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This is the Sharenet company blog where we will bring you the latest news and events on the go at Sharenet, together with tips on using our site and our products.

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    JSE PUSHES INTO RECORD TERRITORY

    LOCAL MARKETS

    Trading is likely to be quieter today after yesterday's futures closeout. The JSE continued its strong performance, reaching a record high of 24 825 yesterday. Brisk trade just before closing resulted in over R17 billion worth of shares being traded.

    The rand traded slightly weaker due to market volatily ahead of the quiet festive season and is likely to remain in the R7.02/03 and R6.93/94 range. The currency should be boosted by another rate hike early next year.

    The market is waiting for November private sector credit data due out next week.

    Bank shares soared by 3.63% yesterday after producer inflation figures were released, indicating an easing up of monetary policy stance by the Reserve Bank.

    The big movers for the day were media group Naspers who rose 5.17% to 163 rand, the MTN group surged 4.94% to 85 rand and Richemont rallied 4.01% to a record high of 41.53 rand.

    OVERSEAS MARKETS

    A report released in the US showed a contraction in regional business activity which caused the three major US stock indices to fall further at midday yesterday. Despite a fresh wave of takeovers, worries about slow growth kept a lid on any market advances.

    European stocks ended lower yesterday due to the data relased by the US. It was also weighed down by languishing copper prices and telecom shares after media reports were released saying that Vodafone was considering a bid for India's Hutchison Essar.

    The Asian markets closed higher as investors were cheered on by merger news and bet against an early hike in interest rates.

    Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei-225 gained 0.22 percent to close at 17 047.83 points this morning, while Hong Kong's key Hang Seng index was flat at 19 222.84 points.

    COMPANY NEWS

    MTN Network Solutions (NS) signed an agreement on 14 December stating that MTN NS will provide the JSE with a complete networking solution for an initial three-year period. Supplying the JSE with network solutions provides MTN NS with a huge opportunity to develop solutions for the financial services arena.

    The Aim-listed diamond company Petra Diamonds has received a mining right for the Koffiefontein mine in the Free State. This mine was closed by De Beers earlier this year.
    Blue Diamond Mines, Petra's wholly-owned subsidiary, will take a 70% interest in the mine while Koffiefontein Black Economic Empowerment partners will take a 30% interest.

    Permalink2006-12-22, 09:47:08, by Marika Email , 1 comment

    JSE remains strong ahead of festive season

    LOCAL MARKETS

    The market opended on a low volume today following yesterday's record performance. The focus on today's market will revolve around futures-related activity ahead of the closeout this afternoon.

    The JSE performed well yesterday reaching a record high before the close of day. A rebound in world and emerging markets, as well as futures-related buying ahead of today's closeout boosted the market. Benign inflation data influenced interest-rate sensitive stocks, adding to the overall market performance.

    Big index stocks were at the top of the trading list, while financial services and retail shares were the strongest performers on the JSE.

    The rand traded slightly stronger against the dollar, taking advantage of the dollar's weakness against other major currencies.

    The major mover of the day was FirstRand (FSR), surging 4.47% to an all time high of R21.52.

    OVERSEAS MARKETS

    A transatlantic merger of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with European stock market operator Euronext resulted in US shares opening higher yesterday. The world's first intercontinental bourse will be called NYSE-Euronext will be worth an estimated R204.8 billion. Traders predict that today's trading will be relatively quiet ahead of the upcoming Christmas holiday.

    European stocks rose after various acquisitions and a stronger euro against the dollar and yen.

    Asian stocks recovered after the previous days fall. Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei-225 closed at 17 011.04 points earlier today, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed at 19 240.12 points after authorities eased worries of financial instability by scaling back capital controls.

    COMPANY NEWS

    Gold Fields has extended its offer to Western Areas shareholders by almost a month, moving the closing date of the paper offer to lunchtime on Friday 26 January next year.

    JSE-listed software and outsourcing group, UCS Holdings (UCS), announced yesterday that they are in talks with a potential black economic empowerment partner. The new partner would be introduced at group level if talks were successful.

    South African Airways (SAA) have been cleared on pricing charges by the Competition Commission after a complaint was lodged against SAA Cargo by Skyhaul.

    Permalink2006-12-21, 10:01:37, by Marika Email , Leave a comment

    JSE recovers

    LOCAL MARKETS

    The JSE recovered from yesterday's knock in the Asian markets, and by 10am had risen to 24330. The stock market dipped yesterday due to drastic measures taken to rein in Thailand's currency after their government planned to slap controls on short term money inflows. This was done in an attempt to control the baht from depreciating and to aid exporters. The Thai stock market's benchmark index plunged 15% into the red for the day.

