Today’s Top 8 Business Stories – 7 October


1) Budget Realities Pressure South Africa to Stop Policy Dithering
South Africa’s government has spent months mostly talking about how to save the debt-stricken state power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., spur economic growth and get its shaky finances back on track. Financial realities may force an end to the dithering.

2) South Africa Reserves Jump to 38-Year High on Record Bond Issue
South Africa’s foreign-exchange reserves surged to the highest level in almost four decades in September as following the government’s biggest Eurobond issuance yet. Gross reserves rose to $54.86 billion from $49.95 billion in August, the Pretoria-based South African Reserve Bank said in a statement on its website Monday. That’s the highest since 1981, according to central bank records.

3) Emerging-Market Yield Hunt Will Trump Trade Wars for Now
The hunt for yield is still on in emerging markets. And as that plays out, expect Asia to outperform. Those are the main findings of Bloomberg’s quarterly survey of 54 global investors, strategists and traders on their outlook for developing-nation assets. The trade dispute between the U.S. and China remains a key concern, with new round of negotiation due this week.

4) Old Mutual’s Bitter Feud With Its Fired CEO Splits Investors
Old Mutual Ltd. shareholders are split on whether the South African insurer should pony up and settle with Chief Executive Officer Peter Moyo or run the risk of a 250 million rand ($16.5 million) damages claim. All Weather Capital (Pty) Ltd. is up for a settlement if it will end the feud. Allan Gray (Pty) Ltd., Old Mutual’s second- biggest investor, is against the idea. View Share Prices for Old Mutual Ltd.

5) Clicks Jumps to Record as Retailer Defies Tough S. Africa Market
Clicks Group Ltd. surged the most in 11 years in Johannesburg trading after the retailer said its full- year earnings would rise as much as 18%, despite the tough conditions confronting South African consumers. Clicks rose as much as 13%, the most since October 2008 to the highest since the shares started trading in March 1996. Profits have been boosted by a stronger performance in the second-half of the year, the Cape Town-based company said Monday. View Share Prices for Clicks Group Ltd.

6) Rand Strengthens as Reserves Climb to Record
The rand advanced for a fourth day, one of only two gainers in a basket of emerging-market currencies on Monday, after the country’s Reserve Bank reported gross reserves had risen to a record in September.

7) Foreigners Dump S. African Stocks at Fastest Pace Since 2017
Foreigners offloaded South African stocks at the fastest pace in two years last week, as worries about the state of the global economy helped spur an exit from riskier assets. Offshore investors were net sellers of 10.7 billion rand ($711 million) of the country’s equities in the five days ending Oct. 4, based on figures from Johannesburg stock exchange operator JSE Ltd. That’s the heaviest week of outflows since September 2017.

8) Gold Miners, Clicks Update Lift South African Stocks
South Africa’s benchmark FTSE/JSE Africa All Share index advances for a second day as gold producers drive mining stocks higher, and as Clicks surges after a positive trading update. * Index rises 0.1% as of 9:54am in Johannesburg * NOTE: Foreigners offloaded South African stocks at the fastest pace in two years last week, amid concerns about the state of the global economy.