.3% in North America. E-commerce sales are accelerating and grew 31.6% during Q3. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Apple shares hit new record after solid Q4 - Tim Bradshaw

APPLE beat iPhone sales forecasts in the quarter to end-Sep. and pointed to a stronger-than-expected end to the year, sending its shares to a new all-time high in after hours trading yesterday. The outlook suggests APPLE will deliver the most profit ever recorded by a US company for the current Dec. quarter. APPLE stock jumped by 3.5% in after-hours trading to $174. Revenues for the fiscal Q4 to end-Sep. were up 12% to $52.6bn compared to last year. It sold a total of 46.7m iPhones in the quarter, up 3% y/y and just ahead of Wall Street expectations despite concerns that the iPhone had seen lacklustre demand. EPS rose 24% to $2.08. With all eyes on the iPhone X launch going into the holiday sales season, APPLE looked past reports of production difficulties for the device to provide a confident outlook, with revenues ranging between $84bn and $87bn. That implies growth of as much as 11%, at the top end of the range, compared with last year's $78.4bn. APPLE's services revenue hit a new all-time high of $8.5bn for Q4, up 34% after an overhaul of its App Store in Sep. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Western Union raises outlook - Pan Kwan Yuk

WESTERN UNION is reaping the benefits of its investment in digital payment, with the company raising its FY outlook after delivering Q3 results that beat forecasts. The group said it now expects 2017 EPS to come in at $1.50-$1.60, up from a previous range of $1.46-$1.56. WESTERN UNION has in recent years been ramping up its presence in online money transfer and payment in order to better compete with fintech startups. Its efforts were highlighted by its latest quarterly results. Revenue for the quarter to end-Sep. rose 2% y/y to $1.4bn, ahead of the $1.38bn the market was expecting. Within this, revenue generated online was up 23% and accounted for 10% of its total consumer to consumer business. Net income for the quarter came in at $235.6m, a 9% rise y/y, shattering forecasts for $202m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Maduro announces plans for debt restructuring - Eric Platt

Venezuelan President NICOLAS MADURO yesterday announced the country would restructure and refinance its debts after making one final payment by the state-oil company. MADURO called time on the country's ability to service the roughly $100bn of debts accrued between the sovereign and PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA after years of borrowing. "We have had to face a real global financial persecution", he said, adding that Venezuela had paid $71.1bn to bondholders since he took power. The move is likely to send shockwaves through Venezuela's complex debt structure, which has whipsawed as investors awaited news of payment on each of the country's bonds over the past year. MADURO said he had ordered the payment of $1.121bn on PDVSA obligations due yesterday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SocGen net income falls more than expected - David Keohane

SOCIETE GENERALE today reported net income that missed estimates in Q3 as the French lender increased the amount it had put aside to meet ongoing legal disputes. The company posted a 15% drop in net income to €932m in Q3, below analyst expectations of €1bn. SOCGEN saw net banking income fall 0.9% to €5.96bn, compared to expectations of €6bn. Operating expenses fell by 0.4%. Revenue from its fixed income, currencies and commodities division fell 27% y/y to €496m with the bank blaming a "lacklustre market, characterised by a low volatility environment and reduced investor activity". Revenue from the equities and prime services division was also down 19.3% y/y. Revenue from equities fell 25% y/y to €359m. SOCGEN said its provision for disputes had been increased by €300m in Q3 to €2.2bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Smith & Nephew warns revenues will be at lower end of forecasts - Nicholas Megaw

SMITH & NEPHEW today warned that its FY results will be at the lower end of forecasts, heightening the pressure on the company as it tries to fight off activist efforts to break it up. Revenue in Q3 rose 3% y/y to $1.2bn. The company's "reconstruction" business recorded the strongest growth, with sales 5% higher y/y. The revenue growth marked an improvement compared to H1 2017 on a reported basis, but was due mainly to a more positive impact from forex movements. S&N confirmed it expects FY underlying revenue growth to be at the lower end of its previously-guided range of 3%-4%. It also said the FY improvement in trading profit margins will also be at the lower end of its previous prediction of 20-70 basis points. The company is fighting off pressure form a unit of ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT, which took a stake in the company last month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sanofi confirms FY outlook despite diabetes woes - Harriet Agnew

SANOFI confirmed its FY outlook despite cutting sales guidance for its struggling diabetes unit as the drugmaker posted Q3 results that were narrowly below forecasts. Total sales at constant currencies rose 4.7% y/y - 0.3% in reported rates - to €9.05bn during the quarter to end-Sep., below forecasts of €9.33bn. Net income dropped 1.1% to €2.14bn, missing forecasts of €2.15bn. EPS increased by 1.1% at constant currencies to €1.71, but fell 4.5% at reported rates. SANOFI lowered the outlook for its diabetes franchise, which it now expects to shrink by 6%-8%/year at constant currencies between 2015 and 2018, rather than a 4%-8% drop. The company continues to expect 2017 EPS to be broadly stable, barring unforeseen major adverse events. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Suntory, Pepsi agree Thai tie-up - Peter Wells

SUNTORY BEVERAGE & FOOD and PEPSICO have agreed to set up a soft drink JV in Thailand that will help the Japanese consumer company expand in the Southeast Asian market. SUNTORY will pay Y33bn for a 51% stake in INTERNATIONAL REFRESHMENT, which is owned by PEPSI. SUNTORY said the partnership will allow both companies to grow their beverage business in Thailand "by leveraging each company's respective strengths - SBF's expertise in development of products to meet healthier demands, including ready-to-drink tea, and PEPSICO's strong business platform". Yesterday's announcement came as SUNTORY delivered results for the nine months to end-Sep. Net profit grew 1.7% y/y to Y37bn in the period, on a 2.7% rise in sales to Y1.2tn. SUNTORY raised its FY sales forecast by Y15bn to Y1.45bn, but left forecasts for operating income and net income unchanged at Y98bn and Y47bn respectively. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

En+ to price London IPO at $14/share - Max Seddon

EN+ is set to price its IPO at $14/share, the bottom of a previously announced range. The bookrunner yesterday said the books were oversubscribed on the full deal size before the closed at 2pm GMT. The company had set its price range at $14-$17/share. The expected $14 price will give it a market cap of $7bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BoE raises interest rates for first time in a decade - Chris Giles

The Bank of England has increased interest rates by a quarter point to 0.5% and signalled that this raise was the start of a gradual process of increasing borrowing costs. The central bank's Monetary Policy Committee forecast that inflation would remain well above its 2% target if they did nothing more and control of prices required two further quarter point rate hikes over the next two years. The BoE forecasts showed inflation broadly under control in the medium term if interest rates rose to 1% by late 2019, but the MPC stressed "future increases in [the] Bank Rate would be expected to be at a gradual pace and to a limited extent". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tiso Blackstar may shut The Times print edition - Fin24

The TISO BLACKSTAR GROUP yesterday said it is considering closing The Times daily newspaper's print edition to replace it with a digital-only daily product. The company said it will replace the unprofitable print product with a digital version "which draws on successful models that have been implemented internationally". Such a move may "necessitate" restructuring and retrenchments, it warned. TISO MD of media ANDY GILL said the group had engaged with staff in a consultation process in terms of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act. "At this stage, we are not in a position to make further comment until the consultation process has progressed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cabinet approves minimum wage bill - Fin24

Cabinet approved the National Minimum Wage Bill during its fortnightly meeting on Nov. 1. The draft legislation will now be referred to Parliament for further deliberation, after which President JACOB ZUMA will be required to sign it into law. According to the national minimum wage agreement, signed at NEDLAC, workers will receive a minimum of R20/hour which translates into a monthly wage of R3 500 for a 40-hour week, and about R3 900 for those who work 45 hours a week. Cabinet said in a statement that the National Minimum Wage Bill is due to come into effect on May 1 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cell C reports net loss - Kyle Venktess

CELL C yesterday reported a R588m net loss in its interim results for 2017, BLUE LABEL TELECOMS said. Despite the poor results, the mobile service provider's subscriber base had grown by 12% to 15.7m. It was also reported that the network's total revenue rose to R7.7bn, up from R6.96bn, with EBITDA at R1.6bn. CELL C reported a 12% service revenue increase to R6.3bn and capex of R561m. There was a 33% data revenue increase of R2.6bn, up from R1.9bn y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AutoTrader merger with OLX gets green light - Kyle Venktess

The Competition Tribunal yesterday said it has approved the merger between AUTOTRADER and OLX. This follows a hearing earlier this week where the companies assured the regulator that there would be no job losses in the merger. OLX is a NASPERS-owned online marketplace, while AUTOTRADER is SA's leading online vehicle marketplace. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New nuclear plants still on the cards - Zuma - ANA

A nuclear deal is still on the table, President JACOB ZUMA told MPs yesterday, despite Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA in his medium term budget policy statement saying the country could not afford it at the moment. During a Q&A session in the National Assembly, ZUMA said it was a question of when SA would be in a financial position to acquire new nuclear capacity. The question of timing did not mean the Treasury and the Department of Energy were clashing. "We know what we are doing. We have a policy of mixed energy which includes nuclear", ZUMA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

M&R plans to hike stake in BCC by end-Nov. - Natasha Odendaal

MURRAY & ROBERTS expects to wrap up the R405m acquisition of an additional 17% stake in the BOMBELA CONCESSION COMPANY by the end of Nov. In Aug., the company secured an MoU that would see it increase its effective stake in BCC from the current 33% to 50% through the acquisition of shares from BOUYGUES TRAVAUX and BOMBARDIER TRANSPORTATION UK. BOUYGUES and BOMBARDIER agreed to sell 8.5% each to M&R following the settlement of the development period disputes in Dec. 2016. The deal remains subject to BCC lenders' and regulatory approvals, besides others. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ralph Lauren revenues fall less than expected - Mamta Badkar

RALPH LAUREN reported a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly revenues and posted upbeat earnings yesterday as it sold more full-price clothing and as sales increased in Europe. The retailer said total same-store sales were down 9% y/y in North America in fiscal Q2. That included a 6% drop in brick and mortar stores and 18% online due to the company's planned reduction in discounting and lower traffic and consumer demand. Revenues fell 8.6% to $1.66bn, compared with the average analyst estimate of $1.65bn. Overall revenues in North America fell 16% to $877m, while those in Europe rose 3% and were flat in Asia. Net income rose to $143.8mn or $1.75/share, compared with $45.7m or 55cps y/y. Looking ahead, the company said it expects net revenue to slide 6%-8%, excluding the impact of currency changes, in the holiday quarter. For the FY, RALPH LAUREN continues to expect a revenue decline of 8%-9%, but lowered its outlook for capex to $225m, down from $300m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US Q3 productivity rises by most since 2014 - Mamta Badkar

US worker productivity in Q3 rose by the most in three years and unit labour costs picked up. US non-farm output rose at a 3% annualised rate in Q3, the fastest pace of growth since Q3 2014, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said yesterday. That topped the average estimate of 2.4% in a Thomson Reuters survey and was higher than the 1.5% increase recorded q/q. Unit labour costs rose 0.5%, in line with estimates. A separate report showed that the number of Americans filing for new unemployment benefits fell to 229 000 last week, compared with expectations for 235 000. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alibaba earnings beat estimates as sales jump - Louise Lucas

ALIBABA smashed through market forecasts with an 83% rise in quarterly operating profit to Rmb16.58bn, beating analysts' consensus forecasts for Rmb15.4bn for the quarter to end-Sep. The company said revenues rose 61% y/y to Rmb55.1bn in the quarter. Net income rose to Rmb17.4bn, from Rmb7.08bn y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Randgold posts Q3 drop in output, profits - Neil Hume

RANDGOLD RESOURCES has posted a drop in Q3 output and profits but says it is "well positioned" to hit the top end of FY production targets. Output was 310 618oz in the quarter to end-Sep., down 9% q/q due to a drop in grade at its flagship mine in Mali and work at another of its mines. Net income shed 42% to $60.2m, reflecting lower output and an increased depreciation charge. EPS were 52cps. RANDGOLD is planning output of 1.25moz-1.3moz of gold this year, following output of 1.25moz in 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Afrimat continues ramp-up of Diro - Natasha Odendaal

AFRIMAT has successfully recommissioned its recently acquired iron ore play, with full output on track for Mar. The acquisition of the distressed Diro iron ore mine, in the Northern Cape, had marked a new phase of growth for the company, which invested in excess of R300m into the asset. After restarting production in July, the company is now producing about 40%-50% of its intended 1mt/year of output, AFRIMAT CEO ANDRIES VAN HEERDEN said. By Aug., first ore was shipped to China in a sale agreement that would see all the mine's output head to China via the JV partnership with a local iron ore exporter. In addition, AFRIMAT secured an agreement with TRANSNET for rail allocation and its own load-out facility. The company aims to ramp up production to 1mt/year by Mar. 2018. Diro has a proven 10mt of RoM reserves. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sale of CoAL's Mooiplaats colliery concluded - Creamer Media Reporter

The R179.9m sale of COAL OF AFRICA LIMITED's Mooiplaats colliery has been concluded. COAL and BEE partner FERRET MINING & ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES in Oct. entered into an agreement with MOOIPLAATS COAL HOLDINGS and MOOIPLAATS MINING for the sale of the colliery, which has been under care and maintenance since 2013. MCH has already paid R67m of the purchase price, with COAL receiving R52m and FERRET R15m. The R112.9m balance will be settled in no more than ten quarterly instalments, with the first payment due in Aug. 2018. COAL said the funds received will be used to support the company's project pipeline, in particular the development of the Makhado project. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Guptas inflated Oakbay price through trading by Singapore firm - Bloomberg

The GUPTAS inflated the share price of OAKBAY RESOURCES AND ENERGY on its JSE debut by lending money to a Singapore firm to b used to trade the equities. The family agreed to loan $1m from bank accounts in Dubai to UNLIMITED ELECTRONICS & COMPUTERS in Singapore in Nov. 2014. That same month, UEC transferred $928 146 to OAKBAY R&E and the two companies had a contract entitling UEC to 18.5m OAKBAY shares at R10/share. The 2.31% stake in OAKBAY was worth around R185m. An OAKBAY employee instructed UEC director KAMRAN GANI by email on the day before OAKBAY's IPO to instruct his broker to sell 10 000 shares for R10.05 and another 10 000 for R10.08 each before Dec. 5. The 20 000 shares that traded on the OAKBAY debut set the share price at R10.08, giving the company a market cap of more than R8bn. That was more than 48 times its FY revenue. The volume of shares that traded on OAKBAY's listing day was the highest ever recorded for the stock, and set an indicative price for future fund raising and determined how much equity would be needed to pay off a loan from the INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto throws weight behind Africa - Reuters

Africa is pivotal in helping RIO TINTO and other resources companies to supply the changing needs of the Asian market, CEO of energy and minerals BOLD BAATAR said this week. BAATAR's comments, delivered at a Bloomberg forum as part of LME Week, is a vote of confidence in Africa, which has suffered from investor caution over political risk and corruption scandals. "From a mining perspective, Africa is the largest untapped source of growth for our industry... This provides us with a huge opportunity. It provides us with the opportunity, in partnership with the east, to be part of the once-in-a-lifetime transformation story of Africa". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US withdraws from EITI - Reuters

The US has withdrawn as an implementing country from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, an international initiative to account for revenues from extractive industries, including the global oil sector and mining. In a letter to the EITI board yesterday, the Director of the US Office of Natural Resources Revenue, GREGORY GOULD, wrote that the US was withdrawing as an implementing country "effective immediately". GOULD said while the US remains committed to fighting corruption "it is clear that domestic implementation of EITI does not fully account for the US legal framework". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ecsponent secures funding facility from UK - Siseko Njobeni

ECSPONENT yesterday said it had secured a R142m funding facility from an unnamed UK-based corporate financier which the company said would fund the expansion of its operations in various African countries. The move is consistent with the group's previously stated objective to focus on African countries. ECSPONENT said its Investment SErvices business nit had thus far raised more than R1bn capital through its listed preference share programme, which has subsequently been deployed through the group's various business units. ECSPONENT said it was constantly reviewing its funding options. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JSE suspends Orion Real Estate shares - Roy Cokayne

Trading in the shares of ORION REAL ESTATE on the JSE was suspended with immediate effect by the bourse yesterday due to the company's failure to submit its provisional financial results report within the three-month period after the end of its FY as stipulated in the listing requirements. ORION said its audited results were expected to be published by Nov. 16. It attributed the delay in publication to delays in finalising the audit, which were "outside the control of the company". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rusal launches green aluminium brand to drive sales - Reuters

RUSAL launched a low-carbon certification programme and new brand this week in a bid to get more value from the green footprint of its smelters. Some customers are willing to pay $20-$50/t more for low-carbon metal, although no fixed premium will be attached to RUSAL's "Allow" brand, sales head STEVE HODGSON said. More than 90% of the company's output is made using hydropower, but only 100 000t this year were sold to customers who specified low-carbon material. The new Allow brand will cover about 80% of RUSAL's total output, which amounted to 3.7mt last year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

One dead, three missing after Mponeng seismic incident - Natasha Odendaal

A search and rescue operation is under way at ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI's Mponeng mine following a seismic activity-triggered fall-of-ground incident yesterday morning. Four workers have been rescued. However, ANGLOGOLD confirmed that there was one confirmed fatality, with three workers still missing underground, their wellbeing unknown. This is less than a month after a similar incident at the mine resulted in one fatality and two mineworkers being trapped, the NUM said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Endeavour, Randgold form JV in Ivory Coast - Natasha Odendaal

ENDEAVOUR MINING and RANDGOLD RESOURCES have teamed up to explore their adjacent Sissedougou and Mankono exploration properties in the Ivory Coast. RANDGOLD and ENDEAVOUR will hold a respective 70% and 30% in the newly formed JV that combines two permits. RANDGOLD said the move would provide it with access to the prospective ground to the immediate north of Mankono. Under the terms of the agreement, RANDGOLD will be the JV operator, with both companies contributing accordingly to the annual exploration budget. ENDEAVOUR had approved $3.8m for its exploration campaign for the remainder of 2017 and 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Buhari to present 2018 budget to parliament on Nov. 7 - Camillus Eboh

Nigeria's President MUHAMMADU BUHARI will present the 2018 budget to parliament on Nov. 7, he said in a letter yesterday, seeking to avoid the delays that have plagued previous budgets. The letter was readin the lower house of parliament by the chamber's speaker, YAKUBU DOGARA. Each of BUHARI's budgets have set a record high level of spending, but economists say implementation, particularly on capex that is meant to jump-start infrastructure building, has been lacking. Although BUHARI did not disclose details of the budget, the government last month published a document that said the budget would be a record 8.6tn naira in 2018, up 15.5% from this year. Once he's presented the 2018 budget to lawmakers, it must still be approved by both the lower and upper chambers of parliament before it can be signed into law. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Namibia's economy to grow faster in 2017 - Mfuneko Toyana

Namibia's economy will grow at 1.6% this year and by double that in 2018 as the mining sector emerges from years of contraction and the impact of recent severe drought eases, Finance Minister CALLE SCHLETTWEIN said in a mid-year budget speech yesterday. SCHLETTWEIN warned that poor regional growth, particularly in neighbouring SA, remained a major risk. In Aug., MOODY's cut Namibia's sovereign credit rating to Ba1, or junk, from Baa3 citing a negative growth outlook and large fiscal deficits. At the time SCHLETTWEIN rejected the downgrade as premature and speculative. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tongaat Hulett expects H1 profit to rise 5% - Tanisha Heiberg

TONGAAT HULETT expects H1 profit to rise 4.8% as output recovered after a two-year drought and due to land sales, it said yesterday. It said HEPS for the HY to end-Sep. would be around 573cps, up from 547cps y/y. TONGAAT HULETT said it generated an operating profit of R441m from the sale of 68ha of land for development. Interim results will be published on Nov. 13. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

TFG posts drop in HY earnings - TJ Strydom

THE FOSCHINI GROUP yesterday reported a drop in HY earnings as the cost of acquisitions weighed, and tepid economic growth hurt SA's retailers. TFG posted a HEPS drop of 2.8% to 482.7cps for the HY to end-Sep., compared with the prior year's 5.7% growth to 496.8cps. It bought Australia's RETAIL APPAREL GROUP this year and said the costs of the transaction weighed on earnings. Excluding acquisition costs, HEPS came in 1.6% higher at 504.9cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Yara may build $2bn Moz gas-fired plant - Lefteris Karagiannopoulos

Norwegian fertiliser maker YARA INTERNATIONAL is considering building a $2bn plant in Mozambique and may seek partners to share the cost, CEO SVEIN TORE HOLSETHER said yesterday. Mozambique awarded YARA a project in Jan. to make ammonia and urea from the country's gas output, saying the company could produce up to 1.3mt of fertiliser annually. The project has seen limited progress thus far and has no construction timeframe but talks on a development programme were continuing, HOLSETHER said, adding: "We are working on it and time will tell what the structure will be". If developed, YARA would be able to use between 80m and 90m cubic feet of natural gas per day to produce ammonia and urea. In addition, the site would have a power plant with a 50MW capacity. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Truworths shares fall on disappointing sales report - Robert Laing

Shares in TRUWORTHS fell 5% to R73.22 yesterday morning after it said retail sales had declined by 3% to R5.5bn during the first 17 weeks of FY2018 y/y. The company said this was partly because it was due to report in weeks, and the decline would have been only 2% if the previous FY had not had an extra week. Half of the group's total sales were "account" and half cash - both declined by 3%. The group's trade receivables book fell by 4% y/y to R5.6bn. The percentage of active account holders able to purchase improved to 85% compared with 83% y/y. At its flagship TRUWORTHS chain, account sales comprised 69% of total sales. Sales at TRUWORTHS stores fell 2% to R4bn despite its trading space growing 3% y/y. Clothes on average were 1% cheaper y/y. The OFFICE chain kept sales levels at £89m, but contributed a decline measured in rand. Its trading space increased by 1% y/y and is expected to increase by 2% for the full FY. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Government's funding constraints take toll on Esor - Robert Laing

Vandalism, community unrest and "government administrative procedures" were some of the woes ESOR listed in interim results, published yesterday. Revenue for the HY to end-Aug. fell 17% to R553m and its after-tax profit of R2m was nearly a quarter of the matching period's R7.5m. ESOR said its order book at the end of Aug. stood at R1.41bn, marginally up from the previous year's R1.4bn. "The slightly improved order book is not reflective of the buoyant tender market. The non-awarding of tenders to contractors is currently frustrating and problematic, largely due to funding constraints in government infrastructure budget allocations", ESOR said. It cut its workforce by 438 people during the reporting period, costing it R5.8m in retrenchment costs. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Afrimat posts rare slowdown in H1 earnings growth - BDpro

AFRIMAT yesterday reported a rare slowdown in its H1 earnings growth, affected by the weaker macroeconomic environment in SA. The company said the unusually low number of trading days during Apr. and a Cabinet reshuffle in which PRAVIN GORDHAN was sacked as finance minister affected business confidence. As a result, HEPS rose just 7.4% to 102.2cps in the HY to end-Aug. y/y. Mineral producing operations across the country and the traditional aggregates businesses were the main contributors to the financial performance. The interim dividend was kept steady at 20cps. Revenue rose by 2.7% to R1.2bn, with the aggregates and industrial minerals segment contributing 69.2% of the total and concrete-based products 28.3%. Commodities contributed 2.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

De Beers starts planning for closure of Victor mine - Allan Seccombe

DE BEERS' Victor mine in Canada is coming to the end of its life, with the company planning to close the opencast mine in early 2019. This follows the closure and subsequent flooding of its unprofitable Snap Lake mine in Canada in 2015, and comes as DE BEERS gears up to close or sell its Voorspoed mine in SA. "While we are focused on continuing to maintain production for the duration of operations, we are also planning responsibly for Victor mine's closure in line with the agreed mine plan and our commitment to leaving a positive legacy", DE BEERS CANADA CEO KIM TRUTER said. Victor had produced 1m ct more than its original target of 6m ct and would operate at full tilt until it closed in Q1 2019. Once the mine pit has been depleted in 2019, the demolition and environmental monitoring phase is expected to take three to five years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 03/11/2017

At 07h40 on 03 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.97 ZAR/EUR 16.30 ZAR/GBP 18.27 Gold 1276.56 Platinum 924.00 Brent Crude Oil 60.68 All Share 59331.20

Acacia Mining's CEO, FD exit after Tanzania tax row - Neil Hume

ACACIA MINING has announced the resignation of CEO BRAD GORDON and FD ANDREW WRAY. "Both Brad and Andrew will remain with the Company until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition. Brad will be returning to Australia for family reasons, while Andres is pursuing an opportunity elsewhere", ACACIA said. The miner said it has appointed PETER GELETA as interim CEO and JACO MARITZ as its new finance chief. Both appointments will be effective from Jan. 2018. RBC CAPITAL MARKETS analyst RICHARD HATCH said: "With the challenging situation in Tanzania, and management's limited role in negotiations with the Tanzanian government, we believe that this announcement will not come as a great surprise to the market. However, we do view the departure of Mr GORDON and Mr WRAY as a negative for sentiment around ACACIA shares, particularly given the positive changes both have made to the business since their respective appointments, both in terms of operational and financial performance". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Intu sells 50% of Norwich shopping centre amid 'challenging' retail environment - Cat Rutter Pooley

INTU PROPERTIES will sell half of its Norwich centre for £148m as part of a JV backed by two regional pension funds, three months after it cut its forecasts amid weakness in the UK retail sector. LA SALLE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT will take a 50% stake in the Norwich Chapelfield property on behalf of GREATER MANCHESTER PENSION FUND and WEST YORKSHIRE PENSION FUND at a discount to its total valuation at end-Jun. of £305m, INTU said. Like-for-like net rental income for the Fy is expected to be "positive", but "in line with previous guidance", the company said. In July, after a 1.5% dip in comparable rental income in H1, INTU said a recovery in its H2 would likely only be enough to deliver flat growth for the year. Before that, INTU had forecast growth of 0%-2%. INTU had agreed more than 70 long-term leases in the quarter to Nov. 2, of which more than 60 were in the UK and the rest in Spain, for £13m of annual rent. Occupancy was stable from the end of June at 96%, the company added. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bunge again cuts profit forecasts - Gregory Meyer

BUNGE further reduced its profit outlook for the year as difficult market conditions weighed on its grain and sugar businesses. The company estimated operating profit for 2017 in its core agribusiness segment would total $425m-$500m, down from an earlier forecast of $550m-$650m and less than half the guidance outlined in Feb. BUNGE blamed the change partly on disappointing profit margins from crushing oilseeds. In its Brazil-based sugar and ethanol business, BUNGE foresaw FY operating profit at $45m to $55m, down from $100m-$120m y/y. The announcements came as BUNGE posted Q3 earnings of $92m, or 59cps, down from $118m or 79cps y/y. Adjusted for items, earnings were 75cps, a penny above Wall Street estimates. BUNGE said in the agribusiness segment, "margins in global grain trading and distribution remained weak due to competitive pressures and limited dislocation opportunities". GLENCORE AGRICULTURE in May disclosed it had informally approached BUNGE about a deal. The parties reached a standstill agreement that prevents GLENCORE from buying BUNGE shares or making a public approach until at least Feb., sources said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BoE calls for Brexit withdrawal bill to address cross-border financial contracts - Caroline Binham

The Bank of England has called for a clause in the EU withdrawal bill to specifically address how to maintain the vast number of cross-border derivative contracts and insurance policies after Brexit. BoE deputy governor SAM WOODS told the House of Lords select committee that having a bilateral agreement within the withdrawal bill was the central bank's preferred option to ensure derivative contracts and insurance policies can still be serviced. British banks hold around £20tn worth of notional derivatives contracts with a cross-border EU element, or around a fifth of their overall holdings, WOODS said, with European banks holding roughly the same amount with British entities. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Allergan swings to quarterly loss - David Crow

ALLERGAN swung to a $4.02bn loss in Q3, in large part because it took another big write-down on its stake in TEVA, the struggling Israeli generic drugmaker. The company said its operating loss from continuing operations was $4.02bn as it took a $1.3bn impairment on the value of its TEVA shares. This comes after it took a writedown of nearly $2bn on its TEVA holding in Q1. ALLERGAN ended up with a large chunk of TEVA stock after it sold its generics business to the Israeli group in Aug. 2016 for $33bn in cash and 100m shares. The stake was worth around $5.3bn at the time. ALLERGAN also posted amortisation expenses of $1.78bn for Q3, much of which related to a string of acquisitions it had closed in recent years. On an adjusted basis, the company poasted Q3 earnings ahead of Wall Street forecasts, thanks in part to strong Botox sales. It reported adjusted earnings of $4.15/share, around 12c ahead of expectations, on sales that were in line with the typical forecast at $4.04bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US private sector adds 235 000 jobs in Oct. - Mamta Badkar

Job creation by the US private sector beat estimates in Oct., with companies adding workers at the quickest rate in seven months. Non-farm private employers added 235 000 jobs from Sep. to Oct., payrolls processor ADP said. The figure beat estimates of 200 000 according to a Thomson Reuters survey. It was also higher than the 110 000 new jobs added the previous month, which was revised down from an initial 135 000 print. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Estée Lauder shares rally on rosy outlook - Mamta Badkar

ESTEE LAUDER shares were popular in early trade yesterday after the company posted a rosy FY outlook on upbeat quarterly results. Shares rose more than 8% to $121 after it said it expects net sales to grow between 10% and 11% in FY2018, up from its previous forecast of 8%-9%. On a constant currency basis, sales are forecast to rise 8%-9%. Adjusting for one-time items, the company expects to report earnings in the range of $4.04-$4.12/share, up from $3.87-$3.94 previously and ahead of the average analyst estimate of $3.99/share. That came alongside news that profits rose 45% to $427m in the quarter to end-Sep. compared with $294m y/y. That translated to EPS of $1.14, compared with 79cps y/y. Net sales rose 13% to $3.27bn, ahead of the average analyst estimate of $3.17bn. On a constant currency basis makeup sales rose the most, up 17% y/y to $1.37bn, while skin care was close behind, rising 15% to $1.28bn. Haircare sales were little changed, while fragrance sales were up 7%. ESTEE lifted its quarterly dividend by 12% to 38cps, from 34cps y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Anglo chair says more to be done to reduce debt, lift dividends - Neil Hume

The new chair of ANGLO AMERICAN, STUART CHAMBERS, has laid out his priorities in his first public comments since taking the role, saying there is more work to be done in reducing leverage and boosting shareholder returns. In a series of video clips posted on Twitter, CHAMBERS said ANGLO still had "debt reduction to achieve" and "further progress" to make on dividends. "I don't think it will take us much longer, but we must not give up on it. Despite having reintroduced dividends we need to make further progress and we will". ANGLO resumed payments to shareholders in July, six months earlier than expected, as higher profits helped the company shatter an end-year net debt reduction target of $7bn. It has pledged to pay out 30%-40% to shareholders, but CHAMBERS' comments suggest this could be supplemented by one-off payments if commodity prices hold their current levels. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US manufacturing growth cools slightly in Oct. - Jessica Dye

US manufacturing activity continued to expand in Oct., albeit at a slower pace than analysts had expected. The Institute for Supply management yesterday said its manufacturing index came in at 58.7 in Oct., below the 60.8 reading from Sep. and weaker than the 59.5 consensus expectation. Respondents were mixed on how the reading was affected by the lingering aftermath of a string of hurricanes that hit the US, with some indicating that incoming orders were boosted by recovery efforts while seeing price increases for some materials that are in short supply due to the storms. New orders slowed a bit, marking a 63.4 reading compared to the 64.6 recorded m/m. The prices paid index fell to 68.5 from 71.5, but was above the Wall Street estimate of 67.8. Earlier yesterday, the IHS MARKIT PMI released a final reading of 54.6 for Oct., up from the 53.1 reading a month earlier and beating the 54.4 analysts had expected. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Deripaska's London EN+ float fully subscribed - Max Seddon

Russian oligarch OLEG DERIPASKA's EN+ has fully subscribed its London IPO, the syndicate of banks working on the deal said yesterday. The syndicate said the books were covered on the base deal size after they closed yesterday afternoon. EN+ plans to announce pricing later today. DERIPASKA is seeking to raise $1bn at a valuation of $7bn-$8.5bn. Chinese trader CEFC has agreed to buy $500m in stock, while GLENCORE is to convert its shares in RUSAL to EN+ stock. After the GLENCORE share exchange, EN+ will own 56.9% of RUSAL. The sale represents between 15.8% and 18.8% of the company's issued capital, and its proceeds will mostly be used to pay off debt. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oil falls as US crude exports hit new record, inventories drop - Jessica Dye

US crude exports hit a new record high last week while crude stockpiles registered a bigger-than-expected draw knocking some of the momentum in crude prices. During the week ending Oct. 27, US crude exports hit 2.1m barrels, data from the US Energy Information Administration showed yesterday. US crude inventories, meanwhile, fell by 2.4m barrels, steeper than the 1.75m barrel draw expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Gasoline stockpiles dropped by 4m barrels, more than the 1.5m forecast, while distillate inventories dropped by just 300 000 barrels, less than the expected 2.1m draw. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP looks for next big copper project - Henry Sanderson

BHP is on the hund for its next big copper project. The miner said it is looking to add more copper to its portfolio via exploration, as demand increases for the metal in renewable energy and electric cars. It is open to forming alliances with junior miners, said DANNY MALCHUK, president of operations in the Americas. "We want more copper resources in our portfolio", MALCHUK said. "And we believe the most valuable pathway to achieving this is through exploration, the drill-bit". BHP's exploration portfolio consists of 79 projects covering 1.8m ha. It is looking at discoveries in Ecuador, Chile, Peru, the southwest of the US and Australia, MACHUK added. BHP has invested close to $10bn in its Escondida mine in Chile over the past 5-6 years to maintain production at around 1.2mt/year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK car executives call for 'urgent clarity' on EU trading relationship - Peter Campbell

UK car industry executives have warned THERESA MAY they need "urgent clarity" on the trading relationship with the EU in order to make fresh investments in the country's automotive sector. Senior executives from FORD, BMW and JAGUAR LAND ROVER were among more than a dozen leaders from the automotive industry who met with MAY and business secretary GREG CLARK yesterday afternoon. One executive said businesses need clarity "as soon as possible" to allow them to make investment decisions in the UK. Investment in Britain's automotive industry has fallen 75% in two years, largely due to uncertainty created by the Brexit vote. The UK's car plants are reliant on exports, with 80% of cars made in Britain sold abroad, and more than half of the components used in UK-made vehicles coming from overseas. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Facebook warns about security costs as earnings top estimates - Hannah Kuchler

FACEBOOK yesterday warned that its investments in security will impact its profitability, as it beat earnings forecasts in Q3. CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG said the goal of "protecting our community is more important than maximising profits". Earlier in the day, FACEBOOK's general counsel COLIN STRETCH said the company would double staff working on safety ans security to 20 000 in 2018. The group reported diluted EPS of $1.59, 24% higher than the average analyst estimate for earnings of $1.28 during Q3. Net income was $4.7bn, up 7.9% y/y. Total revenue was $10.3bn higher than the consensus forecast for revenue of $9.8bn, up 47% y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kraft Heinz falls after another quarter of sluggish sales growth - Anna Nicolaou

KRAFT HEINZ beat profit expectations in its latest results, but unveiled another quarter of slow sales as the company's products are challenged by healthier food brands. The group said sales rose 0.7% to $6.3bn in the quarter to end-Sep., helped by currency fluctuations. Organic net sales rose 0.3% from the same time a year ago. Shares fell 2.8% in extended trading. KRAFT is trying to adapt to a different kind of consumer that is prioritising health and convenience when buying food. The company has been cutting costs to drive earnings growth. It reported adjusted EPS of 83cps, topping analysts' estimates of 82cps. It is targeting $1.7bn in annual cost savings by next year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fitbit swings into loss, hit by falling demand - Chloe Cornish

FITBIT posted quarterly revenues of $392.5m, down 22% y/y but narrowly beating analysts' forecasts of $391.8m. The company posted a net loss of $113.4m for Q3, and diluted net LPS of $0.01. But the company said it had sold 7% more devices than the previous quarter, at 3.6m, with average selling price increasing 4%. Shares in the company, down more than 53% over the past 12 months, fell 0.5% in extended trading. While US revenues grew 23% to $244m, revenues from Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell 18% to $89m. FITBIT said it expected FY revenues of $1.615bn-$1.645bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