    The market settled a bit after the Thai government changed this policy and announced that equity investments would be excluded from these restrictions.

    Tomorrow's futures close-out encouraged basket buying which stemmed the JSE's losses and trading is likely to remain thin until then. Investors are also awaiting direction from South African consumer inflation data for November which is due to be released today.

    The rand was bid at R7/$, showing little change from Monday's closing bid. The rand endured a dull day's trade and performed slightly softer against other major currencies. Emerging market jitters have encouraged importers into the market this morning but there isn't much to show in the way of direction yet.

    Fast food group Famous Brands was a major mover in the market yesterday, surging 4.89 percent or 65 cents to 1395 cents. They traded at a record high of 1403 cents after issuing a cautionary saying that they have entered into negotiations which could have a material effect on their share price.

    OVERSEAS MARKETS

    US shares ended on a mixed note yesterday after a spike in wholesale price inflation affected the market. The Dow Jones recovered from early losses and finished on a record high, while the Nasdaq finished lower at 2429,55. Oracle shares dragged the Nasdaq 100 down after the database software maker reported disappointing sales late on Monday.

    European shares fell yesterday due to negative sentiment, mining and telecom stocks, the spike in US producer prices and the plunge of Thai stocks.


    COMPANY NEWS

    Anooraq Resources (ARQ), the black-empowered platinum explorer, officially began trading yesterday on the JSE. As is typical for secondary listings, trading in their shares was limited. They gained 4,2% closing at 821 cents.

    Listed tyre maker Tiger Wheels group advised yesterday that they expected losses for the half year to 31 December to be in the region of one cents per share and headline loss in the region of 50 cents per share.

    Consol yesterday reported a 2,1% decline in sales volumes in the five months leading up to November. They ascribed the decline to an unusually high volume growth in the period leading up to this.

    Permalink2006-12-20, 10:59:38, by Marika Email , Leave a comment

    Year-end rally looms

    LOCAL MARKETS

    The market is trading at a low volume this morning and looks likely to continue in a similar vein to yesterday's stats as the Christmas holiday looms.

    After racing to a record high of 24 221 points earlier yesterday, the JSE ended weaker at the close on Monday. This trend should continue as dealers expect the market to enter a year-end rally later this week in anticipation of Thursday's futures close-out.

    The rand remained unchanged against the dollar yesterday, hovering around the R7/$ mark. Traders expect the rand to remain constant in the range of R6.96 to R7.05 to the dollar as the market slows consideribly in the run up to Christmas. Liquidity should remain low over this period as most dealers have taken leave. The market is waiting for November consumer inflation figures to be released tomorrow and producer inflation data pending release on Thursday.

    There has been a demand for industrial stocks after Barloworld's announcement that it is unbundling PPC. Their shares jumped 7.33% on top of this news as well as the announcement that the current CEO, Tony Phillips, is stepping down in favour of Clive Thomson, the former finance director of the group.

    OVERSEAS MARKETS

    US stocks dipped lower on Monday as early gains encouraged by merger news faded and the market consolidated following last week's highs. Wall Street fell yesterday despite $81 billion in takeover activity due to concerns about the technology and energy sectors. Most analysts believe the market is just taking a breather after strong gains last week.

    European stocks fell yesterday after a drop in crude prices affected oil firms. Trading volumes are likely to slow down as the week goes by as most traders are getting ready to enjoy a well-earned break over the festive season.

    Most Asian markets rose yesterday thanks to optimism over Japan's economic outlook. Japanese stocks climbed for the sixth straight session to hit a seven-month high. Hong Kong shares also rose for a third consecutive session due to gains in China Mobile.

    COMPANY NEWS

    After accepting a R6.08 billion offer from Ethos Private Equity Fund two weeks ago, packaging group Consol has received a rival bid from a Brait South Africa affiliate for its entire issued share capital. They have overtaken Ethos's offer of 1924 cents a share with a 1950 cents offer. Consol is looking at this offer as it contains more attractive terms and has a material level of support from their shareholders.

    A R300 million contract has been awarded to the Jupitar Drawing Room agency for advertising the MTN brand. Beginning in February, the contract involves advertising MTN Group's global brand and global sponsorship deals. It also aims to focus on the brand, product, retail and sponsorships of MTN's South African and Swaziland subsidiaries. MTN’s share price temporarily added more than R3 yesterday, or 3,8%, to trade at R82,53.

