SOUTH AFRICA DAYBOOK: Standard Bank, BAE, Shell and Aspen

Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s largest bank, said full-year profit fell 3 percent as revenue slumped and it incurred costs from firing staff.

Net income dropped to 10.8 billion rand ($1.57 billion) from 11.1 billion rand a year earlier the Johannesburg-based lender said in a statement today. Diluted earnings per share for the period fell 5 percent to 6.96 rand, beating the 6.94 rand median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

     WHAT TO WATCH:
* BAE Systems Plc holds a media day in Johannesburg.
* South Africa’s Cabinet holds a press conference at 10 a.m.
* Grain SA, a South African grain growers’ organization, holds a
press conference in Pretoria from 11 a.m.
* Tina Joemat-Pettersson, South Africa’s agriculture minister,
addresses a press conference in Jozini about an outbreak of
foot-and-mouth disease from 11 a.m.
* Statistics South Africa, the national statistics agency,
releases monthly power production and consumption statistics
from 1 p.m.
* Royal Dutch Shell Plc briefs the media in Johannesburg from
1:45 p.m. on its applications to explore for shale gas in South
Africa.
* Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa’s deputy president, responds
to questions in parliament in Cape Town.


     MARKETS:
* The rand gained 0.2 percent against the dollar to 6.863 by
8:15 a.m. in Johannesburg.
* The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index fell 0.2 percent to close
at 31,973.09 yesterday.
* The yield on the government R157 bond fell eight basis points
to 7.68 percent.
* Gold for immediate delivery fell 0.6 percent to
$1,429.05 an ounce as of 8.15 a.m. Johannesburg time. Platinum
declined 0.8 percent to $1,840.75 an ounce.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.1 percent to
12,066.80.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.7 percent to 282.76.

     EQUITY MOVERS:
* Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. (APN SJ): The southern
hemisphere’s biggest maker of generic medicines releases annual
earnings.
* Freeworld Coatings Ltd. (FWD SJ): The manufacturer of
industrial coatings said the Competition Commission will decide
on Kansai Paint Co. Ltd.’s takeover of the company after March
11.
* Keaton Energy Holdings Ltd. (KEH SJ): The coal exploration
company said investor Rutendo Holdings Ltd. sold 1.3 million
Keaton Energy shares in an off-market transaction at 4.50 rand
per share for a total of 5.85 million rand.
* RMB Holdings Ltd. (RMH SJ): The South African investment
company said basic earnings per share for the six months through
December are expected to rise between 100 percent and 120
percent compared with a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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