GoPro tumbles 10% as sales outlook disappoints - Chloe Cornish

Shares in GOPRO fell more than 10% in after hours trading yesterday after it underwhelmed investors with its tepid sales outlook for Q4 FY2017. The camera maker said it expected sales for Q4, which includes the holiday shopping season, to be $470m, plus or minus $10m, well below analysts' projections of $521m. Its FY revenue forecast of $1.315bn, plus or minus $10m, also undershot consensus forecast of $1.35bn. The disappointing guidance overshadowed GOPRO's solid Q3 results. For the quarter to end-Sep., revenues were up 37% y/y at $329.8m, while net income came to $14.7m, or 10cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

National Australia Bank to slash 4 000 jobs - Jamie Smyth

NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK said it would cut a net 4 000 jobs - about 12% of its workforce - today as it seeks to automate and simplify its business by investing in new technologies. The lender announced the job cuts as it reported a cash profit after tax of A$6.64bn in FY2017, up 2.5% y/y. The performance was boosted by growth in home and business lending and stronger markets and treasury income. "We are reshaping our workforce to enable us to deliver for our customers and by full year 2020 expect to create up to 2 000 new jobs while about 6 000 roles will be impacted as we further automate and simplify our business", NAB said. The net reduction in employees numbers will give rise to a restructuring provision of A$0.5-A$0.8bn in H1FY2018. NAB's net interest margin fell 3 bps in the FY to end-Sep. y/y, while net operating revenues grew 2.7% to A$17.89bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Miners gain in Australia after iron price rebound - Edward White

Shares in large iron ore miners rose in early trading in Australia following a rebound in the price. FORTESCUE METALS was the biggest gainer, up 2.9%, followed by RIO TINTO and BHP, which gained 1.9% each. That helped push the basic materials segment 1.4% higher, offsetting a fall from financials, as the broader S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2% in early trading. ANZ analysts noted that while iron had rebounded yesterday to $59.35/t, it remained below the $60/t mark. "The weakness in prices over the past few days has now enticed some traders back into the market", ANZ analysts said. "However investors have also been active, with futures moving higher to the point that the futures curve on Dalian Exchange has now moved into contango for the first time in quite a long time". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

HSBC accused of 'possible criminal complicity' in Gupta scandal - Joseph Cotterill

HSBC ignored internal warnings about large transfers of cash out of SA by the GUPTAS, British peer PETER HAIN told the House of Lords yesterday, demanding regulators probe the lender for "possible criminal complicity" in money laundering. HAIN told the Lords he had asked the UK Treasury to seek an investigation into an unnamed British bank over allegations of illicit transfers of funds on behalf of the GUPTAS. He separately sent a letter to the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority on Tuesday in which he cited evidence showing the transfers had been flagged as suspicious by HSBC's internal systems. "I am informed that they were told from the UK headquarters to ignore it", he told the Lords. The letter from HAIN urged the regulator to examine "a serious breach of FCA practice" at HSBC UK, according to one sources. HAIN said he had also seen evidence that the GUPTAS "simply shifted their laundering machine into the metal recycling sector" after South African banks closed accounts linked to the family last year. He added that it was "a matter of time before financial institutions in South Africa, in the Middle East, in Hong Kong, the UK, in the US will be forced to answer hard questions about their own complicity". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aspen completes acquisition of AZ's anaesthetics portfolio - Karl Gernetzky

ASPEN PHARMACARE yesterday said it had completed the acquisition of the rights to ASTRAZENECA's global anaesthetics portfolio. The agreement excludes certain territories, notably the US. Under the terms of the deal, ASPEN has paid an initial $410m to commercialise the portfolio, with a further $110m paid on Jul. 1 2017. ASPEN will also make sales-related payments of up to $250m within two years of the completion of the agreement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Huawei, Standard Bank partner to bring new product to customers - Thembelihle Mkhonza

HUAWEI and STANDARD BANK yesterday announced a new strategic partnership, which has both companies working together in promoting their respective businesses via value offerings to customers. The parties signed an MoU at HUAWEI's Sandton office clinching this partnership. GM of HUAWEI SA, LIKUN ZHAO, said as a result of the partnership HUAWEI products would be featured in VIP financial offerings for STANDARD BANK customers who purchase HUAWEI devices on various uniquely designed offerings. Customers would be able to see these offerings on the STANDARD BANK UCount Online Mall Rewards programme and lets you collect rewards points when you show with your qualifying STANDARD BANK personal credit, cheque or debit cards. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

GEPF looking to increase offshore exposure - Lameez Omarjee

The GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE PENSION FUND is in talks to increase its offshore exposure as it is highly exposed to domestic markets, with its performance closely correlated with that of the economy, principle executive head ABEL SITHOLE said this week. With R1.67tn worth of assets, 1.3m active members and over 400 000 pensioners and beneficiaries, the GEPF is the largest pension fund in Africa. SITHOLE said 49% of asset allocations are made to domestic equity, while only 5% are made to foreign equity. Domestic bonds account for 34% of asset allocations, and foreign bonds for only 1%. He said the GEPF is in talks with the finance minister to improve exposure to foreign allocations. These talks will hopefully be concluded before the beginning of the next financial year. SITHOLE said efforts are being made to diversify risk by investing in other instruments such as cash and bonds of both government and corporates. ESKOM's bonds account for 15% of total bills and bonds, compared to SANRAL and TRANSNET which each account for 4.5%. In total, corporate bonds account for 6.7% of total bills and bonds, while foreign bonds account for 3.4%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nyembezi-Heita to chair Alex Forbes - Fin24

JSE chair NONKULULEKO NYEMBEZI-HEITA will become the first woman to chair the board of ALEXANDER FORBES in the company's 82-year history. She succeeds SELLO MOLOKO and joins the company "at a time of strategic and business transformation in the implementation of its Ambition 2022 growth strategy, to create a globally distinctive pan-African financial services leader anchored in five core business pillars", the company said. "ALEXANDER FORBES has a strong and capable management team led by ANDREW DARFOOR. With the support of the board, I am confident of the successful implementation of the strategy for the benefit of our clients, employees, shareholders and investors and the wider community in which our businesses operate", NYEMBEZI-HEITA said. Her new role starts on Jan. 1, and will see her leave OLD MUTUAL's board before joining ALEX FORBES. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MTN focused on preparing for Nigerian IPO - Anna Edwards

MTN is focused on laying the groundwork for an IPO of its Nigerian business and should compete the proces in the next six months, CEO ROB SHUTER said yesterday. "We have a lot of advisers running around getting everything ready. It's a complicated process and there's a lot of regulation that needs to be arranged. We are moving forward well with the project and anticipate concluding that in the next six months or so", SHUTER told Bloomberg TV. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Master Drilling expands into India, Australia - Martin Creamer

MASTER DRILLING yesterday announced its expansion into India, where it will support a zinc mine, and Australia, where it will support a gold project. The company said it would be deploying a large raisebore machine to a VEDANTA group Hindustan Zinc mine as part of the initial $6m Indian contract, while another of its large raisebore machines was being contracted to a specialist underground mining contracting company working on an Australian gold project. MASTER DRILLING CEO DANIE PRETORIUS said both projects are in commodities targeted in the company's strategic plan. The company said it would continue to explore new geographies and further diversify its contracting approach to maximise the utilisation rates of its machines and further develop its global footprint. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vodacom launches narrow-band IoT in Gauteng - Natasha Odendaal

VODACOM has operationalised its first commercially available narrow-band Internet of Things network in Gauteng. The roll-out of NB-IoT is expected to accelerate IoT adoption rates. VODACOM currently averages 55 000 new IoT connections a month. "We are ready to onboard customers, partners and developers who are in a position to deply NB-IoT projects", VODACOM IoT managing executive DEON LIEBENBERG said. NB-IoT is considered one of the best technologies for low-powered wide-area networks, allowing for wide and deep coverage, and subsequently providing an additional 20 dB reach for areas where signals previously had difficulty penetrating. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAB invests millions in black-owned SMMEs - Anine Kilian

AB-INBEV subsidiary SOUTH AFRICAN BREWERIES has invested more than R200m into creating an inclusive supply chain which incorporates black-owned and black-women-owned SMMEs through its supplier development programmes, SAB Accelerator and SAB Thrive. Speaking at the official launch of the programmes, SAB and AB INBEV AFRICA president RICARDO TADEU said SAB's commitment to creating jobs was in addition to the company's public investment commitments made to the government when SABMILLER merged with AB INBEV at the end of 2016. TADEU said the aim of the supplier development programmes is to create a diversified and inclusive supply chain b supporting the growth of black-owned suppliers through business development support and funding. He said more than 100 jobs have been created through the programmes to date and that SAB has laid the foundation to support entrepreneurs and to contribute towards government's efforts to grow the economy and reduce unemployment in the country. TADEU noted that SAB Accelerator had piloted 10 businesses that have created 29 permanent and 79 part-time jobs in just 6 months. The programme is currently incubating 24 businesses as part of the official intake after the pilot. The target is to incorporate 100 suppliers a year moving forward. SAB Thrive has invested R100m in seven businesses that have created 46 new jobs. In addition, the programme has contributed R140m in new BBBEE preferential spend. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Amplats co-opens pipe factory in Mokopane - Martin Creamer

ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM has drawn applause for its role in the opening of a new pipe factory in Limpopo, which is aimed at sustainably developing the community of Mokopane, where the company operates its rich Mogalawena opencast platinum mine. AMPLATS partnered AFRICA PIPE INDUSTRIES in the creation of the AFRICA PIPE INDUSTRIES NORTH enterprise. AMPLATS will provide a stable order book for the plant, which is targeting Africa's entire sub-Saharan market. As a producer of large-bore steel piping, the 76-employee plant has created opportunities for the community of Mokopane to contribute to Africa's expanding infrastructure requirements, AFRICAN PIPE INDUSTRIES CEO JOHN JANSEN VAN NIEUWENHUIZEN said. The helically welded pipes meet international standards for the water, oil and gas markets throughout Africa. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

State irregular expenditure at R45.6bn - AG - News24Wire

Despite "intensified contestations" by some SOEs, Auditor General KIMI MAKWETU yesterday released the financial report for the country's national and provincial departments, as well as government entities for FY2016/17. A total of 422 departments and entities were audited for 2016/17, 37 more than in the prior year. The findings showed that irregular expenditure was up 55% to R45.6bn - this amount could be higher as there are still ongoing audits for auditees like PRASA. About 25% of auditees disclosed there had been irregular expenditure, but did not clarify the amount. Taking into account all these factors, irregular expenditure could be as much as R65bn. The AG noted there had been a trend of "contestation" against his office's audit findings by some entities, which led to the delay of some audits. One of these related to SARS, which had gone so far as to consider taking the AG to court to dispute its audit finding. MAKWETU said after consultation with SARS, legal action had "come off the table". He said some auditees have been putting pressure on his office's audit team to change conclusions to avoid negative audit outcomes, or the disclosure of irregular expenditure. "Others are under pressure to produce what they promised in terms of audit outcomes. If they feel it is not coming, they push back on us", he said. The AG said that, while auditees could contest an audit opinion, they should be discouraged from insisting on a different audit conclusion "despite not having the evidence" to support it. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom gave Tegeta prepayment on day Optimum purchase price was due - ANA

Business rescue practitioner PIERS MARSDEN yesterday told the Parliamentary inquiry into ESKOM that the utility agreed to pay TEGETA almost R600m in advance for coal on the same day it became clear that the GUPTA-affiliated company was short of that sum to purchase the Optimum coal mine. MARSDEN said on Apr. 11 2016, two days before TEGETA was due to pay R2.15bn for Optimum, he was contacted by the former CEO of OAKBAY, NAZEEM HOWA. HOWA said TEGETA was R600m short and asked him to source funding from a consortium of banks, who declined. However, the money was paid on Apr. 14. MARSDEN turned whistleblower in July after watching an episode of Carte Blanche in which suspended acting ESKOM CEO MATSHELA KOKO revealed the utility paid TEGETA R586m in advance for coal supplies. He said he contacted the Hawks and deposited two affidavits, but it was only last week Thursday that he was again contacted by the police unit and told a new investigating officer had been assigned to the case. MARSDEN also told the inquiry that ESKOM had taken a particularly hard line towards negotiations with GLENCORE, describing his experience of ESKOM management after BRIAN MOLEFE became CEO in 2015 as a "hornet's nest". He said it was clear ESKOM would not accept a deal that did not involve a change of shareholder and was adamant that a fine it had imposed of R2.1bn for poor coal quality needed to be honoured. After Optimum was sold to TEGETA, it transpired that the fine was slashed to less than a quarter and the company finally had to pay R500m this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zuma will establish inquiry into State capture if instructed by court - News24Wire

President JACOB ZUMA has placed on "record" that he will establish a commission of inquiry into State capture within a month if ordered by a court. This comes as ZUMA is seeking an order by the North Gauteng High Court to have former Public Protector THULI MADONSELA's remedial actions reviewed and set aside. The matter was heard in court last week and, at the 11th hour, ZUMA abandoned a crucial part of the application which asks for the report to be sent back to the public protector for further investigation. This resulted in Judge President DUNSTAN MLAMBO ordering all parties to file supplementary heads of argument explaining how the withdrawal would impact on the review application. ZUMA's counsel yesterday filed that a "just and equitable" order should be handed down by the court. The proposed order reads: "Having announced an intention to appoint a commission of inquiry, it is recorded that the president will proclaim a commission of inquiry within 30 days of the date of this order". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ivanhoe hits shaft-digging milestone at Platreef - Henry Lazenby

IVANHOE MINES has reached the 500-m level below surface during construction of the first shaft of the PLATREEF PGM project. The 7.25-m-diameter Shaft 1, which is expected to reach the Flatreef mineralisation at a depth of around 783 m in Q3 2018, will be used for initial access to the Flatreef deposit and early underground development. The shaft's final depth will reach 980 m below sufrace. IVANHOE executive chair ROBERT FRIEDLAND said the company "is dedicated to building a state-of-the-art mine that will produce metals that are essential to our urbanising planet". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Old Mutual to retain 20% of Nedbank after split - Tanisha Heiberg

OLD MUTUAL yesterday said it will retain a 19.9% strategic minority shareholding in NEDBANK after the parent company's planned split. OLD MUTUAL is planning to break itself up into four parts as it says regulatory changes make the company too complex to run in its current form. The stake in NEDBANK will have a primary listing on the JSE and a secondary listing on the LSE, the companies said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's new vehicle sales up 4.6% y/y in Oct. - Mfuneko Toyana

SA's new vehicle sales rose 4.6% y/y to 51 037 units in Oct., data from the Department of Trade & Industry showed yesterday. New passenger car sales grew by 7.9% to 35 316 units, while sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses, at 13 376 units, fell by 1.7%. October sales of new medium trucks, at 668 units, fell by 3.2%. New heavy truck and bus sales fell by 5.1% to 1 677 units. New vehicle exports fell by 8.3% to 28 229 units. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Four Mills of Nigeria plans share sale to reduce debt - Chijioke Ohuocha

FLOUR MILLS OF NIGERIA plans to sell shares via a rights issue to cut debt and is registering a 70bn naira bond programme to refinance short-term loans, the conglomerate said yesterday. FLOUR MILLS said it was in the process of concluding the timing and size of the share sale. It registered plans with regulators to raise up to 40bn naira in equity over a three year period and obtained approval from shareholders last year to sell shares, but weak capital markets delayed its launch. Last year, it said it had $20m in foreign currency loans and was exploring alternative financing sources to mitigate higher costs from a weak naira. FLOUR MILLS posted a 53.1% rise in HY pretax profit to 31.48bn naira, but said finance costs rose 48.9% to 16.27bn naira. It said food manufacturing was the main driver of growth and accounted for 78% of its revenues. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Durban port resumes all ops after Oct. storm - TJ Strydom

SA's largest port has resumed all marine operations three weeks after a storm affected vessel movements in the city of Durban, TRANSNET said yesterday. A storm lashed the east coast on Oct. 10, killing at least eight people. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ABSA PMI rises in Oct. - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA's seasonally adjusted ABSA PMI rose to its best level in five months, helped by an increase in new sales orders. The index, compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research, rose to 47.8 in Oct. from 44.9 in Sep. "This was the third consecutive increase and brought the index to the best level since May 2017. Nonetheless, the PMI remained stuck below the neutral 50-point mark", ABSA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 02/11/2017

At 06h46 on 02 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.06 ZAR/EUR 16.34 ZAR/GBP 18.62 Gold 1274.22 Platinum 930.00 Brent Crude Oil 60.47 All Share 59514.11

AfDB says could consider loan for Nigeria - Alexis Akwagyiram

The AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK yesterday said it could consider an additional $400m for Nigeria to support its growth and recovery efforts and was in talks with the government on how to help it reinvigorate Africa's largest economy. The AFDB had been in talks with Nigeria for around a year to lend $400m, the second tranche of a $1bn loan, to shore up the country's budget deficit. On Monday, a VP at the bank, AMADOU HOTT, said the money was no longer for budget support and would instead by redirected to specific projects. HOTT is VP for power, energy, climate change and green growth. In a statement yesterday, the AFDB said: "An additional $400m in support could be considered, if requested and approved by the Board, as part of a larger coordinated effort with other development partners, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund". It did not say whether the money that could be released would be in the form of budget support. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S Korea exports, imports soften in Oct. - Hudson Lockett

Exports from South Korea grew at a markedly slower pace last month, coming up short against economists' forecasts. Outbound shipments grew 7.1% y/y in Oct., according to a preliminary reading, down from a climb of 35% in Sep. and coming in below a median forecast of 13% growth from economists polled by Reuters. Imports likewise grew less than expected, up 7.4% y/y compared to a rise of 22.6% m/m and short of expectations they would expand by 11.5%. Those trade flows resulted in a trade balance of $7.3bn, down from $13.5bn in Sep. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Independent gauge shows China manufacturing growth steady - Hudson Lockett

Growth in China's manufacturing sector held steady in Oct. The CAIXIN-MARKIT manufacturing PMI remained at 51 in Oct., steady from September's level and in line with analysts' forecasts. An independent reading on the services sector will be published on Friday. An official reading on the services sector fell 0.9 points from its Sep. peak to 53.5 in Oct. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 01/11/2017

At 10h30 on 01 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.10 ZAR/EUR 16.43 ZAR/GBP 18.76 Gold 1275.45 Platinum 925.00 Brent Crude Oil 61.15 All Share 59448.63

China signs up for more Arctic gas from Novatek - Henry Foy

Russian gas producer NOVATEK has signed agreements with the CHINESE NATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY and CHINA DEVELOPMENT BANK for cooperation on the company's second LNG project in the Arctic. The two Chinese companies participated in NOVATEK's first "Arctic LNG-1" project in the Yamal peninsula after US and EU sanctions forced the $27bn initiative to turn to China for funding and support. France's TOTAL also has a 20% stake in the LNG-1 project, which began operations this autumn and will supply gas to Asia and Europe. TOTAL has said it would be interested in taking part in LNG-2. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Shell completes North Sea asset sale to Chrysaor - Edward White

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL has completed the sale of a package of UK North Sea assets to CHRYSAOR for a total consideration of $3.8bn. The sale includes an initial consideration of $3bn and a payment of up to $600m between 2018 and 2021, which is subject to commodity prices. There is also the potential for further payments of up to $180m for future discoveries. The deal was announced in Jan. as part of a wider debt-reduction programme. The North Sea interests include Buzzard, Beryl, Bressay, Elgin-Franklin, J-Area, the Greater Armada cluster, Everest, Lomond and Erskine, and a 10% stake in Schiehallion. SHELL retains some holdings in the area. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

StanChart shakes up senior management team - Martin Arnold

STANDARD CHARTERED has reshuffled its senior management team, shaking up the leadership of its retail banking and Asian operations. The move comes as CEO BILL WINTERS looks to achieve the revenue growth analysts say the bank needs if it is to achieve its profitability targets after many years of restructuring and shrinking its balance sheet. STANCHART yesterday said KAREN FAWCETT would retire as head of retail banking at the end of Nov. after 16 years at the bank. She will be replaced by BEN HUNG, who is adding oversight of its retail operations to his existing role as head of Greater China and north Asia. The bank is also transferring the leadership of its ASEAN and South Asia operations from ANNA MARRS, head of its commercial and private banking operations, to JUDY HSU, head of its Singapore business. Meanwhile, the group is adding oversight of its brand and marketing to the responsibilities of TRACEY MCDERMOTT, who joined earlier this year from the UK financial regulator as head of public, corporate and regulatory affairs. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pfizer quarterly profits beat Wall St estimates - David Crow

PFIZER reported Q3 earnings that were narrowly ahead of Wall Street estimates and revenues in line with forecasts. The company's Innovative Health division, which houses newer medicines, grew sales 11% y/y to hit $8.12bn versus the typical analyst estimate of $8.05bn. Sales in the Essential Health unit fell by 12% y/y to $5.05bn, which were short of the typical estimate of $5.14bn. "Essential Health revenues remained challenged primarily due to continued headwinds from products that recently lost marketing exclusivity and product supply", PFIZER CEO IAN READ said. The company raised its guidance for FY adjusted EPS to a range of $2.58-$2.62 versus its prior forecast of $2.54-$2.60. However, it lowered its forecast for FY sales from $52.4bn to $53.1bn versus its prior range of $52bn-$54bn. For Q3, it posted adjusted group earnings of 67cps, around 2c ahead of forecasts, and sales of $13.18bn, which were in line with Wall Street forecasts. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ADM profit hit by weak exports - Gregory Meyer

ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND reported worse-than-expected results for Q3 as bountiful supplies of maize and soyabeans held back exports from the US. Net profit was $192m or 34cps in the quarter, down from $341m or 58cps y/y. Excluding one-time items, ADM earned 45cps, well below Wall Street forecasts of 55cps. The agricultural services segment's adjusted operating profit totalled $87m, down from $195m y/y. Grain handling results suffered "largely due to the lack of competitiveness of US corn and soyabeans in global markets". Slow US grain exports also hit the company's transportation business, which includes barges. CEO JUAN LUCIANO said the Q3 results "were below our expectations, as the operating environment in our ag services and oilseeds businesses was more challenging than anticipated". Adjusted operating profit at ADM's oilseeds division fell to $119m from $145m y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MasterCard earnings, sales up on higher transaction volumes - Adam Samson

MASTERCARD yesterday revealed a bigger than expected rise in its quarterly profits and revenues, bolstered by higher transaction volumes amid steady growth in the global economy. The company said its revenues rose 18% y/y in Q3 to $3.4bn. Net income rose to $1.4bn, or $1.34/share, from $1.2bn or $1.08/share y/y. Analysts had forecast EPS of $1.23 on revenues of $3.28bn. "These results reflect a continued momentum in strengthening and extending relationships with our partners and customers", CEO AJAY BANGA said. Switched transactions at MASTERCARD rose 17% to $16.9bn in Q3, meanwhile the gross dollar volume of transactions rose 10% to $1.4tn. Cross-border transactions were up 15%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mexico Q3 GDP growth hit by natural disasters - Jude Webber

Mexico's economy shrank by 0.2% in Q3 q/q in seasonally adjusted terms, but grew 1.7% y/y, preliminary data showed yesterday. The figures were in line with market forecasts, but SANTANDER said the 1.7% growth compared with a previous forecast of 2.6%, reflecting not only the earthquakes "but a fundamental downward shift due to a fall in oil production and construction". In the 2017 budget, presented on Sep. 8, the government raised the official 2017 growth forecast to 2%-2.6% from an earlier target of 1.5%-2.5%. The Senate has until Nov. 15 to approve the budget. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Qualcomm shares down on report Apple will drop its components - Mamta Badkar

QUALCOMM shares fell yesterday following a report that APPLE will dump the chipmaker's components in iPhones and iPads that it is designing for next year. Shares in the chipmaker were down 7.4% to $50.61 yesterday after the Wall Street Journal said APPLE's move comes as QUALCOMM withheld software needed to test its chip in the tech giant's iPhone and iPad prototypes and that it was now considering building those devices with components from INTEL and MEDIATEK. The parties have been engaged in a long-running legal battle which saw QUALCOMM accuse APPLE of patent infringement in a Beijing court. QUALCOMM said it was seeking an injunction that would halt both sales and manufacture of iPhones in China, and seeking sales or mport bans in the US and Germany. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK, EU confirm next round of Brexit talks ot be held next week - Jim Brunsden

The UK government and the European Commission have confirmed that the next round of Brexit negotiations will be held next week. In a joint statement, EU chief negotiator MICHEL BARNIER and UK Brexit Minister DAVID DAVIS said the talks would be held on Nov. 9 and 10, and that "an agenda will be published in due course". The previous round of talks, in Oct., left BARNIER warning of "deadlock" over the UK's exit bill. At the time, no date for future talks was nailed down despite a plan for talks to take place one week every month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kellogg returns to sales growth, boosted by euro, frozen foods - Pan Kwan Yuk

Investors cheered KELLOGG's surprise return to sales growth during Q3, pushing shares in the cereal maker nearly 9% higher in early trading yesterday. The company eked out a 0.6% increase in net sales to $3.27bn in the quarter to end-Sep., following 10 consecutive quarters of declines. Analysts had expected sales to drop to $3.2bn. KELLOGG attributed the improved performance to stronger demand for its frozen food and the strength of the euro. both of which helped offset the continued drop in cereal sales in the US market. As a result of a currency tailwind, the group now expects FY comparable EPS to come in between $4.00 and $4.06/share, up from its previous guidance of $3.97-$4.03. Cost-cutting efforts helped nudge net income 1.7% higher to $297m, or 85c per diluted share during the quarter. In the US cereal bsiness, net sales fell 3% during the quarter. The company's US snack business fared little better, with sales down 5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Delta Property raises H1 distribution - BDpro

DELTA PROPERTY FUND yesterday reported just a 1.02% rise in distribution to 46.40cps for the HY to end-Aug. y/y. The company's R11.3bn portfolio consists of 108 properties, with a total gross lettable area of 973 431m² and includes assets held-for-sale comprising 14 properties. Contractual rental income was up 3.3% to R782.24m, but property operating expenses dropped 0.7% to R205.26m. Like-for-like net property income was up 6.8% to R576.37m and vacancy rates for the period rose to 11.3%, from 9.2%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Imperial reviews relationship with KPMG - BDpro

IMPERIAL HOLDINGS yesterday said it was reviewing its relationship with KPMG, which is under fire for the work it did for the GUPTA family and at SARS. KPMG provides secondary accounting and consulting services to IMPERIAL to the tune of R13m/year. IMPERIAL said it would await the outcome of the investigation by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants before deciding on a way forward. "Should these investigations provide inadequate explanations of KPMG's role in 'state capture', or their actions to redress the situation, IMPERIAL will sever its relationship with the practice". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nearly 7 000 jobs axed at Sibanye's Cooke - Robert Laing

Nearly 7 000 jobs have been cut at SIBANYE-STILLWATER's Cooke operation and another 1 640 are in danger at Beatrix West. The miner issued a statement on the conclusion of its Section 189 process this morning. It said some 1 350 workers had elected to take voluntary severance packages, 2 025 would be retrenched and 3 601 contractors "have been displaced" - adding up to 6 976 jobs lost. CEO NEAL FRONEMAN said the company "preserved employment for 3 282 people, while ensuring the sustainability of our remaining operations and thereby securing over 60 000 jobs in SA". The statement indicated that a further 1 640 workers at the company's Beatrix West operations do now have secure jobs for much longer. "Through the adoption of productivity enhancement and cost containment measures determined in consultation with stakeholders, Beatrix West will remain in operation for as long as it makes a profit, on average, over any continuous period of three months, after accounting for all-in sustaining costs. In the event that Beatrix West becomes loss-making, both the underground operation and Beatrix 2 plant will be put on care and maintenance with immediate effect", FRONEMAN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MTN asks court to dismiss Turkcell case - Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg

MTN has asked the South Gauteng High Court to dismiss a $4.2bn damages claim by TURKCELL, five years after the case was first brought in relation to the awarding of an Iranian licence in 2005. MTN denies TURKCELL's allegations that it paid bribes to South African and Iranian officials to secure 49% of IRANCELL TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES. MTN has asked for the case to be dismissed with costs paid by TURKCELL. "TURKCELL's claim is opportunistic, an abuse of the process of court, baseless and without merit", MTN said. TURKCELL said MTN's pleas "assert a variety of expected and meritless technical legal defenses... TURKCELL is confident that they will be rejected by the court". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mahlobo tells officials to fast-track energy plan - Liesl Peyper

Energy Minister DAVID MAHLOBO has told his department to conclude the Integrated REsource Plan with "immediate effect". He faced a grilling from members of the National Council of Provinces in Parliament yesterday , answering questions about the scale of SA's strategic fuel stocks in 2015, ad how government intended to proceed with its nuclear build programme. "I directed my team to conclude the IRP with Cabinet with immediate effect so that we have policy certainty and we can boost investor confidence", MAHLOBO said. He added that SA's security of energy supply was paramount and that the IRP should continue to inform these security requirements. He asked MPs not to "politicise" the nuclear issue. MAHLOBO earlier in the day said he wanted the IRP to be concluded by Nov. 2017. His predecessor had undertaken to prevent a finalised version of the plan ahead of the main budget in Feb. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba calls Eskom tariff hike application 'unjustified' - Mxolisi Mngadi

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA yesterday said ESKOM's application for a 19.9% electricity tariff hike next year is "unjustified". Addressing a business breakfast in Umhlanga, GIGABA said: "To ask South Africans to pay more... when the economy is subdued and the mid-term outlook is as subdued as it is and we have the types of financial and leadership challenges that ESKOM is now experiencing, I think that will serve as a perverse incentive". NERSA is currently conducting public hearings into the feasibility of the requested increase. GIGABA also called on ESKOM to stabilise its finances, saying that public officials needed to be "circumspect" about how they manage public resources. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Unemployment at record high for 3rd consecutive quarter - Liesl Peyper

The unemployment rate in SA was stable at 27.7% for the third quarter in a row, still at record levels last seen in 2003, Statistics SA said yesterday. The quarterly labour force survey results showed there was a 92 000 growth in employment in Q3, but the number was offset by 33 000 extra job seekers during the quarter. Although the unemployment remained the same at 27.7%, it is 0.6 of a percentage point higher y/y. The expanded unemployment rate rose by 0.2 of a percentage point to 36.8% in Q3. This number now stands at 9.4m people and represents a 118 000 increase from Q2 2017. The biggest contributors to job growth were in the finance and other business sectors (68 000) and the community, social and personal services sectors (56 000). However, a total of 105 000 jobs were shed in the manufacturing, construction and agriculture sectors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Renergen posts modest interim results - Anine Kilian

RENERGEN's revenue rose by 179% to R1.4m in the HY to end-Aug., bolstered by a higher diesel price following a weaker rand and higher oil prices in the period under review. The company's cost of sales rose by 381% to R1.9m, while operating costs came in at R16.7m, up 77%. "Our interim results have been modest and losses increased slightly, primarily as a result of higher engineering costs and external consultant fees for the finalisation of environmental submissions. We do not expect to be net cash flow generative until the plant goes into full scale production in 2019", CEO STEFANO MARANI said. RENERGEN said the approval by the Petroleum Agency of SA to commence with construction of natural gas liquefiers in 2018 was a milestone for the company, enabling its onshore petroleum project Tetra4 to go into full-scale production. Tetra4 will commence with production of LNG early in 2019. RENERGEN is in advanced talks with several large fleet operators and Tetra4 is now capable of creating a nationwide filling station for customers, given the higher energy density of LNG achieving significantly longer ranges compared with compressed natural gas. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JSW Steel Q2 profit up 27% - Reuters

Indian steelmaker JSW STEEL reported a 27% rise in Q2 profit, helped by higher steel sales. Total revenue from operations for the period jumped about 17% to 168.18bn rupees, with total saleable steel sales rising 2% to 3.96mt. Net profit for the quarter to end-Sep. rose to 8.39bn rupees, from 6.59bn rupees y/y. Analysts on average had expected net profit of 10.76bn rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Imperial optimistic for FY2018 - Natasha Odendaal

While trading conditions remain mixed and challenging, IMPERIAL HOLDINGS expects to hold its own in FY2018 as the first quarter delivers performance in line with forecasts and ahead of the prior year. "We anticipate solid operating and financial results in the year to Jun 30, 2018, subject to stable currencies in the economies in which we operate, and South Africa retaining its investment grade", CEO MARK LAMBERTI said yesterday. In line with this, the group expects both the IMPERIAL LOGISTICS and MOTUS divisions to further grow revenues and operating profit, with IMPERIAL HOLDINGS expected to increase revenues and operating profit and achieve a double-digit growth in EPS from continuing operations for the FY. IMPERIAL is still mulling the separate listings for IMPERIAL LOGISTICS and MOTUS, given that the two divisions operate in "two distinctly different sectors in which synergies are negligible". LAMBERTI said preliminary work indicated that the two units could achieve appropriate gearing and self-sustaining balance sheets by Jun. 2018. A decision will be made by Jun. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Octodec delivers muted FY results - Natasha Odendaal

OCTODEC INVESTMENTS yesteday posted a muted 0.8% growth in distribution for FY2017, in part owing to a sluggish economy and a more difficult H2. A weak H2 underpinned by low growth in the residential sector had led to a marginal increase in distribution to 203.1cps for the FY to end-Aug., from 201.5cps y/y. OCTODEC's residential portfolio achieved lower rental income growth of 2.5%, as a result of increased competition in a saturated market and price sensitivity, and had dragged the overall 5.3% like-for-like growth in rental income during the period to end-Aug. The offices and retail shopping centres income growth surpassed forecasts in a weak environment with respective growth of 8.4% and 6.4%. Further inpacting on dividend growth were higher-than-expected rises in finance and repairs and maintenance costs, as well as net utility and assessment rate expenses during H2. During the year under review, OCTODEC had reported a 0.7% rise in NAV/share to R29.33. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tongaat Hulett recognised as leader in water management - Anine Kilian

TONGAAT HULETT has been awarded a position on this year's Water A-List by nonprofit global environmental disclosure platform CDP. The list comprises 73 global companies and is published alongside similar lists for corporate leadership on climate change and forests. "Water is an essential input in the business and all operations are affected by the variability associated with water availability. To this end, TONGAAT HULETT is partnering with various stakeholders including the uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Programme to manage this resource", CEO PETER STAUDE said. TONGAAT is among 10% of companies participating in CDP's water programme and has been included on the A-List in recognition of its actions in the last reporting year to manage water more sustainably. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Shumba moves to main board of Botswana bourse - Natasha Odendaal

SHUMBA ENERGY has migrated its listing from the Venture Capital market board to the main board of the Botswana Stock Exchange with effect from Oct. 30. The move is aimed at establishing a stronger platform for potential future development capital fundraising for growth plans, while raising the company's investment profile. SHUMBA has made considerable progress and, since its establishment, has expanded from being a coal exploration company to a revenue-generating energy fuels and baseload power generation development company, with mineral ownership rights to 4.5bn tonnes of thermal coal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye lays off over 2 000 at Cooke mine - Reuters

SIBANYE-STILLWATER has issued termination letters to over 2 000 workers at its Cooke gold operations, which it is now mothballing, the NUM said yesterday. A SIBANYE spokesperson confirmed the move. "Following a 90 day consultation process with the unions under the auspices of the CCMA, we have had to place the Cooke operations under care and maintenance", the spokesperson said. The NUM said it would be holding a mass meeting at Cooke this morning. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Anglo investors demand clarity as dealmaker chair arrives - Reuters

ANGLO AMERICAN's new chair, STUART CHAMBERS, who arrives today, faces investor calls for clear direction at the company, long seen as a potential takeover target. CHAMBERS has a strong record in securing buyers for the companies he leads. ANGLO is viewed as particularly undervalued because of its focus on SA, where unions are restive; mines are old, deep and difficult to access' and the industry is in dispute with the government over its mining code. Top 20 investors in the miner who asked not to be named said ANGLO's CEO MARK CUTIFANI had sorted out operational issues, but a vision for what happens next in SA and elsewhere is needed. "The longer-term investment case is that ANGLO becomes a takeover target", one shareholder said. But some industry sources say the company is no longer a forced seller since it has recovered from the 2015/16 crash, and could be a buyer if the right assets are available. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gem Diamonds reports increase in Q3 diamond sales - Anine Kilian

