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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Sarb interest rate decision due, Afrimat, Mediclinic and Tsogo Sun results, PIC inquiry hears more on Matjila’s graft.

Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:

1. MPC interest rate decision

The South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will announce its interest rate decision on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters are forecasting that the central bank will keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.75%. Interest rates have held steady at 6.75% since November 2018.

Update to follow.

2. Afrimat results

Construction materials firm, Afrimat is reporting a 29.6% increase in headline earnings per share to 234.1 cents, while group revenue increased by 24.6% to R3.0 billion for the year ended February 28, 2019. The company says its performance remained ‘satisfactory’ and was supported by its diversification strategy amid difficult trading conditions experienced by the construction materials business. The company, however, adds that industrial mineral producing operations across all regions as well as the iron ore business mainly contributed to its satisfactory results. A final dividend of 62.0 cents per share has been declared.

3. Mediclinic results

Private hospital group, Mediclinic’s full year results are in line with market expectations, according to its CEO, Dr Ronnie van der Merwe. In the Sens announcement it was noted that the changing regulatory environment impacting its Swiss business led to the group’s disappointing first half performance. For the year ended March 31, 2019, Mediclinic is reporting a 10% decrease in adjusted earnings per share to 26.9 pence, while adjusted operating profit fell by 11% to £330 million. Revenue increased by 2% to £2.93 billion, while a proposed final dividend was maintained at 4.70 pence per share.  

Read: Mediclinic FY core profit falls on Swiss regulatory changes

4. Tsogo Sun results

Luxury hotel chain, Tsogo Sun’s results for the year ended March 31, 2019 show that consumers are not holidaying as much during the current tough economic times. The company says that trading for the year was mostly impacted by the continued pressure on the consumer as a result of the macroeconomic environment. Adjusted headline earnings per share fell by 3% to 160.0 cents. Earnings before interest, income tax, depreciation, amortisation, property rentals, long-term incentives and exceptional items (Ebitdar) increased by 11% to R4.1 billion and income increased by 18% to R11.6 billion. A total dividend of 188 cents per share has been declared, up 84%.

5. More details implicate PIC ex-CEO Dan Matjila

The ongoing inquiry into the PIC revealed damning evidence against former CEO, Dan Matjila and two other senior executives on Wednesday. Moneyweb is reporting that the trio have been implicated in a plot to facilitate an irregular payment close to R100 million to benefit a select businessman. The senior executives named were, Wellington Masekesa, who was an executive assistant to Matjila and Roy Rajdhar, who was the executive head of unlisted investments. The matter was brought on by special senior counsel at Standard Bank, Ian Sinton and is now being referred to the Hawks for investigation.

Read: Matjila, two PIC execs reported to Hawks over attempts to push ‘irregular payment’

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MMI must have rid of the riff-raff poisoning the culture deep from within! Well done!

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