>
>
News Archive: 2015

News archive

31 December 2015

R94 billion bilateral deals crown state visits – Business Report

The signing of 26 agreements worth R94 billion by the Chinese and SA governments on Wednesday present an opportunity for the skewed trade relations and perceptions between the two countries to be addressed. The trade balance favours China as more than 90 percent of SA’s top 10 exports to China are in raw materials, while all of the country’s top 10 imports from China are manufactured products. Abdul Davids comments.
view article

18 November 2015

Astral makes hay while the sun shines – Moneyweb

Investors who bought into Astral Foods on the back of a superb trading update in early November will have made an 11% loss as the share fell from R171.50 at the time, to R152 by the time the company reported its results on Monday. While Astral and peers like Sovereign Foods and RCL Foods have all delivered better results thanks to more benign trading conditions and after a four tough years, the clouds are once again building on the horizon. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments. view article

16 November 2015

Daybrook in US a prime catch for Oceana – Business Day

Fishing group Oceana, which has consumer brands giant Tiger Brands and empowerment group Brimstone as anchor shareholders, netted an encouraging first-profit catch from its recent acquisition in the US. Oceana’s year to end-September results released yesterday showed fishmeal and fish oil specialist Daybrook Fisheries chipped in revenues of R574 million and operating profit of R180 million. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
view article

6 October 2015

SA clothes sellers eye fast, local supply as rivals land – Sharenet

South African retailers are waking up to the need to work more closely with a resurgent domestic textile industry to help fend off global fashion giants muscling in on the continent’s most lucrative market. Cheap Chinese clothes imports almost broke the back of local garment makers, but the sector has started to recover after the government invested more than R2 billion (US$149 million) in upgraded production lines and more innovative technology. Abdul Davids comments. view article

2 October 2015

As the wheel turns – Financial Mail

A sign of the intensifying pressure on mining companies is that even some of the biggest and most diversified are having to abandon progressive dividend policies. Still, it’s debatable whether progressive dividend policies, which mean increasing dividends every year, were ever an appropriate pledge for companies operating in such a cyclical industry. Abdul Davids comments.
view article – part one
view article – part two

22 September 2015

Discovery applies for bank licence – Business Day

Using its First National Bank-backed credit card as a springboard, Discovery will launch a ‘full-service’ retail bank as soon as it obtains regulatory approval in a bid to diversify its income streams. The insurer has already put in motion its plan to add a bank to its operations through the acquisition of a nearly 75% interest in DiscoveryCard. “We have applied for a licence. We don’t know when that will be granted,” said Discovery CEO Adrian Gore. Mr Gore said Discovery’s retail bank would be built from a technology perspective. Justin Floor comments.
view article

25 August 2015

Panama casino dims Sun’s results – Business Day

Sun International pulled out all the cost-cutting stops to offset tough trading conditions in its South African market but was tripped up by a poor start at its new casino in Panama and foreign exchange losses in Nigeria. Reporting results for the financial year to end-June, CEO Graeme Stephens said Sun would have reported a 27% increase in headline earnings had the performance not been hampered by events in Panama and Nigeria (Sun’s R44m share of unrealised forex losses on dollar-denominated Nigerian minority shareholder loans). Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
view article

6 August 2015

MTN in patient wait for Iran funds – Business Day

MTN expects it will take until next year to free its $1.1bn profits trapped in Iran following nuclear agreements Iran reached with the US and other countries to lift sanctions. MTN chief financial officer Brett Goschen said there were still a number of processes that would have to be finalised. But the group felt more positive, and if sanctions were lifted now, it would be able to repatriate its money possibly by next year. Aslam Dalvi comments. view article

30 July 2015

Anglo puts a brave face on radical cost cutting – Financial Mail

ANGLO American might have scored public relations points by paying an interim dividend, but was this wise? After all, the figures for the half year to June hardly painted a picture of a robust mining giant with cash to spare: cash flows from operations have fallen, the outlook for commodities remains weak, assets are being sold off to cut debt and jobs are being lost. Abdul Davids comments.
view article

30 July 2015

Trim fat, analysts tell Barclays Africa even as earnings surge – Business Day

Barclays Africa Group still had room to cut costs and manage excess capital better to help it reach its return on equity target of 18%-20% in the next financial year, analysts said on Wednesday following the release of its interim results. Jihad Jhaveri comments.
view article

