South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan unveils his budget at about 2 p.m. in Cape Town as Africa’s biggest economy ramps up spending to create jobs in a country where one in four are without work.
The median estimate of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg is for a budget deficit of 4.7 percent of gross domestic product in the year beginning April 1, compared with Gordhan’s October forecast of 4.6 percent. The shortfall will reach 5.4 percent this fiscal year, compared with a previous forecast of 5.3 percent, and narrow to 4.1 percent in 2012-13, according to the survey.
WHAT TO WATCH: * South Africa’s ruling African National Congress said a research project into models on state ownership of the country’s mines will focus on case studies from Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, China, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, Australia and Bolivia. * Energy Minister Dipuo Peters speaks at a conference on South Africa’s energy plans. * South Africa’s Reserve Bank to release invitation at about 11 a.m. in Johannesburg for weekly government bond auction that will be held on March 1. * South African Grain Information Services releases weekly deliveries of corn and wheat at 12 p.m. in Johannesburg. MARKETS: * The rand strengthened 0.3 percent against the dollar to 7.1375 as of 7:49 a.m. Johannesburg time. * The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index fell 1.1 percent to 32,444.20. * The yield on the benchmark government R157 bond was unchanged at 7.77 percent. * Gold for immediate delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $1,398.40 an ounce by 7:50 a.m. Johannesburg time. Platinum gained 0.4 percent to $1,797.85 an ounce. * The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.4 percent to 12,212.79 yesterday. * The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.6 percent to 285.38 yesterday. EQUITY MOVERS: * Imperial Holdings Ltd. (IPL SJ): The country’s largest auto- dealer said earnings before one-time items rose 44 percent to 7.25 rand a share in the six months ended Dec. 31. * Kelly Group Ltd. (KEL SJ): The staffing company holds an investor and quarterly earnings update. * Murray & Roberts Ltd. (MUR SJ): The construction company releases fiscal first-half earnings. * Rolfes Technology Holdings Ltd. (RLF SJ): The color pigment manufacturing company said sales in the six months through December climbed 18 percent to 228.7 million rand ($32 million). * Super Group Ltd. (SPG SJ): The transport services provider said its earnings more than doubled to 154.3 million rand in the first-half through December, from 71.9 million rand a year earlier. * Transpaco Ltd. (TPC SJ): The South African paper and packaging distributor said fiscal first-half earnings a share increased by 14 percent to 1.42 rand.
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