SABMiller keeps climbing despite weaker results - Moneyweb
SABMiller announced weaker than expected interim results, with revenue growing by just 2% and organic constant currency operating profit rising by 3% from the comparable period last year. Group adjusted earnings per share came in at 123.6 US cents per share, up from 120.4 US cents per share last year. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments on the result.
German property 'good bet for SA investors' - Business Day
South African fund managers, who have limited opportunity to invest in the residential property market on the JSE, are becoming increasingly bullish on listed housing funds in Germany, which is believed to be the European country with the largest percentage of its population renting instead of owning homes. Investors who want exposure to Germany’s housing market through the German Stock Exchange can choose from at least 10 real estate investment trusts (Reits) that own rental housing portfolios. Justin Floor discusses the investment case for German residential property.
Discovery eyes UK's insurance markets - Business Day
The UK health and life insurance markets are perfect targets for Discovery’s “disruptive” approach based on behavioural economics, CEO Adrian Gore said yesterday. Discovery has bought the remaining 25% of its British business for R2.8bn to take full ownership of PruHealth and PruProtect, paving the way to entrench the Vitality brand in the northern hemisphere market and extend its product range using the Vitality insurance model. Justin Floor comments on the strategic impact of this development.
Tongaat Hulett 'able to grow sugar output' - Business Day
Tongaat Hulett can grow its annual sugar production by 400 000 tonnes over the next four years without having to invest in new mills, largely on expected improvements in yields and extraction rates, CEO Peter Staude said yesterday. This would reduce unit cost production, given that most of the cost base was fixed, he said after Tongaat Hulett reported a 16.6% rise in headline earnings for the six months through September to R773m. Abdul Davids comments.
Sappi expects rebound in price of lucrative wood pulp - Business Day
Sappi expects prices of dissolving wood pulp to remain depressed for about 18 months, as excess supply and low cotton prices put pressure on the price of the cotton substitute. Sappi has about a 20% share of the world market for dissolving wood pulp, which it ships mainly to clothing and textiles makers in the Far East at far higher margins than its paper products. Abdul Davids comments.
Massmart faces mall food fight - Business Report
Massmart was feeling the pressure from constant litigation from its competitors which are seeking to block the company’s move in growing its retail food business. In the latest case in the Durban High Court, Judge Peter Olsen granted an interim interdict to prevent Massmart from converting its Game store into their food retailer Cambridge at Senzangakhona Shopping Centre in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal. The order was granted after The Spar Group approached the court to complain that it had an exclusivity lease agreement which bars other retailers who compete with Spar including bakeries, butchers, supermarkets, green grocers, wholesalers’ cash & carries, and liquor stores. Dirk van Vlaanderen comments on Massmart’s move into fresh food.
Tumbling gold leads rout of commodities - Business Report
Gold led the rout of commodities as investors unwound their positions, accumulated before the US Federal Reserve announcement to end quantitative easing. Gold, silver and platinum tumbled as the dollar’s rise to a five-year high cut demand, wiping almost $2 billion (1122.1bn) from the value of precious metals-backed funds. The commodity prices declined as the Republicans soared to victory on Tuesday in US mid-term elections to win both US Houses of Congress and Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he saw no limit to the steps the central bank might take to defeat deflation. Gold, which is perceived to be a hedge for investors, dropped to a four-year low as bullion for immediate delivery slid 2.3 percent to $1 141 an ounce in London. Jihad Jhaveri comments on what gold producers can do to deal with the volatility of the gold sector.
Support for austerity is vital, says Lamberti - Business Day
A possible sovereign ratings downgrade could have “severe consequences” for SA, though this has been mitigated by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s “excellent” first medium-term budget, Imperial Holdings CEO Mark Lamberti says. SA is the source of 66% of Imperial’s revenue. But Mr Lamberti told the diversified logistics and industrial services company’s annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday that “the willingness” of Mr Nene’s Cabinet colleagues to “support the necessary austerity must now be tested”. He subsequently told Business Day that he was not pointing fingers at single ministries, but was talking about government adhering to “general austerity” measures. Qaqambile Dwayi comments on Imperial’s revised guidance.
Kagiso PMI rises for third consecutive month in October - Business Day
Recovery in the manufacturing sector is proving more robust than expected with the key leading indicator of manufacturing conditions breaking decisively through the neutral 50-point barrier last month and hitting its best level in a year. The Kagiso purchasing managers index (PMI) rose for a third consecutive month to 51.8 in October from 50.8 in September, indicating that activity in the manufacturing sector continued to improve following months of weakness and that recovery in the sector may be gaining traction. This marks the best level it has reached since November 2013. Abdul Davids comments.