Sales from GEM DIAMONDS' Letseng mine, in Lesotho, increased by 19% y/y to $48.1m in Q3 to end-Sep. The company attributes this to improved demand for high-value rough diamonds, which benefited prices. Production at Letseng rose by 26% to 30 774ct. The recovery of high-end diamonds is also improving, with the mine having yielded six diamonds larger than 100ct in the first nine months of 2017, compared with just four throughout 2016. CEO CLIFFORD ELPHICK said the July tender of Letseng diamonds achieved nearly $2 400/ct. Meanwhile, the company has received a conditional offer for its Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, which it has been looking to sell due to a drop in prices for its more commercial-quality rough diamonds. GEM said due diligence and talks with the potential buyer are ongoing. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto adds alumina refineries to aluminium smelters sale - Reuters

RIO TINTO is attracting renewed interest in selling its Pacific Aluminium smelting unit by adding two alumina refineries in Australia to the portfolio. The company had tried to sell the division minus the refineries in 2011 and again in 2015, without success. GLENCORE, RUSAL and LIBERTY HOUSE have all expressed interest, according to sources. By including the refineries, RIO could potentially double the original $1bn price tag for Pacific Aluminium. "If ever there was a time to have a supply source for alumina outside of China, it's now. For RIO, it makes sense. For a buyer, such as a GLENCORE or a RUSAL, it makes sense", said ARGONAUT analyst JAMES WILSON. RUSAL already controls 6% of the global alumina market and is a 20% partner with RIO in the QAL refinery. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's Access Bank eschews M&A in Ghana growth strategy - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's ACCESS BANK plans to pursue organic growth in Ghana rather than mergers or acquisitions after the central bank raised the minimum capital requirement for lenders in the country, group CEO HERBERT WIGWE said yesterday. Ghana's central bank in Sep. raised the minimum capital required for banks threefold to 400m cedis as part of measures to ensure financial stability. Lenders have until the end of 2018 to comply. The previous capital requirement for banks and new entrants in Ghana was 120m cedis. WIGWE said the recapitalisation would strengthen Ghana's banking sector and that customers will move to lenders that have met the requirement, potentially hepling the lender's Ghanaian business to gain market share. ACCESS BANK owns 91% of ACCESS BANK GHANA, which has 230.67bn naira in total assets. ACCESS BANK posted a 5.7% rise in nine-month pretax profit to 72.91bn naira last week, with the Ghana unit contributing 3.88bn naira. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's dollar reserves at $33.69bn as of Oct. 27 - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's forex reserves stood at $33.69bn as of Oct. 27, up 4.1% m/m, central bank data showed yesterday. The central bank did not provide a reason for the increase in reserves, which stood at $32.37bn in September. Nigeria's forex buffer has climbed 40.68% this year from a year ago, but is still far off a peak of $64bn hit in Aug. 2008. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya's Nakumatt seeks protection from creditors - Duncan Miriri

Kenya's NAKUMATT is seeking court protection to rebuild its fortunes after creditors demanded millions of dollars owed by the company. One source close to the company said it owed creditors, including landlords and suppliers, as much as 20bn shillings. In Jan., NAKUMATT MD ATUL SHAH said the debt then stood at $150m. By comparison, the company had assets of just 2bn shillings, a source said. The retailer's creditors include local lenders KCB GROUP, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK KENYA, and DIAMOND TRUST BANK KENYA. A group of 191 landlords who have rented out space to NAKUMATT outlets have sued the company over rent arrears of 600m shillings, the Business Daily newspaper reported. "The NAKUMATT directors are optimistic that the court will make the administration order in relation to NAKUMATT, as the order will enable NAKUMATT achieve a better outcome for its creditors", the company said. If the order is granted, it will allow NAKUMATT to be maintained as a going concern by a court-mandated administrator. A source close to the company said it needed about a year under administration to pay off its debts and could then emerge as a viable, leaner chain with 10-20 stores. The High Court will hear NAKUMATT's application for administration on Nov. 8. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Implats says Q1 platinum output hit by maintenance - Tanisha Heiberg

IMPALA PLATINUM yesterday said Q1 platinum production fell 6.6% due to a stock buildup following scheduled furnace maintenance at its local operations and at ZIMPLATS. Gross refined platinum fell to 341 200oz in the quarter to end-Sep., from 365 200oz y/y. IMPLATS said it milled 6 741 000t in the period compared with 1 149 000t y/y. FY refined production is expected to be in line with the forecast of between 1.51moz and 1.56moz of platinum. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's trade surplus narrows in Sep. as exports fall - Mfuneko Toyana

SA's trade surplus eased to R4bn in Sep. from a revised R5.98bn surplus in Aug. as exports fell, data from SARS showed yesterday. Exports fell by 1.6% to R101.76bn on a m/m basis in Sep., while imports rose by 0.4% to R97.76bn. On a cumulative basis the trade balance between Jan. and Sep. was at a R47.12bn surplus compared to a R6.66bn deficit over the same period in 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Choppies to treble shops in Kenya in next 3 years - TJ Strydom

CHOPPIES plans to treble its stores in Kenya over the next three years, the retailer's CEO said yesterday. "We are looking at 20 to 25 new stores in the next three years time", CEO RAM OTTAPATHU said, adding that the company has 11 stores in Kenya. But OTTAPATHU said the retailer was not in talks about taking over leases from Kenya's NAKUMATT, which filed for bankruptcy on Monday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Heineken to double beer production in Ivory Coast - Loucoumane Coulibaly

HEINEKEN aims to double its beer output in Ivory Coast by next year as it bids to compete with French rival CASTEL in a booming market. Beer consumption in the country has increased since the end of a decade-long political crisis in 2011, and CASTEL dominates sales with its popular Castel, Flag and Solibra Bock brands. By doubling the capacity of the Brassivoire brewery that opened last year, HEINEKEN hopes to take a greater share. "We will invest 20bn CFA francs by the end of the year... to double our capacity", said ALEXANDER KOCH, GM of the brewery. "We had planned to make this investment between 2018 and 2019. But with the strong demand, we are doing it before the end of the year", KOCH added. Total investment in the brewery is expected to hit 100bn CFA francs. This year's investment will raise beer production to 160m litres annually by next year, more than half the country's 270m litre consumption. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

France's EDF would bid in SA nuclear tender - Sylvia Westall

France's EDF would bid in a South African nuclear tender if the country went ahead with plans to expand its nuclear power industry, a company executive said yesterday. SA is planning to build several new nuclear reactors with combined capacity of 9 600MW. "We know that South Africa is thinking about a new nuclear, newbuild programme, we are at their disposal to help design their programme and of course respond to their demands", EDF's head of new nuclear, XAVIER URSAT, said. He said EDF had not held talks with SA's new energy minister on this topic. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 01/11/2017

At 06h52 on 01 November 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.13 ZAR/EUR 16.44 ZAR/GBP 18.76 Gold 1269.80 Platinum 920.00 Brent Crude Oil 61.15 All Share 58980.11

CompCom gives Gallus, Sovereign green light on merger - Luyolo Mkentane

The Competition Commission has approved the merger of GALLUS HOLDINGS and SOVEREIGN FOODS, saying the deal was unlikely to prevent or lessen competition in any market. Tie tie-up also did not raise any public interest concerns, the Commission added. GALLUS is a newly incorporated entity that manages private equity funds under its management from international and domestic investors. SOVEREIGN is a leading poultry producer. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S Korea, China agree to reset relations - Bryan Harris

South Korea and China have agreed to normalise relations almost a year after Beijing launched a punitive economic war against Seoul over its decision to host a US-operated missile defence shield. "The two sides attached great importance to the Korea-China relationship and decided to push for the further development of the strategic co-operative partnership", South Korea's foreign ministry said. Relations between the countries plumbed new lows this year as Seoul began rolling out the US-owned and operated THAAD platform to counter potential ballistic missile threats from North Korea. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BoJ predicts steady economic expansion - Robin Harding

The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy on hold in Oct. as it made slight downgrades to inflation forecasts but predicted a steady economic expansion. It kept short-term interest rates at -0.1%, a cap on 10-year bond yields at "around zero" and pledged to carry on buying assets at a pace of Y80tn/year as it strives to end two decades of on-and-off deflation. Excluding volatile fresh food and energy, consumer prices were 0.2% higher y/y in Sep. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

RCom jumps 15% on debt restructuring plan - Simon Mundy

Shares in RELIANCE COMMUNICATIONS rose as much as 15.6% today after the Indian telecoms group announced a debt restructuring proposal that would hand a majority equity stake to its creditors. RCOM has been struggling to service around Rs450bn of debt amid a price war launched by new entrant RELIANCE JIO. Late last night RCOM said that, if lenders accept its plan, Rs70bn of its debt would be converted into 51% of its equity. A further Rs170bn would be repaid with funds raised via "monetisation" of spectrum, towers, fibre links and related assets, with an additional Rs100bn to be repaid through real estate sales. The shares were trading at Rs17.5 at 10am Mumbai time, up 11.1% from the previous close of Rs15.75. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Asda names new CEO - Mark Vandevelde

WALMART has replaced the CEO of its struggling UK division for the second time in 18 months, tapping COO ROGER BURNLEY to try to reinvigorate ASDA as the chain cedes ground to discounters ALDI and LIDL. The move will see SEAN CLARKE leave ASDA at the end of the year. WALMART said he would "remain engaged" with the company, and CLARKE said he was "looking forward to taking some time out". As CEO, BURNLEY will be charged with finding a sustainable niche for a supermarket that was once recognised as Britain's cheapest food retailer, only to lose that crown as the German discount chains advanced on the sector. Revenues fell 3.2% to £21.7bn last year, foreshadowing a predicament that may yet befall WALMART in its US homeland, where ALDI and LIDL have announced plans to open in hundreds of locations over the next five years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mondelez's profit tops forecasts - Anna Nicolaou

MONDELEZ yesterday posted better than expected Q3 profit as it continues to cut costs to combat soft sales. It reported that adjusted EPS rose 12% to 57cps. Analysts had predicted 54cps. Organic sales rose 2.8% y/y in the quarter to end-Sep., while overall revenue rose 2.1% to $6.5bn for the quarter, in line with the consensus estimate of $6.5bn. Sales in North America grew 1.3% to $1.7bn in the quarter, compared to analysts' forecasts for $1.78bn. Sales in Europe rose 47% to $2.4bn. The company forecast organic sales growth of 1% this year, saying it expects a "larger than expected impact" from a malware incident earlier this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Semiconductor supercycle propels Samsung to record earnings result - Song Jung-a

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS posted a 146.7% jump in Q3 net profit as the semiconductor supercycle propelled it to announce another round of record-breaking results. The company expects its component business to continue to drive its earnings in the coming quarters as the memory chip market conditions are expected to remain favourable and sales of flexible OLED panels are expected to increase. Net profit in the quarter to end-Sep. roes to a record Won11.2tn from Won4.5tn y/y. Sales jumped 30% to Won62tn, while operating profit nearly tripled to Won14.5tn. The semiconductor business posted an operating profit of Won9.96tn, compared with Won3.4tn y/y. Operating profit at its mobile business reached Won3.29tn from just a Won100bn profit y/y. The company is expected to face stiff copmetition from APPLE for year-end holiday sales as APPLE's new iPhone X goes on sale on Friday. SAMSUNG said it will nearly double its 2017 capex to Won46.2tn from Won25.5tn y/y, spending the bulk of it on expanding memory chip facilities. About Won29.5tn and Won14.1tn will be spent on semiconductors and display panels, respectively. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Samsung plans more than $25bn in dividend returns - Song Jung-a

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS has announced substantial increases in shareholder returns for the next three years on the back of record earnings, reaffirming its commitment to "creating shareholder value and returning significant capital to its shareholders". The group said it will hike its annual dividends by 20% this year and double the amount next year. Then, it will be kept at the same level for 2019 and 2020. This will translate into about Won29tn of total dividend returns in the 2018-2020 period. Analysts expect SAMSUNG to return more of its cash pile to shareholders as it is likely to post bigger earnings in the coming quarters on growing demand for memory chips and advanced display panels. SAMSUNG last year said it will commit 50% of its free cash flow to shareholders for 2016 and 2017. It sits on net cash holdings of Won57.5tn. Its dividend payout ratio stood at 17.8% last year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

China manufacturing, services gauges point to softer growth in Oct. - Hudson Lockett

Growth in the key sectors driving China's economy softened last month, according to official gauges. The manufacturing PMI published by the National Bureau of Statistics slipped to 51.6 in Oct., missing forecasts of 52. The reading represented a fall of 0.4 points from Sep. and the sub-index on output for the gauge fell 1.3 points to 53.4. New orders dipped 1.9 points to 52.9. Manufacturing employment remained at 49, marking a seventh straight month of jobs shedding for the sector. The official non-manufacturing PMI came in at 54.3 in Oct., down from a recent peak of 55.4 m/m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New management's attention firmly on Adcorp turnaround - Robert Laing

ADCORP ended its interim period with current liabilities outrunning current assets by R184m, thereby breaching agreements with bondholders. Activist investor VENTURE CAPITAL PARTNERS in June ousted ADCORP's incumbent management, and appointed GLORIA SEROBEE as chairperson, INNOCENT DUTIRO as CEO and CHERYL-JANE KUJENGA as CFO. The new management has managed to secure a R1bn loan "at more favourable terms", enabling it to pay out existing lenders demanding their money back while leaving funds for future working capital requirements. ADCORP fell into an after-tax loss of R50m for the HY to end-Aug., from the matching period's R136m profit. Interim revenue fell to R7.75bn, from R7.89bn y/y. No interim dividend was declared. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NERSA promises Eskom hike will be 'affordable' - Carin Smith

While NERSA cannot say that there will be no electricity tariff hike, it will make sure such an increase is affordable, MBULELO NCETEZO, chair of NERSA's panel at hearings on ESKOM's tariff hike application, said yesterday. One option would be to spread an increase over a number of years. NCETEZO said NERSA received more than 23 000 responses regarding ESKOM's application to increase its electricity tariffs by an average of 19.9%. NERSA's public hearings are set to take place in all nine provinces, ending in Gauteng on Nov. 16. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oppenheimers can go ahead with private OR Tambo terminal - Lameez Omarjee

FIREBLADE AVIATION can operate a private international terminal at OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, the North Gauteng High Court has ruled. The ruling, made on Friday, grants permission to the company, owned by the OPPENHEIMER family, to run a private customs and immigration service at OR TAMBO Airport for business people. SARS and DENEL, from which FIREBLDE would lease the premises, both opposed the application. The application sought to have the court declare that approval for the terminal, allegedly granted by then Home Affairs minister MALUSI GIGABA in early 2016, could not be renounced. GIGABA previously denied claims by the OPPENHEIMERS that he had approved their application for a port of entry. Friday's judgment indicated that on Jan. 28 2016, GIGABA had, in fact, granted his approval for the business terminal, only to later suspend it "until further notice" on the basis of security concerns by DENEL. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Makwakwa back at SARS, cleared of all wrongdoing - Liesl Peyper

SARS yesterday confirmed that its suspended second-in-command, JONAS MAKWAKWA, will return to the organisation on Nov. 1. In Sep. 2016, the Financial Intelligence Centre submitted a report to SARS containing some serious allegations against MAKWAKWA. SARS Commissioner TOM MOYANE subsequently suspended him with full pay and benefits. SARS yesterday said it sought an outside legal opinion on the matter and that "renowned international firm HOGAN LOVELLS" was appointed to probe the matter to "ensure transparency, independence and integrity of the process". HOGAN LOVELLS submitted a report which recommended that disciplinary action be taken against MAKWAKWA. It then appointed Advocate TERRY MOTAU to chair the hearing. "SARS wishes to confirm that Advocate MOTAU, SC has submitted the final report which found that Mr MAKWAKWA was not guilty of any of the charges levelled against him". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Shoprite set for Kenya entry - David Herbling, Bloomberg

SHOPRITE is in talks to open its first stores in Kenya by filling retail space left empty by the struggling NAKUMATT HOLDINGS chain. "We are currently in talks with some of the property owners but nothing has been signed" SHOPRITE director GERHARD FRITZ said, adding that the company is awaiting the outcome of merger talks between NAKUMATT and local rival TUSKER MATTRESSES before deciding whether to proceed. Taking over vacated outlets would be the preferred way for the company to enter East Africa's largest economy as the retail market there is "too well established" to build new stores, FRITZ said. For its part, NAKUMATT has shut more than a dozen branches in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as it struggles to pay suppliers and owes more than 30bn Kenyan shillings to creditors. CEO ATUL SHAH last month said he was in talks with TUSKER, which trades under the TUSKYS brand. SHOPRITE also plans to buy two NAKUMATT sites in Uganda, FRITZ said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Commission approves M&R's buyout of further 40% stake in BCJV - Anine Kilian

The Competition Commission has recommended the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed acquisition by MURRAY & ROBERTS of a further 40% stake in BOMBELA CIVILS JV. BCJV is a special purpose vehicle, which was established to design and build the civil works for the Gautrain rapid rail link. The civil works were completed in Dec. 2016. BCJV's only remaining activities relate to its obligation to repair any latent defects within the civil works of the Gautrain. Post-merger, M&R will manage the apportionment of the available funds. The Commission believes the proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially prevent or lessen competition in any market in SA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Java Capital approved as 4AX issuer agent - Creamer Media Reporter

Designated adviser to the JSE's AltX Exchange and sponsor for JSE-listed companies JAVA CAPITAL HOLDINGS has been apprroved as an issuer agent sponsor to new stock exchange 4AFRICA EXCHANGE. 4AX CEO FAY MUKADDAM said that, as issuer agent and sponsor for 4AX, JAVA would gain access to new markets to grow its offering to existing clients, as well as the opportunity to grow its client base further. "We are elated to have JAVA CAPITAL on board as an issuer agent on 4AX. As an independent corporate finance boutique, the firm has a wealth of experience as a sponsor and in capital requirements across all forms of debt and equity, that will certainly lend itself to the benefit of issuers listings on the 4AX exchange", MUKADDAM said. JAVA CAPITAL provides a complete range of financial, commercial and legal advisory and transaction execution services. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

M&R sells Genrec to Southern Palace

MURRAY & ROBERTS has sold GENREC to black-owned industrial company SOUTHERN PALACE GROUP. Certain assets and liabilities are excluded from the deal and will remain with the company. M&R has sold its infrastructure and building businesses to SOUTHERN PALACE and, earlier this year, transferred its listing on the JSE to the General Industrials subsector, from the previous Heavy Construction sector. "We plan to diversify the current GENREC product offering to become a significant steel provider for infrastructure developments in energy, water, mining, health, education and transport sectors", SOUTHERN PALACE CEO LUCAS TSEKI said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rhodes Food expects FY earnings drop - Natasha Odendaal

RHODES FOOD expects to report a drop in headline earnings of 17%-22% for the FY ended Oct. 1, from the restated headline earnings of R293.1m y/y. While its regional markets showed good organic growth, the international business dragged the group's profitability for the period. RHODES said an increase of 10.8% y/y in turnover was anticipated for the FY under review. The company continued to show good organic growth in its regional markets, with regional turnover up 21.4% and organic growth of 12.7%. International turnover for the FY showed a decline of 18.1% y/y. Results will be published on Nov. 21. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore sees quarterly production decreases - Anine Kilian

While GLENCORE's copper and nickel output fell in Q3, the miner said this would not impact FY earnings. Copper production of 946 500t for the quarter to end-Sep. was 11% lower y/y due to the sale of its Ernest Henry gold copper mine in Australia in Aug. 2016. Output was also hit by smelter maintenance at Mount Isa in Australia, reduced throughput at the Mutanda mine in the DRC, production declines in Argentina and the timing of lower copper grades at the company's Antapaccay operations in Peru. Nickel production fell 2% to 80 700t as a result of maintenance at the Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations and the Murin operations, in Australia. African zinc assets produced 92 100t of zinc and 3 700t of lead to Aug. 31, before they were sold to TREVALI MINING. Coal production of 91mt was in line with the comparable period, as expected increases from productivity improvements and GLENCORE's higher equity share in certain mines were offset by the impacts of industrial action in New South Wales and unusually heavy rainfall in Colombia. GLENCORE's oil entitlement production interest of 3.9m barrels was 36% lower y/y. Cobalt production of 17 2005 was within 5% of the y/y period, while attributable ferrochrome output of 1.107mt was in line with the y/y period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Global copper balance widens to 160 000t - Henry Lazenby

The world's refined copper balance has increased to 160 000t for the first seven months of 2017, as refined copper supply has stagnated, the International Copper Study Group has found. The Lisbon-based think tank said the July deficit was in fact the lowest recorded so far this year, at 35 000t despite a 0.5% decline in refined copper usage to 13 690t as scrap supplies improved and constrained usage growth globally, and was much more than the six-month copper balance that showed a deficit of 75 000t. In the first seven months of 2017, the copper balance, adjusted for changes in Chinese bonded stocks, indicated a deficit of around 90 000t, up from a deficit of about 5 000t reported last month. According to ICSG data, world copper mine output fell 2% y/y to 11 381t in the seven months since Jan., with concentrate production declining by around 1.5% and solvent extraction-electrowinning declining by around 4.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Codelco raises copper premium to $88/t for Europe - Reuters

CODELCO has raised its 2018 physical copper premium to European buyers to $88/t from the $80/t to $85/t range this year, copper industry sources said. CODELCO's premiums for physical delivery of copper to be paid over the LME benchmark are seen as a benchmark for global contracts, which means other producers are likely to follow suit. Earlier this month, AURUBIS, Europe's biggest copper smelter, confirmed it woudl offer its customers 2018 copper premiums of $86/t, unchanged from 2017. LME copper prices at around 46 850/t are up more than 20% so far this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gold price rises in Q3 - Natasha Odendaal

Gold saw a "strong and fairly steadily rising" Q3 with the price having increased by $40/oz, or 3.2% in dollar terms, the South African Bullion Gold Report shows. A one-year analysis showed a 2.9% contraction in the gold price, while the three-year growth analysis showed a steady performance of 3%, as did the 10-year analysis, with growth at 5.6%. In rand terms, the gold price accelerated by 7.4% in Q3, mostly as a result of the 4% depreciation of the rand during the quarter. The gold price ended Q3 at $1 283.35/oz in dollar terms and at R17 363.72/oz in rand terms. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ivanhoe agrees to rehabilitate rail line in DRC - Natasha Odendaal

IVANHOE MINES is preparing to rebuild the 34km of rail track that connects the Kipushi mine with the DRC's national railway at Munama, south of Lubumbashi. Under the terms of an MoU with DRC state-owned SOCIETE NATIONALE DES CHEMINS DE FER DU CONGO, IVANHOE wills tart construction of the line in late 2018. It will appoint consultants to undertake a front-end engineering design study to assess the scope and cost of rebuilding the spur line from the historic Kipushi mine to the main Lubumbashi-Sakania railway at Munama. The revival of the inactive Kipushi-Munama spur line was the most economical and reliable solution for the transportation of Kipushi's projected 530 000t/y of zinc concentrate production, IVANHOE executive chair ROBERT FRIEDLAND said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sylvania dump production down 8% in Q1 - Ilan Solomons

SYLVANIA PLATINUM's Sylvania Dump Operations produced 16 589oz of PGMs in Q1 to end-Sep., an 8% decrease on the prior quarter's 17 954oz. CEO TERRY MCCONNACHIE said the decrease had been expected and attributed it, in part, to the scheduled closure of the Steelpoort plant in Q4 FY17. Production for FY18 is still expected to meet the forecast of 70 000oz. Cash costs for SDO in dollar and rand terms rose by 18% and 17% respectively, from $422/oz y/y to $496 in the quarter under review. MCCONNACHIE said this was mainly due to lower PGM output for the quarter. Nonetheless, revenue rose by 7% in dollar and rand terms to $14.1m, from $13.2m q/q, and R186.1m from R174.4m q/q. "SDO capital expenditure increased by 15% in line with the project schedule for Project Echo, which is currently in progress and on scheduled to ensure a sustainable PGM production profile going forward", MCCONNACHIE said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore Congo deals said to be part of latest offshore leak - Bloomberg

GLENCORE could face renewed scrutiny of its business in the DRC after confidential information was released in the data breach of a major offshore law firm, sources said. The documents relate to GLENCORE's acquisition of KATANGA MINING, and dealings with Israeli billionaire DAN GERTLER, sources said. Appleby, a Bermuda-based provider of offshore legal services, today said it suffered a "data security incident" last year and reporters from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other media groups had recently been asking questions about leaked information. "Appleby has thoroughly and vigorously investigated the allegations and we are satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing", the firm said. While Bloomberg hasn't seen the confidential Appleby documents, public records show Appleby lawyers advised KATANGA on various transactions. Those include the merger with GERTLER's NIKANOR in 2007, and rights offers and loan agreements with GLENCORE between 2007 and 2009. Spokesmen for GLENCORE, GERTLER and the ICIJ declined to comment. GLENCORE's work with GERTLER on the takeover of KATANGA has been questioned by Global Witness. In 2014, it released a report saying GLENCORE may have channeled funds to GERTLER at the expense of other KATANGA shareholders. GLENCORE denied those allegations. In Feb., GLENCORE cut ties with GERTLER in a $960m deal to acquire his stakes in KATANGA and MUTANDA MINING. GERTLER's company has said it still receives royalties from both projects. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 31/10/2017

At 03h21 on 31 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.06 ZAR/EUR 16.35 ZAR/GBP 18.57 Gold 1275.84 Platinum 917.00 Brent Crude Oil 60.70 All Share 58879.14

CoAL issues share warrants to IDC - Anine Kilian

COAL OF AFRICA LIMITED has issued around 48.18m unlisted share options or warrants to the INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. This is in line with the terms of a loan agreement between the company, subsidiary BAOBAB MINING & EXPLORATIOn and the IDC, which was inked in April. The first tranche of the loan funding of R120m was drawn down by the company in May and the warrants being issued for these funds equate to 2.5% of the entire issued share capital of COAL. The warrants vest immediately and expire and are exercisable on or before Jun. 16 2022, at 60cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP, Vale get short extension on Samarco settlement - Reuters

BHP and VALE have been granted an extension until Nov. 16 by a Brazilian court to negotiate a settlement on a $47bn claim stemming from the SAMARCO mine disaster in 2015, BHP said today. Brazilian federal prosecutors in May 2016 served the JV partners with a 155bn Brazilian real claim to pay for the social, environmental and economic costs of cleaning up the tailings dam spill. A settlement date of Oct. 30 was set by the court earlier this year after the parties failed to reach an agreement by the previous deadline of Jun. 30. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Norilsk Nickel lifts Q3 output - Mariaan Webb

NORILSK NICKEL yesterday reported a 10% q/q rise in its nickel output, but said Q3 copper and PGMs production had declined. Nickel production rose to 54 175t in the Sep. quarter from 49 4185 q/q. The company expects to produce between 206 000t and 211 000t of nickel in 2017. Output for the first nine months of the year came to 157 101t. Consolidated copper output fell by 4% q/q to 52 940t, due to temporary suspensions at NORILSK's copper smelter as a result of "unfavourable meteorological conditions. The company said it would process accumulated concentrate in Q4, which should compensate for the decrease in copper volumes inthe quarter under review. Palladium output fell by 11% q/q to 693 000oz and platinum output declined by 8% to 174 000oz. The company maintained its production guidance of producing between 377 000t and 387 000t of copper, 2.64m-2.73m oz of palladium and 581 000oz-645 000oz of platinum this year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Two banks drop McKinsey - TJ Strydom

BARCLAYS AFRICA and STANDARD BANK yesterday confirmed they would stop working with MCKINSEY, a further blow to the global consultancy as it faces allegations of bribery for work done with the GUPTAS. MCKINSEY as denied doing anything illegal but earlier this month said it was embarrassed by mistakes it made while working with ESKOM last year. It said it regretted working on a R1.6bn contract at ESKOM alongside a company controlled by the GUPTAS. BARCLAYS AFRICA and STANDARD BANK told Reuters in separate emails that they would terminate their relationships with MCKINSEY without giving reasons. MCKINSEY declined to comment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chad wants to cut off Glencore's oil supplies in debt row - Madjiasra Nako

Chad is on a collision course with GLENCORE as it wants to divert oil from the Swiss trading house to US energy companY EXXONMOBIL from 2018 amid a dispute over debt restructuring. A government document showed Chad wants to hand over crude oil marketing rights currently held by GLENCORE under a $1.4bn loan agreement to EXXON, the biggest oil producer in the country. Three government and industry sources confirmed the details. Sources close to GLENCORE say they believe the contract does not allow such a change. Under pressure from the IMF, Chad is renegotiating its hefty external commercial debt, namely to GLENCORE, which eats up nearly all of its oil profits. The near $1.4bn debt to GLENCORE is being restructured for a second time since the 2014 oil price crash, in a move expected to be completed by end-2017 or early 2018. Since 2014, EXXON has been paying royalties to the government in physical crude cargoes that were subsequently allocated by state firm SHT to GLENCORE. But this process will end in early Jan. as the government has asked EXXON to pay royalties in cash instead, according to a letter from the company dating from mid-Oct. "In this context, we wish to levy in cash, and not in kind, the royalties due by the Consortium on January 2, 2018", the letter stated. The change will see EXXON replace GLENCORE as the marketer of the royalty oil. A sticking point, a banking source said, was a request from Chad for another period on principal repayment taht GLENCORE had thus far refused. Chad previously had a grace period in 2016. "GLENCORE does not want to hear about a restructuring... This is why we have decided to take the marketing of our oil away from them", a government source said. A source close to GLENCORE said the move would represent a "clear and serious breach of the agreement". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rest of Africa weighs on Shoprite Q1 sales - TJ Strydom

SHOPRITE increased turnover 6.4% in the quarter to end-Sep., buoyed by South African sales, but with weaker commodity prices weighing on its business in the rest of Africa. The retailer grew South African sales 8.1% in the period as it kept price increases low. SHOPRITE said it slashed the prices of staples in its home market, reducing the company's internal inflation to 0.9% across all products, compared with 7.2% a year ago. "Stripping out the effect of inflation, the real sales growth surpassed the prior year's growth in the same quarter", the company said. But sales growth in Angola slowed "significantly" from an increase of 110% y/y. SHOPRITE's supermarkets outside SA posted a 1.8% decline in turnover, mainly due to the impact of lower commodity prices and weaker currencies in Angola, Nigeria and Zambia. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

IMF says rising debt, political risk dim SSA economic outlook - MacDonald Dzirutwe

Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4% in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6% in 2017, the IMF said yesterday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Both Nigeria and SA have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a good harvest and oil production recovery in Nigeria would contribute more than half of the growth in the region this year, while an uptick in mining and a better harvest in SA as well as a rebound in oil production in Angola will add to growth. But political uncertainty loomed large in Nigeria, where President MUHAMMADU BUHARI is ill, causing speculation about whether he is well enough to run the country. Meanwhile, SA has been blighted by the rule of JACOB ZUMA, who has battled various scandals ahead of the ANC's party conference in Dec. to choose a new party leader. The IMF said public debt would rise to 53% of GDP this year from 48% in 2016. Mory worryingly, most countries were now borrowing from local banks, which could destabilise the domestic financial sector and fuel inflation. "Debt servicing costs are becoming a burden, especially in oil-producing countries... and are expected to absorb more than 60% of government revenues in 2017", the Fund said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's says SA budget statement credit negative - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

MOODY's yesterday said the medium-term budget statement, presented by Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA last week, was credit negative as it signalled a departure from fiscal consolidation efforts. GIGABA shocked markets last Wednesday by flagging sharply weaker growth expectations, wider deficits and rising government debt in his first budget speech. "In our view, unless the government presents a credible fiscal consolidation plan in the February 2018 budget, debt sustainability is at risk", MOODY's SA analyst ZUZANA BRIXIOVA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's credit demand growth falls in Sep. - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

Growth in SA's private sector credit demand fell to 5.59% in Sep., from 5.98% m/m, SARB data showed yesterday. Expansion in the M3 measure of money supply rose to 6.72% from 6.48% m/m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kobe Steel scraps profit forecast, suspends dividend payment - Peter Wells

KOBE STEEL has scrapped its FY profit forecast and decided to suspend its dividend payment due to uncertainty caused by its widening data falsification scandal. The inability to calculate potential losses from the scandal prompted KOBE STEEl to withdraw its profit forecast for the FY. It had been targeting a bottom line result of Y35bn, which would have been its first profit after two consecutive years of losses. H1 net profit of Y39.35bn actually came in ahead of its previous target from Jul. of Y25bn. Sales of Y907bn were 2.5% lower than initially forecast. Management decided to refrain from paying a Y10/share dividend for the HY to end-Sep., having only decided in July to resume interim dividend payments for the first time in two years. Banking sources said Japan's three biggest financial groups - MIZUHO, SUMITOMO MITSUI BANKING GROUP and BANK OF TOKYO-MITSUBISHI UFJ - are in talks with KOBE over a Y50bn loan facility to allay investor concerns. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore to cancel HK secondary listing - Neil Hume

GLENCORE is set to cancel its secondary listing in Hong Kong amid a lack of interest from investors. When the company launched its $60bn IPO in 2011, CEO IVAN GLASENBERG said a secondary listing in the territory would help build its profile in the region where most of its biggest customers are based. However, investors have preferred to hold their shares in London where GLENCORE has its main listing. Today, only an estimated 0.3% of the company's total share capital is listed in Hong Kong. GLENCORE has subsequently decided that a secondary listing in Hong Kong is not needed, sources said, adding that it could announce plans to delist as early as this week. However, it has no plans to abandon its secondary listing in SA. GLENCORE today upgraded guidance for its trading division to $2.6bn-$2.8bn for 2017, but reported output in some of its key metals slipped in Q3. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Merck blames cyber attack for sales miss - Cat Rutter Polley

MERCK blamed an international cyber attack that shut down parts of its operation as it reported Q3 sales that were short of Wall Street forecasts. It posted $10.3bn of sales for Q3, around 2% lower y/y and roughly $200m less than the typical analyst forecast. MERCK said sales had been hit to the tune of $240m as the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention had borrowed a common vaccine from the country's stockpile rather than buying it from MERCK, which had experienced a "temporary production shutdown resulting from the cyber-attack". It lost a further $135m in sales as a result of the hack, it added. However, EPS of $1.11 were ahead of the typical estimate of $1.03. MERCK nudged up its FY revenue outlook to $40bn-$40.5bn from its earlier range of $39.4bn-$40.4bn and raised its adjusted EPS forecast to between $3.91-$3.97 from the prior range of $3.76-$3.88. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AbbVie tops estimates, predicts Humira sales to hit $21bn by 2020 - David Crow

ABBVIE, the maker of the world's top-grossing drug Humira, posted Q3 earnings that beat expectations and announced bullish financial targets. It posted adjusted EPS of $1.41/share, around 3c ahead of expectations, while revenues of $6.96bn were in line with forecasts. The results underscored the enduring power of Humira, an anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat a variety of conditions including arthritis and psoriasis. ABBVIE raised its guidance for FY adjusted earnings to between $5.53 and $5.55/share versus its earlier range of $5.44-$5.54. It added that it was on track to "meet or exceed" long-term targets first announced in 2015. It now expects Humira sales to "approach" $21bn in 2020 compared to the prior estimate of $18bn, while it said it expected adjusted earnings in the range of $6.37-$6.57 in 2018. ABBVIE also said it would increase its cash dividend from 64cps each quarter to 71cps starting from Feb. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ICE to sell Trayport - Philip Stafford

INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE plans to sell UK commodities trading platform TRAYPORT to Canada's TMX GROUP in a deal valued at £550m. ICE on Friday said it will sell TRAYPORT for £550m in cash, but in return buy the energy broker SHORCAN ENERGY and NGX, an Alberta-based exchange, together valued at £200m. ICE had come under pressure for buying TRAYPORT in late 2015 for $650m on the grounds that the deal could curb competition in the European energy trading market. In Mar., the UK appeals court upheld a ruling by the Competition and Markets Authority that ICE had to sell the business. The CMA's initial ruling last Oct. was the first time it had demanded a company sell an asset it had already bought since the watchdog replaced the merged Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission in 2014. The CMA has approved the sale to TMX GROUP. ICE added that it had entered into a non-binding MoU agreeing to "explore in future further avenues for possible collaboration" with the Canadian group. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bundesbank chief warns on holding down rates as eurozone recovery gathers pace - Claire Jones