26 July 2015

Curro to put the screws on Advtech – Sunday Times Business Times

Private schooling group Curro’s bid for its smaller rival, Advtech, may become hostile after the latter’s board rejected the PSG-controlled company’s advances and refused to take the offer to shareholders.
view article

24 July 2015

AdvTech board under fire – Business Report

Kagiso Asset Management, the second biggest shareholder in takeover target AdvTech, is disappointed that the board of the company had decided not to refer Curro’s offer to all shareholders. Simon Anderssen, a Kagiso Asset Management Investment Analyst, yesterday expressed concern at the AdvTech board’s lack of transparency in the withdrawal of the company’s cautionary.
view article

23 July 2015

New twist in Curro bid for Advtech – Business Day

THINGS could get unruly in the JSE’s private school sector where a R6bn takeover proposal may go hostile. On Wednesday PSG-controlled private education group Curro Holdings looked determined to take over smaller rival Advtech by detailing the terms of a premium-priced scrip and partial cash buyout offer at R13 a share. It also inferred the strong support of Advtech’s biggest institutional shareholders. Simon Anderssen comments. view article

23 July 2015

The game is on – Moneyweb

I don’t think so. In a nutshell this was the response from the Curro board following AdvTech’s announcement on Tuesday that it will not refer Curro’s offer to its shareholders for consideration. It summarily withdrew the cautionary relating to discussions between the two companies. Curro responded with a further, more detailed cautionary announcement. Simon Anderssen comments. view article

16 July 2015

Netcare: Both shield and sword – Financial Mail

Private health-care provider Netcare not only has the largest share of the local market but has a significant presence in the UK as well, where it is one of the largest providers to the National Health Service. Under CE Richard Friedland, Netcare has become one of the top health-care groups for deals in SA and abroad. It ranks alongside Mediclinic. Abdul Davids comments.
view article

15 July 2015

Grand Parade eyes Burger King supply chain – Business Day Live

Empowerment investment company Grand Parade Investments has acquired a stake in a burger patties company as a strategic move towards owning the entire Burger King supply chain. The firm’s wholly owned subsidiary, Grand Foods, early in September announced the acquisition of 65% of Excellent Meat Burger Plant for R37 million. Grand Foods was established two years ago to solely produce burger patties for Burger King in South Africa. It holds the master franchise agreement for Burger King in Southern Africa. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments. view article

1 July 2015

Naspers sees e-commerce as the key to future growth – Business Day

Naspers will continue to invest significantly in its internet businesses, especially e-commerce, in countries such as India. Chief operating officer Larry Illg said India was a key market that was yet to mature, but was highly competitive. Online or e-commerce shopping in India was growing faster than average. In India, Naspers offers classifieds services, payment solutions, and online buying sites under brands such as OLX, Flipkart and PayU. Aslam Dalvi comments.
view article

29 June 2015

One share (Naspers) shines brighter – Financial Mail Top Companies

Naspers has surpassed market expectations and become the first company to break through the R2000/share barrier — thanks to its China-based associate company Tencent. But the share price has reverted to trading under R2000, though it may end the year back at that level. Naspers’ share price is correlated closely with the share movement of Tencent, which accounts for almost all Naspers’ value. Tencent operations include online games and instant chat services. Naspers has over the years transitioned from a media house into Africa’s biggest Internet provider. Abdul Davids comments.
view article

29 June 2015

Africa is certainly not for sissies – Financial Mail

Consumer goods group Tiger Brands’ expansion into the rest of Africa has very much been a case of a “cat on a hot tin roof”. Its experiences in Nigeria and now Kenya have exposed some bad or rather rushed decisions by CEO Peter Matlare and his executives. This has pushed the group into a quandary. While it wants to continue with its march to conquer sub-Saharan Africa, it’s had to become so circumspect that it is unlikely to take major risk in the near future, while it is still trying to fix some of its floundering African operations. The danger is that its rivals, notably Pioneer Foods, is not waiting, setting its sights on the same African markets that Tiger Brands identified a decade ago. Victor Seanie comments.
view article

