Gensec catches up with the winning financial services pack
NEARLY R200-million worth of Gensec shares changed hands in a big bookover at R56.75, enough to trigger market interest in a financial services group that had lagged behind the pack.
Gensec closed at R59.75, 3% higher, having touched R60. It was R61 in February.
Financials were strong again, notably Nedcor - up 7% to R96 on market speculation that it might be interested in a deal with First National Bank, itself 11% up at R39.75. First National has nearly doubled since December.
Much talk surrounds the financial services patch: that Capital Alliance will buy Southern Life and sell First National out of it is the current hot topic. Absa was also strong after initial weakness when its results were published. The price added 125c to R30.50. BoE Corporation picked up as much as 300c to R12.50 before retreating to R10.10.
Trade worth R71-million took place in Investec Trust - holder of Fedlife, Bid group and Saflife - and it added 30c to 830c, even though Saflife shed another 150c to R18.50 - half its February high. Bidvest was the champion, up 10% to R35.05 on a cautionary. It is an open secret that Bidvest is interested in buying stationer Waltons, which together with pyramid Walhold and parent Pepkor also issued a cautionary. The market thinks a deal will be struck at above 900c a Walhold share, but it could be optimistic: Bidvest's Brian Joffe is not known for paying through the nose. The Waltons share price added 26% to 870c and Walhold's 25% to 850c. Bidvest is also believed to be considering a food-related investment.
First SA Food made a more than satisfactory JSE debut after a well-subscribed issue of shares at 200c. Expected to open at around 320c, trade commenced at 340c and climbed to 380c before easing 10c on good volume.
Leisurenet was also strong at 450c, 15c firmer. Forward moved up 13% to 305c on news it is to take out the minority in Gentyre. The minority has the choice of accepting Coronation N shares. MacPhail will also be delisted.
Rusplats shares are also to be offered in exchange for Lebowa Plats, PPRust and Amplats. Lebowa Plats got the most generous terms at 6 Rusplat per 100. With Rusplat at R77.50, Lebowa should be 465c. It closed a third up at 450c after enormous trade both before and after the terms were announced.