SIKI MGABADELI: Good evening and welcome to the SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb. My name is Siki Mgabadeli.
On the programme tonight we are looking at SACCI’s Business Confidence Index for December. It recorded a 2.5-point drop to 88.3 from 90.8 in November.
Then we talk about that top story in the news – developments at Eskom. You have seen the article written by Chris Yelland on the Moneyweb website, where he argues that the new technical problems arising during the commissioning of Unit 6 at Medupi may be placing South Africa’s electricity supply at risk. We are going to be speaking to him this evening.
And we continue with our focus on the stocks to watch in 2015, speaking to Maudi Lentsoane of Lehumo Capital this evening.
And do remember, if you want to enter our stock-pick competition for 2015, you can send your pick to Julius@Moneyweb.co.za with the subject heading “stock pick”. Those entries close on January 18.
David Shapiro is watching the markets for us this evening, but first up, Tumisang Ndlovu has your business news headlines.
TUMISANG NDLOVU: Thanks, Siki. Good evening.
Business confidence has dropped to its lowest level since July last year, having shed 2.5points in December according to the South African Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Business Confidence Index. The BCI fell from 90.8 to 88.3 points. Sacci’s Richard Downing said the instability in the rand exchange rate and Eskom’s power-supply problems played a role.
RICHARD DOWNING: The rand exchange rate has actually deteriorated again in December quite by quite substantial numbers, with manufacturing not really performing. And the other one is retail sales. Consumers are still under pressure. Year on year the real economy looks more positive, but the financial environment is a bit tough.
TUMISANG NDLOVU: Eskom now says the testing of the first unit at its multi-billion rand Medupi power station in Limpopo will be conducted by June. This comes after the power utility’s admission to missing several deadlines to connect the unit to the national grid. Eskom has in the past few months been battling both financial and power supplies.
And the Energy Department is looking into claims that some petrol stations failed to drop the prices at midnight on Tuesday. That’s when the January fuel price adjustment came into effect. The price of all grades of petrol were down by between R1.23 and R1.27c/litre. This marked the most sizeable decrease in a series of petrol price cuts since last year, attributed to the continued fall in the international oil price.
Financial indicators this hour – the rand is trading at R11.59/dollar, R17.49/pound and R13.67/euro. Gold is trading at $1 216/oz, platinum at $1 226.50/oz and Brent crude oil at $51.09/barrel.
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