29 June 2015

Fat margins are a luxury – Financial Mail Investors Monthly

Tiger Brands has not only come under pressure from its offshore operations, its South African business has also been up against a wall in the past couple of years. Since the days of the recession, consumer spending has yet to fully recover, which means growth in the consumer goods industry largely remains subdued. Ongoing job losses and sharp increases in administered prices such as fuel and electricity have stifled spending too. The result has been an increase in competition between branded goods producers such as Tiger Brands and retailers’ private label offerings. Victor Seanie comments.
view article

12 June 2015

Successful diversification in the sugar industry – Finweek

The sugar producing business is cyclical by nature, as illustrated by the impact of a drought on the recent results from Tongaat Hulett and Illovo Sugar, the giants of the local industry. Both companies have worked hard in recent years to diversify their businesses, including into downstream operations such as ethanol and furfural production, electricity co-generation and, in the case of Tongaat, starch operations and property development. Dirk van Vlaanderen gives input into this feature piece.
view article

3 June 2015

Hospitals nervous ahead of probe – Citizen

Netcare, Life Healthcare (LHC) and Mediclinic are expected to take some heat when the delayed hearings of the Competition Commissions’ inquiry into the private health care market start. The three listed hospital groups dominate the private hospital market and, although none has a market share of more than 35%, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi contends each is able to exercise dominant market power at provincial or district level. The inquiry was due to begin in May, but was delayed to allow further submissions. Abdul Davids comments.
view article

20 May 2015

PPC rises despite 38% earnings fall – Business Day

SA’s dismal construction and mining markets saw the country’s premier cement maker,PPC post a 38% plunge in headline earnings per share in the six months to March. The company, its reputation hard hit by the sudden departure of former CEO Ketso Gordhan late last year after a battle with the board, has seen its share price halve in the past year. Victor Seanie comments.
view article

19 May 2015

Vodacom’s earnings decline for a ‘year of rebasing’ – Moneyweb

Vodacom Group Limited announced its financial results for the year ending March 31 2015, with Group headline earnings per share tumbling by 4% to 860 cents. The mobile network operator called the period ‘a year of rebasing’ amidst pressure on SA consumer spending, intensifying competition and a ‘challenging macro environment’. Aslam Dalvi comments.
view article

15 May 2015

Profit shoots up 75% and Sappi makes strides in cutting back debt – Business Day

Sappi’s profit for the second quarter shot up 75% from the same period last year to $56m. This was even as total sales fell 15% to $1.34bn. A one-off pension fund gain in Europe boosted operating earnings of the pulp, paper and chemical cellulose maker, with special items providing gains of $68m, up from $4m in the same period previously. Abdul Davids comments.

14 May 2015

Metair's great big hairy, audacious goals – Moneyweb

The world’s vehicle manufacturers are racing to meet tightening emissions legislation. They are investing heavily in technology to achieve increased fuel economy and lower vehicle emissions through innovations such as engine downsizing, turbocharging and weight reduction. They are also looking at start-stop engine management systems as a cost effective solution. JSE-listed Metair is one of a handful of global component manufacturers with the technology to supply the batteries used in start-stop systems. Simon Anderssen comments. Click here to read

30 April 2015

Sappi: Positive signs but not everyone is convinced – Finweek

Steve Binnie, at the helm of Sappi for the past 10 months, has had a tough shift. The papermaker’s fortunes abroad, where Sappi derives 75% of its sales, are waning due to falling demand and subdued prices for paper. Added to this is a net debt of US$2bn (R24bn), due in part to the US$1.1bn (R13bn) buyout of M-Real’s graphic papers business in 2008, which is putting its balance sheet and cash flow under pressure, leaving it with little room to invest in higher growth opportunities. Abdul Davids comments.

30 April 2015

Market happy with BAT's slow burn – Business Day

The local market seemed reassured by yesterday’s quarterly management statement from cigarette giant British American Tobacco (BAT) in spite of a further drop in volumes, with the share falling 0.7% to R656.60. BAT’s business model is built on being able to counter dwindling cigarette volumes with pricing power — especially in its Global Drive Brands (GDB) such as Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Dunhill and Rothmans. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.

