Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Exxaro, Standard Bank, Metair Investments results, Sygnia’s closure of hedge funds, Transnet boss suspended.
Standard Bank half-year results improve. Picture: Naashon Zalk, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:

1. Exxaro results

South Africa-based coal and heavy minerals mining company, Exxaro is reporting a revenue increase of 14% to R12.3 billion, and a net operating profit of R3.1 billion, up 7% for the six months ended June 30, 2018. The company’s headline earnings per share also increased by 39% to 1 222 cents and attributable earnings per share increased by 49% to 1 268 cents. The company is declaring an interim dividend of 530 cents per share, up 230 cents from 2017.

2. Standard Bank results

Standard Bank is reporting stronger results for the six months ended June 30, 2018, as headline earnings increased 5% to R12.66 billion from R12.11 billion in 2017, while headline earnings per share also increased by 5% to 794 cents, from 756 cents in 2017. The bank’s return on equity improved to 16.8% from 16.1% in 2017 and banking activities contributed to a 4% revenue growth for the period. Standard Bank’s dividend per share also increased by 8% to 430 cents.  

3. Metair Investments results

Metair Investments is reporting an increase in revenue to R4.48 billion and an increase in other operating income from R48 million in 2017 to R100 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018. The company’s earnings per share and headline earnings per share both increased to 132 cents, while diluted earnings per share increased to 131 cents. An ordinary dividend of 80 cents per share is being declared for 2018.

4. Sygnia’s hedge funds: investors can move investments

On Wednesday, the CEO of Sygnia, Magda Wierzycka announced that the investment company will be closing investments into hedge fund products after coming to a decision that Sygnia could not continue paying the high fees charged by hedge fund advisors, even though it was a profitable product. Moneyweb is reporting that Sygnia will move its investors in these products into an alternative – at no cost to the investor. 

Read: What Sygnia’s hedge fund decision means for investors 

5. Transnet CEO and officials face suspension

Transnet’s chairman, Popo Molefe, has given a notice of suspension to its current CEO, Siyabonga Gama and two other officials, Thamsanqa Jiyane, the chief procurement officer and the supply chain manager Lindiwe Mdletshe, Reuters is reporting without citing reason. Molefe says that the reasons will not be ventilated to the public until disciplinary hearings commence.

Thursday news bonus:

Gold Fields expects to release half-year results

Truworths expects to release half-year results

Electrical wholesaler, Arb released half-year results

Tiger Brands issues a trading statement

Unions reject gold wage offers 

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