Anglo, Harmony dent S.African shares, Bidvest shines

Anglo, Harmony dent S.African shares, Bidvest shines

South African shares closed weaker on Friday with Harmony Gold’s shares leading the blue chips lower on the back of a worse-than-expected 33 percent drop in headline earnings per share.

The Top-40 blue chip index slipped 0.55 percent to 23,151.11 points and the broader All-Share index shed 0.4 percent to 25,679.19 points.

Harmony, the world’s fifth-biggest gold producer, posted a 33 percent slide in second-quarter profit on Friday, worse than analysts’ expectations, as output dipped and costs rose.

Harmony’s shares slid 3.66 percent to 94.40 rand, Gold Fields fell 1.63 percent to 120 rand and Anglo Gold lost 0.87 percent to 342 rand.

The JSE gold mining index closed 1.76 percent weaker. Du Plessis said the sector was affected by negative sentiment around bullion following Harmony’s poor results.

“We have seen some negative sentiment towards gold stocks on the market and Anglo American also caused the market to be down,” Abri du Plessis, Chief Investment Officer at Gryphon Asset Management said.

Diversified mining giant and index heavyweight Anglo shed 1.53 percent to 337 rand, while rival BHP Billiton slid a marginal 0.11 percent to 139 rand.

“Gold came off quite a bit, putting a bit of pressure on Anglo American,” a trader who declined to be named said.

The biggest gainer among the JSE top 40 stocks was Bidvest, the country’s biggest firm by revenue, up 2.74 percent to 140.75 rand.

The firm, whose operations include a motor vehicle sales firm, was boosted by positive vehicle sales figures released on Friday. New vehicle sales in South Africa rose 6.9 percent in January compared to the same month last year, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (NAAMSA) said.

“People were also buying into industrials again and Bidvest is always a favourite,” Du Plessis said.

Africa’s biggest media firm, Naspers’ shares rose 2.22 percent to 183.99 rand.

Traders said there was good sentiment around the share following last week’s Russian and South African acquisition.

The pay-TV and newspaper publisher bought 30 percent stakes in Russian Internet portal for $165 million and in South African instant-messaging service MXit Lifestyle for an undisclosed sum.

“The deals elevated the firm’s shares to the next level,” Du Plessis said.


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