The JSE’s All Share Index traded marginally down by around 1% in morning trade on Wednesday, while the rand was also around 0.5% weaker against the US dollar (R17.33 at 11:15am), ahead of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s much anticipated emergency budget.
RMB Holdings Ltd (RMH) was down 95%, but this is a technicality due to its unbundling which is set to be completed over the next week. FirstRand was up more than 3% as it is an RMH shareholder.
UK property giant, Hammerson, which has a secondary listing on the JSE, was down around 5%; while Polish-focused property group EPP was down more than 5.5%. Pharmaceutical group Aspen was down almost 5%. Telkom gained more than 5% in morning trade, which saw the telecoms sector also up in line with this.
Bidvest and Barloworld were also up, by 4.5% and 3.6%, respectively. This saw the “construction and materials” sector and “general industrials” sector also trading higher, at 5.5% and 3.3% respectively. However, this could also be linked to the government’s infrastructure conference on Tuesday, where several multi-billion-rand infrastructure projects were spotlighted.
The Covid-19 economic fallout will see Mboweni table a supplementary 2020 budget at 3pm on Wednesday, where more details on government’s R500 billion Covid-19 economic stimulus and relief package is expected.
Mboweni may announce an expanded package, however, he will also give detail on how this will be financed in addition to its impact on the government’s deficit. Announcements around funding from international financial institutions, such as the IMF, may also be made.
The state’s wage bill and budget cuts in the wake of the impact of Covid-19 on tax revenues are also set to be in the spotlight.