Germany's top central banker has questioned the wisdom of keeping eurozone interest rates at their current record lows for another year, saying the region's recovery would be too strong to warrant such cheap money by that point. Bundesbank president JENS WEIDMANN wasted no time in criticing the ECB's refusal to commit to an end-date for its QE programme, under which it has thus far bought more than €2tn of mostly government bonds. "From my point of view, a clear ending to the net sales [of bonds to the ECB] should have been indicated", WEIDMANN said on Friday, a day after the ECB took its most important decision of the year. The central bank said it would buy €30bn worth of bonds a month for the first nine months of 2018 but president MARIO DRAGHI signalled it will continue to purchase debt beyond Sep. WEIDMANN had called for a specific end-date for QE ahead of the meeting. "[The forward guidance] means we are not talking about putting the brakes on monetary policy, but merely about not pushing down on the accelerator further... Against the backdrop of the ongoing, increasingly broad economic upswing, I do not think it is necessary... In the short term the economy could grow even more strongly than previously expected", WEIDMANN said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US economy expands 3% in Q3 - Mamta Badkar

The US economy continued to grow at a steady clip during Q3, aided by consumer and business spending and exceeding forecasts. GDP grew at a 3% annual rate in the Jul. to Sep. period, above analysts' 2.5% estimates. That was little changed from the 3.1% growth registered in q2, which was the quickest pace since the start of 2015. Friday's report also marked the first time GDP had expanded above 3% in back-to-back quarters since 2014. The personal savings rate fell to 3.4% in Q3, from 3.8% q/q and helped lift personal spending to 2.4%, ahead of some estimates of around 2.1%. Business fixed investment rose by 1.5%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Higher prices power ExxonMobil's profit jump - Ed Crooks

Oil major EXXONMOBIL on Friday reported earnings above analysts' forecasts for Q3, as higher oil and gas prices helped the company shrug off the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Sep. EPS were up 48% at 93cps for the quarter, beating forecasts of 87cps. CEO DARREN WOODS described the earnings as a "solid performance" and "a step forward in our plan to grow profitability". Disruptions caused by the hurricane cut an estimated 4c from EPS. EXXON said profits from both the upstream production operations and the downstream refining and marketing businesses improved in Q3 y/y. Upstream earnings more than doubled to $1.57bn from $620m in Q3 y/y. Downstream profits rose 25% to $1.53bn, from $1.23bn y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 30/10/2017

At 10h50 on 30 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.11 ZAR/EUR 16.40 ZAR/GBP 18.57 Gold 1269.82 Platinum 913.50 Brent Crude Oil 60.70 All Share 58668.66

Akzo Nobel has approached US rival about potential deal - Michael Pooler

Dutch paintmaker AKZO NOBEL has approached its US rival AXALTA COATING SYSTEMS about a potential combination that could create a group valued at around $30bn. AKZO has made overtures towards AXALTA and talks are under way between the parties and at a very early stage, sources said. Shares in AXALTA rose 17.3% to $33.25 on Friday following the news, giving it a market cap of $6.9bn. AKZO NOBEL is the second-largest player in the global paints and coatings market, while AXALTA is the fifth-largest and specialises in industrial coatings. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S&P, Fitch affirm UK rating - Jessica Dye

S&P and FITCH have left their ratings on the UK unchanged, three weeks after MOODY's issued an unexpected downgrade. While S&P and FITCH each stuck b their AA ratings in the UK, both cited concerns about the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process to justify their respective negative outlooks on the country. "Brexit continues to present a significant risk to the UK's economic performance, and to its large financial services sector in particular", S&P analysts wrote, while FITCH warned that "an acrimonious 'no deal' Brexit leading to substantial disruption to customs and trade, or the UK staying in the EU beyond Mar. 2019 cannot be excluded". Last month MOODY's cut its rating on the UK by one notch to Aa2, prompting a dispute with the government over the health of the UK's public finances. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fosun Pharmaceutical to buy French drug distributor Triden - Hudson Lockett

The pharmaceuticals arm of FOSUN INTERNATIONAL has agreed to buy TRIDEM, an Africa-focused French drug distributor, for up to €63m. TRIDEM is the third-largest pharma distribution and promotion company in French-speaking Africa, with a sales network covering 21 countries and regions. The purchase is the latest acquisition abroad by a Chinese group following the end of the 19th party congress in Beijing. Last week aluminium exporter CHINA ZHONGWANG acquired Australian superyacht builder SILVERYACHTS for an undisclosed sum following the end of the congress. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Japan retail sales continue rebound amid uncertain consumption outlook - Edward White

Japan's retail sales continued to rebound in Sep. but came in below expectations amid concerns about private consumption growth. Monthly retail sales in Sep. were 22% higher y/y and up 0.8% on Aug., preliminary figures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry showed. Sales growth for Sep. was slightly below a median forecast of 2.3% from economists polled by Bloomberg. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Daewoo Shipbuilding drops almost 65% as trading halt ends - Hudson Lockett

Shares in DAEWOO SHIPPING & MARINE ENGINEERING shed close to two thirds of their value this morning as the shipbuilder traded for the first time in 15 months. The stock dropped as much as 64.9% from its closing level of Won44 800 on Jul. 14 2016, before pulling back slightly to be down 57.5% at Won19 050. The fall follows an Apr. agreement with South Korea's National Pension Service on a debt restructuring plan that smoothed the way for bondholders to agree to a debt: equity swap - a precondition for a $2.6bn bailout offered by the government in Seoul. The NPS is DAEWOO SHIPPING's single largest bondholder at the time of the agreement, with Won390bn in bonds maturing by end-2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

HSBC Q3 revenues beat forecasts as deposit income grows - Hudson Lockett

Revenues at HSBC rose more than expected in Q3 2017 as deposit income rose across its three main global businesses. The British lender posted Q3 pretax profit down 1% y/y to $5.4bn after adjusting for one-offs and currency moves. EPS of 15cps for the quarter also came in just below forecasts. But adjusted revenue for the quarter rose 2% to $13bn, beating an average broker estimate of $12.7bn compiled by HSBC. The bank attributed revenue growth for the year to date to higher deposit income at its retail banking and wealth management and commercial banking divisions and increased revenues at its global banking and markets division. HSBC posted $14.9bn in reported pre-tax profits for the FY to end-Sep., up 41% y/y, boosted by a solid set of results for H1 2017. Adjusted profit before tax for the period rose 8% to $17.4bn. HSBC's common equity tier one ratio was 14.6% at end-Sep., down fractionally q/q but still well up y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chevron's Q3 profit up 51% - Ed Crooks

CHEVRON on Friday reported a 51% rise in EPS to $1.03 for Q3, helped by the strength of its downstream refining and marketing operations. EPS were above analysts' average forecast of 99cps, but were helped by an asset sale gain of $675m. Adjusting for that and other one-off items, EPS were below analysts' forecasts at 85cps. Downstream earnings from refining, marketing and chemicals were up 70% at $1.81bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Colgate falls as N American sales remain sluggish - Pan Kwan Yuk

Fickel US consumers remained the biggest challenge to COLGATE-PALMOLIVE in Q3. Shares in the company fell 1% in pre-market trading on Friday after it reported continued sluggishness in its North American business. For the quarter to end-Sep., organic sales grew 1.5%. While the figure is slightly ahead of estimates for a 1.4% gain and is a bounce back from the flat sales growth reported in Q2, it still represents a sharp slowdown from the 4.5% rise recorded in the y/y period. Much of the weakness was due to the North American business, which accounts for a fifth of total group sales and saw a 1% drop in organic sales during the period. CEO IAN COOK said category growth worldwide "Remain challenging", but reiterated its forecasts for a low-single-digit net sales rise and low-single-digit organic sales growth for 2017. Overall, net sales rose 2.7% to $3.97bn, ahead of the $3.94bn analysts had forecast. Net income fell 13% to $607m on charges related to the company's ongoing restructuring. Stripping these out, adjusted net income was $646m, a 1% drop y/y and below expectations for $651.3m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Apple says demand for iPhone 'off the charts' - Tim Bradshaw

APPLE's shares were heading for their best day since Aug. after the company said customers' demand for the new iPhone X was "off the charts". The stock was trading around 3.2% higher on Friday at $162.30. The gains added around $26bn to APPLE's market cap, which stood at $839 by midday. Demand for the iPhone X exceeded initial supply within 10 minutes of pre-orders opening at midnight California time on Friday. The $999 smartphone will start shipping to customers and retail stores at the end of this week. "We believe the iPhone X will reach global supply-demand equilibrium sometime in the March quarter, or 3-4 months after launch", APPLE investor and analyst at LOUP VENTURES, GENE MUNSTER, said. "Typically it takes 2-3 months for a new iPhone to reach global supply-demand equilibrium". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Spain's Rajoy dissolves Catalonia parliament, calls snap elections - Michael Stothard

Spanish PM MARIANO RAJOY late on Friday said he was firing Catalonia's regional government, dissolving the parliament and calling a snap election for Dec. 21. "We believe it is urgent to listen to Catalan citizens, to all of them, so that they can decide their future and nobody can act outside the law on their behalf", RAJOY said in a televised speech. The move came hours after the Spanish senate authorised Madrid to impose direct rule over Catalonia in response to the region's vote to establish an independent republic. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin hits back at calls to shut down ops - Lameez Omarjee

LONMIN has hit back at calls by the Mining Forum of SA and BAPO BA MOGALE INVESTMENTS to have its operating licence removed over non-compliance with its social and labour plan. The forum last week said it has written to President JACOB ZUMA, pleading that the Department of Mineral Resources suspend LONMIN's operational licence for failing to comply with the commitments in its social and labour plan for the years 2014-2017. Following a complaint by the forum and Bapo Ba Mogale to the DMR, a social and labour plan audit was conducted in Aug. The department found that LONMIN had failed to comply and subsequently ordered the miner to take corrective measures. LONMIN, however, has come out to defend itself against the "grossly incorrect statements" made by the forum. "The company's compliance with its social and labour plan is of absolute importance to LONMIN", the miner said, adding that it engages and reports to the DMR on an ongoing basis and engages directly with its stakeholders. LONMIN said since the audit was conducted, it has submitted an action plan requested by the DMR to address the issues raised. "That action plan has been submitted and received by the DMR, and LONMIN will now give the DMR regular progress updates on the implementation of the action plan". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

McKinsey loses two bank clients - Lameez Omarjee

STANDARD BANK and BARCLAYS AFRICA will not be renewing their contracts with MCKINSEY & CO, Business Times reported yesterday. STANDARD BANK spokesperson ROSS LINSTROM confirmed that the bank "elected to terminate" MCKINSEY's services and said the firm has been informed of the decision. MCKINSEY declined to comment. ABSA is yet to respond to Fin24's request for comment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Inflation shrinks real disposable take home pay - Fin24

Real disposable take-home pay shrank for the first time in seven months on a y/y basis due to higher inflation in Sep., according to the latest BANKSERVAFRICA Disposable Salaries Index, which showed salaries fell by 1.3%. The average real seasonally adjusted banked salary was R13 964 in Sep. 2017. In nominal terms, the take-home salary averaged at R14 255. The current difficult economic conditions in SA impact firms and their ability to pay higher salaries. The effective tax rate on gross salaries is also taking a toll. "Wage earners are under severe pressure and have not had effective salary increases over the last four years". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zwane opens one Bafokeng mine, shuts down another - Lesetja Malope

Following the closure of ROYAL BAFOKENG's Rasimone south shaft in Rustenburg a week ago, the Department of Mineral Resources subsequently reopened it after the company made presentations on Wednesday - only to raid another of the mines and shut that one later in the week. After RBPLAT approached the DMR on Wednesday, the Section 54 notice for the closure of parts of Rasimone's south shaft was lifted. But less than 24 hours later, the DMR sent in a team of inspectors and raided the mine's north shaft. This time, it issued a Section 54 notice for the closure of the entire shaft. The DMR claims to have found a list of safety hazards at the mine. A source said the inspectors upped the ante on RBPLAT and went as far as threatening staff who were suspected to have leaked the information of the closures. The DMR initially shut down the south shaft after RBPLAT terminated its contract with GUPTA-linked AFORIKA BORWA MINING SOLUTIONS. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New economic plan needed to avoid investment strike - Ramaphosa - Paul Vecchiato, Bloomberg

SA needs to do more to come up with a recovery plan that grabs the imagination of investors and its people, Deputy President CYRIL RAMAPHOSA said on Friday. "We are facing a new situation", RAMAPHOSA said. "A number of economies around us are growing, the world economy is responding very positively in terms of growth, but we are moribund and we need to come up with a plan that needs to take us out of this". The rand slid to the lowest in almost a year after Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA painted a bleak picture of the state of the country's finances, with the economy set to expand 0.7% this year, down from 1.3% predicted in the Feb. budget. "We need to come up with something that grabs the imagination of our people and the markets, so that the markets can see that we are an economy that is worth investing in, because right now we have almost been facing a situation of an investment strike", RAMAPHOSA said. "Companies are not investing in our economy. They are concerned about the political instability and so we have to reboot our economy". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Exxaro spending R20bn on coal projects - Martin Creamer

EXXARO RESOURCES is implementing a five-year, R20bn capex programme on coal mining projects in Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The company has seven coal projects under way - four in the Waterberg region in Limpopo and three in Mpumalanga. The largest capital project is the R4.8bn, 1.7mt/year GG6 project at Grootegeluk, in the Waterberg, where first production of semisoft coking coal is expected in FY2020. In Mpumalanga, EXXARO is executing the R3.3bn, 2.7mt/year Belfast project, where production of thermal coal is expected to begin in H1 2020. Again in the Waterberg, capex of R2.8bn is earmarked for the development of the first phase of the 3.9mt/year Thabametsi project, where it is continuing to take precautionary steps to protect its mining right in the event of the associated Marubeni IPP coal-fired power station being delayed or not happening. Already undergoing commissioning is the second phase of the R600m Grootegeluk discard input project in the Waterberg, while in Mpumalanga, the R500m, 2.7t/year life extension project at Leeuwpan is expected to produce its first thermal coal in H2 2018. The commencement of the construction of the R1.8bn Matla Mine 1 relocation project in Mpumalanga is pending approval from ESKOM. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AECI acquires Much Asphalt - Andres Mahlangu

AECI has acquired MUCH ASPHALT for R2.27bn in cash to broaden and diversify its earnings stream. Founded in 1965, MUCH ASPHALT supplies a range of products used mainly in road construction, and relies heavily on the government for business through SOEs, including SANRAL. SANRAL has been allocated R36.8bn to upgrade and maintain the national road network over the medium term. This includes R4.8bn for the Moloto road upgrade, R29.6bn for road rehabilitation and R2.4bn for coal haulage roads. The provincial roads maintenance grant has been allocated R34.5bn to fund the resealing and rehabilitation of provincial roads. AECI said it was looking at another potential acquisition, warning shareholders to exercise caution in dealing with its shares. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK debt hurts Famous Brands shareholders - Robert Laing

FAMOUS BRANDS shareholders will receive no interim dividend for a second year as the company whittles down debt from its £120m UK acquisition. The company on Monday said its debt had risen to R2.9bn at end-Aug. from zero the prior year. Its market cap has tumbled around 40% since its acquisition of GOURMET BURGER KITCHEN as its share price fell from the R127.80 it was trading at in Oct. 2016 to Friday's closing price of R102.34. The acquisition of GBK, along with local french fries producer LAMBERTS BAY FOODS and other local restaurant chains boosted the group's interim revenue by 39% to R3.4bn. But a sharp rise in financing costs saw FAMOUS BRANDS' after-tax profit more than halve to R192m from R411m y/y. Its global restaurant network grew by 170 to 2 797 at end-Aug. y/y. During the HY, the company opened 77 new restaurants and revamped 107 existing restaurants. A further 130 restaurants are scheduled for opening during H2, and 160 revamps are planned. CEO DARREN HELE said the operating environment in both SA and the UK "is expected to remain testing, with prevailing conditions anticipated to persist for at least the next six months domestically and possibly longer in the UK. While the group's peak trading holiday season lies ahead, management does not foresee a significant improvement in consumer sentiment during this period". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lewis shares fall on earnings warning - Robert Laing

Shares in LEWIS fell on Friday after it warned shareholders its interim earnings would drop by up to 18%. The company said it expected to report on Nov. 13 that basic and headline EPS for the HY to end-Sep. would fall by 12%-18%. The furniture retailer reiterated past complaints that it was suffering from the government's crackdown on hire-purchase sales. "Trading conditions have been compounded by the ongoing impact of the National Credit Act's affordability assessment regulations which are restricting access to credit in SA and limiting the group's credit sales". Merchandise sales showed a steady improvement over the period, rising by 5% on last year, with comparable stores sales up 7.3%. Revenue fell by 3.2%, mainly as a result of the 9.8% decline in other revenue over the corresponding prior period. LEWIS said its gross profit margin strengthened by 40 bps to 40.9%. Debtor costs benefited from improved collections and were down 11.5%. This reflected an improvement from the 6% increase reported at the 2017 year-end. Shares in LEWIS fell 0.75% to R26.30 on Friday morning. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Buildmax expects improved interim earnings - Sens

BUILDMAX on Friday said it expects basic EPS of 6.41cps-7.68cps for the HY to end-Aug., from an LPS of 12.70cps reported y/y. HEPS for the period will be between 6.56cps and 7.56cps compared to an HLPS of 10.09cps reported y/y. Interim results will be published before the end of Nov. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Long4Life posts maiden H1 profit - Natasha Odendaal

LONG4LIFE has come out of the starting blocks with a "good beginning" and plans to start paying dividends from FY2018 - less than a year after its Apr. listing on the JSE. CEO BRIAN JOFFE said that following recent acquisitions, L4L had more than R400m in annual EBITDA. It posted maiden basic and headline EPS of 10.55cps for the HY to end-Sep., with profit for the period coming in at R41.3m. It also maintained a good cash position with R1.6bn available for future investments. L4L raised R2bn form a wide spectrum of institutional and other shareholders and, since listing, has acquired control of SORBET, INHLE BEVERAGES and HOLDSPORT. "We are patient for the right deal at a fair price", JOFFE said, noting the scope to gear against generating assets and cash balances, along with a capacity to use available scrip to acquire additional companies. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

LafargeHolcim proposes African asset combination with PPC - Anine Kilian

PPC's share price rose nearly 5% on Friday after it said it had received a credible expression of interest from LAFARGEHOLCIM to combine some of their African assets. The proposal also included a partial cash offer to PPC and a special dividend to PPC shareholders. PPC in Sep. said it had, in addition to an offer from AFRISAM and FAIRFAX AFRICA, received two indicative proposals from other industry players looking to achieve Pan-African combinations. LAFARGEHOLCIM will now undertake a due diligence process with a view to submit a firm offer to the PPC independent board in Nov. "The independent board will evaluate every bona fide proposal with the potential to unlock value for shareholders. Regardless of the outcome of the concurrent processes now under way, we believe that PPC is a solid business, focused on delivering shareholder value by improving profitability, maximising our new investments and strategic options", PPC chair PETER NELSON said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CoAL considers name change, secures approval for Makhado Lite - Natasha Odendaal

COAL OF AFRICA LIMITED is reviewing potential second cash generator prospects, the disposal of further non-core asset and a rationalisation of the bourses on which it is listed as it continues restructuring its balance sheet. This followed the acquisition of the Uitkomst colliery, the approval for the Makhado lite strategy and the sale of the Mooiplaats colliery at end-Sep. "I am pleased to report on another extremely positive quarter for COAL as we integrated the Uitkomst colliery into our portfolio and advanced the sale of the noncore Mooiplaats colliery, resulting in its disposal at the end of September", COAL CEO DAVID BROWN said on Friday. The company is assessing Uitkomst's coal marketing options to maximise returns given the upward trend in export coal prices, he added. Further, the board approval of the Makhado Lite hard coking coal project will significantly reduce capital requirements, unlock a shorter construction period, bring the operation into production faster than previously expected and extend the life-of-mine of the flagship project. The revised strategy will bring down the construction phase from 26 months to 12, and reduce the peak funding to develop the operation from $281m, or $406m before forex movements, to between $90m and $110m with a project payback period of four years. It is expected that the project will produce 1.7mt/year of saleable coal, compared with the initially planned 5.5mt/year. Separately, COAL has proposed a name change to MC MINING, with a special resolution set to be tabled at the company's AGM on Nov. 24. "COAL was considered an appropriate name as it defined the company's geograpnic and operational focus and it is the view of the present board that the company rebrand to reflect its potential growth, particularly on its hard coking (metallurgical) coal prospects", BROWN said. COAL's available cash at end-Sep. was $7.8m, with restricted cash of $500 000. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kibo secures ESIA certification for Mbeya - Natasha Odendaal

KIBO MINING has been granted an environmental- and social-impact assessment certificate for its Mbeya coal and power generation project, in Tanzania. The ESIA is the latest critical milestone for the company's Mbeya coal-to-power project, taking the project a step closer to construction. "The endorsement of the MCPP as a consequence of the ESIA certification cannot be underestimated - this is probably the most important enabler for the successful and expeditious completion of the remaining development work on the MCPP", KIBO CEO LOUIS COETZEE said. He further noted that KIBO has had successful talks with the newly established Ministry of Energy over the past two weeks. The meetings "confirmed our view that the memorandum of understanding on the power purchase agreement (PPA) is progressing well and that it will be finalised shortly", COETZEE said. Following the signing of the final PPA, KIBO expects MCPP to enter production within 36 months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Glencore 'could have prevented abuse' - Reuters

Peruvian villagers suing GLENCORE will argue in the high court in London this week that the company should be held liable over allegations that they were abused by Peruvian police. The allegations, to be presented in a 10-day hearing that starts today, illustrates potential legal risks for mining companies that sign pacts with Peruvian police for the provision of security services at their operations. The lawsuit by 22 Peruvians said XSTRATA, acquired by GLENCORE in 2013, failed to take reasonable steps to prevent abuses by police in deadly protests at the Tintaya copper mine in 2012, law firm Leigh Day said. XSTRATA paid, fed and housed the police and knew or should have known that Peru's police tend to use excessive force, Leigh Day said. GLENCORE said XSTRATA was not responsible for actions taken by the Peruvian National Police in policing the protests and noted that the lawsuit does not allege that XSTRATA of the mine's private security force harmed anyone. The case would be determined under Peruvian law, Leigh Day said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Petrol, diesel prices to rise in Nov. - James Macharia

The retail price of petrol and the wholesale price of diesel in SA will rise from Wednesday, due to a weakening of the rand against the dollar, the Department of Energy said yesterday. The price of petrol will rise by 4c to R14.05/litre in Gauteng, while that of diesel will go up by 23c to R12.35/l. The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin will rise by 21c/litre and the single maximum national retail price by 28c/l. The maximum LPGas retail price will rise by 17c/kg. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's c.bank supplies $285.7m to four sectors - Camillus Eboh

Nigeria's central bank said it had injected $285.7m into the interbank forex market on Friday to meet requests in four industries for dollars, extending efforts to boost liquidity and alleviate shortages. The four industries targeted are agriculture, airlines, petroleum and raw materials, the central bank said in a statement. It added that it will "continue to play its role in easing the foreign exchange pressures on manufacturing and agricultural sectors" through dollar sales. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria recovers $85m deposited in Britain in oil licence deal funds - Camillus Eboh

Nigeria has recovered $85m in funds from an oil licence deal that had been deposited in Britain, the country's Attorney-General said last week. It is not immediately clear who deposited the money in Britain. The money was frozen at the request of prosecutors as a result of an Italian investigation. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by British authorities. The investigations into the $1.3bn sale in 2011 of oil prospecting licence 245 have involved Italian, Nigerian and Dutch authorities and two of the world's largest international oil companies. It was initially awareded in 1998 to MALABU OIL AND GAS before ROYAL DUTCH SHELL and ENI were awarded the rights in 2011 for $1.3bn. SHELL has said it was aware that some of the payments it made to Nigeria for rights to the oilfield would go to MALABU, a company associated with former Nigerian oil minister and convicted money launderer DAN ETETE. "Nigeria had recently recovered the sum of $85m from the controversial MALABU Restrained Funds from United Kingdom", Auditor-General ABUBAKAR MALAM's office said last week. In the same statement, the office said negotiations with Switzerland on the repatriation of $321m stolen by former military leader SAN ABACHA had concluded. MALAM said an MoU would be signed in early Dec. and repatriation of the funds would follow a few weeks later. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MSCI keeps Nigeria in frontier indices, no longer under review - Karin Strohecker

Index provider MSCI last week said Nigerian stocks will remain part of its frontier indices and are no longer under review for a possible demotion - a status which the securities had been under since Sep. 2016 after the government introduced capital controls. "The market will be removed from the review list for potential reclassification to Standalone status", MSCI said, adding that the central bank's introduction of a new forex window in Apr. had improved the situation for foreign investors. "Market participants have indicated that since the establishment of this Window, funds can be repatriated at close to the official rate. Concerns on the spreads and delays which investors have earlier experienced have also eased". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 30/10/2017

At 07h06 on 30 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.11 ZAR/EUR 16.38 ZAR/GBP 18.54 Gold 1271.24 Platinum 913.00 Brent Crude Oil 60.70 All Share 58714.04

Acacia rises after miner rules out imminent increase in provision for Tanzanian deal - Henry Sanderson

ACACIA MINING shares rose 4.6% yesterday after the company said it did not intend to increase a provision relating to its dispute with the government in Tanzania following an announcement from parent BARRICK GOLD that it was raising the level of its own provision by $172m. In BARRICK's Q3 earnings update this week, it said it increased its existing tax provision of $128m by $172m in Q3 to allow for the $300m payment to the Tanzanian government from ACACIA. The $300m payment will be paid out of ACACIA's ongoing cash flows and is conditional on it being able to sell gold. But ACACIA on Thursday said it has still not received a detailed proposal from BARRICK on the deal and could not set a tax provision for the $300m payment. Its provision remains at $128m. "Once ACACIA has received and had the opportunity to assess a detailed proposal, ACACIA will also be able to assess the potential impact on ACACIA's historical uncertain tax provisions". BARRICK said it expects to give ACACIA a detailed proposal during H1 2018. It is subject to review and approval from ACACIA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gigaba took on bond market and he is losing - Colleen Goko

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA took on the bond market, and he is losing. As investors digested the minister's intention to close the budget gap by flooding the domestic market with an additional R112bn of bonds over the next three years, benchmark yields soared as much as 56 bps to 9.42%, the highest in 19 months. That's closing in on the government's own bad-case scenario of an 80 point jump in yields - and the situation could deteriorate further. INVESTEC ASSET MANAGEMENT noted that the market and ratings agencies will have an increase in the debt ceiling, rising bond issuance, the lack of spending cuts and the widening deficit contained in the latest budget proposals. Foreign investors, who hold 41% of SA's R1.97tn of local-currency bonds, dumped R5.1bn of the debt in the hours after Wednesday's mini-budget. That's the biggest one-day outflow since Sep. 2011, at the height of the European debt crisis, but its small compared to what could happen if the debt gets downgraded to junk, forcing SA's exit from CITIGROUP's World Government Bond index. That would spark outflows of as much as R200bn as investors that track the index divest their holdings, according to a recent estimate by JPMORGAN CHASE. If that happens at a time when rising rates in developed nations curb demand for EM assets, yields on benchmark bonds may climb close to 11% and stay there. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 27/10/2017

At 10h42 on 27 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.27 ZAR/EUR 16.60 ZAR/GBP 18.66 Gold 1268.17 Platinum 914.00 Brent Crude Oil 59.41 All Share 58679.16

ECB to cut bond-buying to €30bn/month until at least Sep. - Claire Jones

The European Central Bank has unveiled plans to reduce the pace of its mass bond-buying programme next year, announcing that it will buy €30bn-worth of assets a month for at least the first nine months of 2018 to keep the single currency area's recovery on track. It added that it would continue with purchases beyond Sep. 2018 "if necessary, and in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim". At the moment, central bankers across the single currency area are spending a total of €60bn a month on buying mostly government and some corporate debt. They plan to maintain that rate until the end of 2017. The length of the taper suggests that the ECB will keep interest rates at their current record lows until 2019. It left its main refinancing rate at zero, while the deposit rate remained at -0.4%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UPS boosted by online shopping, but higher costs weigh on profits - Pan Kwan Yuk

America's addiction to online shopping continued to power sales growth at UPS during Q3, but questions remain about whether the group can preserve profits amid rising delivery costs. For the quarter to end-Sep., revenue was up 7% at $15.97bn, topping forecasts for $15.61bn as UPS shipped and delivered ever more packages and raised some of its prices for customers to offset higher fuel costs. However, net income fell 0.5% to $1.26bn, hit by operating costs, which rose 8.1% to $13.9bn during the period. The US business reported a near 4% jump in revenue to $9.64bn during the quarter thanks to a surge in ecommerce-related deliveries. Operating profit fell 0.5% to $1.18bn as the company spent nearly $40m to build new facilities and finance Saturday delivery services to handle the rise in home deliveries. The company's international business also had a strong quarter, with revenue up 11% to $3.3bn amid increased demand for cross-border shipments. Its supply chain and freight delivery unit saw sales rise to $2.96bn, from the $2.61bn reported y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Deutsche Borse CEO resigns amid insider trading allegations - Richard Blackden

DEUTSCHE BORSE CEO CARSTEN KENGETER will step down days after a German court refused to approve a settlement with prosecutors over allegations of insider trading. The company said it had accepted KENGETER's resignation with "regret". He will leave at the end of the year. The decision by the Frankfurt court earlier this week was a major blow to DEUTSCHE BORSE's efforts to draw a line under the investigation into KENGETER's conduct on the eve of failed merger talks with the LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE. KENGETER and DEUTSCHE BORSE have said the allegations are unfounded. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Amazon delivers earnings beat, cheery holiday outlook - Anna Nicolaou

AMAZON posted better than expected earnings and an optimistic holiday sales outlook, sending shares up more than 6% in after-hours trading yesterday. Profits grew to $256m, or 52cps in the quarter to end-Sep., from $252m y/y. AMAZON had warned last quarter that it would spend heavily in the coming months ahead of the holiday season. Net sales jumped 34% to $43.7bn in Q3, topping consensus estimates for $42.1bn, and a faster pace than the 25% growth recorded in Q2. AMAZON said WHOLE FOODS contributed $1.3bn to the group's revenues. Stripped of WHOLE FOODS and currency fluctuations, net sales would have grown 29%. AMAZON offered optimistic expectations for Q4. It expects sales to grow 28% to 38%, to $56bn-$60.5bn, in the critical holiday quarter. Revenues at AMAZON's cloud computing business, its biggest profit driver, climbed to $4.58bn from $3.23bn y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alphabet shares up on upbeat results - Hannah Kuchler

Shares in ALPHABET soared over $1 000 in after-hours trading yesterday after the GOOGLE parent beat expectations on earnings by more than $1/share. Diluted EPS for Q3 was $9.57, significantly higher than the average analyst estimate for $8.33. Net income was $6.7bn. Sales rose 24% y/y to $27.8bn, above the consensus forecast for $27.2bn. Paid clicks were up 47% y/y in total, while cost per click continued to fall, down 21% y/y, as mobile dilutes desktop search. The cost of acquiring traffic for search also rose significantly, by 32% yy, raising concerns that at least one of GOOGLE's partners may have put up prices. ALPHABET CFO RUTH PORAT said it was a "terrific quarteR" for both GOOGLE and the Other Bets business. Other Bets, which includes the self-driving car unit Waymo and life sciences business Verily, contributed $302m in revenue, up from $197m y/y. GOOGLE was up 4.4% to $1 015.77 in extended trade. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Microsoft earnings top estimates - Tim Bradshaw

MICROSOFT hit a new all-time high in after-hours trading yesterday as its shares bounced above $80. The company shrugged off sluggish PC sales to post revenue growth of $24.5bn, about $1bn more than had been predicted. Net income went up 16% to $7.7bn, with earnings growing at the same rate to 85c. MICROSOFT said it had hit a big cloud revenue target earlier than expected. Annualised run-rate revenues for MICROSOFT's "Commercial Cloud" hit $20bn. The metric is based on multiplying the last month of the quarter by 12. On a standaline basis, Azure saw 90% y/y growth for the quarter. That helped to offset a flat y/y performance for MICROSOFT's "More Personal Computing" unit. The division was $9.4bn in sales in the quarter, compared with $8.2bn for "Productivity and Business" and $6.9bn for the "Intelligent Cloud". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US Treasury rejects stress testing for asset managers - Barney Jopson

The TRUMP administration has rejected the idea of subjecting asset managers to stress tests as it unveiled a series of pro-industry recommendations to make fund management oversight more "efficient and effective". The Treasury department yesterday said stress testing of asset management business was unnecessary and called on Congress to make it off limits. "While Treasury endorses the principle of appropriate risk management in the asset management industry, it does not support prudential stress testing of investment advisers and investment companies as required by DODD-FRANK", it said. Treasury secretary STEVEN MNUCHIN said: "The regulatory framework for both the asset management and insurance industries can be significantly improved... We are recommending more efficient and effective regulation to give consumers access to the products they need while providing individuals with opportunities to save for retirement". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Linde confirms 2017 outlook ahead of US deal - Patrick McGee

LINDE confirmed its 2017 outlook and said it is "on the right track" as it plans to tie up with US rival PRAXAIR. Q3 EBITDA rose 3% to €1.03bn, while sales or €4.21bn were 1% below a Reuters poll average. Reporting on the first nine months of 2017, LINDE said operating profit rose 3.8% to €3.15bn as margins expanded by 30 bps to 24.5%. Revenues in the nine month period were up 2.7% to €12.86bn, driven by industrial gases and its engineering unit. The company booked a one-time charge of €277m related to its efficiency programme and the planned merger with PRAXAIR. Operating cash flow, which had been down 17.9% y/y at the half-year mark, is now 7.4% lower y/y at €2.29bn. LINDE said it has so far received four of the 24 antitrust approvals required for the PRAXAIR tie-up. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

LafargeHolcim lowers FY earnings target on revised outlook - Hudson Lockett

LAFARGEHOLCIM has cut its double-digit earnings target for FY2017 as adjusted earnings in Q3 came in below forecasts. The cement maker said it expected to deliver adjusted growth in operating EBITDA of 5%-7% for FY2017, having reset its outlook to reflect the expectation that aggregate global cement demand would grow 1%-3% in 2017. LAFARGEHOLCIM reported operating EBITDA of SFr1.75bn in the quarter to end-Sep., coming up short against an average estimate of SFr1.77bn from analysts polled by Reuters, although sales of SFr6.94bn were in line with forecasts. The company also announced that it was in talks with PPC regarding a potential transaction in Africa, but said no agreement had been reached and did not disclose the size of the transaction. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Total reports solid Q3 results, oil costs heading to $20/barrel - David Keohane

TOTAL maintained its status as one of the more resilient oil majors as it reported solid Q3 results this morning. The French oil major saw adjusted net income in at $2.7bn in Q3, up 29% y/y. The gains were spurred by an 84% rise in profit from its upstream exploration and production division as oil output rose 6% in the quarter. The price of Brent increased by 14% during the same period. TOTAL reported an ROE of 9.7% and free cash flow after investment in the quarter of $2.1bn. TOTAL said its cost reduction for the year will be more than $3.6bn, surpassing the target for the year. The company plans to continue to cut operating costs, targeting $5bn in savings by 2020, and aims to increase production by 5%/year until 2022. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SAP says local unit paid kickbacks to Guptas - Robert Laing

SAP's local unit paid at least R107m in kickbacks to GUPTA-related intermediaries for contracts won from ESKOM and TRANSNET, the German software group said yesterday. As part of its remedial actions, its executive board has ordered an immediate halt to paying sales commissions for public-sector contracts in all countries that score less than 50 in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions index. This includes SA, whose rating is 45. SAP commissioned law firm BAKER MACKENZIE to probe allegations that its South African office paid kickbacks to the GUPTAS to gain business from SOEs. The investigation has so far cleared one employee, while formal disciplinary proceedings have been instituted against three others. "The allegations of wrongdoing in our South African business have had a profound impact on our employees, customers and partners, and on the South African public - and we apologise wholeheartedly for this", SAP said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AVI shares jump on news of possible asset sales - Robert Laing

AVI's share price rose 4% to R98.45 yesterday morning after it announced the potential sale of some of its businesses. "Shareholders are advised that AVI has received a number of expressions of interest for certain of the group's business units which may be value-enhancing for shareholders", the statement said. Its board had appointed RAND MERCHANT BANK to assist in evaluating these offers. AVI's subsidiaries range from food to cosmetics. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fitch decries medium-term budget and move away from fiscal consolidation - Sunita Menon

