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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Naspers boosted by Tencent, Sars acting commissioner’s term ends soon, Libstar bets on yoghurt for a boost, Eskom worker strike, gold and mining production data.

Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:

1. Naspers expects growth  

Multinational media group, Naspers said in a trading statement released on Wednesday, that for the financial year ending March 31 2018, it expects (its restated) core headline earnings per share to be up between 70% (236 US cents)  and 75% (253 US cents). The company also says it expects (its restated) earnings per share to be between 380% (2 060 US cents) and 390% (2 114 US cents) higher. Naspers says the growth in earnings per year was impacted by the sale of a 2% interest in Tencent in March 2018.

The restated figures come as a result of changes made to Naspers’s accounting policies.  Results will be released on June 22.  

Read: Naspers climb as sale of part of Tencent stake lifts earnings

2. Acting Sars commissioner term ends soon

Mark Kingon, who was appointed as the acting commissioner at Sars in March, will soon see the end of his 90 day term. Kingon assumed the position to turn things around at Sars, after former commissioner Tom Moyane was suspended for misconduct. Moneyweb says it has not been confirmed if Kingon’s position will be extended past June 18 (which is the end date). It is the responsibility of the president to appoint a permanent commissioner but the process is on hold pending the outcome of Moyane’s disciplinary hearing.

3. Libstar says market share boost is hedged on yoghurt

Packaged foods company, Libstar, which is also a recent addition to the JSE, is betting on the launch of a new range of yoghurt to boost its market share. The CEO, Andries van Rensburg says that the new range of yoghurt and shakes will be traded by Libstar’s Lancewood unit, and will be launched in July. This comes in response to people’s healthier lifestyles and the demand for convenience food, Reuters reported.

4. Eskom day of action

Eskom workers are planning to go ahead with their official day of action on Thursday at Eskom’s head office in Megawatt Park. The workers are protesting over the cash-strapped utility’s proposed 0% wage increase. Bloomberg is reporting that nine power plants were affected on Wednesday. Amid the action, Eskom says it cannot guarantee power supply to certain regions.

5. Mining, gold production data

The April data for mining and gold production will be released on Thursday. In March, mining production year-on-year fell 8.4%, following a downwardly revised 2.0% gain in February. 

Update to follow. 


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