SIKI MGABADELI: Good evening and welcome to the SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb. My name is Siki Mgabadeli.
Petrochemical and energy giant Sasol has posted headline earnings per share of R24.28 for the six months to December. It’s a 24% decline compared with the year earlier period. It saw a 50% drop in operating profit as well. So dropping oil prices are really having an impact on it. We are going to be speaking to the CFO and incoming joint CEO, Bongani Nqwababa.
And we also bring you all the news from the world of mining in our Mining Monday feature with Warren Dick.
Barclays Africa remains optimistic following two setbacks. So Tumisang Ndlovu is going to report on the latest developments there.
Chris Gilmour is watching the markets for us today. But first, Tumisang has your business news headlines.
TUMISANG NDLOVU: Thanks, Siki. Good evening.
South Africa’s business confidence inched up but remains close to 23-year lows at 80.1 points in February from 80 points in January. That’s according to the latest figures from the South African Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The chamber says a turnaround in BCI would depend on speedy implementation of economic policies.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is embarking on an investor roadshow to the US and the UK, together with representatives from the private sector. Gordhan is attempting to rebuild foreign confidence in South Africa. This also forms part of the minister’s efforts to show credit rating agencies that South Africa is committed to avoiding a downgrade to junk status.
PRAVIN GORDHAN: If we want 5% growth then we need to create confidence among business; we need to get South African business to invest in South Africa; and we need to create a climate where overseas business says this is a good place to invest.
TUMISANG NDLOVU: And the rand steadied against the dollar in early trade. This came amid cautious trade ahead of economic data due out this week. The latest figures include fourth-quarter current account data expected tomorrow to give insight into the state of the domestic economy.
On that note, the rand is at R15.31/dollar, R21.65/pound and R16.79/euro. Gold is at $1 268.60/oz, platinum at $1 003/oz and Brent crude oil at $39.38/barrel.
More on these stories and other business news on our website.