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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Amplats results, Lungile Fuzile to testify at Zondo commission, Irba’s possible power grant and more.

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Amplats results

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) is reporting an increase in headline earnings per share to 7 588 cents for the year ended December 31 2018, this is comparable to the 3 886 cents reported the previous year. Basic earnings per share also increased to 2 599 cents from 741 in 2017. The company is declaring a dividend of R11.25 per share, as net cash increased to R2.9 billion. In a note, Amplats highlighted losses of 14 000 ounces of platinum attributable to power cuts last week. 

Read more here.

2. Lungile Fuzile to testify at Zondo commission on Monday

The former director-general of the ANC, Lungile Fuzile, alongside other members of National Treasury are expected to appear before the state capture inquiry on Monday. The probe into state capture is ongoing since last year, and has seen the likes of ministers and ex-ministers take to the platform to open up about their involvement or observations of bribery and collusion in state institutions.

3. Irba’s possible search and seizure powers

The Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (Irba) could be granted more powers as far as investigations into financial reporting failures are concerned. According to Moneyweb, if the Auditing Profession Act by National Treasury passes the amendment in parliament, Irba will be able to search the premises of auditors and seize documents during its investigations. The act is being opposed by auditors PwC and Deloitte, who are calling the powers ‘extreme’.

Read more here.

4. Ecsponent’s R700m loan financing from Afreximbank

Asset management company, Ecsponent announced via Sens on Monday that it completed a term-sheet worth R700 million from Afreximbank. The company says this is a move towards diversification towards its capital raising efforts and will help reduce its reliance on retail funding. The provision of the facility, according to the company, is subject to standard conditions precedent which includes due diligence and investor committee approval.

5. Rand update

The rand is working hard to bounce off losses due to last week’s power cuts, which left traders without mercy. This week it faces new pressures as the finance minister, Tito Mboweni prepares to deliver, what is said to be the most important budget speech yet. On Monday, the rand was at R14.07 to the dollar at 9:42.

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