NATIONAL NEWS - Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:
Mortgage arrears extinguished?
It could be a win for property owners if arrears on mortgage bonds fall away as a result of last week’s interest rate change. Property owners are presenting a court case against banks arguing that lenders should no longer have a legal basis to continue debt collection and legal proceedings against them.
Moneyweb is reporting that banks will be highly impacted if the courts rule in favour of property owners, adding that the number of people who have lost their homes through foreclosure over the last decade, could have a claim against the banks should the plaintiffs win the case.
South Africa’s producer price inflation rate for June is expected to be released on Thursday. In May, PPI, which measures the average movement of in selling prices from domestic production overtime, increased 6.4% year-on-year compared to a 6.5% rise in April.
Prices for food, beverages and tobacco and textiles advanced at the same pace, while prices rose faster for transport equipment, non-metallic mineral products, electrical machinery and communication as well as furnishings.
Anglo American results
Mining company Anglo American is reporting a 19% increase in underlying Ebitda to $5.5 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2019. The company’s basic headline earnings per share increased 45% to $1.48 from $1.03 in the previous period. The company’s revenue increased by 8% to R14.8 billion and a dividend per share of 0.62 US cents has been declared, up 27% from 0.49 in 2018.
Anglo American also announces the approval of the Aquila project to extend the life of its Capcoal underground coal operations in Australia by six years. Development work at the mine will commence in September 2019, an attributable capital cost of $226 million is expected for the project.
Vodacom trading statement
Vodacom Group has issued a trading statement for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, in which it highlights a 4.2% growth in group revenue to R21.5 billion and a 3.9% increase in service revenue to R17.4 billion. The company added 608 000 customers locally and 560 000 customers in its international operations during the quarter, this is up 5.3%.
Within its South African operations, service revenue fell by 1.2% to R12.6 billion while, internationally, service revenue increased by 19.6% to R5.1 billion.
Vodacom’s CEO Shameel Joosub says growth from international portfolios offset the expected slower performance locally, which was impacted by new data usage regulations, as well as data price cuts and the slow economy.
Sasol trading update
Energy and chemicals company Sasol sees headline earnings per share increasing between 7% and 17% to around R1.92 and R4.66 per share for the financial year ending June 30, 2019. Core headline earnings per share is expected to increase between 1% and 11% and earnings per share is expected to decrease by between 46% and 56%.
In the note, the company says the decline in earnings per share is a result of impairments of ‘relevant cash generating units due to the softer outlook for global chemical and gas prices’, as well as the higher capital spend on the Lake Charles Chemicals Project, which the company says is progressing through the ‘sequential beneficial operation schedule’.