Here’s what caught our attention on Wednesday:
1. Sasol responds to investor concerns
Energy company Sasol announced on Wednesday that it has engaged with shareholders and analysts on the matter concerning the delay of its results, adding that no material or price sensitive information was discussed further than what was mentioned in the announcement, dated August 16, 2019.
On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Sasol had met with shareholders to address dissatisfaction around cost overruns at the Lake Charles Chemical Project in Louisiana, US. Sasol said it would not provide comment on behalf of shareholders.
The company cited control weakness issues at LCCP for the delay of the publication of the financials., adding that auditors need time to review independent reports on the problems.
2. July consumer inflation
South Africa‘s headline consumer inflation rate for July slowed to 4%, the lowest in seven months. In June, the consumer inflation rate was at 4.5%, unchanged from May, according to data from Stats SA. Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as for housing and utilities increased while transport prices eased.
Core inflation – which excludes the prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy – was at 4.2% year-on-year versus a 4.3% increase in June, and was at 0.4% month-on-month, the same rate as in June.
3. Resilient CEO optimistic about FSCA investigation outcome
Resilient CEO Des de Beer says the real estate investment trust is awaiting the outcome of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s (FSCA) investigation into insider trading at Resilient and its linked companies Fortress, Nepi Rockcastle and Lighthouse Capital. The CEO told Moneyweb that he is ‘personally confident on a positive outcome’ of the investigation. Allegations of insider trading and share price manipulation against the companies shaved close to a combined R100 billion off of the share prices of the four affiliated companies.
Although the FSCA cleared Resilient, Fortress and Nepi Rockcastle of wrongdoing relating to insider trading allegations, it is yet to complete its probe on share price manipulation.
4. Assore trading statement
Mining company Assore, which specialises in base minerals and minerals, issued a trading statement for the year ended June 30, 2019 on Wednesday, in which it flags a 20% to 28% increase in headline earnings to between R6.12 billion and R6.53 billion for the period. Relative to that, it sees headline earnings per share increasing to between R59.33 and R63.31, and increase of between 20% and 28%. Assore sees the improvements as a result of a weakened exchange rate, increased iron ore price and generally improved trading conditions.
Assore expects to release results on September 5, 2019.
5. Construction to begin in Joburg inner city
Johannesburg’s inner city rejuvenation project is due to kick off today, as Mayor Herman Mashaba and other members of the mayoral committee host the sod-turning ceremony. This is the first leg of the city’s revitalisation which will form part of a R22 billion investment in the area. It is predicted to generate 11 000 direct construction jobs and yield approximately 6 500 units of housing.