Bloomberg News

South African Stocks: Afrox, AngloGold, Evraz, Mercantile Move

July 01, 2011

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index rose for a sixth day to its highest close in a month, adding 60.93, or 0.2 percent, to 31,925.47 by the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg.

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

African Oxygen Ltd. (AFX SJ), the country’s largest producer of industrial gases, closed at its highest since Feb. 4, gaining 60 cents, or 3.1 percent, to 20.25 rand. There are “circumstances that may have a material effect” on its share price, the company said in a cautionary announcement.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG SJ), Africa’s largest gold producer, declined for a second day, losing 6.70 rand, or 2.4 percent, to 278.80 rand. The spot price of gold fell as much as 1.4 percent to $1,478.83 an ounce. South African gold production decreased 9.3 percent in the first quarter compared with the previous three months, the Chamber of Mines of South Africa said in an e-mailed statement.

Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI SJ), the continent’s second-biggest producer of the metal, dropped 3.39 rand, or 3.4 percent, to 95.80 rand.

Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. (HAR SJ), the third-largest producer, slipped 4.15 rand, or 4.6 percent, to 85.80 rand.

Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium Ltd. (EHS SJ), a steelmaker, slumped 6.45 rand, or 12 percent, to 47.55 rand. Earlier it plunged 26 percent to 40 rand. The group said in an e-mailed response to questions that it was not aware of anything “within the company” that may have caused a decline in the value of its share price to the lowest intraday level in more than six years.

Mercantile Bank Holdings Ltd. (MTL SJ), the lender controlled by Portugal’s Caixa Geral de Depositos SA, jumped to its highest close since December 2008, rising 5 cents, or 20 percent, to 30 cents. The Bidvest Group Ltd. has made an offer of 35.5 cents a share to buy Mercantile. Caixa said its board planned to “take a position” on the offer on July 6.

Bidvest (BVT SJ) added 2.50 rand, or 1.7 percent, to 153 rand.

Pick n Pay Stores Ltd. (PIK SJ), the country’s second- largest grocer, closed at its highest in four weeks, adding 30 cents, or 0.7 percent, to 41.80 rand. Cadiz Securities’ equities analyst Shamil Ismail raised the retailer to “hold” from “sell,” with a 12-month price estimate of 42 rand a share.

--Editors: Ana Monteiro, John Kohut, Linda Shen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at sgunnion@bloomberg.net

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


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