29 April 2015

SP corporate credit rating cut to add to Anglo's troubles – Business Report

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) yesterday slashed its assessment of Anglo American’s ability to repay its debt because of the sharp drop in iron ore prices. In a statement yesterday, S&P said it had lowered the corporate credit ratings on the company to BBB-/A-3 from BBB/A-2 and the South Africa national scale rating to zaAA from zaAA+. The outlook is stable. It said the stable outlook reflected its view of the limited downside to the rating over the coming 12 to 18 months, supported by the company’s expectations that it will complete its divestment programme by the end of 2016. Rubin Renecke comments.

29 April 2015

Advtech U-turn on Maravest deal – Business Day

Private education group Advtech has compromised on the funding structure of its proposed acquisition of small rival Maravest after two of its biggest shareholders registered opposition last week. On Friday, Advtech issued a Stock Exchange News Service statement detailing a revised transaction that would see the R450m deal settled with a combination of cash and scrip. Advtech, which owns Crawford Colleges and Trinity House, initially proposed an all-share settlement with an issue of 54.4million new shares at 802c per share to the vendors of Maravest. But Kagiso Asset Management and Coronation Fund Managers, collectively holding 40% of Advtech’s issued shares, objected vehemently. They said existing shareholders would be materially diluted by the issue as the price was pitched well below their 1,100c per share fair value estimate for the company’s shares.

22 April 2015

Big investors oppose Advtech deal – Business Day

Private education group Advtech looks set for a showdown with its two biggest institutional shareholders over the funding structure for a proposed R450m acquisition of smaller rival Maravest. On Tuesday, Coronation Fund Managers and Kagiso Asset Management — which collectively have a 40% stake — confirmed they were likely to vote against the Maravest transaction. The deal needs the support of 50% of Advtech’s shareholders at a general meeting next Wednesday. Simon Anderssen discusses our misgivings around the proposed transaction.

15 April 2015

Can deliver, needs variety – Investors Monthly

Having laid a solid foundation, dairy producer Clover Industries now wants to scale up and improve earnings through the development of new products, acquisitions and expansion into the rest of Africa. The group is exploring entry into the baby food market, taking advantage of the trust it’s earned over decades as a milk producer. Soft drinks is another sector it’s researching. Elsewhere on the continent, it’s planning to get into Angola and grow its small operation in Nigeria. However, SA remains its focus — the fragmentation of the local market means opportunities for sizeable tie-ups could be pursued. Dirk van Vlaanderen discusses the group’s deals in recent years and credits management’s disciplined approach to deal making, which has resulted in value creation for shareholders.

13 April 2015

Is Naspers now the most important share on the JSE? – Moneyweb

When the JSE began trading on Monday morning, Naspers opened at R2 001.50 per share. This was the counter’s first foray above R2 000, a price that is just below 88% higher than where it opened on April 14 last year. It closed trade at R1 980 a share. Going back two years, the surge in the share price has been even more remarkable. On April 12, 2013, Naspers opened at R565. In other words, it has almost doubled over each of the last 12 month periods. Abdul Davids comments. Click here to read

12 April 2015

SA media battle goes down to the wire – Sunday Times

The media industry is murder right now, with newspaper circulations and advertising under pressure and no new obvious business model to replace the tired old way of the past. SA’s media companies are hoping at least part of the antidote lies in the launch of three new “wire” services – essentially agencies that sell news articles to newspapers, radio, TV stations or anyone needing content. The catalyst for this sudden rush: the demise of the South African Press Association (Sapa), the nonprofit wire service that supplied the media houses until two weeks ago, when it shut its doors. Abdul Davids comments.
view article

10 April 2015

Retailers coining it despite sluggish economy – Finweek

In a subdued economy like this one, where growth is pegged at around 2%, the latest retail figures from Stats SA surprised on the upside, particularly for more durable items. While overall retail trade sales increased by only 1.7% year-on-year in January, hardware, paint and glass sales were up 6.4%, while sales of fashion and leather goods increased 8.8%. Simon Anderssen comments.
view article

