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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

WEF on Africa kicks off, Discovery, Libstar and Momentum Metropolitan results, fuel price hike.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni to speak at the Africa edition of the World Economic Forum, which kicks off on Wednesday in Cape Town. Image: Moneyweb

Here’s what caught our attention on Wednesday:

1. WEF on Africa kicks off but some attendees may skip

The African edition of the World Economic Forum is due to kick off in Cape Town on Wednesday. South Africa will host business leaders, academics and members of civil society from across Africa to engage on the continent’s development. The conference kicks off on Wednesday and runs until Friday, however some reports are claiming that the presidents of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Rwanda are threatening to boycott the forum in protest of the xenophobic attacks currently plaguing the nation. This year’s theme is shaping inclusive growth and shared futures in the fourth industrial revolution.

Read: Xenophobic attacks leave migrants living in fear

Xenophobic attacks shame South Africa as regional leaders meet

2. Discovery results

Financial services firm Discovery is reporting a 12% decrease in headline earnings per share to 789 cents for the year ended June 30, 2019. Earnings per share rose by 14% to 1 001.5 cents and the company’s net asset value increased by R5.48 billion. Discovery’s profit for the year increased by 15% to R6.61 billion and normalised profit from operations fell 3% to R7.47 billion. The company says the fall in normalised profit was a result of an unexpected spike in large mortality claims within Discovery Life, coupled with the company’s planned increased investments during the period. A final ordinary share dividend of 114 cents per share is being declared, unchanged from 2018.

Read: Discovery reports 12% drop in FY profit

3. Libstar results

Packaged foods company Libstar is reporting an increase in headline earnings per share from continuing profits to 19.7 cents for the six months ended June 30, 2019. The company says it delivered resilient results during the period, supported by the group’s core categories including perishable ambient groceries, snacks and confectionary and baking and baking aids. Group revenue rose 4.6%, with organic revenue growth from its core businesses up 5.3% due to rising sales of baked goods and an increase in exports of dry spices and seasonings. Libstar says it will assess the declaration of a dividend once per annum at the publication of its final results.

4. Momentum Metropolitan results

Momentum Metropolitan Holdings, the company formerly known as MMI, is reporting a 71% increase in basic headline earnings to R2.5 billion while normalised headline earnings per share rose by 54% to R3.1 billion for the year ended June 30, 2019. Basic headline earnings per share also increased by 81% to 168 cents and a net final dividend of 28 cents per share is being declared.

In accordance with its Africa exit strategy, Momentum Metropolitan says it concluded transactions to exit Swaziland and Mauritius adding that it is at an advanced stage of discussions to exit three more countries.

The board also announced the extended tenure of CEO Hillie Meyer to 2023.

5. Fuel price hike

Fill up your tanks, the price of petrol and diesel increases on Wednesday. The price of petrol will rise by 11 cents to R16.03 per litre in Gauteng and the price of diesel will rise by 26 cents to R14.59 per litre. According to Reuters, the petrol price hike comes as a result of a weakening rand in August.

Read: Fuel prices inch up in September after rand slide

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