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA's medium-term budget policy statement has shaken the confidence of FITCH RATINGS. FITCH yesterday said the medium-term budget pointed to a sharp fall in fiscal revenue "but has no measures to contain the impact on deficits and debt... This suggests that the change in direction of policy making away from a focus on fiscal consolidation, that we anticipated as a consequence of March's Cabinet reshuffle, is under way and occurring faster than we had expected". In its statement, FITCH said the revisions in the medium-term budget reflected significant revenue shortfalls with substantial risk of additional revenue slippage; a breach in the non-interest expenditure ceiling, which is a key fiscal policy anchor' and risks with SOEs. "The government also noted that capital injections for other SOEs are likely as profitability has declined sharply and lenders are reluctant to roll over maturing debt, but these are not included in fiscal projections". Amid criticism that GIGABA has kicked the can down the road, FITCH flagged the president's committee that will consider proposals to shore up the public finances to be announced in next year's budget. "But the fact that no agreement on consolidation measures, or even headline targets for revenue increases, were included in the medium-term budget highlights how disagreements in the ANC have made it difficult to agree on savings measures". It added that the divisions in the ANC will persist beyond the Dec. electoral conference. "It is not clear that the political environment will become more conducive to consolidation". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ellies expects improved interim results - Sens

ELLIES HOLDINGS yesterday advised shareholders that the HEPS and basic EPS for the HY to end-Oct. will be between 2cps and 4cps, compared to the HLPS of 11.30cps and basic LPS of 31.49cps reported y/y. Interim results will be published on Dec. 7. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Royal Bafokeng said to be ordered to suspend mining at shaft - Paul Burkhardt

ROYAL BAFOKENG PLATINUM was yesterday ordered by mining inspectors to suspend operations at its North shaft, sources said. The company was issued with a Section 54 notice for the entire shaft, sources said. The suspension follows a similar notice a week ago which resulted in the shutdown of the operation at parts of the South shaft for safety reasons. Inspectors from the Department of Mineral Resources returned to the mine earlier on Thursday, sources said. RBPLAT last week informed AFORIKA BORWA MINING SOLUTIONS, a company linked to the GUPTAS, that it won't renew its contract. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Look into SARS, MPs tell Gigaba - Liesl Peyper

MPs yesterday asked Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA to look into the administration of SARS on the back of revelations in the mini budget that the country faces a revenue collection shortfall of R50.8bn. During a parliamentary briefing, DA MP OCKERT TERBLANCHE wanted to know from GIGABA if the under-collection of tax could be ascribed to a "wholesale underperformance" by SARS commissioner TOM MOYANE. YUNUS CARRIM, chair of the standing committee on finance, said to GIGABA Parliament is concerned about the fact that SARS has not produced its annual report yet. "It's very bad. We read somewhere that SARS is taking the auditor-general to court. We have the right to know", the ANC MP said. EWN reported earlier that AG KIMI MAKWETU had told parliament that SARS is threatening to take his office to court over a disputed audit finding. GIGABA confirmed that this was indeed the case. He said there are "challenges" with the SARS annual report and that officials told him the reasons for the delay. He said Treasury will engage with the AG, since more and more departments have recently started disputing his audit opinions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

STADIO acquires LISOF - Fin24

STADIO HOLDINGS LIMITED is to acquire fashion design school and retail education institution LISOF, it announced yesterday. LISOF is a private higher education institution fully accredited by the South African Council of Higher Education and, by being the first institution to launch BA and BCom degrees in fashion in SA, a pioneer in fashion education. It will retain its own brand, campuses, management and staff, but will share a common ethos and benefit from the synergies, infrastructure and shared services available in the STADIO group. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

New CEO, CFO for Denel - Fin24

ZWELAKHE NTSHEPE has been appointed as the new group CEO of DENEL. ODWA MHLWANA is the new group CFO. NTSHEPE joined DENEL 21 years ago and prior to acting as group CEO he was the DENEL group executive responsible for business development and corporate affairs. According to the Department of Public Enterprises, while NTSHEPE was acting group CEO the order book grow to over R35bn. MHLWANA is a qualified chartered accountant and served as group financial director of DENEL's subsidiary DENEL VEHICLE SYSTEMS in the past. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Altron's continuing operations maintain performance - Anine Kilian

ALLIED ELECTRONICS' continuing operations delivered results in line with forecasts in the HY to end-Aug., despite difficult local economic conditions. CEO MTETO NYATI said the company was operating in "tough times". During the HY, the strengthening of the rand against the pound had a significant impact on the company's financial performance and it has, therefore, reported results on a constant currency basis. On this basis, revenue from continuing operations grew by about 5% to R6.8bn, while EBITDA increased by 19% to R501m. Normalised and constant currency headline earnings rose by 27% to R209m, while HEPS were up by 16% to 57cps. The company divested some of its noncore assets during the period and cut its exposure to the manufacturing sector, which NYATI said would likely see net debt reduced to R1.1bn on conclusion of the disposals. He noted that ALTRON was looking to expand its African footprint and would be appointing a new MD for Africa to drive this growth. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Spectrum crunch not sustainable - Natasha Odendaal

MTN SA yesterday expressed its disappointment that the spectrum impasse has not yet been resolved, reiterating that data costs will not decline until the high-demand spectrum is released. Speaking at the annual MyBroadband Conference in Midrand, MTN SA CEO GODFREY MOTSA said the lack of spectrum has doubled the capex required by operators and was the reason data prices remained so high. Pointing to what was effectively a subsidisation of the "spectrum crunch", MOTSA highlighted the rise in capex from R5bn a few years ago to more than R10bn in the last three years to compensate for the lack of access to high-demand spectrum. "This is costing the poor", MOTSA said, stressing that if spectrum was released, 1 GB of data could sell for as low as R50. VODACOM CEO SHAMEEL JOOSUB agreed, stating that a spectrum-strapped industry still remained a huge problem despite the participants having started the discussion more than a decade ago. "If you want to bring the cost of data down, you have to bring the underlying cost to carry a megabyte or gigabyte of data down. The only way you can do that is to invest", JOOSUB said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vumatel seeks to drive down fibre costs to provide access to more people - Natasha Odendaal

VUMATEL is moving to offset its role in widening SA's digital divide by seeking out and piloting a new viable model to drive down the cost of high-speed unlimited fibre access for those least able to afford it. VUMATEL plans to trial a new business model of affordable fast fibre deployed in the Gauteng township of Alexandra, which is directly opposite the connected Sandton. It will deploy, by Mar., a fibre network offering unlimited access into the township at an offering of R89/month. VUMATEL CEO NIEL SCHOEMAN said community engagement showed that the average income in Alexandra was around R2 500 a month per household, but over R100m was spent on prepaid mobile data every month. "We are going to give this a shot to see if we can... make it work", SCHOEMAN said, adding that if the connectivity issues could be solved for Alexandra, it could be solved for 35m other South Africans. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Court orders Telkom to stop disconnecting services to eNatis - ANA

The North Gauteng High Court has ordered TELKOM to restore telephone services to ENATIS following an urgent application by the ROAD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT CORPORATION. RTMC spokesperson SIMON ZWANE said the corporation brought the application before the court after TELKOM disconnected telephone lines to ENATIS for the second time in one month. He said the disconnections disrupted the functioning of vehicle registration authorities throughout the country. ZWANE said the court granted the RTMC an interim order instructing TELKOM to restore all suspended lines and related services with immediate effect. TELKOM was also ordered to return to court on Feb. 19 to give reasons why the order should not be made final. TELKOM is on record as saying the reason for the disconnection of service relates to arrears owed, but ZWANE said the amounts in arrears were owed to TELKOM before the RTMC took over the administration of ENATIS. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vale posts surge in Q3 profit - Reuters

VALE saw net income jump by nearly 300% in Q3 as iron ore prices rose. The iron ore miner said net income came in at $2.23bn, 287% higher than the $575m posted y/y. This figure was under an average consensus estimate of $2.439bn. Adjusted EBITDA hit $4.19bn, just below a consensus estimate of $4.38bn compiled by Reuters. The results may have missed consensus estimates due to lower shipping volumes, as VALE held back iron ore inventories in expectation of higher prices ahead, one analyst said. The company is on track to meet its target debt goal of $15bn to $17bn by year-end, and posted net debt of $21.06bn in the quarter under review, down from $22.12bn q/q. Revenue for the quarter reached $9.05bn, just short of estimates of $9.09bn, but well above the $6.726bn posted y/y. Capex in the quarter was $863m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Newmont's higher costs cast shadow on profit beat - Reuters

NEWMONT MINING's Q3 profit beat analysts' forecasts but margins were squeezed as the cost of gold output rose and selling prices were lower. The copany said its all-in sustaining costs to produce an ounce of gold rose $18 to $943, due to higher exploration and project costs. The average price per oz fell 4% to $1 276 in Q3 to end-Sep. Production from new mines such as the Merian in South America and Long Canyon in Nevada helped lift gold production by 7% to 1.3moz. Total revenue rose 5% to $1.88m. Net income attributable to shareholders was $206m, or 38cps, compared with a loss of $358m or 67cps. The year-ago quarter included a quarter of $527m due to discontinuation of some assets. Excluding items, NEWMONT earned 35cps, beating analysts' forecasts by 2c. It also maintained its 5.0m-5.4m ounce production output forecast for 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Jubilee achieves strong Q3 performance - Anine Kilian

JUBILEE PLATINUM raised its operational revenue by 48% q/q to R46.11m for Q3. Operations earnings were up 193% q/q to R14.73m. CEO LEON COETZER said the Q3 results "demonstrate the benefits of increased operational stability and throughput. I expect quarter four to show continued improvement, with the October results so far already outperforming [that of] September". Performance at the Hernic operations improved significantly q/q, in line with the company's focus on process optimisation as part of the final phase of the project execution. Meanwhile, the Dilokong chrome mine delivered a solid operational performance. Meanwhile, JUBILEE is currently updating its project execution plan for the various pipeline surface processing projects. Its project pipeline includes the recovery of PGMs from the estimated 1.25mt of surface stock at PlatCro Minerals and the recovery of PGMs from the estimated 800 000t of sufrace stock at DCM. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Resgen making progress at Boikarabelo, extends CEO's contract - Anine Kilian

RESOURCE GENERATION has made demonstrable progress on material contracts and funding for the rail link at its Boikarabelo coal mine in the Waterberg region in the quarter to end-Sep. The first credit approval for full funding of the link has been obtained from the DEVELOPMENT BANK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA. The rail link will be built by TRANSNET FREIGHT RAIL subsidiary RME under a fixed-price, turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract. It is expected that a selection process to identify and appoint the EPC contractor will begin during H1 2018. During the quarter, the group drew down the final instalment of the working capital facility. In addition, the company agreed with NOBLE RESOURCES to extend the commencement of repayment of the amounts borrowed under the facility agreement from Sep. 2017 to Apr. 2018. RESGEN also extended CEO ROB LOWE's contract for a further 12 months. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fortescue lowers C1 costs further - Esmarie Swanepoel

FORTESCUE METALS has posted a slight drop in production during the quarter to end-Sep., while shipping volumes remained relatively unchanged. Ore mined during the quarter reached 45.7mt, down from the 53.5mt produced q/q, while total ore shipped was down from 44.7mt to 44mt. CEO NEV POWER noted that C1 costs were at a record low and industry leading $12.15/t. "C1 cost momentum has continued as evidenced by an equivalent C1 cost of $11.65/t for the quarter based on a constant exchange rate of $0.75." Total capex for the period reached $173m, including of sustaining capital, ship construction, exploration and development expenditure. Cash on hand at end-Sep. was recorded at $2.3bn, with gross debt coming in at $4.4bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria sells five- and 10-year bond at flat rate - DMO - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria has sold a five- and 10-year debt at a flat rate of 15% at an auction on Wednesday to curtail borrowing costs as inflation declines, traders said on Thursday. The Debt Management Office raised a total of 121.13bn naira, more than the 100bn naira it wanted to raise. The DMO sold 3bn naira of the 2021 paper and 97bn naira of the 2027 paper at 15%. It allotted 21.13bn naira of the 10-year debt on a non-competitive basis. Borrowing costs for the government have fallen from as high as 18% a few months ago as inflation has slowed. The state expects a budget deficit of around 2.36tn naira this year, with more than half the deficit to be funded via local borrowing, as it tries to stimulate the economy. Annual inflation eased for the eighth straight month in Sep., falling to 15.98%, with analysts expecting further declines in CPI this year. Yesterday, traders said the central bank planned to offer open market bills for 91- and 203-days to raise a total of 80bn naira. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ghana extends debut energy bond sale due to strong interest - Kwasi Kpodo

Bids for an inaugural 6bn cedi energy bond being issued by Ghana will close today, a day later than scheduled, due to high investor interest. The government is issuing the bonds in seven- and 10-year maturities as part of plans to raise 10bn cedis to settle debts owed by state power utilities to banks and bulk oil distributors. The paper, for which bids opened on Tuesday, differs from standard sovereign issues by being backed by ESLA, a government-sponsored vehicle set up to raise fresh funds to clear the debt. Initial pricing guidance for the 7-year tranche was 17.7% to 19.0%, while the 10-year was pegged at 17.8%-19.5%. Settlement of the bonds has also been shifted, to Wednesday from Monday, to allow investors enough time to process payments after pricing on Friday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Health & beauty boosts profits at Clicks - Nqobile Dludla

CLICKS reported a 14.5% rise in annual headline earnings yesterday, powered by health and beauty products and pricing aimed at thrifty consumers. Diluted HEPS rose to 502.1cps for the FY to end-Aug., while operating profit rose 15.4% to R1.8bn. CEO DAVID KNEALE said the core health and beauty markets in which the company trade "are defensive and have proven to be relatively resilient in challenging trading conditions". He expects the retail sector to face headwinds in the new FY as slow economic growth and political uncertainty dampen consumer confidence and spending. CLICKS declared a dividend of 322cps, up 18.4% y/y. It opened 111 stores during the year for a total of 622, while its pharmacy network increased by 73 to 473. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye-Stillwater's gold output up 4% q/q - Nqobile Dludla

SIBANYE-STILLWATER reported a 4% q/q rise in gold output and a 41% jump in group operating profit on the back of higher commodity prices. The company said gold output rose to 11 576kg in the quarter to end-Sep., while group operating profit was $216.8m. SIBANYE said the group operating results for the quarter reflect continued improvements during the year "underpinned by higher commodity prices and a more positive commodity price outlook. PGMs production in SA was unchanged, while in the US PGM output from the Stillwater Mine rose to 4 217kg from 2 915kg previously. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Vodacom Tanzania sells Helios Towers stake - Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala

VODACOM TANZANIA has sold its stake in a local unit of HELIOS TOWERS AFRICA for $58.5bn. It sold its 24.06% stake in HELIOS TOWERS TANZANIA to that company's parent company, HTA HOLDINGS, it said yesterday. VODACOM TANZANIA said the deal would result in an estimated profit before tax of more than 120bn shillings. "Cash generated from this transaction further enhances our balance sheet and strategic options", MD IAN FERRAO said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chad hires Rothschild to advise on Glencore debt - Julia Payne

Chad has hired ROTHSCHILD & CO to advise it on restructuring its external debt, namely a more than $1bn loan from GLENCORE, sources said. The IMF has said the debt held by Chad was unsustainable without restructuring the commercial, external portion. An agreement on a restructuring had been expected to be completed last month, but sources said the parties involved were aiming for the end of the year or early 2018. GLENCORE and ROTHSCHILD both declined to comment. The GLENCORE loan accounted for 98% of Chad's $1.4bn external commercial debt at the end of 2016, according to the IMF. The World Bank estimated Chad's total GDP last year at around $9.6bn. GLENCORE began lending to Chad in exchange for crude in 2013 with a $600m three-year prepayment followed by a $1.45bn oil prepayment in 2014 to finance the company's purchase of CHEVRON's oil assets in the country. Chad produced about 110 000 bpd crude in 2016 and exports its product via a pipeline through Cameroon. Even after restructuring those loans, the country has still struggled. Only 11% of its dwindling oil profits went into government coffers last year, down from about a third in 2015, the IMF reported in Aug. At the end of June, the Fund agreement a new credit arrangement with Chad for a little more than $300m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Angola's c.bank in IMF agreement to prevent money laundering - Stephen Eisenhammer

Angola's central bank yesterday said it has signed agreements with the IMF to be provided with technical assistance to strengthen its banking supervision, the prevention of money laundering and the illegal financing of militant groups. In a statement on its website, the central bank said the contracts would run for about two years and were aimed at restoring credibility in the Angolan banking sector and re-establishing relations with international financial institutions. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 27/10/2017

At 07h13 on 27 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.23 ZAR/EUR 16.59 ZAR/GBP 18.73 Gold 1266.58 Platinum 915.00 Brent Crude Oil 58.35 All Share 58576.29

ABB reports accelerated Q3 earnings - Ralph Atkins

Engineering group ABB today reported that both orders and earnings accelerated in Q3. Orders at the Swiss group were $8.2bn in the quarter to end-Sep., up 5% y/y. Pre-tax operating profits were up 3% at $1.1bn. Orders had risen by 8% in Europe, with positive contributions from the UK, France and Norway offsetting declines in Germany and Sweden. ABB relies heavily on infrastructure investment spending by companies and governments, and has been hit in recent years by sluggish global economic growth and upheaval in the energy sector. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hyundai Q3 net profit falls 16% - Song Jung-a

HYUNDAI MOTOR posted a 16% drop in Q3 net profit amid falling sales in two of its biggest markets - China and the US. The company posted a net profit of Won939bn in the quarter to end-Sep., compared with Won1.1tn y/y. Sales rose 9.6% to Won24tn in Q3 while operating profit rose 12.7% to Won1.2tn despite political headwinds in China and higher costs in the US. Shipments in China and the US fell by more than a quarter in the period under review amid slowing demand for sedans. But the better-than-expected quarterly results boosted HYUNDAI's shares up 5.72% to Won157 000 today, while the broader market was little changed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US hurricanes dent AB InBev Q3 beer volumes - Alice Woodhouse

AB INBEV reported higher profit in Q3 despite lower beer volumes as hurricanes hit the US market. The brewer reported EBITDA up 13.8% in Q3 to end-Sep. to $5.73bn, in line with analysts' forecasts of $5.76bn. Revenue grew 3.6% for the period. Total volumes dipped 1.2% in Q3 with beer volumes down 1.5%, AB INBEV said, as shipment volumes in the US softened in the wake of hurricanes in Texas and Florida. AB INBEV reported synergies and cost savings of $336m in the period following its merger with SABMILLER a year ago. It said it had upgraded its synergy guidance by $30m to $3.2bn by Oct. 2020. AB INBEV expects total revenue growth to accelerate in FY2017, on solid growth in its global brands. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Drop in Deutsche Bank's investment banking revenue sharpens in Q3 - Olaf Storbeck

The erosion of DEUTSCHE BANK's investment-banking revenue accelerated in Q3 as revenue at the corporate and investment banking division of Germany's biggest lender fell almost a quarter from the y/y period to €3.5bn. Performance in the Sep. quarter was 8% below what 17 analysts polled by the bank had expected on average. DEUTSCHE's 16% drop in equities revenues and its 24% fall in fixed income revenues y/y were both sharply worse than the performance of the big five US banks, which reported an average 2% rise in equities revenues for the quarter, and a 22% fall in fixed income revenues. In the core investment banking business, DEUTSCHE was down 34% y/y, versus an average 5.2% rise across the five big Wall Street banks. The German lender's profitability recovered, as pre-tax earnings were up by 51% to €933m, driven by cost-cutting. Non-interest expenses were 14% lower y/y, beating analysts' forecasts by 8%. At 4.5%, the return on tangible equity during the quarter was almost twice as high as a year earlier. But that remains well below the 10% target CEO JOHN CRYAN wants to achieve over the medium term. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Argentina's YPF to invest $30bn over 5 years to ramp up oil output - Benedict Mander

YPF, Argentina's largest oil company, will invest more than $30bn over the next five years in a move aimed at reversing an energy deficit that has hobbled the country's finances for the last decade. The pledge makes the state-controlled company the top investor in Argentina. YPF said it will continue its drive to develop the country's huge shale resources and emulate the boom in the US, which remains the top priority. It aims to increase non-conventional production by 150%, reaching half of total production within the next five years. Nevertheless, YPF also wants to refocus on conventional production, which critics say was neglected after President MAURICIO MACRI replaced the company's management team shortly after he took power in Dec. 2015. YPF is planning to increase overall oil and gas output by 5%/year, to reach 700 000 boe/day in 2022, while exploration efforts will continue, with reserves targeted to rise by 50%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

US crude inventories unexpectedly gain, gasoline falls sharply - Jessica Dye

US crude oil stockpiles posted a surprise build last week, while gasoline and distillate fuel inventories fell more than expected. Stockpiles of US crude rose by 900 000 barrels in the week ending Oct. 20, the Energy Information Administration said yesterday. Analysts had expected inventories to drop by around 2.6m barrels. Gasoline inventories, forecast to drop by 17 00 barrels, fell 5.5m barrels last week. Crude imports rose by 640 000 bpd to 8.1m bpd. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil slashes rates but eases magnitude of cuts - Andres Schipani

Policymakers at Brazil's central bank yesterday slashed the key interest rate by 75 bps to 7.5%, tapering the magnitude of cuts as low inflation allows the economy to regain momentum. According to IBGE, the official statistics agency, Brazil is undergoing a historic period of low inflation. In Sep., it was 2.54% compared to a year before, below the central bank's target of 4.5% plus or minus 1.5%. Such disinflation has allowed the monetary policy committee, COPOM, to lower the benchmark Selic rate from a high of 14.25%. Economists predict it could go as low as 7%, even as the Oct. cut represents a moderate pace reduction from the 1 percentage point cuts implemented in the last four meetings. But to keep rates low in the longer term, further fiscal reforms are needed. This includes changes to Brazil's over-generous pensions system. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

S Korea Q3 GDP growth fastest in 7 years - Hudson Lockett

South Korea's economy kicked into gear in Q3 as renewed investment in construction and the return to growth for exports helped the country's GDP expand at the fastest pace in seven years. GDP rose 1.4% q/q in the period, according to an advance estimate from the Bank of Korea, after growing 0.6% in the second quarter. The annual growth rate was 3.6%, up from a pace of 2.7% in the June quarter. The central bank said q/q growth in private consumption expenditure had risen to 0.8% as expenditures on services and durable goods rose. Construction investment expanded 1.5% and facilities investment was up 0.5%. Exports grew 6.1% q/q, with rises in exports of semiconductors, chemical products and motor vehicles. Imports rose 4.5% on greater shipments of chemical products and petroleum. Both imports and exports had contracted in Q2. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil's Temer survives 2nd prosecution vote - Andres Schipani

Brazil's President MICHEL TEMER yesterday survived a second vote in Congress in three months on whether he should be tried in the country's supreme court for corruption. The vote happened on the day TEMER was sent to hospital for treatment after suffering a urinary obstruction. Earlier this year, TEMER became the first sitting president of Brazil to face criminal charges after he was accused of discussing bribes with businessman JOESLEY BATISTA. He was last month indicted for the second time, with prosecutors alleging he led a political corruption racket and had sought to obstruct justice. Despite his abysmal popularity ratings, congressional insiders say backroom dealmaking secured for him the majority he needed in yesterday's vote. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fortescue shares fall on lower iron ore output, price outlook - Edward White

Shares in FORTESCUE METALS GROUP were down as much as 2.8% in Sydney today after the company reported a slight drop in the iron it exported in the quarter to end-Sep. and lowered its forward price guidance. The company said total ore shipped in the quarter was 44mt, a 2% drop q/q and flat on the same period a year earlier. At the end of the June quarter, FORTESCUE had given price guidance of 75%-80% of the Platts 62 CFR Index for the FY to end-Jun. 2018, though it expected prices at the low end or even slightly below that range in the short-term. FORTESCUE also revised its guidance for the year down to a range of 70%-75% of the index. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

UK GDP growth picks up in Q3 - Katie Martin

The British economy expanded by 0.4% in Q3 2017, new early estimates from the Office for National Statistics show. The result brings the y/y growth rate to 1.5%, in line with the previous quarter and ahead of forecasts. It will likely embolden the Bank of England to hike interest rates next month. The ONS noted that service sector growth remained 0.4% in the quarter, while manufacturing grew by 1%. The data pushed sterling higher, forming a 0.2% gain on the day to $1.3160, though that was still well within the previous day's range. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mongolia launches bond offering - Miles Johnson

The government of Mongolia has launched a $650m bond offering in the latest example of "frontier markets" lowering their borrowing costs by feeding insatiable demand from yield-hungry institutional investors. The 5.5-year bond, which is expected to price at around 6.1%, is being sold following a road show by the government earlier this month that stopped in London, New York and Boston. The sale is being managed by CREDIT SUISSE, DEUTSCHE BANK and JPMORGAN. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Visa profits, refenues up on payments volume growth - Adam Samson

VISA grew its revenues and profits at a more rapid pace than Wall Street forecast in its latest quarter, driven by growth in payments processing and the purchase of VISA EUROPE that it closed last June. The $250bn credit card processor said its Q4 net revenues rose 13.9% to $4.9bn. Net profits in the quarter to end-Sep. rose to $2.14bn, or 90cps, compared with $1.93bn or 79cps y/y. Analysts had forecast profits of 85cps on revenues of $4.63bn. Payment volumes rose 10% on a constant dollar basis, excluding transactions in Europe in which VISA cards are co-branded with a domestic network from the prior year's results. Cross-border volumes were up by the same margin. VISA processed 29.9bn transactions in total. Looking ahead, it forecast FY2018 revenue in the "high single digits", compared with analysts' forecasts of around 9.9%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Coca-Cola sales fall less than feared - Anna Nicolaou

COCA-COLA shares were flat in premarket trade as the company reported sales fell less than feared in the latest quarter. The company said sales fell 15% to $9.1bn in the quarter to end-Sep. Analysts were expecting $8.72bn. COCA-COLA said it was hit by an 18-point headwind from its ongoing restructuring as it sells of chunks of its bottling business. Net income attributable to the company's shareholders rose to $1.45bn from $1.05bn y/y. Adjusted earnings rose 2% to 50cps, just above forecasts for 49cps. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Boeing raises guidance again as cost cutting boosts profits - Peggy Hollinger

BOEING has raised its earnings and cash flow guidance for the second time in six months after beating market forecasts in Q3. The company is lifting its forecast for FY cashflow from $12.25bn to $12.5bn due to "improved performance" on the back of cost reductions in its aircraft programmes and higher production rates. Lower-than-expected tax rates have also boosted EPS and the company is now forecasting a range for the FY of $11.20-$11.40, up from $11.10-$11.30. Excluding one-off gains, core EPS guidance is increased from a range of $9.80-$10.00 to between $9.90 and $10.10. This despite a 23% fall in core EPS for the quarter from $3.51 to $2.72, due to a one-time tax adjustment that boosted earnings by 98cps in 2016. Excluding that adjustment, core EPS rose from $2.53. Revenues also beat forecasts at $24.3bn against a market consensus of around $23.9bn. BOEING said it had achieved a record 202 commercial aircraft deliveries in the quarter. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Antofagasta cuts cost forecasts - Nicholas Megaw

Higher metal prices helped ANTOFAGASTA cut its estimates of FY output costs yesterday, suggesting the miner's bottom line will benefit from a steady rise in copper output. The miner increased copper output by 3% y/y in Q3 to 180 200t. Copper output was up 4.5% for the year to date. Higher realised prices, coupled with increased volumes of by-products brought ANTOFAGASTA's net cash costs down 1.7% over the quarter to $1.18/lb. Net costs for the first nine months of 2017 were 0.8% better y/y and the company said FY costs "are now expected to be lower than the $1.30/lb guided at the beginning of the year". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Retiring AMSA CEO increases retrenchment fears - Fin24

Solidarity yesterday expressed concern after ARCELORMITTAL SA announced the retirement of CEO WIM DE KLERK. The union's concern about the announcement stems from the 189A retrenchment notice issued by the company on Aug. 16. Solidarity deputy general secretary MARIUS CROUCAMP said in the context of the pressure currently exprienced in the steel industry, the announcement increases the stress of members who might be affected by the retrenchments. "It will intensify the major uncertainty that the employees are already experiencing", CROUCAMP said. AMSA said DE KLERK will continue to work on implementing various initiatives within the company and assist in ensuring a smooth transition until he retires at the end of Jan. 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sibanye-Stillwater expects to post loss - Martin Creamer

SIBANYE-STILLWATER yesterday said it expected to post an attributable loss of at least R4.6bn for the FY to end-Dec., compared with earnings of R3.7bn y/y. It ascribed the decrease in earnings to factors including impairments and a provision for occupational healthcare claims in the HY to end-Jun. Also playing a role were transaction and restructuring costs, the incorporation of newly acquired operations and a gain on acquisition which was recognised during the y/y period, as well as significant differences in commodity prices and the average R/$ exchange rate y/y. It said EPS and HEPS for the period were further affected by the issuing of more than 1m new ordinary SIBANYE-STILLWATER shares for the $1bn equity rights offer in June, as well as the issuing of 42 522 524 new ordinary shares as part of the capitalisation issue in Oct. As a result, the group had a reasonable degree of certainty that it would report an LPS of at least 235cps for the FY to end-Dec. and an HLPS of at least 110cps. Results will be published on Feb. 22. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

First student accommodation-focused REIT to list on JSE - Anine Kilian

INKUNZI STUDENT ACCOMMODATION FUND, a REIT which will list on the JSE next month, will acquire nine purpose-built student accommodation assets valued at R1.7bn. The acquisition will be settled via a combination of debt financing, at 25% of the value, and from the proceeds raised through the company's intended listing by way of private placement towards the end of the year. The acquisitions are expected to complement ISAF's existing portfolio of properties, which comprise established, purpose built, high-quality student accommodation with established relationships with their respective resident universities. INKUNZI founding member KAMEEL KESHAV said the company's focus was not only on the quality and distribution yield offered by these assets, but also on securing a robust pipeline of purpose-built buildings in key nodes going forward. ISAF CEO OWEN NKOMO said the company was planning to acquire more assets, pointing out that it wanted to be the leading brand for purpose-built student accommodation across SA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

No detail on NHI funding - News24Wire

Yesterday's mini budget did not give any indication on how government intends to fund the National Health Insurance scheme, despite it being identified as one of the priority spending areas over the next three years. Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA did not mention it once in his speech, and the official Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement only referred to a so-called 'interim fund structure" that will be established to "support interventions". The White Paper on the NHI was adopted in Jun. 2017 and Treasury said the full implementation of the scheme will increase public health spending from 3.9% in 2017/18 to 6.2% of GDP in 2025/26. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Equity partner to be sought for state airlines as SAA gets another bailout - Terence Creamer

Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA yesterday confirmed a further R10bn bailout for SAA and indicated that SA EXPRESS was also facing liquidity pressure, which is likely to require some form of intervention from government in future. GIGABA said the government will pronounce on a plan to consolidate the State's aviation assets and bring in a strategic equity partner after he meets with the new board of SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS, which was unveiled on Oct. 19. Additional appropriations of R13.7bn were announced to forestall calls against guaranteed debt by the creditors of SAA and the SA POST OFFICE, which would receive a R3.7bn bailout. "These have been partially offset by use of the contingency reserve", GIGABA said. He also announced that government was disposing of a portion of its TELKOM shares to avoid a breach of the expenditure ceiling, with an option to buy them back at a later stage. Without the TELKOM and possible other asset disposals, there was a risk that the expenditure ceiling would be breached to the tune of R3.9bn this fiscal year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

JSE launches green bond segment - Creamer Media Reporter

The JSE yesterday launched its green bond segment, which provides a platform for companies and other institutions to raise funds that are ring-fenced for low-carbon initiatives. It also enables investors too invest social responsibility investment funds in securities that are truly green. JSE Capital Markets director DONNA NEMER said the introduction of the new green bond segment provides companies with an effective tool to raise capital for investments into sustainable projects. The global market for green bonds is currently valued at around $895bn and y/y issuance has doubled in size annually over the past two years. The JSE requires green bond issuers to disclose the proceeds generated via issuing the bond, as well as how these funds are applied throughout the lifetime of the bond. This ensures that the capital raised is applied to the green projects it is earmarked for to give investors assurance that the funds are applied in line with the issuers intentions of raising a green bond. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Calgro M3 secures funding - Creamer Media Reporter

CALGRO M3 has secured its first international funding - a R387m facility - that will be used to help fund the delivery of the group's low-income housing units in its secured pipeline in priority urban development areas. CALGRO M3's current pipeline stands at R27.7bn, which incorporates both its integrated residential property developments and the Memorial Parks businesses. The facility, provided by PROPARCO, has been secured for a period of six years with an anticipated fixed simple interest rate of 12.41%, payable in six-monthly intervals. The first drawdown of R278m will be in Dec., with a second and final drawdown of R109m expected to occur in May 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India slaps anti-dumping duty on some stainless steel imports - Reuters

India imposed anti-dumping duty on some cold-rolled flat products of stainless steel from China, the US, South Korea and the EU, to curb the influx of cheaper imports and help local producers. The duty, which will be in effect until Dec. 10, 2020, exempts certain grades of stainless steel. The government has allowed import of the product as long as the end use of the import is in the same form, it said. Earlier this month, the government imposed an anti-dumping duty on the import of some flat steel products from China and the EU for five years. Last month, the government imposed an additional 18.95% countervailing duty on some hot-rolled and cold-rolled stainless steel flat products. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Freeport trades lower on earnings miss - Henry Lazenby

The NYSE-listed equity of FREEPORT-MCMORAN traded as much as 3.87% lower yesterday, despite confidently beating earnings forecasts as lower-than-expected output weighed on investor sentiment. For the quarter to end-Sep., headline earnings came in at $492m, or $0.34/share, beating an average of 18 Wall Street analyst forecasts calling for profit of $0.31/share and reflecting a 162% y/y improvement on the $0.13/share recorded y/y. Net income attributable to common stock totalled $280m, or $0.19/share, compared with $217m or $0.16/share y/y. FREEPORT reported revenues of $4.31bn - also above analyst estimates of $4.08bn. Q3 copper sales of 932m lb were slightly below the July 2017 estimate of 940m lb and 16% lower than Q3 2016 sales of 1.1bn lb, impacted by lower ore grades in North America and Indonesia and the timing of shipments. Gold sales of 355 000oz were also below the July estimate of 375 000oz, mainly due to the timing of shipments. Q3 gold sales were higher than in the same period of 2016, when 317 000oz were sold, mainly reflecting higher ore grades at the giant Grasberg mine, in Indonesia. Operating cash flows totalled $1.2bn, including $45m in working capital sources and changes in tax payments. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Barrick Gold's Tanzania deal may set expensive precedent - shareholders - Reuters

Some mining investors are criticising BARRICK GOLD for agreeing to Tanzanian demands in its proposed settlement of a dispute between ACACIA MINING and the Tanzanian government, saying this could embolden other host nations to press for bigger concessions from miners. Several shareholders this week said that by agreeing to hand Tanzania 50% of the "economic benefits" from ACACIA's three gold mines in the country, BARRICK may have set the baseline for what nations may demand from global mining entities, possibly slowing mine development. BARRICK last week reached a deal with Tanzania under which ACACIA would hand the state a 16% stake in each of its three in-country mines, part of the economic benefits, including taxes and royalties, that would go to the government. ACACIA would also pay the government $300m. "The 50% is not a good precedent by any means for a very risky business", said CHRIS MANCINI, an analyst at GABELLI GOLD FUND, which owns shares in BARRICK. "They are disincentivising development. BARRICK's really imperiling the rest of their operations. They are imperiling the industry". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin community wants ops suspended on social failings - Bloomberg

LONMIN should have its operations suspended in SA after years of failing to comply with its social and labour commitments, according to the Bapo Ba Mogale community. Bapo Ba Mogale and the Mining Forum of SA, a civil society group, wrote to President JACOB ZUMA and the Department of Mineral Resources to request the suspension, they said yesterday. LONMIN CEO BEN MAGARA met with the DMR last week and was given an ultimatum by DG THABO MOKOENA to return to compliance, the groups said. The company was found to have breached elements of the social and labour plan earlier this year, one source said. MAGARA has agreed to spend R200m/year on procurement contracts with the Bapo as part of a 2014 BEE deal that saw the community swap royalty payments for equity in the company. However, the community wants more ownership of mining assets, procurement opportunities, training and jobs, it said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PanAf warns 'rogue elements' threatening development of Elikhulu - Ilan Solomons

