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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

JSE delves into Deloitte/Sygnia case, Sarb affirms mandate, Omnia trading update, Amcu calls for R17 000 monthly salary for members and rand update.

Here’s what caught our attention on Friday:

1.Deloitte resigns as Sygnia’s auditor

In a surprise announcement on Wednesday, local fund manager Sygnia announced that Deloitte had resigned as its auditor. According to the statement on Sens, Sygnia says it will be looking for an alternative external auditor, given that it had ‘unsatisfactory engagements’ with Deloitte. Moneyweb is reporting that the JSE is investigating whether there were any inconsistencies in the versions given for the breakdown in relationship between the two. Deloitte rejected Sygnia’s claims, saying there were “certain factual inaccuracies relating to the circumstances of its resignation”. Sygnia could reportedly face fines or sanctions if found to have misled shareholders.

Read: JSE to determine facts over Sygnia and Deloitte break up

2.Sarb governor affirms mandate

In a report released on Thursday, the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) says it is committed to its price stability mandate, adding that its only other main contribution to economic growth would be to smooth output fluctuations over the business cycle. The comments follow a row in the ANC with some members stating that Sarb should expand its mandate to include job creation and economic growth. Sarb governor Lesetja Kganyago says expectations that the bank’s MPC should have more responsibility need to be based on the bank’s constitutional or legislative mandates.

Read: Sarb says it is committed to price stability mandate

3.Omnia trading update

Chemicals and fertiliser manufacturing company Omnia has released more detailed results expectations for the year ended March 31 2019. Basic loss per share is expected to fall between 160% to 168% from 2018’s 985 cents, while headline loss per share is expected to fall between 106% to 114% from 2018’s 991 cents for the period. The company attributes the decline to drought, the volatile rand, changes in the mining industry and difficult global trading conditions which weighed on earnings.

Read: Omnia flags full-year loss

4. Amcu seeks R17 000 for workers

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is seeking a R17 000 monthly basic wage of R17 000 for its members, when wage negotiations get underway this month. Reuters is reporting that the union’s President, Joseph Mathunjwa says the request is ‘realistic and achievable’. Parties involved in wage negotiations include Anglo American Platinum, Sibanye-Stillwater and Impala Platinum.

Read: Amcu seeks R17 000 monthly basic wage in pay talks

5.Rand update

The rand kept steady on Friday, as investors and traders keep their eye on local and international political events. In the past week, local data showed that manufacturing output and retail sales increased, while mining output slowed to 1.5% year-on-year in April, with gold showing the biggest decline. RMB’s business confidence index for the second quarter was also released on Thursday, and remained unchanged from the first quarter, at 28 . In the US, the Federal Reserve will be meeting next week to decide whether to cut interest rates. Regarding oil prices, markets are alert after two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. On Friday, the rand was at 14.8208 to the dollar at 12:27.

Read: Rand steady as investors mull developments ahead of long weekend

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