Bloomberg News

South African Stocks: Aquarius, BHP Billiton, Huge Group, Tiger

June 01, 2011

June 1 (Bloomberg) -- The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index snapped six days of gains, losing 250.15 or 0.8 percent, to 32,315.58 by 3 p.m. in Johannesburg.

The following were among the most active stocks in the South African market today.

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP SJ), the world’s fourth-largest producer of the metal, fell the most in more than a week, losing 50 cents, or 1.3 percent, to 38.20 rand. Aquarius said it may idle its Blue Ridge mine and instead expand its Everest operation in South Africa at a cost of 850 million rand ($125 million).

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BIL SJ), the world’s biggest mining company, retreated for a second day, losing 2.02 rand, or 0.8 percent, to 268 rand. Copper declined the most in more than a week, falling 1.2 percent to $9,104 a metric ton.

Blue Financial Services Ltd. (BFS SJ), a provider of unsecured loans, jumped the most since March 7, rallying 4 cents, or 14 percent, to 32 cents. Blue Financial posted a loss of 275.6 million rand ($41 million) for the year ended February, compared with a loss of 1.02 billion rand a year earlier, it said in a statement today.

Huge Group Ltd. (HUG SJ), a telecommunications company, headed for the biggest slump since Nov. 30, slipping 15 cents, or 13 percent, to 1.05 rand. Publication of results will be delayed, Huge said in a trading update today. It added that earnings for the year through February will be more than 20 percent lower when compared to a year earlier.

Lonrho Plc (LAF SJ), an investment holding company with infrastructure assets in Africa, declined the most since March 14, dropping 50 cents, or 24 percent, to 1.60 rand. Its loss widened to 3.3 million pounds ($5.4 million) in the six months through March from 1.7 million pounds a year earlier.

Tiger Brands Ltd. (TBS SJ), South Africa’s biggest food company, rose to the highest in almost a month, climbing 4.05 rand, or 2.1 percent, to 193.81 rand. The company’s recommendation was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Investec Plc.

--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Linda Shen

To contact the reporter on this story: Sikonathi Mantshantsha in Johannesburg at smantshantsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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