SIKI MGABADELI: Good evening and welcome to the SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb. My name is Siki Mgabadeli.
We are speaking to South Africa’s biggest consumer foods manufacturer, Tiger Brands, which reported flat first-half earnings, problems in Nigeria and problems in Kenya. CEO Peter Matlare is our guest this evening.
And then four major banks pleaded guilty today to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates and six banks were fined a total of nearly $6bn in a settlement that substantially ends a global probe into misconduct in that market. That of course comes a day after yesterday’s announcement by the Competition Commission of a similar probe here in South Africa. We are going to try and make sense of it for you this evening.
Then retailer Spar Group announced a rise in interim headline earnings per share of 20.3%. We chat to them.
In our SE feature this week Tumisang Ndlovu speaks to Mummy Mthembu-Fawkes about her newly launched natural hair and body products, Earthy.
David Shapiro is watching the market for us today. But first, Tumisang Ndlovu has your business news headlines.
TUMISANG NDLOVU: Thanks, Siki. Good evening.
Headline consumer price inflation rose to 4.5% year on year in April, according to the latest data released by Statistics South Africa. The figure is slightly below expectation from the 4% recorded in March. Core inflation – which excludes the prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy – was slower at 5.6% year on year.
Still on rising inflation, that as well as economic growth is under the spotlight ahead of the Reserve Bank’s latest decision on rates due this week. Central bank governor Lesetja Kganyago will announce the decision tomorrow after the Monetary Policy Committee’s three-day meeting. At the last MPC meeting the repo rate was left unchanged at 5.75%, and the lending rate at 9.2%, with Kganyago saying developments are being closely monitored.
LESETJA KGANYAGO: Given the elevated level of inflation, and the fact that the committee remains vigilant and will continue to monitor developments closely.
TUMISANG NDLOVU: Meanwhile retail sales grew 2% year on year – but the latest data, which covers the month of March, is below market expectation and lower than the 3.7% expansion recorded in February.
Government says it will cover the estimate annual R390m shortfall in Gauteng e-toll revenue owing to reduced tariffs after over a year of opposition and widespread non-compliance. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the tolling system’s final amendments, which will see costs for motorists in this regard halved. Ramaphosa also announced that the e-toll system would be linked to the renewal of driver’s-licence discs. He says motorists now have six months to pay outstanding fees at a discounted rate of 60%. Organisations which have been opposed to the tolling system, including OUTA, have described the latest developments as unconstitutional.
Financial indicators this hour: the rand is trading at R11.88/dollar, R18.40/pound and R13.15/euro. Gold is at $1 209.89/oz, platinum at $1 155.39 and Brent crude oil at R64.91/barrel.