JSE sheds weight after waiting for the bang that never came
THE JSE overall index shed more than 2,5% to close at 6 793,5 after a week of waiting for the bang that never happened.
A week earlier, rumours that foreign exchange controls were about to go and that foreign orders abounded led to a JSE rally. But Reserve Bank Governor Chris Stals crushed the speculators with his plan to lift forex controls within four to five years.
The money-market shortage squeezed banks' margins and an interest-rate hike was uppermost in peoples' minds. But none came by Friday's close, and the JSE steadied to close eight points above the day's low.
The rand drifted to 470,55c to the dollar, and gold edged up to $378,50. Heavyweights lost ground: Anglo American shed 450c to R277,50 De Beers 825c to R134, Remgro 275c to R38,50.
Any company with bad or merely worse than expected results took a bath: First National closed at R23,90, R6 below last week's high of R29, and Edgars gave up R22,50 to R103. It was R170 in February. Other SA Breweries companies performed below par - Da Gama, Conshu, ABI and Afcol, although Lion Match and Amrel improved.
Rainbow shed 5c to 76c on a loss of R164-million. It has appointed a Mexican to the helm.
Good results came from Illovo, Litho, Aida, Nampak, Amcoal and Nedcor - which beat market expectations handsomely.
Forbes, which listed its 210-million ordinaries issued at 535c on Monday, went as high as 815c before steadying at 700c. Barely half a million shares changed hands all week. Such a premium of trading price to issue price is viewed as poor corporate financial advice.
There was a big bonsella for Lydex members. Harmony is to buy 44,8% of Lydex from Old Mutual at R10 a share plus 45 Harmony options per 100 Lydex, exercisable at R60 by mid-2001. Randex is to buy the Harmony options at 889c, equivalent to R14 a Lydex share. It was 880c before the announcement, and closed at R13,50. An offer to the Lydex minority will be made on the same terms.
Several companies issued cautionary announcements: Persetel, Seeff and NBS. Talk resurfaced that NBS, Norwich and Rand Merchant Bank/Momentum would get together, but informed lips were sealed. Coronation's deal with Mobile was well received. Coronation put on R8 to R51,25 and Mobile 86c to 670c. Energy Africa was active, up 50c to R14,70 on good volume.
Rebhold is believed to be close to an acquisition of bottle stores. It added 10% to 286c.
Spescom added 150c to 610c on good press and Omega rose 85c to 535c on a cautionary. MGX bought Optiplan and Alument for R29,5-million through the issue of 2-million shares at R10,50 plus cash. The deal effectively doubles the size of the company for the issue of an extra 10% of the capital.
The Crendell cash shell bought Video Lab for the issue of 182-million shares at 25c and entered the entertainment and communications industry under the guidance of Nic Frangos, Eric Ellerine and Mervyn King. It will be renamed Sasani. Seller HCI added 50c to 510c.
Julie Walker Top of page