9 April 2015

Deindustrialisation: How we got to this point – Financial Mail

Trade liberalisation, which kicked off in the dying days of apartheid and involved slashed import tariffs, proved a huge shock to the manufacturing sector — the first of many. “Trade liberalisation was a shock which many companies, after having benefited from apartheid protectionism, probably couldn’t live with. It needed to be better calibrated and better aligned with other policy support instruments and in much closer collaboration with the sector itself,” says Garth Strachan, deputy director-general of the department of trade & industry’s industrial development unit. Abdul Davids comments in this article.
view article

9 April 2015

Manufacturing: Down in the dumps – Financial Mail

The manufacturing sector can and must adjust to a higher cost base to stem the tide of deindustrialisation in SA. Fuelled by consumption and credit, the service sector has easily outpaced the growth of productive sectors, pointing to an unsustainable and deep structural problem. Manufacturing, which holds the key to long-term job creation, employs 1,75m people, or 11,4% of the workforce — down from 2m people and 14,6% of the labour force in early 2008. Abdul Davids offers insight into this vital sector.
view article

1 April 2015

Portentous developments – IRFinity Magazine

Gavin Wood discusses how 2014 presented market dislocations and structural changes that have important implications for the course of financial markets.
view article

25 March 2015

Steady as she goes – Financial Mail

The jury is still out on whether Barclays Africa Group is back in the banking game. There are indications that SA’s third-largest bank by market value is on track for a turnaround. But not all the signs are positive. A year ago, CEO Maria Ramos committed to a three-year strategy to turn around the SA retail and business banking business, which has shed customers and revenue over the past few years. Jihad Jhaveri comments on the bank’s retail operations.
view article

23 March 2015

Sun in R94bn offer for casino group Peermont – Business Report

Hotel chain Sun International planned to buy out casino resort group Peermont for R9.4 billion in line with the group’s strategy to enhance its existing portfolio and seek new growth opportunities, it said on Friday. “This acquisition will enhance Sun International’s position and scale as a leading hotel, resort and gaming operator, which in turn positions it well to undertake larger developments and acquisitions globally,” said Sun International’s chief executive Graeme Stephens. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments on the deal.
view article

18 March 2015

Clover races to meet demand – Business Day

Clover Industries, which started making yoghurts and custards this year, will spend R65m on installing another yoghurt production line because the one it bought from DairyBelle has run out of capacity two years earlier than expected. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments on the company’s interim results.
view article

18 March 2015

PPC takes title of being SA's worst performing stock – Business Report

Cement-maker PPC is under new leadership, in talks about a possible merger and facing tougher competition at home and on the continent. That’s made it the country’s worst performing stock this year. The shares are down 37 percent so far this year, closing at R17.44 on the JSE yesterday and trading almost 47 percent lower than when former chief executive Ketso Gordhan’s resignation was announced on September 22. Victor Seanie comments.
view article

16 March 2015

Big five banks growing in hard times – Business Day

SA’s big five banks grew earnings by low double digits last year, despite a tough economic environment which has put consumers and corporate customers under pressure. The economy grew 1.5%, while FirstRand, Standard Bank, Barclays Africa, Nedbank and Investec grew headline earnings by an average 11.6%, EY African financial services sector leader Emilio Pera said on Thursday. Jihad Jhaveri comments on Standard Bank.
view article

16 March 2015

Discovery eyes bigger stake in card venture – Business Day

Discovery plans to buy a bigger stake in DiscoveryCard from its partner FirstRand, in order to access a greater share of the profits and to start offering more banking products. The financial services group will pay FirstRand R1.35bn of the R5bn it is planning to raise in a rights issue for the increased share of the card business. Justin Floor comments.
view article

16 March 2015

Implats may seek market finance – Business Report

Metal prices at five-year lows will prompt Impala Platinum Holdings to seek market financing should it proceed with a targeted $2.5 bn of spending on mines. That is the view of Kagiso Asset Management, which says that the South African producer’s five-year plan for building new shafts will force it to either raise cash or scale back capital expenditure unless platinum prices rebound. Gavin Wood comments.
view article

5 March 2015

MTN looks to data growth in Africa – Moneyweb

Data is a major growth area for the MTN Group, with low smartphone penetration, low data consumption per subscriber and the lack of fixed data services all contributing to a ‘very large data opportunity’ in Africa. This is according to Aslam Dalvi. “MTN remains well positioned to capitalise on this opportunity,” he adds.
view article

