MONEY LIVE | Canadian firm hikes offer price for Adapt IT

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04 Jun 2021

Rand rockets to best level since February 2019

Equity markets moved higher while the dollar fell on Friday after tepid job US growth numbers assuaged fears of a rapid reduction in stimulus measures and a hike in interest rates.

The rand rocketed by almost 2.4% to R13.43/$ - its best level since early-February 2019. The currency has staged a strong recovery after hitting a record of R19/$ in April last year. The currency was last trading at R19.04/pound and R16.35/euro.

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04 Jun 2021

Volaris boosts bid price for Adapt IT

Canadian company Volaris has upped its offer price to Adapt IT shareholders.

It's now offering R7.00 a share in cash, against R9.09 in shares from Huge Group.  Adapt IT's independent board says both offers are "fair" - but it warned that the Huge offer has downsides.

It pointed out that those who are considering exchanging their Adapt IT shares for Huge shares “should be aware that Huge shares are subject to a degree of illiquidity, in that they have limited trading volumes which may impair the ability to readily convert Huge shares into cash at the prevailing trading price within a short period of time”.

Shareholders will vote on 30 June. Adapt IT's share price fell by 2% to R6.84 on Friday.

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04 Jun 2021

Multichoice profit jumps after gains in Africa

In a trading statement, Multichoice said its core headline earnings per share should be between 32% and 37% higher than that previous year.

A reduction in losses from its African businesses outside of South Africa has been the largest contributor to the improvement in group performance.

Its results will be released on 10 June 2021. 

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04 Jun 2021

Gold heads for biggest weekly drop since March

Gold headed for its biggest weekly decline since March on investor concerns over a potential pullback in central bank stimulus amid signs the recovery is gathering pace.

Bullion tumbled as the dollar and Treasury yields rose following better-than-expected US data which added to speculation the Federal Reserve may bring forward the timeline for tapering bond purchases. Service providers expanded at the fastest pace on record last month, highlighting the ramp-up in business activity across the economy. American companies added the most jobs in May in nearly a year, according to the ADP Research Institute.

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04 Jun 2021

Markets wobble as blockbuster US data fan taper fears

Asian markets fluctuated Friday after another set of bumper US economic data reinforced recovery optimism but added fuel to concerns that the Federal Reserve will be forced to tighten its ultra-loose monetary policies sooner than expected.

Wary traders were also keeping tabs on China-US relations after Joe Biden almost doubled the number of firms included on an investment blacklist, in the latest move to show he has no intention of easing pressure on Beijing despite Donald Trump's exit.

Closely watched figures Thursday showed the US created almost a million new private-sector jobs in May, far more than forecast, while claims for unemployment benefits last week fell below 400,000 for the first time since the pandemic started.

On top of that, a gauge of the crucial US services sector expanded for the 12th straight month and hit a record high.

The readings come after a string of strong reports on the world's top economy and reinforced the view that the recovery is motoring along.

However, while the rebound is good news, it compounded growing concerns on trading floors that inflation will skyrocket, forcing the Fed to taper its vast bond-buying programme or even lift interest rates to prevent overheating.

The highly accommodative monetary policies of the Fed and other central banks have been a key driver of the blockbuster rally in world equities from their April 2020 troughs.


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03 Jun 2021

Asian markets rise ahead of jobs data but Fed taper talk builds

Most Asian markets rose Thursday, with focus on the upcoming release of key US jobs data, while traders were also trying to gauge when the Federal Reserve will begin reconsidering its ultra-loose monetary policies in light of a robust economic recovery.

Oil prices also extended gains, fuelled by growing optimism that the reopenings and vaccine rollouts will lead to a surge in activity over the coming months and ramp up demand.

Friday's non-farm payrolls figures will provide the most recent snapshot of the world's top economy, with expectations for a big jump as businesses restart and people return to some semblance of normality.

However, observers pointed out that the recovery in the jobs market is not as smooth as hoped as some choose not to return to work yet owing to a number of issues including lingering virus fears and the free government handouts in President Joe Biden's stimulus earlier this year.

And they added that increased demand for labour is adding to upward pressure on inflation - as wages rise and some companies offer cash incentives - which is already being fired along by supply shortages and high energy costs.

This in turn is causing a headache for the Fed, which has pledged to keep its accommodative monetary policy in place for the foreseeable future but also has to make sure price spikes do not get out of control.

