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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Naspers takes full control of Avito, PIC and state capture inquiries continue, Italtile trading statement, rand update.

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Naspers to consolidate its classifieds business 

Naspers announced via Sens that its classifieds business, OLX invested $1.16 billion in an implied enterprise valued at $3.85 billion to acquire an additional 29.1% stake in Russian-based online general classifieds and property platform, Avito. The announcement was made late on Friday. Avito has established leading positions in five key categories, namely, goods, autos, real estate, jobs and services. According to the statement, Naspers’ OLX’s stake increases to 99.6% from 70.4% on a fully diluted basis. The remaining shares are held by existing management.

Read: Naspers sees single global classifieds focus amid Avito deal

2. PIC inquiry continues

The inquiry into alleged impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation continues on Monday. In the most recent revelations it was found that the two suspended officials claimed that former PIC CEO Dan Matjila had passed on the investment into Ayo Technology Solutions. Monday will see the PIC’s executive head of property, Vuyani Hako take to the stand.

3. State capture inquiry continues

More bombs are expected to be dropped in Johannesburg, as the state capture inquiry also continues on Monday. Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi is expected to return to the stand today to give further detail on government’s corrupt contracts with Bosasa. According to reports, Agrizzi revealed how Gavin Watson, a relative of the Bosasa CEO, had offered him between R50 million and R80 million to stay quiet.

4. Italtile voluntary trading statement

Italtile issued a voluntary trading statement on Monday for the six months ended December 31, 2018. In the statement it highlights the success of an acquisition in Ceramic Industries, in which it now owns a 95.47% stake and an effective 71.54% stake in Ezee Tile Adhesive Manufacturing. The group further indicates that it expects headline earnings per share to increase between 12% and 14% to 53.9 cents and 55.4 cents. The group’s final results are expected to be released around February 14.

5. Rand update

The rand firmed against the dollar on Friday, but reversed gains on Monday. The local currency was at R13.64 to the dollar at 9:50 am.

Read: Will the pressure on emerging markets persist in 2019

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