5 March 2015

Company comment: Bidvest – Business Day

Companies have been reeling out their results in past weeks, and if one trend is evident across the myriad sectors they represent it is that SA Inc is in some sort of trouble, despite their valiant efforts. Along with Eskom’s woes, they talk of a slow economy, strikes and a lack of government spending in productive enterprise. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments on Bidvest’s first-half results.
view article

5 March 2015

Declines in manufacturing demand, activity narrows in Feb – Engineering News

The seasonally adjusted Kagiso Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell by a steeper-than-expected 6.6 index points to 47.6 in February, driven chiefly by a 16.2-point decline in the business activity index (BAI) to 45.5. While January’s figure was “artificially high”, owing to seasonal factors, Kagiso Asset Management research head Abdul Davids advised on Monday that the group had not expected such a dramatic decline in the February index.
view article

5 March 2015

Challenge to cement future pricing power – Financial Mail Investors Monthly

The promise of a quickly growing international business was, until September last year, propping up PPC’s shares despite a weak South African market. But the stock’s gains were whittled away during a four-month boardroom drama, which was finally resolved in late January after the board was reconstituted at the company’s AGM, and new CEO Darryll Castle was given a vote of confidence by shareholders. In early February, the cement company’s shares were worth a third less than at a peak in September, prior to Ketso Gordhan’s acrimonious exit as CEO. With a new CEO and board now in place, the question to ask is whether or not the PPC share is a buy at these depressed levels. Victor Seanie comments.
view article

5 March 2015

Discovery to grow Vitality in the US with new partner – Business Day

Discovery has partnered with a major US life insurer to launch products developed on the Vitality model in April. The US insurer, which Discovery has not yet named, will launch a suite of products similar to those of Discovery Life in SA. The Discovery Life model offers lower premiums to customers with healthier behaviour. The insurer benefits from lower claims and improved mortality. Justin Floor comments.
view article

5 March 2015

Discovery vows to shake up life insurers – Business Day

Insurance group Discovery will use the bulk of a R5bn rights issue to grow its UK life insurance business in its bid to become the leader in a market it has vowed to shake up. CEO Adrian Gore said R3bn of the capital to be raised would be used in its UK VitalityLife business and as much as R2bn would be used to fund what he called “adjacent markets” in SA. Mr Gore would not be drawn on what this meant but said more information would be made available on March 10, when the details of the rights offer would be finalised. The funding would be for “an expansion of what we are doing in a slightly different space”, Mr Gore said of Discovery’s plans in SA. Justin Floor comments.
view article

5 March 2015

Imperial’s vehicle import unit stalls in half-year results – Business Day

Imperial Holdings performed to market expectations in deteriorating trading conditions in the six months to December, as the weaker rand depressed margins and affected competitiveness. Group revenue grew 9%, mainly on acquisitions, but operating profit fell by the same percentage in the period. This saw core earnings per share fall 14% in the year, even as cash flow from operating activities rose 73% to R1bn.  Qaqambile Dwayi comments.
view article

24 February 2015

Nedbank African units boost profit – Business Day

Nedbank’s operations in the rest of Africa contributed almost 4% to full-year earnings, with the inclusion for the first time of its recently acquired stake in the West African Ecobank Transnational Incorporated. Headline earnings from the South African group’s rest of Africa operations rose from a low base of R8m in 2013 to an estimated R133m last year. Total headline earnings were R9.9bn. SA’s four largest banks — Nedbank, FirstRand, Standard and Barclays Africa Group — are all pursuing growth strategies in the rest of Africa as SA’s economy slows. Jihad Jhaveri comments.
view article

24 February 2015

Sun International may look to the East – Business Day

Gaming and leisure group Sun International could turn its attention to Asia after proposals to consolidate its Latin American units into a bigger entity. In its half-year to end-December results, the group said all key properties (barring Sun City) showed increased profits after cost cuts last year. Recently Sun International announced a merger of its Latin American casino operations with similar-sized Latin American casino operator Dreams. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
view article

