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Guptas’ Oakbay trading debut sees value close to Harmony

Company valued at R8.1 billion since trading.

Oakbay Resources & Energy, run by South Africa’s politically connected Gupta family, began trading today and was valued at close to the country’s third- largest gold miner on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

About 20 000 shares changed hands in five trades by 1:17 p.m, pricing the stock at R10.08 each, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That valued the company at R8.1 billion, almost the same as Harmony Gold Mining at R8.2 billion, which had trading volume of 412 774 shares at the same time.

Oakbay plans to raise at least R800 million over the next year to invest in uranium assets in South Africa’s North West province. The country is planning to produce as many as 9 600 megawatts from nuclear power by 2030, about a quarter of current installed capacity. The Gupta family has close links to President Jacob Zuma, having hired one of his sons and one of his wives to work for them.

Oakbay’s listing “is the culmination of four years’ hard work and investment in its uranium asset, Shiva,” Chairman Atul Gupta said in a statement today. “It is also a further step in the wider Oakbay group’s strategy to create 100 000 new jobs in South Africa.”

©2014 Bloomberg News

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