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03 Jun 2021

JP Morgan now holds more than 5% of Spar

In a notice on Thursday, Spar said that the US investment bank JP Morgan Chase & Co has increased its stake in Spar to 5.48% of the JSE-listed company. 

02 Jun 2021

Santam slumps after downbeat update

Santam's share price fell by almost 2.4% on R267.93 after the company released an operational update on Wednesday afternoon.

Its insurance business achieved a net underwriting margin at the lower end of the target range of 4% to 8%, after some large fire claims. Its gross written premium growth of 7% - 4% excluding the premium relief support provided to policyholders in April 2020 - was "achieved in the current difficult operating environment", the company added.

Its MiWay unit saw a negative impact on its underwriting performance due to an increase in its loss ratio.

Santam added that its investment portfolio continued to be negatively impacted by decades-low interest rates and the impact of the stronger rand on foreign currency investments.

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02 Jun 2021

Oceana posts profit rise, dividend 

The fishing group Oceana's share price jumped almost 2% after the company reported a 4% rise in headline earnings, and an interim dividend of 110c per share.

In the six months to end-June, its revenue fell 2% to R3.6 billion.

The company reported positive trading conditions for fishmeal, fish oil and horse mackerel, but saw supply chain and operations disruptions in canned fish. 

In South Africa, its canned fish segment remained under volume pressure due to a constrained consumer environment and potential supply chain disruptions. "However, we will look to deliver growth bolstered by the effect of a stronger rand on the cost of imported frozen fish and on-going production efficiencies," the company said.

02 Jun 2021

Barloworld finalises sale of motor retail unit

Barloworld has confirmed that all the conditions related to the sale of its motor retail business have been fulfilled, and that the transaction is effective from 1 June 2021.

It will earn R1 billion from the sale. 

02 Jun 2021

Datatec buys German 5G business

Datatec subsidiary Logicalis has bought Siticom, a leading 5G integrator based in Germany.

The JSE-listed company said in a statement that the acquisition will give Logicalis a platform to establish a "pan-European centre-of-expertise in developing advanced networking integration capabilities around 5G".

Established in 2010, Siticom has 130 employees. "We are beginning to see the IT landscape being increasingly driven by edge computing using many forms of wireless technology and the applications world moving increasingly to cloud-based infrastructure," said Datatec CEO Jens Montanana.

"Tomorrow's integrators will need to be able to knit these environments together and we believe the Siticom acquisition will give us a head start in the development of this knowledge with a view to transfer it across Datatec’s operations over time."

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02 Jun 2021

Hong Kong markets down

Hong Kong stocks closed Wednesday with losses following a recent run of gains and after a tepid lead from Wall Street, with investors keeping their focus on the release of US jobs data later in the week.

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02 Jun 2021

Grand Parade Investments slumps after Burger King sale blow

Grand Parade Investment's share price fell another 11% in early trading on Wednesday after the Competition Commission prohibited a proposed takeover of Burger King in South Africa. It declined 5% on Tuesday.

The struggling Grand Parade Investments wanted to sell Burger King to international private equity fund Emerging Capital Partners for R593 million. 

But the Competition Commission prohibited the transaction, objecting to the lack of black shareholding. "The Commission found that the merger would lead to a significant reduction in the shareholding of historically disadvantaged persons in the target firm, from more than 68% [empowerment shareholding in Grand Parade] to 0% as a result of the merger."

While the Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to have an impact on competition in SA, it said that historically disadvantaged persons (HDPs) won't hold any ownership of Burger King SA following the deal.

In a statement on Wednesday, Grand Parade said that it, with ECP, are "considering their options and shareholders will be advised of their decision in due course".

The company added that it tried to address the commission’s concerns by proposing a number of conditions, including that – within 24 months – Burger King SA would have had an effective interest of 5% by "an appropriate B-BBEE ownership structure'.

The company would also increase the number of permanent employees employed in South Africa by no less than 1,250 HDPs. Commitments were also made for investments and capital expenditure, and an increase in Burger King outlets and employment.

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01 Jun 2021

Bidvest expects profit hike of more than 20%

In a trading update for the ten months to end-April, the Bidvest Group says it will increase its headline profit by more than 20% for the full year.

Bidvest owns a large group of diverse companies - including freight, security, car dealerships and office service subsidiaries - as well as a majority stake in pharmaceutical group Adcock Ingram. 