PAN AFRICAN RESOURCES has strongly condemned the protest action by some community members at the company's Elikhulu tailings retreatment plant project, within the Evander gold mine complex, in Mpumalanga, warning that the unrest threatens to disrupt construction activities at the project. CEO COBUS LOOTS said there were many committed and hardworking individuals and institutions within government and the community who were working to ensure the Elikhulu project benefitted all stakeholders. "The actions of this grouping, which undermines the ethical and transparent process followed thus far, demonstrates self-interest at the expense of the community at large and other stakeholders in the project", LOOTS said. He condemned the behaviour and appealed to all stakeholders to assist in ensuring that the rule of law is responsibly enforced and to ensure an environment that is conducive to large investments of this nature in the mining industry, is maintained. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Namdeb to close four mines by 2022 - Reuters

NAMDEB, the 50/50 JV between the Namibian government and DE BEERS, plans to close four mines by 2022 in the country, a Namibian newspaper quoted a union official on Tuesday as saying. The Namibian Sun quoted Mineworkers Union of Namibia Oranjemund branch chair MBIDHI SHAVUKA as saying the union would talk to NAMDEB to keep workers employed for as long as possible. The mines affected are Elizabeth Bay Mine, which will be shut at the end of next year, Daberas at the end of 2019, Sendelingsdrift in 2020 and Southern Coastal in 2022. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Aggreko commissions 7.4MW diesel facility to power Yanfolila processing plant - Creamer Media Reporter

Temporary power generation equipment supplier AGGREKO has commissioned a 7.4MW diesel power facility at HUMMINGBIRD RESOURCES' Yanfolila mine, in Mali. The facility will provide power to the mine's processing plant. "Getting reliable, efficient and cost-effective power supply is critical when it comes to mining operations. AGGREKO's technologies provide a scalable and efficient power that can accommodate any change of needs and resources available", AGGREKO AFRICA MD JAMES SHEPHERD said. HUMMINGBIRD expects to achieve first gold pour at Yanfolila by Dec., and the mine is expected to produce 132 000oz of gold in its first full year of operation. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazil congressional committee passes higher mining royalties - Reuters

A Brazilian congressional committee yesterday approved a proposal by President MICHEL TEMER to raise mining royalties, amending it to favour smaller mines and support infrastructure development, before passing it on for full approval. TEMER proposed sweeping mining reform in Jul. in three decrees aimed at attracting foreign investment to help the country exit its worst recession on record. The measures, considered by separate committees, must be approved by both houses of Congress by Nov. 28 to become permanent. The committee on royalties amended TEMER's proposal so that miners by default will pay 4% rate on iron ore, with a measure that allows exceptions lowering the rate to 2% and mainly favours small miners over majors like VALE. Originally the decree proposed a rate varying from 2%-4% based on t he market price of iron ore. The committee also amended the proposal to give 10% of the proceeds to municipalities affected by the mining, such as by transport of shipping, rather than only those where mining occurs. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cimic gets contract with BHP - Esmarie Swanepoel

Project house CIMIC has been awarded two contracts with BHP and its JV partner MITSUBISHI at the Caval Ridge and Peak Downs coal mines, in Queensland. The contracts, with a combined revenue of A$440m, will see CIMIC, through subsidiary THIESS, deliver mining services for specific components of work at the two mines including the services required for Caval Ridge Southern Circuit. Work at Caval Ridge will start in 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Steinhoff buys back 78m shares - Sandile Mchunu

STEINHOFF INTERNATIONAL has repurchased more than 78m of its shares, representing 1.8% of its issued share capital for R4.7bn. The company also told investors that shares acquired or held by subsidiaries would be treated as treasury shares and accordingly reduced the number of voting interests to 4 231 343 966 shares. "Shareholders of STEINHOFF are hereby advised that the company informed the authority for financial markets in the Netherlands that the management board of the company has undertaken share buy-backs under the authority granted by shareholders", the company said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Stor-Age in R900m equity raising launch - Sandile Mchunu

STOR-AGE PROPERTY has announced the launch of an equity raising of R900m via the issue of new ordinary shares subject to pricing acceptable to the company. It said the equity raise would be completed, in part, by way of vendor consideration placings as defined under the JSE listings requirements and the balance of the equity raise authorised in terms of STOR-AGE's existing general authority to issue shares for cash. Both public and non-public investors may participate in the vendor consideration placing and only public investors may participate in the general issue for cash. The equity raise will be offered to qualifying investors and will be implemented via an accelerated book build process, which opens immediately., STOR-AGE said. The money raised will be used to fund the acquisitions of BETTERSTORE SELF STORAGE HOLDINGS and DANCOR PROPERTIES. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Unilever Nigeria's rights issue share sale oversubscribed - Chijioke Ohuocha

UNILEVER NIGERIA's 58.85bn naira rights issue was 120% subscribed, the company said yesterday. The local subsidiary of UNILEVER said it sold 14 new shares for every 27 held at 30 naira apiece. The company, which is 60.05% owned by UNILEVER, said four shareholders applied for 50m shares or more during the offer. UNILEVER had said it would take up its rights under the offer to maintain its shareholding and not convert a loan made to the subsidiary into equity. UNILEVER NIGERIA wants the proceeds of the sale to pay off around $120m in loans and to give it some flexibility in the event of a further weakness in the naira's exchange rate. UNILEVER NIGERIA's shares were trading unchanged at 44.11 naira yesterday, up about 26 in the year-to-date. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's Fidelity Bank takes charge on 9mobile loan - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's FIDELITY BANK has taken a 5% impairment charge on a 17.3bn naira loan to ETISALAT NIGERIA, now called 9MOBILE, FIDELITY CEO NNAMDI OKONKWO said yesterday, in line with a central bank request. ETISALAT NIGERIA took out a $1.2bn syndicated loan from the group of 13 local banks four years ago, but has defaulted on repayments this year due to a currency crisis and recession in Nigeria. A banking source said the central bank had asked lenders involved in the loan to take a 5% provision as part of their Q3 results. OKONKWO said FIDELITY BANK was also raising provisions across its loan book. "We are revising (the non-performing loan ratio) from sub-5% to sub-6% by end of the year, due to currency conversion and some risk on the oil and gas book", OKONKWO said. FIDELITY BANK on Monday posted a pretax profit of 16.24bn naira for the nine months through Sep., up from 9.83bn a year ago. The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday voted in favour of launching an investigation into the default of ETISALAT NIGERIA and into how its funds were used. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA to dispose of portion of Telkom shares - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA will dispose of a portion of its stake in TELKOM with an option to buy it back later, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said in his budget speech yesterday. Treasury is seeking to avoid breaching the expenditure ceiling due to bailouts of ailing state firms, the minister said. The government holds around a 39% stake in TELKOM. "The expenditure ceiling is threatened in the current year, as a result of government's recapitalisation of SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS and the SOUTH AFRICAN POST OFFICE", GIGABA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA's budget deficit expected to reach 8-yr high - Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

SA raised its estimate for this year's budget deficit yesterday, saying the country faces tepid growth, revenue shortfalls and costly bailouts of struggling SOEs. In his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, Finance Minister MALUSI GIGABA said the deficit was likely to reach 4.3% of GDP in 2017/18, which runs to end-Mar. next year. Treasury had previously estimated a deficit of 3.1%. "The period ahead is nog going to be an easy one. Following several years of expenditure restraint, further budget cuts will involve hard choices and difficult compromises", GIGABA said. Treasury also lowered its forecast for this year's economic growth to 0.7% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. Weak growth has stymied the government's ability to generate revenue and lower its gross debt, which is expected to rise by nearly R1tn in the next three years to 59.7% of GDP. Credit downgrades have put off investors, and the Treasury warned that capital outflows could destabilise the economy. Investors are also watching plans by the government to build costly nuclear power plants, which GIGABA said would be considered once the economy recovers. "Nuclear is not off the agenda. The point I have emphasised is that the country and the budget cannot afford it", GIGABA said yesterday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 26/10/2017

At 06h09 on 26 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 14.04 ZAR/EUR 16.58 ZAR/GBP 18.61 Gold 1277.18 Platinum 921.00 Brent Crude Oil 58.53 All Share 58123.13

ICE buys Euroclear stake from RBS for €275m - Philip Stafford

INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE has strengthened its hand in the plumbing of European markets, snapping up a 4.7% stake in settlement house EUROCLEAR for €275m. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND offload its entire stake, and the deal values the Belgian-based group at more than €5.7bn. ICE also said it anticipates having a member on the board. The move comes as ICE awaits the outcome of the UK's Brexit negotiations. ICE has spent more than £4bn to make London the centre of its European operations. ICE also has a clearing house based in the Netherlands. EUROCLEAR has more than €27.7tn assets under custody and its main rival is DEUTSCHE BORSE's CLEARSTREAM. Analysts have tipped EUROCLEAR as a potential target for the LSE GROUP, while UBS in Aug. described it as a "hidden jewel". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AT&T sales drop more than expected - Shannon Bond

AT&T reported Q3 sales that missed forecasts yesterday as a series of natural disasters in the US and Mexico hurt its results. Revenue for the quarter to end-Sep. fell by 2.9% to $39.7bn amid continued decline in its traditional landline business, while hurricanes in the US and earthquakes in Mexico damaged network infrastructure and disrupted services. Analysts had expected revenue of $40.1bn. Net income was 9% lower at $3bn, or 49cps, during the quarter y/y. Stripping out one-off items, adjusted EPS was 74cps, in line with consensus estimates and the same as in the y/y period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cargill ramps up animal nutrition business with Diamond V deal - Emiko Terazono

CARGILL has acquired US feed additives group DIAMOND V as it builds its animal nutrition business. DIAMOND V manufactures natural yeast culture products that help animal health. The acquisition follows the company's investment in DELACON, an Austrian company which makes plant-based animal feed supplements. The terms of the deal were not announced, but CARGILL said this was its fifth largest acquisition. The company has been investing in animal and aquaculture feed. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BAT to rapidly expand next-gen products while UK launches e-cigarette inquiry - Cat Rutter Pooley

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO has set out plans to rapidly grow sales of next-generation products such as e-cigarettes on the same day British lawmakers launched an inquiry into the regulation and sale of the products. The company is targeting revenues of £500m from the next generation business this year, rising to more than £1bn in 2018 and £5bn by 2022. The company said it expected next-generation products to break even by the end of 2018 and "to deliver substantial profit" by 2022. The announcement comes on the same day that UK lawmakers launch an inquiry into e-cigarettes, citing concerns there are "significant gaps in the research guiding their regulation and sale". Calling for evidence to be submitted to the parliamentary science and technology committee, MP NORMAN LAMB said e-cigarettes were "seen by some as valuable tools that will reduce the number of people smoking 'conventional' cigarettes, and seen by others are 're-normalising' smoking for the younger generation. We want to understand where the gaps are in the evidence base, the impact of the regulations, and the implications of this growing industry on NHS costs and the UK's public finances". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ICE to buy bond trading venue from Virtu - Joe Rennison

INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE has agreed to buy fixed-income trading platform BONDPOINT from VIRTU FINANCIAL for $400m in cash. VIRTU acquired BONDPOINT as part of its takeover of KCG HOLDINGS earlier this year, but quickly moved to offload the platform as it seeks to streamline the business. The deal comes as trading in fixed-income markets is increasingly done electronically, with established exchange providers vying for upstart venues to capitalise on the changing landscape. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2018. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chinese Communist party reveals new leadership line-up - Tom Hancock

The ruling Chinese Communist party has failed to designate a potential successor to its setting general secretary for the first time in 25 years, raising the possibility that XI JINPING will attempt to remain in power well into the next decade. Ever since 1992, the party's Politburo Standing Committee has included at least one official in his mid-50s who has gone on to become both head of state and the party. The line-up for the party's new Politburo Standing Committee, revealed this morning, included seven men aged between 60 and 67. They include XI, Premier LI KEQIANG, LI ZHANZHU, WANG YANG, WANG HUNING, ZHAO LEIJI and HAN ZHENG. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India bank shares soar on govt recapitalisation plan - Hudson Lockett

India's equities benchmarks were higher today as shares in state banks surged following the government's announcement of a $32bn recapitalisation plan. STATE BANK OF INDIA rose as much as 21.8%, PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK rose as much as 36.2% and BANK OF BARODA jumped as much as 29.1%. The benchmark Sensex index was up as much as 1.6%, while the Nifty 50 index rose as much as 1.3%. The finance ministry yesterday promised to take a "massive step... to support credit growth and job creation" by shoring up bank balance sheets strained by soaring corporate defaults over the past three years. Of the Rs2.11tn to be raised over the next two years, Rs1.35tn would come through recapitalisation bonds, the ministry said, promising further details in due course. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eli Lilly mulls spin-off/sale of animal health unit - David Crow

ELI LILLY was looking at selling or spinning off its animal health division as the drugmaker reported sales and earnings that beat forecasts. The move to offload the animal health business comes just over three years after the company paid $5.4bn for NOVARTIS' animal health unit. It also comes as other drugmakers look to slim down to focus on their core prescription pharmaceuticals businesses. "We are announcing a strategic review of our ELANCO ANIMAL HEALTH business. ELANCO has developed into a premier animal health company, and has been an important growth driver and source of revenue diversification for LILLY. Through acquisitions and organic growth, we've grown ELANCO to a size and scale that now allows us to consider a variety of options to maximise future value", LILLY CEO DAVID RICKS said. The animal health unit posted $740.6m of sales in Q3, up 5% y/y. However, sales in the first nine months of the year were flat at $2.29bn. LILLY said it would make an announcement on the fate of the business by the middle of 2018 and added that it could ultimately opt to keep the unit. Meanwhile, LILLY posted sales and earnings that beat market estimates with adjusted EPS of $1.05 on revenues of $5.66bn. The company raised its FY guidance - it expects adjusted earnings in the range of $4.15-$4.25 versus the prior range of $4.10-$4.20. LILLY also now expects 2017 revenue of $22.4bn-$22.7bn versus a previous estimate of $22.0bn-$22.5bn. However, it said full non-adjusted EPS would be considerably lower y/y, coming in at $1.73-$1.83 versus a prior range of $2.51-$2.61. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Caterpillar shares jump on rosier outlook, upbeat quarterly results - Mamta Badkar

CATERPILLAR shares rallied in pre-market trading yesterday after it lifted its FY outlook and posted upbeat quarterly results citing strength in North American on-shore oil and gas markets. Shares in the group rose 7.5% to $141.50 after it said it now expects to post FY EPS of $4.60, up from its previous estimate of $3.50. It also revised its adjusted EPS outlook higher to $6.25. CATERPILLAR also projects FY sales and revenues of around $44bn - the high-end of the $42bn-$44bn range it announced in July. CATERPILLAR said net income rose to 41.06bn or $1.77/share in the quarter to end-Sep., compared with $283m or 48cps y/y. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast earnings of $1.11/share. Revenues rose by more than $2bn or 24% from the y/y period to $11.4bn, against analyst forecasts for $10.65bn. Sales of construction equipment rose nearly 37% to $4.85bn, following a particularly weak pricing environment in the y/y period. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

3M ups guidance - Pan Kwan Yuk

3M has become the latest US industrial heavyweight to raise its FY outlook as a rebound in demand for smartphones and tablets helped boost sales at its electronics and energy division during Q3. The company now expects organic sales to grow 4%-5% this year, up from its previous guidance of 3%-5%. It also bumped up its FY outlook to between $9.00 and $9.10/share, compared to its earlier forecast of $8.80-$9.05/share. Shares rose nearly 4% yesterday to $222.78. The improved guidance comes as 3M topped expectations for Q3. For the quarter to end-Sep., the company's sales rose 6% to $8.172bn, exceeding consensus estimates for $7.82bn. Within this, organic sales was 6.6%, led by a 13.2% rise in the electronics and energy division. The unit reported sales of $1.4bn during the period. Overall net income was up 7.5% to $1.42bn, or $2.33/diluted share, also handily beating the $2.203/share the market was expecting. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PnP cuts prices of another 500 essential items - BDpro

PICK N PAY yesterday said it was cutting the prices on another 500 essential items to help ease pressure on consumers in the lead-up to the festive season. The retailer said it would be introducing more than 2 000 promotions and offering savings on up to 20% of its branded products. This follows an earlier move in Mar., when the company cut prices of more than 1 300 basic items and put more than 1 000 items on special. "Our customers have told us they have noticed our promotions and our prices getting better. When we asked them where we can do even better on prices, they told us they need that extra bit of help on fresh goods, and in particular, on meat, bakery goods, and fruit and veg", PNP group marketing head JOHN BRADSHAW said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BAT SA expands R50m emerging farmer initiative - Fin24

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO SA is expanding its Emerging Farmers Initiative into more provinces in the country. The addition of 155 emerging farmers to the programme is the biggest expansion since the EFI's inception in 2011. The initiative supports emerging farmers to grow tobacco and other crops, with a particular emphasis on skill development among the farmers. BAT SA has thus far invested more than R50m in the programme, with more to come with the programme's expansion. An integral part of the initiative is the aim of establishing one hectare of food crops for every one hectare of tobacco that is planted. The positive effect of the programme on the lives of participating farmers and their families includes food security and an increased asset base; direct and indirect educational benefits; direct and indirect financial benefits; enhanced psychological, social and emotional well-being; and personal development. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

FlySafair partners with consumer credit provider - Fin24

FLYSAFAIR has partnered with consumer credit solutions provider RCS GROUP to enable more South Africans take to the skies. The deal allows customers up to 55 days of credit interest-free and enables them to choose their own payment terms over 24 or 36 months. "We believe this is a solution that will enable markets which traditionally have been unable to afford air travel to begin flying, and we are extremely proud to be the SA carrier that pioneers this", FLYSAFAIR head of sales KIRBY GORDON said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Citrus Black Spot proactive market closure - Fin24

The local citrus industry has decided to proactively suspend the export of citrus fruit to the EU with immediate effect. Soft citrus and exports from the Western and Northern Cape are excluded from the suspension. The decision was taken at a special meeting of the Citrus Growers Association Citrus Black Spot Disaster Management Committee. The industry has requested the Department of Agriculture to give effect to the decision by suspending inspection and the issuing of Phyto Certificates for all EU citrus exports, except on soft citrus and all citrus exports from the CBS free areas. The CGA said the decision was taken "as a measure to ensure continued access in future to the EU market, which is of significant importance to all industry stakeholders, not to mention the 100 000 people we employ". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NCR red flag on VW Financial Services SA consumer credit fees - Carin Smith

The National Credit Regulator has issued a Compliance Notice to VOLKSWAGEN FINANCIAL SERVICES SA for charging consumers an on the road fee, admin fee and handling fee on credit agreements. These fees are not permitted to be charged on credit agreements by the National Credit Act, the NCR said yesterday. The Compliance Notice instructs VW FSA to refund consumers and submit an audit report to the regulator. VW FSA has indicated it does not agree with the allegations of the compliance notice and will comment in due course. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Premier Fishing reports profit growth - Lameez Omarjee

Since listing in Mar. 2017, PREMIER FOOD AND FISHING has reported a 31% rise in bottom line for the FY to end-Aug. The company yesterday said profit after tax rose by R52m to R68m. Reported operating profit of R65m. Revenue grew by 2% from R401m to R410m. "The stronger rand had an impact on revenue but with cost controls and operational efficiencies offset some of the negative impact", PREMIER said. A dividend of 15cps was declared. Diluted EPS were down 7% to 33.77cps and diluted HEPS were down 6% to 34.59cps. The company reported a cash balance of R524m. PREMIER said the results were mainly due to "excellent performance" across most operating divisions, by increasing volumes, better pricing, good catch rates and efficient cost and vessel management. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AMSA CEO to retire - Lameez Omarjee

ARCELORMITTAL SA CEO WIM DE KLERK will retire at the end of Jan. 2018, the company announced yesterday. AMSA said it will start a process to find his successor. The board has agreed to DE KLERK's decision to retire. He will continue to work on implementing various initiatives within the company and assist in ensuring a smooth transition until he retires, AMSA said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

MTN data, digital services rise amid revenue drop - Kyle Venktess

MTN GROUP yesterday announced a drop of 13.4% and 14.0% respectively in total revenue and group service revenue in the quarter to end-Sep. Despite this, total revenue rose by 6.9% on a constant currency basis, with group service revenue up 7.4%. The network also reported a 0.7% q/q subscriber decline to 230.2m, largely driven by lower subscribers in Nigeria and due to the disconnection of around 750 000 subscribers in Uganda as a result of regulatory SIM registration requirements. MTN saw a 31.4% increase in data revenue and a digital revenue rise of 19.6%, while MTN SA's organic service revenue rose by 5.2%. The company's year-to-date capex was reported at R18bn, up 1.1%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Cell C not heading for all-out capex war - Levy - Natasha Odendaal

BLUE LABEL TELECOMS has no immediate plans to make CELL C a top contender in an all-out capex war with rivals MTN and VODACOM, but will rather narrow the focus of its latest acquisition to the strategic deployment of the "best" urban long-term evolution network and delivering the best experience to the customers it already has. BLUE LABEL joint CEO BRETT LEVY yesterday said CELL C's capex spend of around R2.5bn to R3bn a year would be maintained. However, its deployment would be more strategic and focused on building an "exceptional" number-three operator rather than placing strain on its bottom line in a bid to match the R8bn-R11bn a year spent by its larger rivals. "Capex is about focus. You cannot be everything to everyone", LEVY said, adding that CELL C would focus on urban and LTE. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Zuma asks court to reject call for probe into influence-peddling - Reuters

President JACOB ZUMA has asked the High Court to reject a call by the Public Protector for an official inquiry into alleged influence-peddling in his government. The Public Protector a year ago recommended a judicial probe be held to look into allegations of systemic corruption by ZUMA, some of his ministers and heads of SOEs. The report focused on allegations that the GUPTA family had influenced the appointment of ministers. ZUMA, who previously described the "State of Capture" report as "unfair" in parliament, wants the court to send it back to the watchdog for further investigations. ZUMA's legal counsel, ISMAEL SEMENYA, questioned whether former Public Protector THULI MADONSELA is "competent to then direct the president to hold a commission on inquiry? With respect to this submission, she's not". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Attacq appoints interim CEO - Creamer Media Reporter

ATTACQ has appointed MELT HAMMAN, its current CFO, to also serve as interim CEO when MORNE WILKEN steps down on Dec. 31. HAMMAN will hold the position of interim CEO until a new CEO is appointed. He joined the company prior to its listing in 2013 and the board has expressed its confidence in his ability to focus on executing the company's strategy, including the conversion to a REIT. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NWK appoints new CFO - Creamer Media Reporter

Agricultural products and services provider NWK has appointed PIETER KLEINGELD as its new CFO with effect from Nov. 1. KLEINGELD joined NWK as group manager for asset management and risk services in 2015. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mixed fortunes for Anglo - Ilan Solomons

ANGLO AMERICAN recorded increases in output at its copper units, while coal and nickel production fell in Q3 to end-Sep. The company yesterday posted a 6% y/y rise in production on a copper-equivalent basis in Q3. For the nine months to end-Sep., copper equivalent output had increased by 8%, while copper production rose by 5% to 147 300t. Production from the Los Bronches mine rose by 8% to 78 100t. ANGLO said higher ore grades at the mine had been partially offset by the impact of a ball mill stator failure at the processing plant, which reduced throughput. Repairs are scheduled to be completed in Q4. ANGLO's FY production guidance for copper has been tightened to 570 000t-580 000t of copper, down from previous guidance of between 570 000t and 600 000t of copper. ANGLO's total coal production for the quarter was 11.8mt, which was a 5.5% reduction from the 12.5mt produced y/y. Meanwhile, nickel production was broadly flat at 11 200t, compared with 11 300t y/y, while there was stability in the company's smelting operations. FY production guidance remained unchanged at 43 000t-45 000t of nickel. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Amplats reports flat Q3 output numbers, revises guidance downward - Ilan Solomons

ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM yesterday reported that total platinum output for the quarter to end-Sep. was flat at 621 400oz. The company said there were strong performances from the Mogalakwena, Unki and Union mines in Q3, which were partially offset by reduced output from the Bokoni JV, which is now being placed on care and maintenance, as well as lower production from the Mototolo mine. AMPLATS said its own mine production fell by 23% as a result of the sale of Rustenburg mine in Nov. 2016, from which it now buys concentrate. Excluding Rustenburg, own mine output from managed mines rose by 4% to 297 400oz. Refined platinum production fell marginally by 2% to 684 100oz for the quarter, as the comparative period refined additional inventory that had built-up following a Section 54 safety stoppage at the company's Precious Metals Refinery in Q1 2016. Refined platinum output was up 29% q/q, as additional inventory was refined following the build-up, as a result of the planned Waterval Number 2 furnace rebuild in Q1 2017, and a high-pressure water leak at the company's ANGLO PLATINUM Converting Process project in Q2 2017. AMPLATS' production guidance for the FY has been revised down to 2.3moz-2.35moz of platinum from a previous guidance of 2.35m-2.4m oz. Refined production guidance has also been revised down to between 2.4moz and 2.45moz from previous guidance of between 2.45moz and 2.5moz of platinum. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kumba Q3 output down 2% - Mia Breytenbach

KUMBA IRON ORE yesterday said production rose by 2% y/y to 11.5mt for the quarter to end-Sep. This was due to a 7% decrease in the Sishen mine's production to 7.8mt, compared with 8.3mt in Q3 2016. Waste removal increased by 21% to 42mt, compared with 35mt y/y. KUMBA said Sishen "maintained its solid and consistent performance and ongoing improvements, which have resulted in production guidance for 2017 being revised to 29m to 30m tonnes". Waste guidance remains unchanged at 155mt to 165mt. Production at the Kolomela mine rose to 3.7mt, up 8% y/y and 5% q/q. Kolomela is on track to meet FY production and waste guidance of 13mt-14mt and 50mt-55mt respectively for the FY. KUMBA has revised its FY production guidance to 42mt-44mt, compared with the 41mt-43mt previously guided. Export sales rose by 4% y/y and 14% q/q to 10.8mt, owing to the shipping of delayed volumes on hand at Saldanha at Jun. 30. Total finished product stocks comprised 4.6mt, compared with 4.4mt at end-Jun. Domestic sales fell by 9% y/y and 30% q/q to 644 000t. KUMBA also revised its FY sales guidance to 42mt-44mt. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

De Beers Q3 output up - Mia Breytenbach

DE BEERS' rough diamong production for Q3 2017 increased by 46% y/y to 9.2m ct, reflecting stable trading conditions as well as the contribution from the ramp-up of the Gahcho Kue JV mine in Canada. Production in Canada rose five-fold to 1.1m ct with Gahcho Kue starting commercial output on Mar. 2 and reaching nameplate capacity in Q2. Meanwhile, DE BEERS CONSOLIDATED MINES in SA increased production by 41% to 1.5m ct, largely as a result of higher grades at the Venetia mine in Limpopo. DEBSWANA increased production by 33% to 6.1mct as the Orapa mine's production rose by 60%. Output from the Jwaneng mine rose by 23% as a result of planned increases in feed to the plant. NAMDEB HOLDINGS increased production by 12% to 454 000ct. DE BEERS' FY production guidance has been revised from 31m-33m ct to about 33m ct. Meanwhile, consolidated rough diamond sales volumes for Q3 were 6.5m ct from two sights, compared with 5.3m ct from two sights in the third quarter of 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Rio Tinto faces class action over Moz coal - Esmarie Swanepoel

US law firm Hagens Berman has launched a class action suit against RIO TINTO over the latter's 2011 investment in the Mozambique coal assets. The lawsuit claims RIO and certain of its former executives violated the Securities Exchange Act, and made false and misleading statements, or failed to disclose adverse information regarding the true value of the Mozambique coal assets. RIO and former CEO TOM ALBANESE and CFO GUY ELLIOTT were also facing charges of fraud from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which claimed the company and the two executives had inflated the value of Mozambique coal assets, which were initially acquired for $3.7bn in 2011 and then divested for A$50m in 2014. Hagenss Berman said its laswuit claims that while the company's senior executives were aware of "material problems adversely affecting" the coal assets, they failed to report an impairment to the assets, and instead continued to tout the value of the assets to investors. RIO at the start of 2013 announced impairment charges of around $14bn post tax for its FY2012, including a $3bn impairment relating to the Mozambique coal assets. Hagens Berman has encouraged the company's US shareholders, which held American Depositary Receipts between Oct. 2012 and Feb. 2013, to contact the firm in order to join the class action. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Universal increases output, sales - Esmarie Swanepoel

UNIVERSAL COAL has reported a 20% rise in coal sales for the quarter to end-Sep. q/q. Coal sales reached 1.25mt, up from just over 1mt sold in the prior quarter, as the New Clydesdale Colliery reached nameplate capacity. Run-of-mine coal output during the quarter reached 1.69mt, which was up from the 1.38mt produced q/q. UNIVERSAL said the Kangala colliery achieved a consistent RoM production of more than 1mt during the quarter, with the project currently producing higher than budgeted volumes to facilitate the increased tonnages required by ESKOM. NCC produced 675 000t RoM coal, up 63% q/q. UNIVERSAL's EBITDA reached A$11.9m during the quarter, with A$8.8m attributable to UNIVERSAL, in line with expectations. Looking ahead, FY sales are expected to reach 4.5mt, with 2.8mt attributable to UNIVERSAL, while EBITDA is forecast to be A$45m, with A$28m attributable to UNIVERSAL. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mining communities ask to join case against Mining Charter - Bloomberg

A group of local mining communities will challenge the government's Mining Charter III and seek a court order to ensure they are involved in drafting any replacement. About 150 community-based organisations and activists, represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, will apply to join an existing case brought by mining companies against the Charter. The CALS is also seeking a declaratory order that mining-affected communities "are recognised as a key stakeholder and must be meaningfully engaged when developing any new charter". CALS said mining-affected communities "continue to bear the greatest burdens of mining -- losing farmland to mining operations, facing environmental harm and degradation and suffering from illnesses caused by pollution". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Goldplat increases gold sales in Sep. quarter - Mia Breytenbach

GOLDPLAT has achieved a 95% y/y rise in gold sales to 14 374oz for the quarter to end-Sep. "With operational profitability achieved at all operations and good progress being made on our strategic objectives, I am very pleased with the results for the quarter", CEO GERARD KISBEY-GREEN said. The company posted a 133% y/y rise in gold output at the Kilimapesa gold mine to 1 449oz, with the mine on track to produce more than 5 800oz, as targeted, during FY2018. Meanwhile, GOLDPLAT RECOVERY in SA achieved a 40% y/y rise in gold and gold equivalents produced during the quarter to 7 588oz. During the quarter, Gold Recovery Ghana produced 1 190oz of gold and gold equivalents, with 2 604oz of gold sold on GRG's own account. Talks are continuing with the Ghanaian government regarding a project to clean up and process contaminated artisanal tailings, while the construction of a mobile gold concentrator pilot plant in SA progressed well. The Ghana plant is expected to be commissioned next month. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Botswana Diamonds discovers kimberlites at FS project - Anine Kilian

BOTSWANA DIAMONDS has discovered eight group one kimberlites at its Free State project. Active exploration has begun on the project, which comprises four prospecting rights covering 50 000ha of ground within a kimberlite cluster, which has the iconic diamond mines of Jagersfontein and Koffiefontein at its eastern end and Kimberley and Finsch at its western extreme. Using identified anomalies as a base, research indicated that a number of other diamond mines existed in this area for some time prior to 1880, but that a significant economic recession at that time resulted in their permanent curtailment. Anecdotal evidence indicates that very little, if any, modern exploration technology has been applied to the area and this is supported by the landowners, whose families have occupied the properties for a number of generations. More detailed ground work has involved further field observations and the collection of samples from the relevant sites which have been subject to whole rock geochemistry tests by the Council for Geosciences. A detailed ground geophysical survey is currently taking place to assess the size of the kimberlites and the results of this will be announced in Nov. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tawana completes Bald Hill earn-in - Esmarie Swanepoel

TAWANA RESOURCES has reached its A$12.5m milestone spend at the Bald Hill project, in Western Australia, earning a 50% stake in the project, including all minerals from the tenements, as well as processing plant and infrastructure. With the conditions of the Feb. farm-in agreement now being satisfied, the Bald Hill JV has come into effect. TAWANA MD MARK CALDERWOOD said TAWANA and ALLIANCE MINERAL ASSETS "have been committed to delivering value to its shareholders in such a short period of time... Both companies are well funded and it is exciting that we have the opportunity to work together to deliver lithium production in the first quarter of 2018". The parties were developing the Bald Hill project, which is expected to deliver 155 000t/y of spodumene concentrate and 260 000lb/y of tantalum pentoxide over a mine life of 3.6 years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Datatec cancels London listing - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

South African IT group DATATEC will cancel its secondary listing on London's Aim market, it said yesterday, citing illiquidity and a failure to lure investors. DATATEC, which maintains its JSE listing, will stop trading in London on Dec. 8. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria oil minister says prices encouraging, OPEC not ruling out more cuts - Ed Stoddard

Nigeria is targeting oil output of 1.8m bpd by early 2018 but that will be the ceiling to comply with OPEC targets, Oil Minister EMMANUEL IBE KACHIKWU said yesterday. Speaking on the sidelines of an oil conference in Cape Town, the minister said oil prices were encouraging but OPEC, of which it is a member, was not ruling out further cuts. Nigeria currently produces 1.6m-1.7m bpd. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 25/10/2017

At 06h52 on 25 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.75 ZAR/EUR 16.16 ZAR/GBP 18.06 Gold 1272.60 Platinum 917.00 Brent Crude Oil 58.53 All Share 57904.72

Nigeria Senate to vote on motion to probe Etisalat Nigeria loans - Paul Carsten

Nigeria's parliament plans to vote on a motion to investigate the use of $1.2bn in loans taken out by ETISALAT NIGERIA, now called 9MOBILE, a Senate order paper seen by Reuters showed yesterday. The motion, if passed, would mandate a Senate committee on banking and national security to handle the probe, which it says would seek to forestall the impact of the debt crisis on foreign investment and hold defaulting parties liable. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's new Dangote refinery seen online end 2019 - Wendell Roelf

A new 650 000 bpd refinery being built by ALIKO DANGOTE in Nigeria is expected to come onstream by the end of 2019, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources EMMANUEL IBE KACHIKWU said yesterday. The minister said Nigeria was close to finalising the process to get private partners to revamp three existing refineries, which would add a cumulative total of 450 000 bpd as Nigeria looks to reduce its dependence on imported refined products. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Coca-Cola to invest up to $90m in Kenya - Clement Uwiringiyimana

COCA-COLA plans to invest up to $90m in Kenya over the three years through 2018 to increase its product range in that country, the company said yesterday. The company has committed to invest $17bn in Africa as a whole since 2014, double what was invested in the continent a decade earlier. COCA-COLA said it will produce a wider range of soft drinks in Kenya from 2018 but did not give details. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kenya signs agreement for crude oil pipeline study - Elias Biryabarema

Kenya yesterday said it had signed an agreement with a consortium of three firms for a feasibility study on a proposed pipeline to transport crude from the country's oilfields to a seaport on the coast. Kenya's recoverable crude oil reserves are estimated at 750m barrels and considered feasible for production at a price of $55/barrel. The Energy and Petroleum Ministry said the study by the consortium which includes TULLOW OIL, AFRICA OIL and AP MOLLER-MAERSK would include a Front End Engineering Design for the pipeline. TULLOW and AFRICA OIL were first to discover Kenya's crude reserves and the two firms were 50/50 partners in blocks 10BB and 13T when the discoveries were made. AFRICA OIL has since sold a stake to AP MOLLER-MAERSK. The ministry said the pipeline - to run 820km between Lokichar and Lamu on Kenya's coast - would cost $2.1bn and was expected to be completed in Q1 2021. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Oando gets court order to halt share suspension, audit - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigeria's OANDO has obtained a court order to halt the suspension of trading in its shares and a forensic audit planned by the Securities and Exchange Commission, court documents showed yesterday. Shares in the company were frozen at 5.99 naira on Monday until further notice, the Nigerian bourse said after the SEC ordered a forensic audit into the company. The SEC suspended trading in the stock for 48 hours last week, saying it was probing complaints about insider trading and discrepancies in its ownership structure. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Botswana cuts rates to record low - Tiisetso Motsoeneng

