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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Tongaat shares suspended, Stor-Age results, Murray & Roberts changes auditors, April manufacturing output, financial emigration on the rise.

Here’s what caught our attention on Tuesday:

1. Tongaat shares suspended

Sugar producer, Tongaat Hulett on Monday requested that the JSE suspend its shares, as it plans to restate financial results for the year ended March 31, 2019, following a review of its accounting practices. The company plans to reinstate the listing once ‘reliable’ information becomes available. Tongaat said it is aiming to publish the restated financials by the end of October. Shares in Tongaat’s secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange were also suspended.

Read: Suspension of Tongaat trading a potential crisis for other shares

2. Stor-Age results

Real estate investment trust, Stor-Age says the year ended March 31, 2019 was a ‘successful’ one, in which it delivered strong organic growth in both its South African and UK portfolios, alongside the ‘seamless’ integration of acquisitions. The company’s total property revenue increased by 68.0% to R521.1 million, while rental income for the year amounted to R482.1 million, up 63.2%. A total dividend of 106.68 cents per share was declared for the period, up 9.05%.

3. Murray & Roberts changes auditors

Construction firm, Murray and Roberts announced via Sens on Tuesday, that it will be appointing PwC as an external auditor for the financial year ending June 30, 2020, and Deloitte, which is its current auditor, will complete its audit for the financial year ending June 2019. Murray & Roberts says the change comes as per the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors’s (Irba) rule on Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation in 2017, which requires public interest entities to rotate their audit firms from financial period, April 1, 2023.  

4. April manufacturing production

South Africa’s manufacturing output for April is expected to be released on Tuesday. Manufacturing output increased 1.2% year-on-year in March, following a downwardly revised 0.5% increase in February, data from Trading Economics shows. Manufacturing was boosted by petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products, basic iron and steel products and metal products, among others. While output fell for textiles, clothing, leather and footwear, for wood and wood products, glass and non-metallic mineral products and others.

Update to follow.

5. Financial emigration on the rise

The change in law, requiring South Africans working abroad to pay a tax of up to 45% on any earnings exceeding R1 million is pushing South Africans further and further away. Statistics indicate that in the past two years, financial emigration increased by at least 30%. Moneyweb is reporting that many South Africans working abroad, who earn over R1 million are cutting financial ties with South Africa solely as a form of tax relief. The law on expat tax comes into effect in March 2020.

Read: Financial emigration is the new way out

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