Five things making headlines in South Africa today

PepsiCo makes offer to acquire Pioneer Foods, Zuma to continue testimony at Zondo commission, Moyo wants a new Old Mutual board and more.
Former Old Mutual CEO, Peter Moyo is putting up a battle against insurer, Old Mutual. Picture: Moneyweb

Here’s what caught our attention on Friday:

1. Pionner Foods and PepsiCo announce acquisition

PepsiCo and Pioneer Foods have both announced an offer by the US-based food and beverage company to aquire all ordinary shares in JSE-lised Pioneer Foods, at R110 per share. PepsiCo says the deal will aid its quest for growth on the African continent. The transaction, if approved by regulators and shareholders, would become PepsiCo’s largest transaction outside of the US. 

Read: PepsiCo makes offer to acquire Pioneer Foods

2. Zuma testimony picks up again at state capture commission

The Zondo commission into state capture continues on Friday, after pausing on Thursday, with former president Jacob Zuma set to reappear. The commission adjourned for a day because Zuma’s legal team say he was being unfairly cross-examined. Reuters is reporting that Zuma’s lawyers say he shouldn’t be cross-examined as they did not believe that evidence given by previous witnesses directly implicates him in corruption and fraud.

2. New twist in the Old Mutual saga

Axed Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo is taking the battle with Old Mutual to new heights. Moyo has filed an urgent application to the high court in Johannesburg to declare Old Mutual’s board members delinquent and have a new board instated. Moyo appeared in court on Thursday, where he has also filed an urgent application declaring his dismissal unlawful, which the insurer cited as being due to a material breakdown in trust.

Read: Moyo now wants the entire Old Mutual board to be purged

4. PPC results

Cement maker, PPC is reporting a marginal increase in headline earnings per share to 20 cents from 15 cents in 2018, while basic earnings per share increases to 16 cents for the year ended March 31, 2019. Revenue increased by 1% to R10.4 billion for the period and Ebitda increased to R1.94 billion.

5. Rand update

Relief comes to South African consumers after the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee announced its decision to cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5%. This is the first interest rate cut since March 2018. A number of businesses have welcomed the cut saying it has the potential to stimulate the economy. The central bank however almost halved its economic growth forecast for SA. In the US, more Americans are filing applications for unemployment benefits, and indicating a strong labour market conditions despite signs of a slowing economy, according to Anchor Capital. The rand was at R13.81 to the dollar at 10:12am on Friday. 

Read: Sarb cuts key interest rate, damps expectations for more

Sarb cuts rates as economy weak, inflation steady

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