Botswana's central bank yesterday cut its benchmark lending rate to a record low of 5%, citing positive inflation outlook and efforts to stimulate growth in the economy. "The current state of the economy, both the domestic and external economic outlook as well as the inflation forecast, provides scope for easing monetary policy to support economic activity without undermining maintenance of inflation within the bank's medium-term objective range of 3%-6%", central bank governor MOSES KINEKERE PELAELO said. The economy expanded 1.9% in Q2, well below an average of 5% annual growth in the first half of this decade. The central bank said it did not expect inflation to move significantly from the current level for the rest of the year after easing to 3.2% in Sep., from 3.4% m/m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria's NNPC says oil access 'not limitless' for fuel swaps - Libby George

The NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION is relying heavily on swapping its crude for products such as gasoline as its refineries struggle to run, but an official at the firm said its access to oil is limited. While other importers also supply the nation with fuel, Nigeria caps its gasoline prices, preventing private importers from bringing the product in when international prices exceed local ones. The swap programme has accounted for as much as 90% of gasoline imports. "The entire NNPC organisation is focused on ensuring that there are no queues and that the country stays wet", COO for downstream operations HENRY IKEM-OBIH said, adding that was the "key objective". But only the Port Harcourt refinery is currently running. Nigeria's Warri refinery is expected to come back form maintenance within a few weeks, but the Kaduna plant will be down from "a few more months", IKEM-OBIH said. He said oil swap contract holders had been "very supportive", at times agreeing to pre-deliver oil products and get their payment in crude later. But he said NNPC was working to alleviate that issue. "The task for the organisation is to go and look for more crude... whatever crude we can find". IKEM-OBIH said the NNPC was working to find private capital to help revamp its refineries and fix its pipelines and depot system to help it produce more fuel. He said only about 75% of its 5 120km pipeline network was operational, but much of it was undergoing repairs. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Chemicals boost BASF Q3 earnings - Patrick McGee

BASF today said it expects "considerable growth" in sales and profit this year after posting stronger Q3 earnings. The German group said sales grew 9% to €15.3bn last quarter, with EBIT rising 16% to €1.8bn. Net income rose by €448m to €1.3bn and EPS rose 49% to €1.45/share. BASF said volumes were supplemented by "significantly higher sales prices" for chemicals. Revenue was lifted €244m by CHEMETALL, the auto and aerospace surface treatment business it acquired last Dec. from ALBEMARLE for $3.2bn. BASF's Oil and Gas business posted a "slight decrease" in earnings, while its other units posted "a considerable decline" mainly due to higher raw materials prices. The Agricultural Solutions segment also posted a 6% drop in sales to €987m. The group said it remained upbeat for the remainder of 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Novartis moves closer to spinning off Alcon - Ralph Atkins

NOVARTIS has moved closer to spinning off and possibly listing its under-performing ALCON eyecare business, in a deal which could value the unit at more than $25bn. A strategic review of the unit had concluded "a stand-alone company via a capital markets exit could create additional shareholder value", NOVARTIS said today. The timing would depend on ALCON's continued turnaround and any potential action was not likely before the first half of 2019. NOVARTIS acquired ALCON from NESTLE for $50bn in a deal completed in 2010. It subsequently transferred the eye drugs part of the business to its main pharmaceuticals division, but has struggled to return to profitable growth the remaining parts. When the review of the unit was launched in Jan., NOVARTIS CEO JOE JIMENEZ said spinning off ALCON could create a company with a market cap of $25bn-$35bn. The move came as NOVARTIS posted Q3 sales of $12.4bn, up 2% in constant currencies y/y. Core operating income was up 1% in constant currencies at $3.4bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Toshiba confirms contingency plans over NAND sale - Peter Wells

TOSHIBA's shareholders today voted in favour for the company's plan to sell its NAND memory chip business and approved its results for FY2016. But uncertainty over whether the sale could fall through before the Mar. 2018 deadline still exists, with TOSHIBA president SATOSHI TSUNUKAWA confirming the company was drawing up contingency plans. "If the external environment changes there will be a reconsideration. But there is nothing that has been decided", he told investors attending the company's EGM outside Tokyo. TOSHIBA is racing to complete the Y2tn sale of the chip unit in order to avoid posting a second consecutive year of negative shareholder equity that could force it to be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange as per bourse rules. In an update yesterday, the company's decision to recognise a tax impact now meant it forecasts negative shareholder equity of Y750bn for the 12 months to end-Mar. 31, wider than an Aug. forecast of negative Y410bn. Shareholder equity will turn positive if the NAND sale is completed successfully. TOSHIBA made no change to its operating income forecast of Y430bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Halliburton Q3 profit rebound bolstered by N America strength - Adam Samson

HALLIBURTON posted a stronger-than-expected bounce back in its quarterly sales and profits. The company said net profits rose to $365m, or 42cps in Q3, from $6m or a penny a share y/y. Revenues were 42% higher at $5.44bn. Analysts forecast EPS of 37cps on sales of $5.35bn. The company's North American unit shined, with higher oil prices encouraging shale drillers to rev up their activity. Revenues in the region grew 90.8% y/y to $3.16bn. Growth was weaker internationally. Revenues were up 4.9%, "resulting primarily from increased activity across multiple product services lines in Latin America, and increased pressure pumping services and drilling activity in the Eastern Hemisphere". Investors sent HALLIBURTON's shares rising 2.5% in pre-market trading in New York. They slipped 3.1% last week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

AT&T, Time Warner extend merger deadline awaiting DoJ approval - Cat Rutter Pooley

AT&T and TIME WARNER have extended the deadline for closing their merger, a year after they first announced the tie-up. The parties have agreed to the extension "for a short period of time to facilitate obtaining final regulatory approval required to close the merger", AT&T said yesterday. Last week the deal cleared its penultimate hurdle after obtaining approval from the Brazilian antitrust authority. It had already obtained clearances from regulators in Europe, Chile and Mexico. That just leaves approval from the US Department of Justice, where the confirmation of President DONALD TRUMP's nominee for the head of the department's antitrust division was held up for a month between Aug. and Sep. by opposition from Democratic senator ELIZABETH WARREN. AT&T still expects the merger to close before the end of the year. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brazilian court rules against Petrobras in tax case - Andres Schipani

A Brazilian federal court ruled against the country's state-controlled company PETROBRAS in an R$8.8bn tax case. The oil company said it would appeal the ruling, which is related to a payment of income tax in the leasing of oil platforms between 1999 and 2002. The ruling comes as PETROBRAS CEO PEDRO PARENTE is working on reducing its debt pile, which stood at around $89bn at the end of June this year. Last week, MOODY's said PETROBRAS had already shrunk its debt burden by $10bn over the year to Jun. 2017. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Whirlpool outlook soiled by material costs, price mix - Jessica Dye

WHIRLPOOL shares fell yesterday after the appliance maker cut its FY earnings guidance, blaming the rising cost of raw materials and an unfavourable pricing dynamic. The company said it is now looking for FY EPS of $11.10-$11.40, and $13.60-$13.90 on an ongoing basis. That compares to previous guidance for earnings per diluted share of $12.40-$12.90, or $14.50-$15.00 on an ongoing basis. This came as WHIRLPOOL announced Q3 revenue of $5.4bn for the quarter to end-Sep., up 3% y/y and just below the $5.5bn analysts had expected. Net earnings available to WHIRLPOOL came in at $276m for the quarter, versus the $238m y/y. Earnings per diluted share were $3.72, up from $3.10/share y/y and ahead of the $3.01 that Wall Street was looking for. CEO MARC BITZR said while the company was pleased with its revenue growth and free cash flow improvement, it was "not satisfied with our operating margins, which were impacted by raw material inflation, unfavourable price/mix and slow progress on our European integration". As part of those efforts, WHIRLPOOL announced "global cost-based price increases on a majority of its businesses" to mitigate the effect of rising raw materials costs, as well as a $150m fixed cost reduction initiative. It is still looking for global shipments to remain flat or rise as much as 2% in 2017. Shares in WHIRLPOOL fell more than 7% in after-hours trading before rebounding slightly to trade down more than 6%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Australia's Nufarm buys crop protection portfolio - Edward White

NUFARM will pay $540m for the rights to a suite of European crop protection products from CHEMCHINA subsidiary ADAMA and Swiss seed company SYNGENTA, clearing an obstacle to the Chinese group's takeover of its Swiss rival. SYNGENTA and ADAMA are divesting the portfolio in order to meet European regulatory requirements relating to CHEMCHINA's $44bn takeover of the Swiss group. The cale, comprised of $490m cash and $50m worth of inventory, covers 50 crop protection product lines. NUFARM said the products are expected to deliver annual revenue of A$250m and operating earnings of up to A$100m in FY2019. It will fund most of the transaction via a share issue. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Renergen secures petroleum production right in SA - BDpro

RENERGEN yesterday announced it had secured the first and only petroleum production right in SA. This came after the company received environmental authorisation from PETROLEUM AGENCY OF SA, which oversaw a process that took two years to conclude. "We now enjoy the status of not only having the first onshore petroleum production right in the country, but the only one with an environmental authorisation to commence full scale production", CEO STEFANO MARANI said. RENERGEN subsidiary TETRA4 will now start construction of natural gas liquefiers early next year, with production of LNG to start early in 2019. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BlackRock mulls making LSE-listed fund available to JSE investors - Moyagabo Maake

BLACKROCK is considering making one of its funds, the GREATER EUROPE INVESTMENT TRUST, available to JSE investors. The listing is planned for the end of Nov., subject to generating a minimum level of demand. The fund, whose portfolio consists of investments in Western and Eastern European companies, is listed on the LSE with £313m in assets under management. "We believe that a listing will present a very attractive, and easily accessible, investment opportunity for the South African investor seeking capital growth as the European economic recovery gets under way", BLACKROCK SA MD BARBARA VINTCENT said. PSG CAPITAL is acting as corporate adviser and sole bookrunner in the deal. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Efficient forecasts strong rise in earnings - Karl Gernetzky

EFFICIENT GROUP's share price rose more than 5% yesterday after the company said it expected HEPS to rise by at least 76.9% for the FY to end-Aug. EFFICIENT said HEPS was expected to be between 73.48cps and 79.7cps, up 76.9%-91.9% y/y, due mainly to re-measurement of the forward purchase liability and related impairment of the acquisition of SELECT MANAGER PROPRIETARY group of companies. EFFICIENT's acquisition of these companies were concluded during FY2015. Due to this, cash generated from operations was expected to be between 68cps and 70cps, reflecting a decrease of 1.4%-4.4%. EPS was expected to be between 57.4cps and 63.64cps, reflecting an increase of 38.2%-53.2% on the y/y period. FY results will be published on Nov. 12. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Mediclinic mulls hostile bid for Spire - Robert Laing

MEDICLINIC INTERNATIONAL is considering a hostile takeover of its UK associate, SPIRE HEALTHCARE GROUP. MEDICLINIC yesterday issued a statement confirming that it had approached SPIRE to buy the 70.1% of the company it did n ot already own. MEDICLINIC's offer of £1.50 cash and 0.232 MEDICLINIC shares per SPIRE share was rejected by the target company's independent directors. "As a consequence, MEDICLINIC is considering its position", it said. MEDICLINIC says its cash and share offer equates to £3/SPIRE share, a 15% premium to the company's £2.61 closing price on Friday. SPIRE has 401m shares in issue, so the transaction would cost MEDICLINIC about £842m. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Adcorp set to report interim loss - Alistair Anderson

ADCORP has warned investors that its financial results for the HY to end-Aug. will disappoint. The company expects to record a basic LPS of 110cps-132cps compared with basic EPS of 78.4cp y/y. An HLPS of 38cps-45cps was expected, compared with HEPS of 77.5cps y/y. "Overall, the core of the business recorded stable to strong performance from the prior period, and management are focused on a strategic and operational efficiency review of the support services and raining businesses", ADCORP said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BLSA will work with Eskom on certain conditions - Fin24

Business Leadership SA is open to working with ESKOM to address "activities that are legally or ethically questionable". The business association recently suspended ESKOM as a member. The suspension relates to what BLSA calls "serious allegations of corruption and state capture". BLSA yesterday said it is open to work with ESKOM and other suspended members "to explore their commitment to addressing those governance and organisational failures that have resulted in activities that are legally or ethically questionable". BLSA CEO BONANG MOHALE said ESKOM's suspension "is in full force and effect, and will remain so until BLSA is satisfied that all the factors that led to the suspension have been addressed fully". These include transparent and thorough investigations into abuses; full disclosure of and cooperation with any investigations and prosecutions that may follow; and action taken against all individuals implicated in corrupt acts. Meanwhile, it was announced on Friday that BLSA will accompany ESKOM to an investor conference in the US in Nov. to help buttress investor confidence in SA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Russia denies meddling in SA Cabinet reshuffle - Jan Cronje

The Russian Embassy in SA has denied weekend reports it had a hand in SA's most recent Cabinet reshuffle, saying the reports were "fake news" and "slanderous". The Sunday Times reported that a high-level Russian delegation met with President JACOB ZUMA just hours before last week's unexpected Cabinet reshulffle, in a bid to implement a R1tn nuclear build project deal. The Russian Embassy in SA yesterday tweeted that it was "completely unaware of any high-level Russian delegation coming to South Africa last week", adding that Russia did not interfere in the domestic affairs of other sovereign states. "We consider this slanderous piece, which is (as usual) based entirely on hearsay and unnamed 'sources' information, unfit for a serious publication such as Sunday Times claims to be". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

CEF to probe PetroSA, SFF deals and will seek legal action over fuel sale - Matthew le Cordeur

The board of the CENTRAL ENERGY FUND wants a court to declare an illegal sale of SA's strategic oil reserves void, and plans to launch a forensic probe into the STRATEGIC FUEL FUND and PETROSA. An audit report first leaked to Business Times shows that SA will lose about R3.3bn due to the illegal sale of the country's strategic fuel reserves in Dec. 2015 and Jan. 2016. It is believed the country will have to pay almost R6.5bn to replace the 10bn barrels that were sold. The audit was launched by former Energy Minister TINA JOEMAT-PETTERSSON, who insisted the sale was a process of replacing the fuel for strategic reasons, known as stock rotation. When the report was completed under MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI's tenure at the DoE, she did not release it nor conduct any investigation, as she had undertook. However, KUBAYI in May told Parliament the SFF sold the stock and did not conduct a stock rotation. The audit report, conducted by KPMG, said the fuel stock sale contracts were rendered invalid as they did not comply with regulatory approvals, including those stemming from the Public Finance Management Act and the Companies Act. A highly placed source with knowledge of the CEF board meeting that took place on Friday but who wished to remain anonymous, said the entity wants a court to decide whether the contracts are void, as per the audit report. The source also said the CEF board is planning to hire an auditor to conduct a forensic investigation into both the SFF and all major contracts at PETROSA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

ARM drops KPMG - Matthew le Cordeur

AFRICAN RAINBOW MINERALS has dropped KPMG as its internal auditors, it announced on Monday. ARM said it "noted with concern the questions raised about KPMG's governance and ethics compliance, as well as allegations regarding the lawfulness of KPMG's conduct." ARM said it is vital that the behaviour and conduct of auditing firms "continues to justify the respect, trust and confidence that they have earned". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Transnet sets sights on Africa - Terence Creamer

TRANSNET has set a target of becoming a R100bn company by Mar. 2020 with its business interests in the rest of Africa expected to contribute materially to the rise in revenues. In 2016/17, the utility reported a 5.3% rise in revenue to R65.5bn. TRANSNET CEO SIYABONGA GAMA said Africa's infrastructure bottlenecks represented a significant business opportunity for the company. Twenty-four African projects had already been identified, some of which could be realised in the not-too-distant future. The most advanced projects included rail ventures in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria and a port operations contract in Kenya. GAMA said the utility was also aiming to increase rail and port equipment sales to third parties to R20bn by 2020, while liberating R15bn worth of revenue from its property holdings. Chief customer officer MIKE FANUCCHI said the company also had specific projects in place to raise freight-related revenue to R70bn by 2020, from R46bn at present. FANUCCHI also expected that pipeline-related revenues could grow to sales of R10bn in the coming three years through the integration of gas into a network that has hitherto handled only liquid fuels. TRANSNET INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS would focus on doubling cross-border volumes to 10mt by 2023 and growing trans-shipment volumes to R498m/year by 2023 from R267m at present. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pioneer warns of lower FY earnings, revenue - Anine Kilian

PIONEER FOODS yesterday warned shareholders its earnings for the FY to end-Sep. had likely halved. The company said HEPS for the FY would be between 398cps and 470cps, down from 904cps y/y. PIONEER said revenue fell by 4%-6% from the R20.6bn reported y/y "owing to deflation, volume declines and resistance to price increases". It added that the unfavourable maize procurement position entered into in 2016 had muted the performance of the maize category until June. PIONEER will publish FY results on Nov. 20. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Global steel production for year to Sep. up - Anine Kilian

Global crude steel production for the first nine months of 2017 reached 1.27bn tonnes - a 5.6% y/y rise. Worldsteel yesterday reported that Asia had produced 876.3mt of crude steel in the nine month period, up 5.9% y/y. The EU produced 126.4mt in the period, a 4.1% y/y increase, while the Commonwealth of Independent States produced 76.4mt, unchanged y/y. Crude steel production in Africa for the nine months rose by 13.8% to 9.90mt, compared with 8.69mt y/y. Meanwhile, for the month of Sep., China's crude steel output rose by 5.3% y/y to 71.8mt, while Japan produced 9.6mt of crude steel, up 2% y/y. The US produced 6.7mt in Sep., up 8.6% y/y. SA's crude steel output rose by 9% y/y to 556 000t for Sep. The crude steel capacity utilisation ratio of the 66 countries in Sep. was 73.5%, 2.8 percentage points higher than in Sep. 2016. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tanzania president names tax expert as c.bank governor - Reuters

Tanzania's President JOHN MAGUFULI has named FLORENS LUOGA as the country's new central bank governor. LUOGA would take over in Dec. or Jan. after the tenure of current governor BENNO NDULU expires. LUOGA is a tax law professor and currently serves as the deputy vice chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam. In July he was appointed by MAGUFULI as chair of the board of directors of the Tanzania Revenue Authority. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lafarge Africa seeks approval to launch rights issue - Reuters

LAFARGE AFRICA is expecting regulatory approval from Nigerian authorities for a 131.65bn naira rights issue as it focuses on Nigeria for growth and expands into Ghana, CFO BRUNO BAYET said on Friday. As part of its plan to refinance its debt, the company said it would also issue 25bn naira of commercial paper on Monday under a 60bn naira programme. The business posted a loss of 40.37bn naira in 2016, weighed down by foreign currency debt in a market in recession. But it has swung to a profit this year and announced a pretax profit of 1.09bn naira in the first nine months of 2017 on lower volumes, BAYET said. He said LAFARGE AFRICA was looking at a debt position of below 200bn naira after the restructuring compared with around 225bn naira at present. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Angola's Lourenco orders review of oil sector - Reuters

Angola's President JOAO LOURENCO has ordered a 30-day review of the country's oil industry to address the "significant" challenges it faces. He directed a working group to determine how it can "improve the current conditions of investment in the oil and gas industry" and develop a "framework of cooperation" directly between the executive and oil companies. The move came as LOURENCO appointed CARLOS SATURNINO as secretary of state for oil. The president merged the ministries for oil and mining into one entity, led by DIAMANTINO AZEVEDO. The working group will be led by the ministry of mining and petroleum resources and will include representatives of the Finance Ministry, SONANGOL, the presidency and one representative from the Angolan divisions of BP, CHEVRON, ENI, EXXONMOBIL, STATOIL and TOTAL. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Jubilee expands footprint with Zambia JV - Anine Kilian

JUBILEE PLATINUm has formed a JV with BMR GROUP to recover zinc, lead and vanadium at BMR's Kabwe project in Zambia. Under the terms of the deal, JUBILEE will have the right to earn into the Kabwe operations via a three-staged debt funding. JUBILEE's earn-in interest in the Kabwe operations will be through preferred shares issued in the operations, which will have equal voting rights to ordinary shares and will have the preferred right to receive 100% of distributed profits from Kabwe until the preferred debt finance plus a 30% stake component is fully paid. In Phase 1, JUBILEE will provide £300 000 to the Kabwe operations to secure a 15% stake. This funding will be considered as confirmation by JUBILEE of the initial design, work programme and budget for the construction of the project. Once complete, JUBILEE will confirm whether or not it wants to proceed with the further farm-in to the Kabwe operations. Should it proceed with Phase 2, JUBILEE will provide a further £1m in funding towards the implementation of the approved works programme in return for a further 15% interest in the Kabwe operations. Phase 3 will enable JUBILEE to lift its stake in the Kabwe operations to 40% by providing a further £1m in funding for the implementation of the approved works programme, targeting commercial production. Kabwe will be appointed operator of the project, with responsibility for commissionoing, funding, construction and operations. BMR will retain full ownership of the Kabwe mining licence, tailings and infrastructure, as well as 60% of the long-term post-tax profits of the Kabwe operations. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lonmin will dismiss 1 139 employees by Dec. - Anine Kilian

Solidarity says it has been informed by LONMIN that it is planning to cut its workforce by 1 139 workers before Christmas, the union said yesterday. According to the union, LONMIN says the platinum sector is under pressure owing to low platinum prices and rising costs that necessitate retrenchments. "Solidarity will do everything in its power to prevent the retrenchments", general secretary GIDEON DU PLESSIS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Gold Fields maintains guidance, but South Deep to miss FY target - Creamer Media Reporter

GOLD FIELDS still expects to meet its FY output guidance of 2.1m-2.15m oz despite the fact that output from its South Deep mine for the FY is likely to be 5%-10% below guidance of 315 000oz. GOLD FIELDS yesterday noted that South Deep's production had increased q/q in the second and third quarters, but that the improvements were not sufficient to offset the weak Q1, which was impacted on by two fatalities. South Deep produced 81 000oz of gold in Q3 to end-Sep., a 10% q/q and 17% y/y improvement. Groupd output rose by 3% q/q and 6% y/y to 567 000oz. Managed production in Ghana was 4% lower q/q and 5% lower y/y, at 177 000oz. Gold equivalent production at the Cerro Corona mine, in Peru, rose by 31% q/q and by 46% y/y to 90 000oz, while GOLD FIELDS' Australian operations produced 237 000oz in Q3, a 3% q/q decline. CEO NICK HOLLAND noted that the group generated net cash flow of $85m in Q3, compared with an outflow of $67m in Q2. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Petra reports strong Q1 performance - Creamer Media Reporter

Despite labour disruptions at some of PETRA DIAMONDS' mines in late Sep., the company achieved a strong start to FY2018. Production for the quarter was down 4.4% to 1.05m ct, mainly as a result of the planned reduction in tailings production at Finch and the Kimberley Ekapa Mining JV. Run-of-mine production rose by 17% y/y to 832 809ct, despite the labour disruptions, which reduced RoM production by around 70 000 ct and tailings production by about 10 000 ct. "The group is continuing its production build-up and it is encouraging to see the increasing contribution of RoM production", PETRA CEO JOHAN DIPPENAAR said. Finch's RoM output rose by 2% y/y to 467 795ct, while RoM production at Cullinan rose by 35% y/y to 250 001ct. At Koffiefontein, RoM production fell by 19% y/y to 12 563ct. The KEM JV's attributable production also decreased by 29% y/y to 170 014ct, with RoM treatment having increased as the modifications to the Central Treatment Plant were completed. Meanwhile, production at the WIlliamson mine rose by 66% y/y to 85 213ct. However, a ban on the export of PETRA's diamonds form Tanzania, which has now been lifted, negatively hit the company's revenues for Q1. Revenues fell by 17% y/y to $78.7m. PETRA said it was yet to realise sales from Williamson for the current FY and that it continued to engage with the Tanzanian government regarding a solution for the 71 654 ct parcel of diamonds that remains blocked for export. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Russia's En+ sets IPO price range - Reuters

EN+ GROUP of Russia has set a price range for its IPO in London and Moscow, it said yesterday. The price range was set at $14-$17 per Global Depositary Receipt, with the market value expected in a range of $7bn-$8.5bn. Earlier this month, the company announced its intention to raise $1.5bn from its IPO and the intention of Singapore's ANAN GROUP, a strategic partner of China's CEFC, to purchase GDRs worth $500m. The listing will be a test of western investors' appetite for Russian assets three year after sanctions were imposed on Moscow over its role in the Ukraine crisis. The offering will represent 15.8%-18.8% of issued share capital excluding an over-allotment option, EN+ said. EN+ owns assets in metals and energy, including a 48% stake in RUSAL. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

India relaxes rules for coastal and offshore mining - Ajoy K Das

In a bid to deepen exploration and mining of atomic and rare earth minerals across the country, the Indian government is putting in place a slew of measures. Firstly, it has notified that it will relax mining norms in fragile coastal areas and that the exploration and mining of 11 specified minerals in these areas will not be considered 'illegal'. To limit environmental degradation, the notification stipulated that only manual mining will be permitted in coastal regions. According to government estimates, about 1 400km of Indian coastline is considered mineral rich and the legislative changes seek to have these areas exploited via private sector participation and allocation of prospecting and mining licences via competitive bidding. In another relaxation of the rules, the Department of Atomic Energy has informed that no licence will be needed for the mining of titanium-bearing minerals on beach sands, as titanium has been delisted form the 2007 list of minerals requiring a government licence. In the case of mining of atomic minerals, the government has extended the validity of mining leases from 30 years to 50 to enable optimal extraction of resources. The most significant move is the proposed amendment of laws to allocate offshore mining licences via the auction route in line with the allocation of onshore mineral assets. The Mines Ministry has drafted the amendments to Offshore Mineral Development Regulation Act 2002, which is now in circulation for feedback from stakeholders. The government proposed to place the amendments for approval during the forthcoming winter session of Parliament. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Australian oil, gas producers see losses widen - Esmarie Swanepoel

Operating revenues of Australian oil and gas producers fell by more than 20% during 2015/16 y/y, as falling commodity prices struck the bottom line. In a new industry financial survey, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association notes that oil and gas operating revenues reached A$23.7bn in 2015/16, compared with A$30bn y/y, while the industry reported a net operating loss of A$4.5bn for the period, compared with a loss of A$600m in 2014/15. Despite the significant deterioration in the industry's overall profit and loss position, total tax payments remain strong, estimated at A$4.3bn for 2015/16 compared with A$5.2bn in 2014/15. "Exploration remains at historically low levels, and the return on invested funds is a critical source of new investment capital. Yet tax payments have remained high, dispelling the myth that the industry is not paying its way", APPEA CEO Dr MALCOLM ROBERTS said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Spinoffs drive listings on JSE - Neo Khanyile, Bloomberg

The JSE may witness the most new listings for at least two years in 2017, helped by a spate of spinoffs as owners look to tap a market trading near record highs. Of the 18 debuts this year, six are carved out of other companies, most of which are publicly traded. A further four new listings are backed by collections of investment holdings, rather than providing a direct bet on any single business. With the final quarter traditionally a busy one for new listings, the bourse expects more companies to seek to make the most of the biggest stock gains since 2013. "If you ask me what the common theme is, if you further analyse the listings for this year, I would say it would definitely be the spinoffs", said PATRYCJA KULA-VERSTER, business development manager in the primary markets division at JSE LTD. Listings are proving a popular alternative to tapping private equity for companies seeking funds, she said, adding that it is a step that can provide a permanent source of capital without the defined time horizons that accompany private equity deals, while also offering scope for follow-on raisings. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Implats holds out olive branch to shareholders on remuneration policy - Dineo Faku

IMPALA PLATINUM held out an olive branch to investors following a revolt over its remuneration policy last week. Only 56.4% of shareholders endorsed the policy at the company's AGM last Thursday. In addition, 58.96% of shareholders voted for the endorsement of the company's remuneration implementation report. IMPLATS last month told shareholders it had initiated a review of its remuneration policy. On Friday, it said it had received input from some shareholders and remained committed to an open engagement process with all investors. It invited shareholders to submit their concerns to the company's secretary. There were concerns about the performance measures and the early vesting of the CEO's conditional shares on resigning from the company, IMPLATS' annual report showed. Former CEO TERENCE GOODLACE decided not to take his earned bonus for 2015 due to the financial constraints facing the industry. Instead, the amount was converted into IMPLATS shares, vesting over three years, so the amount he gets will depend on the performance of the company's share price over the period. In addition to the shares GOODLACE received for forgoing his bonus, his earned retention payment was also converted into IMPLATS shares and the vesting thereof postponed to be delivered equally over three years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ghana to open bids for energy bonds - Kwasi Kpodo

Ghana will start receiving bids today for domestic bonds worth 6bn cedis to settle energy-sector debts that accumulated over the past decade, lead arrangers said yesterday. The 7-year and 10-year bonds, to be priced on Thursday, form part of the government's plans to raise a total of 10bn cedis to settle debts owed by utilities to banks and bulk oil distributors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria aims to pass oil bill by mid-2018 - Libby George

Nigeria's lower chamber aims to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, aimed at overhauling the country's energy sector, in Q2 2018, a lawmaker said yesterday. AKINLAJA JOSEPH, chair of the Petroleum Resources Committee (Downstream) in the House of Representatives, said lawmakers aimed to pass all three parts of the sprawling bill at the same time. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

StanChart Private Equity sells stake in Botswana's Kamoso - TJ Strydom

STANDARD CHARTERED PRIVATE EQUITY has sold its stake in a Botswana retail and consumer goods companY KAMOSO DISTRIBUTION to a consortium led by INVESTEC ASSET MANAGEMENT PRIVATE EQUITY, RMB VENTURES, local partners and senior management. KAMOSO was mostly a supplier to Botswana's CHOPPIES ENTERPRISES, before STANCHART PE and DEVELOPMENT CAPITAL PARTNERS bought a 72% stake in 2015 and expanded operations. Both those entities have now sold their shareholdings, INVESTEC and RMB VENTURES said yesterday. STANCHART PE and DCP bought the stake in KAMOSO in a deal that was reported to be worth 452m pula from CHOPPIES' biggest shareholder, RAMACHANDRAN OTTAPATHU and FAROUK ISMAIL. OTTAPATHU, who is the CEO of CHOPPIES, earlier this month said STANCHART PE still held a 13% stake in the retailer, which was bought at a price reported to be around $60m in 2014. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA seen planting 17% less maize hectares next season - Reuters

Local farmers are expected to sow 17% less hectares of maize in the 2017/18 season after this year's bumper harvest depressed prices, a Reuters poll showed yesterday. The Crop Estimates Committee is expected to say farmers plan to sow 2.176m ha of maize, down from the 2.629m ha planted y/y, the poll found. Farmers are expected to plant 29% less white maize at 1.160m ha next season, compared with 1.643m ha y/y. Yellow maize plantings are forecast to be 1.017m ha compared with 985 500ha in the previous season. "There are talks in the market that some farmers could reduce the area planted with white maize and switch to other crops such as oilseeds and yellow maize due to price competitiveness", Agricultural Business Chamber economist WANDILE SIHLOBO said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Equatorial Guinea signs contract with Kosmos Energy for offshore blocks - Wendell Roelf

Equatorial Guinea has signed three new production sharing contracts with KOSMOS ENERGY for offshore blocks, the first such contracts for the company in that country. "We look forward to working with KOSMOS as we continue to push the boundaries in oil and gas exploration", Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons GABRIEL OBIANG LIMA said in a statement yesterday. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 24/10/2017

At 05h50 on 24 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.70 ZAR/EUR 16.10 ZAR/GBP 18.08 Gold 1281.43 Platinum 920.50 Brent Crude Oil 57.92 All Share 57999.60

Noble shares fall after business sale, Q3 loss forecast - Edward White

Shares in NOBLE GROUP fell today after the company confirmed to sell its Americas-focused oil business to VITOL, and it forecast a Q3 loss of more than $1bn. The commodities trader's stock fell as much as 13% to its lowest point since early Aug. after trading in its shares resumed following the announcement of the deal. NOBLE said net proceeds from the sale would amount to about $576m on total consideration of $582m after transaction costs. The purchase has the potential to boost VITOL's trading volumes to more than 9m bpd and reinforce its position as the world's biggest independent oil trader. In a separate statement, NOBLE said it expected to post a total net loss of $1.1bn-$1.25bn for Q3. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Spire shares soar on Mediclinic takeover bid - Cat Rutter Pooley

Shares in SPIRE HEALTHCARE rose 12% when trading opened this morning after the company disclosed an unwanted takeover approach from MEDICLINIC INTERNATIONAL. LIBERUN analyst GRAHAM DOYLE said the MEDICLINIC offer is "surprising on two fronts". "Firstly there is still a great deal of uncertainty around the outlook for SPIRE's NHS business (30% of revenue) in particular which means that even with the pullback since July, it is not necessarily an attractive time to bid for the group. Secondly, MEDICLINIC's share price is close to its 52 week low, down from 30% over the past year, making equity expensive while its leverage is set to end fiscal 2018 at 3.2x". MEDICLINIC's offer, which values SPIRE at 298.6pps was well below those highs, but compares more favourably to the low of 221.5pps reached just under two weeks ago. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Fitch predicts correction in 'highly overvalued" London office market - Nicholas Megaw

A profit warning from IWG last week highlighted the impact that Brexit uncertainty is already having on office space in the capital, and the situation is only likely to get worse, according to FITCH RATINGS. FITCH on Friday said the "core London office market has cooled since the UK's EU referendum but remains highly overvalued". It predicted that "uncertainty associated with Brexit is likely to see the cyclical correction resume during 2018", while rising interest rates also present a longer-term risk. IWG, which provides serviced offices, said there was "clearly a Brexit effect" reducing demand for office space in the capital. FITCH's report predicted that "the responsiveness of new office supply to lower demand may cushion one likely Brexit impact, namely the loss of financial sector jobs as global occupiers reduce their UK presence". However, it added that Brexit "creates longer term uncertainty over the UK's macro-economic performance", which could have a more severe impact. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

GE posts big Q3 miss, shares fall - Ed Crooks

GENERAL ELECTRIC has reported earnings well below analysts' expectations for Q3, in a sign of the challenge facing new CEO JOHN FLANNERY. Shares in the company fell more than 5% in pre-market trading on the news. Weak performances for from the power equipment division and the oil and gas business hit the company's earnings. EPS excluding pensions costs and some one-off items were 29c, well below forecasts of 49.5cps. FLANNERY said the results reflected "a very challenging quarter", adding that the group was "focused on redefining our culture, running our businesses better, and reducing our complexity". He did not mention a dividend in his statement, but will be setting out his plans for GE's future in a presentation on Nov. 13. Industrial cash from operations for the first nine months of the year has been $1.6bn, less than half its level of $3.4bn in the equivalent period of 2016. Profits from the power division in Q3 were just $611m, down 51% y/y. The oil and gas division reported a $36m loss, compared to a $353m profit y/y. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Kobe Steel scandal escalates - Peter Wells

KOBE STEEL has confirmed that one of its copper plants in Japan is being investigated by authorities for a possible breach of industrial standards, in an escalation of its data falsification scandal that has dragged in more than 500 companies. KOBE confirmed that the Japan Quality Assurance Organisation had inspected its KOBELCO & MATERIALS COPPER TUBE plant in Hatano, and found that some copper and copper alloy products produced there did not meet Japanese Industrial Standards. Since KOBE's data falsification crisis broke out on Oct. 8 it has contested that affected products satisfied industry or safety standards but had fallen short of levels specified by its customers. In respose to the inspection, KOBE STEEl said it would voluntarily refrain from shipping affected products from the Hatano plant and attaching its JIS mark to them. JQA's investigation is continuing. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

P&G falls as tepid sales gain disappoints - Anna Nicolaou

PROCTER & GAMBLE delivered slightly lower than expected sales in its latest earnings report, sanding shares down 1.7% in premarket trading on Friday. Organic sales rose 1%, a hair lower than analyst projects of 1.1%, the company said. Total net sales rose 1% to $16.65bn, in line with consensus forecasts. Core earnings rose 6% to $1.09/share, just above analyst forecasts for $1.08/share. P&G also maintained its guidance for organic sales to grow between 2% and 3% in 2018, as it focuses on a smaller number of its most successful brands. P&G CEO DAVID TAYLOR said the results were "in line with our going-in expectations". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 23/10/2017

