Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Steinhoff places KAP shares, Mining Charter challenged, Rhodes Food group trading update, PIC to recoup investment in Ayo, Alex Forbes wants out of insurance unit.
Steinhoff successfully completes placing shares in KAP Industrials. Picture: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Wednesday:

1. Steinhoff places KAP shares

Steinhoff, on Tuesday, announced its intent to launch an accelerated bookbuild in which it offered to place up to 694 206 661 ordinary shares in KAP Industrial. The retailer, which is working hard to regain its momentum, confirmed on Wednesday that it had successfully placed the placing shares at a price of R6.85 per unit. The total gross proceeds have therefore amounted to R4.8 billion, according to its statement. Steinhoff adds that through placing shares, Steinhoff will no long hold a direct interest in KAP. Settlement is expected to take place on April 1, 2019.

2. Rhodes Food trading update

The owner of Magpie, Packo and other brands, Rhodes Food Group, released a trading update for the five months ended February 2019, in which it highlights an increase in group turnover of 8% and an 8.2% increase in regional segment turnover, despite a ‘challenging trading environment’. The company says its fresh food sales increased by 1.4%, while ready meals and the pie category remained resilient. The R30 million acquisition of RCL Food’s protein snack business has also been completed. Interim results are due on May 21, 2019.

3. Mining companies challenge Mining charter

Mining companies are challenging certain regulations in the revised Mining Charter, saying it will have a negative impact on investment in the industry. The charter is aimed at redistributing ownership of mines in South Africa to undo apartheid’s legacy. According to Bloomberg, Roger Baxter who represents mining companies says the charter does not recognise the ‘continuing consequences of previous empowerment transactions, particularly in respect of mining-right renewals and transfers of these rights.’ The reaction is said to come as a blow to the President’s own bid to remove policy uncertainty and attract investment into the nation. 

Read: Mining companies want parts of charter set aside 

4. PIC to recover interest paid to Ayo

The case which was heard by the North Gauteng High Court relating to the PIC’s investment into Ayo Technology to be recouped is going ahead. According to reports on Tuesday, the PIC, South Africa’s biggest fund manager said it will still go ahead with the steps to recover almost R4.3 billion it invested in Ayo Technology, after the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) issued it with a notice. Initially, the PIC had 15 days to recoup its monies, but this was later changed to 60 days.

Furthermore, on Tuesday it was also reported that the PIC’s acting CEO, Matshepo More had been suspended for allegedly interfering in the PIC inquiry currently underway. The position is now being assumed by Vuyani Hako.

Read: PIC state asset manager suspends acting CEO

5. Alexander Forbes looks for buyer for insurance business

Financial services firm, Alexander Forbes is said to be looking for a buyer for its insurance unit as it seeks to refocus its business into a wealth and fund manager. According to Reuters, ‘selling the insurance business would release money that regulators demand be held against insurance policies’.

Read: Alex Forbes exits insurance business in strategic overhaul

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