Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Moody’s review, Phumelela results, Growthpoint- Investec JV, economic events and rand update.
South Africa sits tight ahead of Moody's rating expected on Friday. Picture: Ramin Talaie, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Friday:

1.Moody’s review expected

South Africa has been through a number of trials and tribulations in the past months, and government’s capacity was put to task. On Friday, Moody’s rating agency is expected to announce its decision on South Africa’s outlook, it is the only one of the three major rating agencies to keep South Africa at investment-grade. Investors are concerned about the impact that load shedding will have on the review. If downgraded to junk, South Africa risks losing billions of dollars in outflows.

Read: SA on edge before Moody’s rating review amid power crisis

2.Phumelela results

Gaming and leisure company, Phumela is reporting a 17% fall in headline earnings per share to 68.02 cents, while headline earnings saw a decline of 18% to R68.0 million. The company says that during the six months ended January 31 2019, trading conditions deteriorated ‘considerably’, in its local tote and fixed odds operations, adding that its December performance took a heavy toll both locally and abroad. The company said no interim dividend will be declared for the period.

3.Economic events

South Africa’s m3 money supply reached an all-time high in February 2019 increasing 5.30% to R3 576 549 (million) from a 5.09% rise in January, data from Trading Economics shows on Friday.

South Africa’s private sector credit for February rose 6.03% year-on-year and slowed from a marginally revised 6.52% gain in January 2019, according to Trading Economics.

February’s balance of trade data is expected to be released on Friday. In January, South Africa recorded a trade gap of R13.1 billion, compared to a downwardly revised R16.70 billion surplus in December 2018. 

Update to follow.

4.Growthpoint and Investec JV targets big

The joint venture between property company, Growthpoint and Investec Asset Management plans to spend R7.3 billion on African shopping malls and office buildings in the likes of Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Ghana in 2019. According to Moneyweb, the Growthpoint Investec African Properties Fund (as it is known), raised R3 billion at its first close a year ago and is negotiating with lenders to raise more cash through debt.

Read: Growthpoint-Investec JV targets R7.3bn spend in Africa this year

5.Rand update

The MPC kept its interest rate on hold at 6.75%, which was good news for South Africa and the rand. However currency traders and investors will be watching for comments from Moody’s on South Africa’s ‘investability’.  On the international front, the Turkish lira is still trying to recover losses as it looks ahead to its own elections, which dampened sentiment locally. The Sarb governor warned on Thursday of international risks, Brexit and US-China trade war, which are also affecting the currency. On Friday, the rand was at R14.57 at 9:11.  


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