Today’s Top 8 Business Stories – 16 September


1) $11 Billion Green-Energy Initiative Takes Shape in South Africa
A plan to establish the world’s largest green-energy financing initiative is being threshed out in South Africa, which needs to reduce its environmental footprint and find innovative ways to fund debt-stricken state power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. The plan being formulated by Meridian Economics, a Cape Town-based think tank, is under consideration by the government.

2) Saudi Oil Disruption To Hurt South Africa the Most, SocGen Says
Across central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the country that’s most exposed to disruptions in oil supply is South Africa, Societe Generale analyst Marek Drimal says in emailed note; he cites the nation’s dependence on imports from Saudi Arabia as the key factor.

3) Prosus’s First Investment Bank Ratings Offer Divided Opinion
Prosus NV, which listed in Amsterdam just last week, is splitting opinion among the first investment banks to cover the stock. While Jefferies rates the Naspers Ltd. tech-investments unit underperform, Bank of America Merrill Lynch recommends that investors buy the stock. Jefferies began coverage of Prosus, which owns a 31% stake in Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., with a price target of 61 euros, implying a downside of around 16% from current levels.

4) South African Coal Exports Seen Waning as Renewables Gather Pace
South Africa’s thermal-coal exports are expected to drop as its main export hub faces growing competition and new cheaper energies proliferate, according to a U.S. research group. “New energy technology is replacing coal-fired power faster than most predicted,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said Monday as it released its export outlook.

5) Sanlam Eyes French-Speaking Countries for West African Growth
Africa’s biggest insurer is eyeing a corner of the continent where barely two people in every 100 have cover. Sanlam Ltd. expects that its biggest growth in West Africa is going to come from French-speaking countries such as Ivory Coast, Senegal and Burkina Faso albeit off a low base, according to Thabied Majal, an executive at the Cape Town-based insurer’s emerging-markets business. View Sanlam Share Prices.

6) South African Stocks Edge Higher as Oil-Price Jump Boosts Sasol
South Africa’s benchmark stock index rises 0.1% as of 9:45am in Johannesburg, gaining for a fourth day, as Sasol soars following a record jump in oil prices prompted by the attack on Saudi oil facilities and as renewed haven demand spurs gains in gold producers. View Share Prices for Sasol Ltd.

7) South Africa Revives Plan to Take Free Stake in Energy Projects
South Africa’s government is drafting a new law that aims at securing it a free stake in all new oil and gas ventures, revising the terms of a proposal shelved four years ago. Under the legislation, which the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy outlined to lawmakers in Cape Town on Friday, the state would secure 10% ownership of energy projects at the exploration phase and the rights to 10% of their production at no cost.

8) Petra Diamonds on Track to Achieve FY 2020 Output Guidance
Petra Diamonds reported revenue for the full year that was 1.4% below the average analyst estimate. * FY revenue $463.6 million, estimate $470.4 million (range $460.0 million to $514.0 million) (Bloomberg data) * FY adjusted Ebitda $153.0 million * FY capital expenditure $81.4 million * Net Loss After Tax $258.1M * On Track for FY 2020 Output Guidance ~3.8 Mcts * FY 2020 Capex is guided at ca. US$43 million * FY 2021 and FY 2022 capex guidance of ca.