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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Eskom bailout insufficient, Picvest investigation, Capital Appreciation results, Sibanye/Lonmin takeover effective, rand update.

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Funding for Eskom to increase 

Eskom’s debt woes appear to be much deeper than what was initially thought. Finance minster Tito Mboweni and Eskom chairman, Jabu Mabuza have indicated that the R69 billion bailout granted by government over three years will not be enough. Bloomberg is reporting that, National Treasury Director General, Dondo Mogajane told members of the G20 summit, over the weekend, that South Africa has no choice but to increase funds for the parastatal, adding that it’s now an issue of ‘how much and when’.

Read: South Africa has ‘no choice’ but to increase funding for Eskom

2. Picvest billions – property disposals 

Moneyweb’s exclusive investigation into the Picvest billions continues with a look into the sale of the 79 properties syndicated via the Highveld Syndication (HS) companies. The investigation has revealed that virtually all of these properties were sold to third parties before and shortly after the HS companies were put into business rescue. Moneyweb also notes that the sale of these properties is in stark contradiction to the provisions in the business rescue plan, penned by business rescue practitioner Hans Klopper, who was also a director of Orthotouch.

Read: The peculiar case of the Picvest billions: Part 5

3. Capital Appreciation results

Fintech and technology solutions investor and manager, Capital Appreciation says it delivered strong growth across all business units, which include its Payments and Payments Infrastructure business and its Software and Services businesses. For the year ended March 31, 2019 the company is reporting a 13.1% decrease in headline earnings to R124.6 million, while both earnings per share and headline earnings per share amounted to 8.33 cents, down 12.2% and 12.6%, respectively. Revenue for the period however increased by 19.6% to R606.7 million. The total dividend for the year amounted to 4.25 cents, up 6.25%.

4. Sibanye takeover of Lonmin effective

The scheme implementing the acquisition of Lonmin by Sibanye-Stillwater has become effective, platinum mining firm, Sibanye-Stillwater announced via Sens on Monday. Lonmin’s entire issued and to-be-issued ordinary share capital is now owned by Sibanye-Stillwater. Shareholders from both companies approved the takeover, effectively creating the second largest platinum producer in the world. According to the statement, registered Lonmin shareholders will receive one new Sibanye-Stillwater share for each Lonmin share held.

Read: Lonmin investors back Sibanye deal to create platinum giant

5. Rand update

The rand ran a tumultuous course last week after data indicated that South Africa’s economy contracted by 3.2% and ANC infighting over the Sarb continued. The rand weakened past the 15-to-the-dollar mark on Thursday afternoon, extending declines on Friday. In the week ahead, manufacturing output, retail sales data and gold and mining production data for April are expected. On Monday, the rand was at R14.90 to the dollar at 8:47.

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