    A consortium of private equity investors, the Actis Consortium, has made a firm offer of R16.25 for international financial and risk services group Alexander Forbes. This offer represents a 16 % premium to Alexander Forbes' closing share price on 6 June 2006, a day before they published the first cautionary in this respect.

    Permalink2006-12-19, 09:58:55, by Marika Email , Leave a comment

    Morning Market Report

    LOCAL MARKETS

    "The JSE opened on a "damp squib" today after it ended on a strong note last week", says Jonathan Fisher from Tsec. A good indication of this was the futures market performance prior to the market opening today. "Volume is extremely thin but is expected to pick up on Thursday when the futures market closes out for the year".

    The rand was quoted a tad softer to the dollar this morning but is expected to remain constant today due to lacklustre trade brought on by the festive season.

    OVERSEAS MARKETS

    The Dow Jones industrials average climbed to an all-time high on Friday after government data showed that consumer prices held steady last month. This has reassured investors that inflation is under control and that the economy is maintaining growth. Wall Street is in its final stretch for the year so investors are expecting to bring in more festive cheer this week. Two speeches by key Federal Reserve officials on Tuesday regarding the state of the US economy and various other economic reports will keep investors on the back burner till then.

    European shares closed higher Friday. This was boosted by stronger shares of oil companies, positive corporate news and US economic data.

    Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei-225 gained 0.28 percent to close at 16962.11 points today, giving them the highest closing level since 10 May.

    COMPANY NEWS

    According to a statement lodged with the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, Absa has agreed to sell its 24.1% shareholding in Zimbabwe's second-largest bank CBZ Holdings. CBZH has agreed to purchase Absa's 24.1% shareholding in CBZH.

    Global brewing giant SABMiller's (SAB's) joint venture with China Resources Enterprise announced that it has agreed to acquire the brewing assets of Shanxi Yueshan Brewery Company for a cash consideration of $17.7-million. These acquisitions represent a natural progression for SABMiller as they are looking to develop across the northern and north-eastern regions.

    Africa's biggest supermarket group Shoprite has amended the timetable for a planned private equity buyout to allow more time for investors to voice objections to South Africa's Securities Regulation Panel (SRP), who would make a decision on February 23 next year.

    Permalink2006-12-18, 10:29:58, by Marika Email , Leave a comment

    Morning Market Report

    LOCAL MARKETS

    By mid morning, the market volumes were very low. It appears most institutions are starting to wind down for the holidays. Nevertheless prices were pushed up and all the main indices are trading firmer as global markets were boosted by gains on Wall Street.
    The rand is currently trading a touch weaker against the dollar and is likely to continue in this vein as it follows the current trend in international markets. There are currently a lot of dollars in supply from offshore but the rand should remain around R7/$.
    Oil prices surged above $62 per barrel late yesterday after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries said they would cut the crude output by 500 000 barrrels per day from February next year.

    Index heavyweight and diversified miner Anglo American Plc was a big mover yesterday after it reiterated its plan to reduce its stake in aluminium and sugar firm Tongaat-Hulett, which would be separated into two sugar and aluminium companies. Anglo's shares added 2.11% to R342.07.

    Local equities should enjoy further advances at the commencement of trade following the upbeat performance in the U.S.

    INTERNATIONAL MARKET

    US stocks rallied yesterday sending the Dow Jones to a record close of a figure above 12 400, while the S&P 500 also hit a six-year high.

    European shares closed at fresh five-and-a-half-year highs yesterday. This was powered by strong commodity-related stocks, takeover activity and a rise in the dollar after positive US jobless claims.

    Most Asian markets rose yesterday as Japanese shares hit a seven-month high and markets in China, Australia and New Zealand all rallied to new records.

    COMPANY NEWS
    Anglo Platinum (AngloPlat) has recently concluded talks to sell a 15% stake in its Rustenburg mine’s Union section to a black community group. A one-off R218 million loss linked to this transaction will likely affect the company’s results in the year ending December 2006.

    Amalgamated Appliances Holdings (Amap) has announced an agreement to buy the South African furniture manufacturing operations of Steinhoff for R1.152 billion in stock, cash and debt. These acquisitions are part of their plan to create a leading provider of branded household durable goods in South Africa. Once these transactions have been concluded, it would result in a group with a turnover in excess of R5 billion.
    Business Connexion, a South African IT outsourcing firm, has agreed to extend a deadline for Telkom’s planned R2.43 billion takeover. This has kept Telkom’s expansion ambitions alive. The previous deadline of December 15 has run into opposition from competition authorities, and has thus been extended to March 15 of next year.

    Permalink2006-12-15, 11:32:11, by admin Email , Leave a comment