At 09h53 on 23 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.74 ZAR/EUR 16.14 ZAR/GBP 18.12 Gold 1275.36 Platinum 915.00 Brent Crude Oil 57.92 All Share 58008.84

Yen weakens to nearly Y114/$ after Abe election victory - Hudson Lockett

The yen was visibly weaker in Asia this morning, flirting with the Y114/$ mark in the wake of PM SHINZO ABE's resounding weekend victory at the polls. The currency weakened as much as 0.4% to Y113.95/$, the softest level since Jul. 12 in Monday morning trade in Asia. ABE's ruling Liberal Democratic coalition has secured a two-thirds parliamentary super majority that gave him a fresh mandate for Abenomics and the chance to pursue his personal priority of revising Japan's post-war constitution. The validation of ABE's decision to call a snap election will likely mean further fiscal stimulus and has boosted the odds of reappointment for Bank of Japan governor HARUHIKO KURODA in Mar. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Noble to sell Americas-focused oil business to Vitol - Hudson Lockett

NOBLE GROUP has confirmed its plans to sell its Americas-focused oil business to VITOL in a deal that is expected to yield around $576m for the commodities trader. NOBLE confirmed the sale in a bourse filing this morning in Asia, noting gross consideration of $1.4bn was comprised of base consideration of around $202m as at Jul. 1 2017 and net working capital of around $1.2bn as at end-Jun. 2017. The company said net proceeds from the sale would amount to about $576m based on total consideration of $582m after transaction costs. The company was in talks late last week to close the sale of the unit, which trades up to 2.5m bpd of oil and products. The purchase has the potential to boost VITOL's trading volumes to more than 9m bpd and reinforce its position as the world's biggest independent oil trader. NOBLE today also requested the lifting of a trading halt on its shares that had been imposed on Friday in Singapore "pending the announcement of a major transaction". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent's China Literature seeks over $1bn in HK IPO - Hudson Lockett

TENCENT-owned CHINA LITERATURE is seeking to raise more than $1bn from its IPO in Hong Kong. The TENCENT subsidiary is seeking between HK$48 and HK$55/share for an issuance of 151m shares in Hong Kong, sources said, potentially bringing the amount raised to more than $1.06bn. The online publisher's investor roadshow will run from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31 and the company is aiming for Nov. 8 as its first trading day. TENCENT's plans to spin off the online publishers in Hong Kong had been subject to growing interest since it filed pre-listing documents to the territory's bourse in July. The company has also filed to list its SOGOU search engine unit in New York to raise as much as $600m and bankers expect it to follow up with a listing of CHINA MUSIC. Shares in TENCENT were down 0.2% in Hong Kong this morning, while the benchmark Hang Seng was off 0.7%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Philips Q3 core profit up - Alice Woodhouse

PHILIPS today reported core profit for the quarter to end-Sep. rose 12% y/y as sales in China saw double-digit growth. Adjusted EBITA rose to €532m on higher volumes and productivity savings, the company said. This was in line with analysts' estimates compiled by Reuters of EBITA of €533m. Sales rose 4% to €4.1bn in the quarter y/y, driven by growth in China and its Connected Care and Health Infomatics businesses. PHILIPS earlier this month said it would suspend the manufacture of external defibrillators at two plants in the US until they have been certified as complying with US FDA regulations. CEO FRANS VAN HOUTEN called the development "disappointing" but said the Dutch group will "confidently continue on our improvement path". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Spire Healthcare rejects takeover offer from Mediclinic - Adam Samson

SPIRE HEALTHCARE today said it has rejected a takeover offer from MEDICLINIC. The SA-based company made a cash and stock offer that values SPIRE at 298.6pps, SPIRE said in a statement. That represents a premium of around 14% to last Friday's closing price. SPIRE's board said it studied the proposal that was made on Oct. 18 and determined that it "significantly undervalues SPIRE and its prospects". In a separate statement, MEDICLINIC said it was "considering its options" , adding that the terms valued SPIRE at a 30% mark-up to its closing price the evening before the offer was made. MEDICLINIC is SPIRE's largest shareholder, owning 29.9%. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Brexit 'deadlock' talks exaggerated - Tusk - Jim Brunsden

EU Council president DONALD TUSK said reports that talks between the EU and UK on Brexit are "deadlocked" are exaggerated, indicating that progress is being made towards a deal in Dec. on divorce issues. While further efforts are needed to unlock the possibility for Brussels and London to widen the scope of talks beyond divorce, "it doesn't mean that there is no progress at all", TUSK said. Speaking alongside him, European Commission president JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER struck a much more downbeat note - saying it had been correct for MICHEL BARNIER, the EU's chief negotiator to describe the talks as deadlocked in a press conference earlier this month. JUNCKER said no British official has spoken to him about what a "no deal scenario" in the talks might look like. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Elliott pushes for disposals at Smith & Nephew - Arash Massoudi

A unit of ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT has pushed for SMITH & NEPHEW to shed certain parts of its business in a move that could make the company a more attractive takeover target. According to sources, S&N have rebuffed the activist's demands, which have been made in the past few months for it to explore disposals. S&N has turned to help from advisers at MORGAN STANLEY and LAZARD. ELLIOTT's campaign is being run out of its European division called ELLIOTT ADVISORS, which is based in London. The exact size of the $33bn hedge fund's stake could not be determined, although two sources said ELLIOTT had a position of more than 2% in S&N. At that level, it would rank as one of the company's top seven largest shareholders. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pearson in advanced talks to sell English-language schools to private equity - Arash Massoudi

PEARSON is in talks with a consortium of Asian private equity firms to sell its English-language school unit for more than $350m in a deal that could be signed within weeks, sources said. Talks witH BARING PRIVATE EQUITY ASIA and CITIC CAPITAL HOLDINGS over the education publisher's Wall Street English unit are at an advanced stage, the source said. Bloomberg first reported details of the talks. PEARSON bought the language-training business from CARLYLE for a total of around $240m between 2009 and 2010, first acquiring the operations in China before buying the global business. Originally launched in Milan in the 1970s, Wall Street English provides English language teaching in countries across continental Europe, Asia and central South America after significant expansion in the 1990s. It has 400 centres and 180 000 current students, according to the company's website. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BMW HQ raided in EU antitrust probe - Patrick McGee

BMW's Munich headquarters were raided by the European Commission's antitrust arm on Friday following allegations over the summer that the biggest carmakers in Germany had colluded for decades. The Commission said its officials carried out an "unannounced inspection" at the premises of a "car manufacturer" in Germany on Oct. 16. The carmaker said it is assisting the European Commission in its work, adding that it "has not opened a formal proceeding against the BMW GROUP". The probe came after a Der Spiegel report in July that claimed BMW, DAIMLER, VOLKSWAGEN, PORSCHE and AUDI had held secret meetings since the 1990s to collude on certain technology. Specifically, it was alleged they agreed on the cost for components and the choice of suppliers, including to use only small, inexpensive tanks for the liquid solution AdBlue, which neutralises exhaust emissions in diesel vehicles. DAIMLER on Friday acknowledged it had self-reported the issue to the authorities and applied for leniency. VW declined to comment, aside from confirming that none of its sites - including its PORSCHE and AUDI units - were raided. BMW on Friday said it "wishes to make clear" the distinction between potential violations of antitrust law - which it is being investigated for - and illegal manipulation of exhaust gas treatment, which it has not been accused of. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Reinet Sep. quarter NAV drops - BDpro

REINET on Friday said its NAV dropped by €424m to €5.4bn in the quarter to end-Sep., mainly reflecting a decline in the value of its investment in BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO. The share price of BAT, which makes up two-thirds of REINET's asset value, was down around 15% in the quarter in pound terms in London, where it has a primary listing. This share price drop was partly attributable to reports that US regulators could cut nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tradehold expects rise in NAV - Sens

TRADEHOLD on Friday said it expects its NAV/share for the HY to end-Aug. to rise by 25.5%-40.5% to between 116.3pps and 130.2pps, compared to the NAV/share of 92.6pps reported y/y. Tangible NAV/share, as defined by management and which excludes goodwill, deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities, for the HY to end-Aug. is expected to increase to between 45.5% and 60.5% to between 127.0pps and 140.0pps, compared with the 87.3pps reported y/y. Interim results will be published on Nov. 9. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Trematon shares leap on earnings forecast - Robert Laing

Shares in TREMATON CAPITAL rose 7% to R3 on Friday morning after the company said it expected to post a 12-fold rise in HEPS. The investment holding firm said it expected to report on Nov. 20 that HEPS for the FY to end-Aug. would grow to 20.2cps-20.4cps, from the matching period's 1.7cps. Basic EPS would be nearly six times the 22.8cps reported y/y, while the company's NAV/share would be more than 50% higher than the R2.55 reported at end-Aug. 2016. In July, TREMATON announced a R72m deal to expand into the UK via ASK PARTNERS, which would offer syndicated loans to property developers. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eqstra takeover helps enX post more than fivefold increase in revenue - Robert Laing

ENX's revenue increased more than fivefold to R6.2bn following its takeover of EQSTRA's industrial equipment and fleet leasing businesses. But its after-tax loss widened more than sixfold to R461m for the FY to end-Aug., from R71m y/y. ENX also announced the resignation of CEO JANNIE SERFONTEIN, who will be replaced by executive deputy chair PAUL MANSOUR on Mar. 31. The role of executive deputy chair will fall away once MONSOUR becomes CEO. On Oct. 3, ENX divorced itself from EXTRACT by distributing 21.4 EXTRACT shares per ENX share held, while EXTRACT sold most of its mining contracting business to its primary customer, THARISA, leaving it a cash shell. "By finalising the unbundling of EXTRACT GROUP, we are now a pure-play diversified industrial business with a significantly increased market capitalisation, assets under management and earnings base. The unbundling unlocks the associated benefits of certainty and simplicity for our stakeholders", ENX said. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

4Sight jumps almost 20% after announcing details of first acquisition - Robert Laing

4SIGHT on Friday saw its shares jump 19% to R2.80 on the AltX after it announced details of its first acquisition. In a deal valued at R54.8m, 4SIGHT said it would acquire BLUEESP for R19.8m cash and 17.5m of its shares, 4SIGHT said on Friday. On Tuesday, 4SIGHT said it intended acquiring BLUEESP, AGE TECHNOLOGIES and FOURSIGHT following its IPO in which it raised R113m by placing 56.4m shares at R2 apiece. BLUEESP was established in 2008 and sells real-time optimisation systems to mines and factories. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Moody's rates Discovery, sees expansion plans as risky - Fin24

Just days after DISCOVERY LIMITED received approval from the Registrar of Banks for a banking licence, MOODY's has given the company a credit rating for the first time. MOODY's on Friday said the company was assigned a Ba1 global scale and a Aa3.za national scale rating. The outlook for the group is negative, in line with that of SA's sovereign rating outlook. MOODY's said the ratings reflect DISCOVERY's very strong franchise in SA and its growing global footprint. DISCOVERY also has a strong profitability and significant non-insurance fee income from DISCOVERY HEALTH. Other strengths include its moderate exposure to local investments because of the "capital-light nature" of its business, and its good capitalisation on both a regulatory and economic basis, MOODY's said. These strengths are offset by the company's business exposure to SA and the challenging operating environment. Other challenges include the complexity inherent in its shared value insurance model, its ambitious expansion initiatives that present execution risk and require significant amounts of external funding, MOODY's said. "Given the group's large investments expected in VITALITY LIFE (UK), VITALITY PARTNER MARKETS and the DISCOVERY BANK over the next three years, we expect debt leverage to increase of the next two to three years before gradually returning closer to current levels", MOODY's said. It said factors that could improve the rating would be if there is an upgrade in SA's sovereign rating, while another downgrade could pose a risk to DISCOVERY's rating. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Lehohla hands over Stats SA reins - Justin Brown

Minister in the Presidency JEFF RADEBE last week announced that RISENGA MALULEKE had been appointed as the new Statistician-General and head of Statistics SA. MALULEKE's appointment will take effect from Nov. 1 after PALI LEHOHLA's tenure expires at the end of Oct. MALULEKE has worked for Stats SA for twenty years and started with the organisation as a manager at the Limpopo provincial office in 1997. He is currently a deputy DG at Stats SA. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

South32 said to study bid for Rio coal mines - Brett Foley, Bloomberg

SOUTH32 is studying a potential bid for RIO TINTO's $1.6bn coking coal portfolio as it seeks to take advantage of surging prices for the commodity. The company is working with an adviser as it weighs an offer fro RIO's Hail Creek and Kestrel mines in Australia, sources said. It could face competition from rivals including WHITEHAVEN COAL, which is also considering a bid. SOUTH32's coking coal output fell by two-thirds in the quarter to end-Sep., after operations at an Australian mine were halted. Production in part of the Illawarra operations resumed this month, though output will be lower than previously expected over at least the next two years, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS said last week. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Eskom approval last remaining hurdle for Seriti Coal deal - Terence Creamer

The black-empowered consortium selected as the preferred bidder for ANGLO AMERICAN's ESKOM-tied coal operations is optimistic that the utility will approve the ceding of three coal supply agreements from ANGLO to SERITI COAL by year-end. The R2.3bn deal was announced in Apr. and ESKOM's approval is the last outstanding condition, following the Competition Commission's sanctioning of the deal and the Department of Mineral Resources' approval of a Section 11 mining rights transfer. SERITI will supply 22% of ESKOM's annual coal requirement, with the contractual tonnes to be supplied being 37mt/year. ESKOM spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE said the deal should be approved by "December 2017 subject to the outcome of the due diligence and internal and external approvals that may be required". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

NERSA releases dates, venues for upcoming Eskom hearing - Creamer Media Reporter

NERSA has published the dates and venues for its upcoming public hearings into ESKOM's revenue application for the 2018/19 FY. The utility has applied for an allowable revenue of R219.5bn, which would translate to a 19.9% average hike in electricity tariffs on Apr. 1. The hearings will take place in all nine provinces between Oct. 30 and Nov. 16, and are scheduled to take place from 09:00 to 17:00 on all nine of the days set aside by the regulator. NERSA has requested those members of the public and stakeholders who wish to make oral representations to register by 15:30 on Oct. 23. Applicants should specify the hearing at which they wish to present. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bushveld shareholders approve tin asset demerger - Creamer Media Reporter

Shareholders of BUSHVELD MINERALS have approved the demerger of the company's tin assets. BUSHVELD earlier this announced plans to demerge its tin assets, comprising the Mokopane tin and Zaaiplaats tin tailings projects in SA, and the Uis tin project in Namibia, and to list AFRITIN MINING, which will house the assets, on London's Aim. The listing will enable it to raise equity capital to acquire the remaining 50.5% interest in DAWNMIN, which indirectly owns 85% of the Uis project. BUSHVELD will retain a 15% stake in AFRITIN, which will be headed up by CEO ANTHONY VILJOEN. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Alrosa finds 34ct yellow diamond - Creamer Media Reporter

ALROSA's Almazy Anabara has extracted a large 34.17ct yellow diamond at its Ebelyakh alluvial deposit. The rough diamond measures 20.17mm by 19.65mm by 15.1mm and is a transparent intense yellow crystal with a small inclusion in the intermediate zone. ALROSA director EVGENY AGUREEV said the stone "will become a worth addition to our collection of large rare-coloured diamonds that we are forming and will bring to the market". Earlier this year, the almazy Anabara mine also extracted a unique 27.85ct pure pink diamond - the largest pink stone in the company's history. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigeria seeks to boost mining reserves - Bloomberg

Nigeria plans to spend 15bn naira over the next year to explore for minerals and attract investors into mining to reduce its reliance on oil, Solid Minerals Development Minister KAYODE FAYEMI said last week. "Because we are starting from a low base, we want to have a portfolio of exploration activities in place that could whet the appetite of the average investor who wants to come in", he said, adding that they will be able to "Drill down when they have that baseline information". The government plans to support investments in the exploration of its priority minerals including gold, bitumen, iron, barite, limestone, lead and zinc. The government is hoping to attract as much as 60bn naira of private investment into mining, FAYEMI added. To further encourage investors, incentives including tax holidays of as much as five years for new companies entering the market, duty free imports on mining equipment and mining licences for 25 years have been put in place, the minister added. Additional support for the industry is expected via a $600m bond to be sold by the end of the year to raise more funds to provide required infrastructure and help accumulate data on minerals. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Sanlam partners with Bermuda-based insurer - Fin24

SANLAM has partnered with Bermuda-based insurer SOMPO HOLDINGS INCORPORATED as part of the firm's strategy to expand into Africa. According to a statemen tissued by SOMPO, it has formed "alliances" with SANLAM and insurance company SAHAM FINANCES, mainly because of their reach in the African continent. "The partnership will give access to new markets by allowing SOMPO to leverage the experience and existing footprint of SANLAM LIMITED and SAHAM GROUP's insurance subsidiaries. SOMPO's core market is in Japan and the partnership will be executed via SOMPO JAPAN NIKKONKOA INSURANCE INCORPORATED. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Threat of court action if govt steps out of line with nuclear plans - Fin24

Should the details of any progress on trying to push through the nuclear build programme not be open to the public, the DA will not hesitate to go to court to interdict it. DA MP GORDON MACKAY yesterday said allegations in the media regarding a high-level Russian delegation which met with President JACOB ZUMA shortly before last week's Cabinet reshuffle are "startling to say the least". MACKAY noted that the previous energy minister, MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI, committed on record to abide by the Western Cape High Court's nuclear ruling in Apr. this year. He added that the new minister, DAVID MAHLOBO, is bound by the court judgment as well and any deviation will be illegal. In order for the deal to be approved, five key pieces of legislation or regulations would need to be updated and amended by Parliament. These include the Integrated Resource Plan; the electricity pricing path; procurement regulations' the framework agreements; and changes to the energy act to allow for a different funding ownership model. "In addition, the court ruling made clear the need for a substantial public participation process", MACKAY added. He said the opposition will be keeping a very close eye out for any such amendments and will also push for the entire process to be open and competitive. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Claim of Zuma reshuffle after Russian meeting - Fin24

President JACOB ZUMA reshuffled his cabinet last week, allegedly just hours after a meeting with a group of Russian officials, the Sunday Times reported yesterday. The paper reported that a high-level Russian delegation met ZUMA just hours before his latest Cabinet reshuffle, in efforts to implement a R1tn new nuclear build project deal. Last week, Minister of State Security DAVID MAHLOBO was appointed as the country's new energy minister, with former energy minister MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI moved to the communications portfolio. The newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying that the Russian "visit was to deliver what many of us believe to be the final warning to the South African authorities". The source claimed that members of the Russian military, police and the intelligence service were part of the group. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Bald Hill fully funded - Tawana - Esmarie Swanepoel

TAWANA RESOURCES on Friday told shareholders it was fully funded to start production in Q1 2018 from its Bald Hill project, in Western Australia, after securing A$25m in funding. The funding package comprises a A$20m share placement to Germany's WEIER ANTRIEBE UND ENERGIETECHNIK, which is a subsidiary of JIANGTE SPECIAL ELECTRIC MOTOR, as well as a A$5m loan. WEIERS will be issued an initial 14.2m shares, at a price of 35c apiece, by Oct. 25, and a further 42.8m shares at the same issue price by Nov. 15, giving it an 11.5% stake in TAWANA. The A$5m finance facility will have an 11%/year interest rate, payable quarterly in arrears, and a maturity date of Dec. 2019. "We are very pleased to complete the funding for our share of the development and construction costs of the Bald Hill lithium mine", TAWANA MD MARK CALDERWOOD said, adding that the company is "exceptionally placed to benefit from the favourable long-term demand dynamics for the lithium sector based on electric vehicles". Bald Hill is expected to deliver 155 000t/year of spodumene concentrate and 260 000lb/y of tantalum pentoxide over a mine life of 3.6 years. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hammerson buys Parisian shopping centre - Siseko Njobeni

HAMMERSON PLC last week said it had completed the acquisition of the 11 000m² shopping centre Cergy 3 adjoining its central Les Trois Fontaines, Cergy Pontoise, Paris for R1.28bn from a private vendor. HAMMERSON said the acquisition strengthened its investment by increasing the sale of the retail platform. "It also supports an enhanced customer experience by providing the opportunity to manage leasing and consumer initiatives across both adjoining sites", the company said. HAMMERSON said Cergy 3 was anchored by retail chain FNAC and had 46 units let to retailers and restaurants. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Comair helps Gift of the Givers provide drought relief - Tamaryn Africa

COMAIR and its brands, BRITISH AIRWAYS and KULULA.COM, are helping fund fuel to transport fodder for starving farm animals that have been affected by drought in the Northern, Eastern and Southern Cape and Karoo, the carrier said last week. Executive Manager of Commercial Distribution at COMAIR, IAIN MEAKER, said air transport played a central role in a country's global, social and economic development. "There was thus no hesitation from our end to offer a helping hand, considering the intensive fuel use of the aviation industry and have decided to assist Gift of the Givers by donating R500 000 to the farmers and animals who are currently left destitute by the drought in these areas". Contributing farmers had made 392 truckloads of fodder available, but this did not rule out the dire need for corporations and individuals to make fuel donations to lessen the R3m fuel bill to deliver fodder to the farms. MEAKER said COMAIR's contributions would be allocated to reduce the fuel "burden". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Nigerian lenders pick Barclays to find new investors for 9mobile - Chijioke Ohuocha

Nigerian lenders have picked BARCLAYS to try to find new investors for debt-laden 9MOBILE, two sources said last week. The sources also said the central bank had asked lenders to take a 5% provision on a $1.2bn syndicated loan to 9MOBILE in their Q3 results due this month, pending the emergence of new investors. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Pilot strike at Mango ends - TJ Strydom

Pilots at MANGO on Friday reported to work, ending a four-day strike, Solidarity said. The low-cost airline, owned by embattled SAA, granted pilots a 7% salary increase and agreed to table an agreement outlining flight scheduling and hours of work within six months, the union said in a statement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Group Five allows Greenbay's $116m bid to lapse - Nqobile Dludla

GROUP FIVE on Friday allowed a R1.6bn offer from GREENBAY PROPERTIES to lapse, sending its shares down more than 11%. GREENBAY on Monday offered to buy GROUP FIVE's European assets and gave it until Oct. 20 to accept the offer. GROUP FIVE said the offer undervalued its assets compared with possible rival bids. Shares in GROUP FIVE fell 11.2% to R11.10 after the announcement. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

SA expects to renew Total's offshore exploration right - Wendell Roelf

SA is expected to renew TOTAL's offshore exploration rights next year, PETROLEUM AGENCY OF SA acting CEO LINDIWE MEKWE said on Friday. This is expected to be granted in Q2 2018, MEKWE said. France's TOTAL stopped drilling off SA's southern coast in 2014 after experiencing mechanical problems with its rig in rough sea conditions. It operates Block 11B/12B, where it holds a 50% stake with CNR INTERNATIONAL, a subsidiary of CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES LIMITED. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Acacia says can't pay $300m upfront that Tanzania deal calls for - Zandi Shabalala

ACACIA MINING said it could not immediately pay the $300m that BARRICK GOLD agreed to hand the government of Tanzania to settle a dispute that has crippled the company's operations in that country. BARRICK on Thursday said it had agreed with Tanzania for ACACIA to hand over the money, plus a 16% stake in three of its mines, and to split the "economic benefits" from those operations. But ACACIA's executive managers on Friday said they had not been presented with any formal proposal and were seeking more clarity on the agreement. "The first comment I would make is that BARRICK is equally aware of our balance sheet as we are... We don't have the ability to make an upfront $300m payment", ACACIA CFO ANDREW WRAY said, adding a BARRICK and government working group would need to come up with a solution. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Market indicators for 23/10/2017

At 06h57 on 23 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.67 ZAR/EUR 16.09 ZAR/GBP 18.04 Gold 1276.13 Platinum 917.00 Brent Crude Oil 57.92 All Share 57948.66

Rio said to hold talks with Indonesia on Gransberg mine exit - Bloomberg

RIO TINTO has held talks with Indonesian groups, including PT INDONESIA ASAHAN ALUMINIUM, about a possible exit from its interest in the Grasberg copper/gold project. Executives at RIO held talks in recent weeks, including in Indonesia, on a potential sale of its income stream assets that's part of the JV agreement with GRASBERG's operator FREEPORT-MCMORAN, sources said. RIO is studying a range of options that could enable it to sell on its interest. There's no guarantee that the talks will advance, or that any deal will eventuate, the sources said. RIO declined to comment in an emailed statement and FREEPORT didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Verizon climbs on strong mobile subscriber growth - Nic Fildes

VERIZON has hit Q3 expectations after adding 603 000 new contract customers in the mobile market and growing its fixed-line revenue by around 5%. The company reported EPS of 89cps, in line with expectations, while a 2.5% rise in revenue to $31.7bn was better than forecast. It said natural disasters in Florida and Texas sliced 1c/share from its earnings while the integration of YAHOO knocked 2c off the figure. Profit before tax fell to $5.5bn from $5.6bn y/y. The stock climbed nearly 2% in pre-market trading following the Q3 results. VERIZON said the integration of YAHOO is ahead of internal expectations. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Noble Group shares halted pending major transaction - Hudson Lockett

Trading in NOBLE GROUP's shares was halted today at the request of the company, ahead of the announcement of a major transaction. The company asked for an immediate trading halt this afternoon in Singapore "pending announcement of a major transaction". NOBLE said in early Oct. that rival MERCURIA had paid $102m for its US gas and power business and deposited a further $83m in an escrow account. At a total of $185m, the deal came in far below the $261m NOBLE had estimated it would be paid when it asked shareholders to approve the sale. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Acacia says business 'resilient' in Q3 despite Tanzania hit - Cat Rutter Pooley

ACACIA MINING said its business was "resilient" in the face of the challenges but that it had taken a further hit to its balance sheet with its cash position dropping to $95m at end-Sep. Revenue for Q3 was 40% down y/y at $171m after the Tanzanian government's ban on gold exports cost the company around $90m. EBITDA dropped 60% in the quarter to $77m y/y, while basic EPS came in at 3.9cps, down from 12.9cps y/y. "Our business has continued to be resilient in the face of the challenges in Tanzania and delivered production of 191 203 ounces during the quarter at all-in sustaining costs of $939 per ounce sold", CEO BRAD MORGAN said. "In order to preserve our balance sheet and the long-term viability of our business we took a range of actions including the transition of Bulyanhulu to a reduced operational state, changing the processing flow sheet at Buzwagi to enable the mine to sell all of the gold it produces, and securing a $1 300/oz floor price for the majority of our gold sales until February 2018". This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

BHP's Mackenzie says will not rush to sell US shale assets - Neil Hume

BHP will not rush to sell its loss-making US shale business. Speaking at the company's AGM in London, CEO ANDREW MACKENZIE said the sale process was underway but the company would be "patient as we examine all the options". "We know what the acreage is worth in our hands and we are prepared to take time to best maximise shareholder value", he added. BHP announced plans to sell the US shale business in Aug., saying it was not aligned with its longer-term strategy and was non-core. Activist investor ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT wants BHP to go further and sell or spin-off all of its oil assets, including its fields in the Gulf of Mexico. BHP has rebuffed those calls, saying its conventional petroleum business can make decent returns in an environment where spending on new fields is being slashed by cash-strapped oil companies. MACKENZIE said the company wanted to add to conventional reserves and was on the right track following positive drilling results in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Goldman CEO praises Frankfurt as pressure mounts on British PM - Martin Arnold

GOLDMAN SACHS CEO LLOYD BLANKFEIN has praised the actions of Frankfurt in a message on Twitter that heaped more pressure on UK PM THERESA MAY as she kicked off key Brexit talks at this week's European summit. BLANKFEIN wrote: "Just left Frankfurt. Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it. Good, because I'll be spending a lot more time there. #Brexit." The message comes weeks after GOLDMAN signed a lease on a Frankfurt skyscraper that would allow it to quintuple its staff numbers in the German financial capital as it gears up to shift jobs out of the UK ahead of Brexit. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Philip Morris slides after guidance cut, missed earnings - Pan Kwan Yuk

PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL saw more than $7bn wiped off its market cap in early trading yesterday after it reported a 10th consecutive quarter of cigarette volume decline and cut its FY earnings outlook for a second time this year. PMI said it now expects FY diluted EPS to come in at between $4.75 and $4.80/share, down from the $4.78-$4.93 range it forecast in July. The weaker outlook comes as the company continued to grapple with falling cigarette volumes in Q3. For the quarter to end-Sep., shipments of traditional cigarettes fell 4.1% to 198.5bn units, with all four of its regional geographic units posting declines. Volume of its Marlboro brand was down 6.1% during the quarter. While the company has traditionally been able to offset this volume drop by hiking prices, this strategy seems to be reaching its limits, with cigarette sales value down 3.6% y/y to $6.5bn in Q3. Overall group revenue excluding excise taxes was up 7% at $7.5bn, missing forecasts of $7.7bn, thanks to sales increases in new tobacco technology products. This unit saw sales jump to $947m, up from the $212m reported y/y. Net income rose by 1.7% to $1.97bn, or $1.27/diluted share, missing market forecasts of $2.16bn and $1.384/share. Shares in PMI fell as much as 4.3% before steadying to trade 3.7% lower at $108.38. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PE groups bid for Unilever's spread business - Javier Espinoza

Some of the largest private equity groups in the US and Europe are placing first bids for UNILEVER's spreads business, sources said yesterday. Buyout groups have formed three rival groups made up of CLAYTON DUBILIER & RICE and BAIN CAPITAL and CVC CAPITAL PARTNERS and BLACKSTONE. KKR and Singapore's GIC are also placing a first bid. However, it is understood KKR may choose a different investor to pursue the deal when it comes to second-round bids. APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT, which recently raised a $25bn fund, is also exploring a bid. All parties declined to comment. The business is expected to have an enterprise value of around $8bn, which has led to private equity groups teaming up to diversify their risk giving rise to so-called club deals. UNILEVER has invited bids both for the whole business, which is spread over 60 countries, and for regional packages. The spreads business is highly profitable, with a margin estimated at 20% but analysts said revenues have been falling for the best part of a decade as consumers switch to natural foods, such as butter. UNILEVER yesterday said spreads sales had fallen by 2% in its Q3 - the best result for years. The company has 34% of the global spreads market. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

PayPal raises outlook again, sending shares higher - Mamta Badkar

PAYPAL shares rose in extended trading after the company lifted its annual output again and posted upbeat quarterly results buoyed by robust mobile payments. Shares in PAYPAL rose 3.5% to $69.60 after it said it now expects revenues in the range of $12.92bn-$12.98bn, up from the $12.775bn-$12.875bn range it had forecast in July. Q3 net income rose to $380m or 31cps in the quarter to end-Sep., compared with $323m or 27cps y/y. That was a penny shy of analysts' forecasts of 32c. Adjusting for one-time items, the group reported EPS of 46cps, ahead of expectations for 43cps. Revenues rose 21% to $3.2bn, just ahead of expectations for $3.18bn. The increase came as the company reported record customer growth with 8.2m net new active users. Around 35% of payment volume came via a mobile device and mobile payment volume rose 54% y/y to about $40bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Hedge fund Red Kite files suit against Barclays - Martin Arnold

RED KITE, a hedge fund specialising in metals investments, has filed an $850m lawsuit against BARCLAYS, accusing the latter of causing it vast losses by front-running its trades in the copper market. The claim in London's High Court adds to the legal woes of BARCLAYS, which is also facing a regulatory probe into its CEO's attempts to uncover the identity of a whistleblower and a multibillion-dollar claim by US authorities for mis-selling mortgage securities. The claim by RED KITE alleges that BARCLAYS circulated details of the hedge fund's orders to its own traders and other brokers on the LME, allowing them to profit from betting against the bank's own client. The trades date back to 2011. BARCLAYS is understood to be contesting the claim. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Updated market indicators for 20/10/2017

At 10:51 on 20 October 2017 the market indicators were as follows: ZAR/USD 13.68 ZAR/EUR 16.14 ZAR/GBP 17.96 Gold 1280.27 Platinum 914.50 Brent Crude Oil 57.27 All Share 58115.00

Nissan suspends Japanese production over inspection failures - Peter Wells

NISSAN will suspend production of vehicles in Japan after unauthorised workers were found to be certifying cars even after an earlier instance of that problem had been discovered. Earlier this month the company was forced to start the recall of nearly 1.2m vehicles produced over the past three years for the Japanese market after it was revealed uncertified technicians had carried out final inspections of cars. NISSAN said that even since then, unauthorised workers had still carried out these checks at some plants. About 34 000 vehicles are subject to the new re-inspection, which is estimated to cost less than Y1bn. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Tencent-backed Sea seeks to raise $1bn in NY IPO - Edward White

TENCENT-backed SEA LIMITED will seek to raise more than $1bn via an IPO in New York today. The Southeast Asian ecommerce and gaming group has priced its shares at $15 apiece, above the indicated range of $12-$14. The pricing for the shares implies that if the greenshoe option is fully exercised the listing could raise up to just over $1bn. Without the option, the IPO would raise $884m. TENCENT, which currently owns a 39.8% outstanding equity interest in SEA, said it is interested in participating in the IPO by subscribing for up to $100m worth of shares. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Ericsson posts deeper than expected quarterly loss - Richard Milne

ERICSSON underperformed already low expectations as it reported a drop in Q3 sales and big loss. Sales in the quarter fell by 6% to SKr47.8bn, in line with analyst forecasts, but ERICSSON announced an operating loss of SKr4.8bn, well ahead of average estimates of a loss of SKr3.5bn. Operating profit was hit by SKr1.5bn in costs due to development and hardware costs, KSr2.3bn in adjustments to customer projects, and SKr2.8bn in restructuring costs as it tries to become more competitive against rivals such as HUAWEI and NOKIA. CEO BORJE EKHOLM tried to strike a relatively upbeat tone despite acknowledging that market conditions continued to be "tough". "While more remains to be cone we are starting to see some encouraging improvements in our performance despite a continued challenging market. Networks showed a slight sales growth year over year", EKHOLM noted. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Acacia jumps after Barrick, Tanzania strike deal to end dispute - John Aglionby

ACACIA MINING's shares soared more than 18% yesterday after its majority shareholder, BARRICK GOLD, agreed the Tanzanian government would take a 16% take in its assets in the country to end a six-month dispute over the company's operations. BARRICK executive chair JOHN THORNTON said the company would also pay Tanzania $300m as a sign of good faith. It is not immediately clear if the government, in return, would lift the demand for ACACIA to meet a $190bn demand for unpaid taxes. ACADIA denied any wrongdoing and disputed the revenue authority's assessment that it owed the government around $40bn in unpaid taxes plus a further $150bn in penalties and interest. Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister PALAMAGAMBA KABUDI said ACACIA and the government would, in future, split revenues from the company's three mines 50:50. THORNTON said the deal would be subject to approval from the company's independent shareholders and directors. ACACIA's shares were trading at 216p yesterday afternoon. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Opening more stores helps Dis-Chem - Robert Laing

Opening 19 new stores, taking the total to 118, helped DIS-CHEM PHARMACIES grow interim revenue 14% to R9.95bn. After-tax profit rose 37.4% to R409m for the HY to end-Aug. from the y/y period, which was before the pharmacy chain listed on the JSE on Nov. 18. "The increase is a result of the additional centralisation of vendors and better trade terms wth suppliers as the group continued to increase market shares across our core categories", CEO IVAN SALTZMAN said this morning. Despite an 8% rise in its shares in issue following its IPO, DIS-CHEM managed to grow its HEPS by 38.1% to 46.8cps. Its first interim dividend as a listed entity was set to 18.73035cps. DIS-CHEM's retail arm contributed 91% to the group's R9.6bn total sales and a pre-tax profit of R629m, while its wholesale arm grew revenue 21% but contributed a R53m pre-tax loss. Retail turnover grew 15% - 8.6% excluding new stores - against product inflation of 4% Looking ahead, SALTZMAN said the company expected low economic growth and a rise in taxes to continue constraining consumers in the second half of its FY. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.

Quantum reaps benefits of low input costs - Andries Mahlangu

QUANTUM FOODS shares rose as much as 18% yesterday after it said it expects a much improved financial performance. The company expects HEPS in the FY to end-Sep. to rise by up to 85%, benefiting from lower input costs. QUANTUM said it took a R30m charge for layer hens destroyed due to bird flu, and associated clean-up costs. The company said lower feed costs, coupled with higher selling prices, improved its egg business. Increased external sales volumes from its feed business, as well as improved trading conditions in other African operations, contributed to the overall enhanced financial performance. This news brief represents a summary of the original article.