18 February 2015

Aveng earnings fall as revenues drop – Business Day

Aveng saw revenues fall 14% as net operating earnings dropped 19% and headline earnings a share plunged 58% in the six months to December. Along with many of its JSElisted peers the construction and engineering group is feeling pressure from a decline in mining investment and the poor rollout of government infrastructure in SA. Rubin Renecke comments.
view article

11 February 2015

Clover holds lots of promise – Business Day

Clover Industries could boost its operating profits by about a third if it reaches a medium-term target to have 15% market share in custard and yoghurt. Dirk van Vlaanderen discusses our investment case for Clover.
view article

8 February 2015

China’s boom and boon for SA workers – Business Times

In December 2011, more than 6 000 workers at South African company, Kumba Iron Ore each received a pay-out of R576 045. They were being rewarded for the good fortune of being employed by a company that supplied commodities to the booming Chinese market.  Gavin Wood comments on growth in China and the country’s role in the global commodities market.
view article

2 February 2015

Craft beer: Still in its infancy – Finweek

In South Africa, more than 50 microbreweries have found an opportunity in the shadow of market leader South African Breweries (SAB) to cater for a new market of beer drinkers, but compared to international counterparts, SA’s craft beer industry is still relatively untapped. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
view article

2 February 2015

Sasol decides to delay plant to investor fanfare – Business Report

Investors yesterday cheered Sasol’s decision to delay development of its $14 billion (R1611n) gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Louisiana in the US amid the falling oil price, which has declined over 50 percent in the last six months. The announcement caused Sasol’s shares to gain as much as 2.7 percent to R427.54. However, Sasol’s share closed 41c down at R416.16. Abdul Davids comments.
view article

22 January 2015

China weather dents SABMiller quarterly beer sales – Business Day

SABMiller’s weather-related woes in China spilled over into the brewer’s third quarter ended December, the company said yesterday in a trading update that showed its total beer volumes are on track to shrink in its 2015 financial year. SABMiller’s lager volumes were 1% lower in its third quarter after a similar contraction in the first half of its financial year, ending in March. In China, volumes fell 9% in the third quarter, following a 10% fall in the previous three months when bad weather over the peak summer season dented sales. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments.
view article

21 January 2015

Tighter belts are in – Financial Mail

SA retailers will have to continue battling it out on price for most of this year as consumers remain under pressure from high debt levels and lower disposable income. The decline in oil prices is expected to boost consumer confidence, but analysts caution that growth in employment and wages will remain subdued. Furthermore, the scheduled electricity load shedding is expected to have a negative effect on sales as it will disrupt business activities. Simon Anderssen comments.
view article

20 January 2015

Tough year ahead for SA retailers, warn experts – Business Report

Food retailers have started the year on a solid footing with good trading results for the festive season. However, they would have to work hard to raise their game in the new year as consumers would find themselves in more financial trouble than the previous year, according to equity analysts. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments on Massmart.
view article

19 January 2015

Australian deal props up Woolworths sales – Business Day

Woolworths’ food and clothing sales grew at a slower pace on a like-for-like stores basis in the 26 weeks to December 28 compared with a year ago, the company’s trading update released on Thursday shows. But thanks to its R23.3bn takeover of Australian department chain David Jones (DJs), Woolworths’ sales rose 55.2% in the first 26 weeks of its 2015 financial year. Simon Anderssen comments.
view article

19 January 2015

December PMI inches lower, but remains above neutral 50-point mark – Engineering News

Despite declining by 3.3 index points in December, the seasonally adjusted Kagiso Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) ended the year marginally above the neutral 50-point mark, at 50.2. During the second and third quarters of 2014, the PMI languished below 50, but the average reading for the fourth quarter came in at 51.2 index points compared with an average of 48.2 for the first nine months of the year. Abdul Davids said that the December index confirmed earlier expectations that the final quarter of the year would likely be the best quarter of 2014 for actual quarter-on-quarter manufacturing production growth. view article

19 January 2015

Led by the dollar gold price – Financial Mail

Harmony Gold Mining’s decision to scale back, though not abandon, its Golpu project in Papua New Guinea is typical of the capital expenditure cuts being forced upon the gold industry by a period of prolonged low prices. Harmony and its partner in Golpu, Newcrest Mining, are looking beyond current gold prices, and investors have responded positively. Abdul Davids comments.
view article

Subscribe to UP Quarterly