All divisions delivered improved performances compared to the interim period, the company said. 

The annuity-type businesses, bulk terminals as well as industrial and vehicle trading businesses delivered strong growth. Despite stricter lockdowns in the UK and Ireland, its businesses in those countries reported good results.

The South African businesses delivered good results with the exception of the travel, hospitality and related activities, Bidvest says. "The Facilities Management and Security & Aviation clusters performed particularly well.

The company is selling Bidvest Car Rental and BidAir Services.

"The market remains price sensitive with little tender activity," 

"General cargo, air freight and import volumes remained weak. Container shortages, port congestion and imbalances in global cargo flow resulted in significantly higher freight logistics costs, which negatively impacted on volumes handled by the rest of the Freight businesses." 

Its results are expected on 6 September 2021. 

01 Jun 2021

Sibanye-Stillwater will buy back 5% of its shares

Sibanye-Stillwater has launched a share buyback programme, and plans to buy back 5% of the total number of shares between 2 June and 6 April next year.

"The Board considers the repurchase of our undervalued shares in the market as the most appropriate and value enhancing allocation of surplus capital at this stage, to ensure ongoing delivery of superior returns to shareholders," Neal Froneman CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater said. 

"The buyback program is complementary to and will not compromise our industry leading dividend or other capital allocation priorities."

Thanks to rocketing platinum and palladium prices, and solid output growth, Sibanye-Stillwater has delivered record results in the first quarter of 2021.

The Johannesburg-headquartered company is the world's largest producer of platinum, second largest producer of palladium and third largest producer of gold.

Its adjusted profit before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) rocketed by 78% to R19.8 billion compared to the same period a year before.

01 Jun 2021

Rand close to best level in 27 months

The rand continued to below R13.80/$, despite bleak unemployment numbers. The currency strengthened to R13.71/$ earlier on Tuesday - its best level in more than 27 months. It was last trading R13.77/$, as well as R19.54/pound and R16.84/euro.

The rand was supported by South Africa's twelfth consecutive trade surplus in April, which was announced on Monday, says Anchor Capital in a note. Precious metal exports provided the biggest boost to South Africa's trading performance.

The currency is also supported by expectations that US interest rates won't be hiked soon.

<p><strong>Rand close to best level in 27 months</strong></p><p>The rand continued to below R13.80/$, despite bleak unemployment numbers. The currency strengthened to R13.71/$ earlier on Tuesday - its best level in more than 27 months. It was last trading R13.77/$, as well as R19.54/pound and R16.84/euro.</p><p>The rand was supported by South
     Africa's twelfth consecutive trade surplus in April, which was announced on Monday, says Anchor Capital in a note. Precious metal exports provided the biggest boost to South Africa's trading performance.</p><p>The currency is also supported by expectations that US interest rates won't be hiked soon.</p><p><br /></p>

01 Jun 2021

Famous Brands suffers a loss

Food franchisor Famous Brands has been hard hit by Covid-19 with a 121% decrease in headline earnings per share, the group said on Tuesday. The Johannesburg-based group ran at a loss in its year to end-February financial results, after restaurants were shut down during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown.

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01 Jun 2021

Oil surges, pound hits three-year high

Oil prices surged on demand optimism ahead of the latest OPEC meeting on Tuesday, while the pound hit a three-year high against the dollar over Britain's economic rebound and equities mostly rose with focus on upcoming US jobs data.Wall Street and London were closed Monday for holidays meaning there were few drivers for buying, with the general theme continuing to be the global economic recovery playing against fears about inflation and a possible taper of central bank monetary policy.The rollout of vaccines around the world has allowed leaders of key economies including the United States and Europe to wind back the containment measures that sparked a recession last year.

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01 Jun 2021

Alexander Forbes warns of profit hit

Alexander Forbes has warned investors to expect lower profits for the year ended on 31 March because a business that it had sold was coming back to haunt it.

The country's largest pension funds administrator said its profit from continuing operations is expected to be between R643 million and R719 million, 5% to 15% lower than the profit that the group generated in the year to March 2020.

Alexander Forbes said it has been slapped with a £61.9 million (about R1.2 billion) liability related to its former UK subsidiary, Alexander Forbes Consultants and Actuaries Limited. Although the company sold the subsidiary in 2012, it said the UK financial sector regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, has fined the whole industry "in respect of certain thematic errors in historical advice". 

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