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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Moody’s Africa conference kicks off, Attacq and Master Drilling results, manufacturing production and more.

Here’s what caught our attention on Tuesday:

1. Moody’s conference kicks off

Moody’s Investor Service hosts an Inside Africa Summit to look into South Africa’s growth prospects and challenges in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The conference will host over 250 senior investors, issuers and credit experts, according to the website. Key issues to be discussed include South Africa’s performance among emerging markets, growth and fiscal outlook and the banking system’s outlook.

Moody’s has for long commented on the state of Eskom and its impact on South Africa’s fiscus. According to Bloomberg the rating agency says fixing Eskom will be a lengthy process, adding that it can only make judgement after government’s full plan for the utility is known.

Read: Fixing Eskom is complex, will take time – Moody’s

2. Attacq results

Property company Attacq, which is driving the development of Waterfall City in Gauteng, is reporting a 17% increase in distributable earnings per share for the year ended June 30 2019. The company declared a full-year dividend of 81.5 cents per share, up 10.1% and exceeding its guidance for the period. Attacq says it completed the construction of seven buildings in the Waterfall development, while a further nine buildings are under construction. It is expecting dividend growth of between 8% and 10% for its 2020 financial year.

3. Master Drilling results

Rock-boring and drilling services provider Master Drilling is reporting a 5.6% increase in headline earnings per share to 76.7 cents and a 1% decrease in earnings per share to 76.7 cents for the six months ended June 30 2019. CEO Danie Pretorius says the turmoil in global trade is impacting negatively on commodity markets and “creating uncertainty
around the future demand for and consumption of commodities.” Pretorius however adds that its pipeline for new businesses remains strong under the circumstances. Revenue increased by 3.8% to US $70 million and operating profit fell to US $11.8 million. The company says a dividend will be considered for the end of the year.

4.Manufacturing output

South Africa’s manufacturing output for July is due on Tuesday. In June, manufacturing output declined by 3.2% from a downwardly-revised 0.4% growth in May. According to Trading Economics, this was notably the first downturn in factory activity since September 2018. The largest negative contributions were made by petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products.

Update to follow.

5. Platinum wage dispute continues

Anglo American Platinum and and Sibanye Gold are locked in a dispute with Amcu. Negotiations over pay between the platinum producers and Amcu kicked off in June but stalled after the union rejected counter offers from the miners, instead demanding a higher wage increase, as palladium and rhodium prices surge and the rand weakens. The producers say they will engage with mediators to resolve the dispute.

Read: Platinum giants say Amcu declares dispute in wage talks

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