South African Stocks: Altron, Richemont, Grindrod, Harmony, PPC

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index rose to the highest in more than seven weeks, advancing 384.31, or 1.2 percent, to 31,343.90 by the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg.

The following were among the most active stocks in the South African market today.

Allied Electronics Corp. (ATN SJ), an investment company with interests in communications equipment and power cables, fell for the first time in a week, declining 53 cents, or 2 percent, to 25.47 rand. The company said earnings per share for the six months through Aug. 31 fell as much as 24 percent from a year earlier.

Cie Financiere Richemont SA (CFR) , the luxury-goods company that exports 48 percent of its merchandise to Asia, climbed to a seven-week high, adding 1.34 rand, or 3.3 percent, to 42.45 rand. Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong and China rose 18 percent and 44 percent respectively last month, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

Grindrod Ltd. (GND) , Africa’s biggest shipping company, closed at its highest in more than five months, gaining 64 cents, or 4.3 percent, to 15.58 rand. The company plans to sell new shares worth 2 billion rand ($258 million) to Remgro Ltd. (REM) , a diversified investment holding company, to fund projects including the expansion of a coal terminal in Mozambique.

Remgro declined 21 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 114.10 rand.

Harmony Gold Mining Co. (HAR SJ), the continent’s third- largest gold company, gained for a third day, adding 1.39 rand, or 1.4 percent, to 101.39 rand. Gold futures rose as European debt concerns and prospects for more steps by the Federal Reserve to bolster the U.S. economy spurred demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

DRDGold Ltd. (DRD) , South Africa’s fourth-biggest producer of the metal, closed at its strongest in 18 months, climbing 13 cents, or 3.1 percent, to 4.33 rand.

Pioneer Foods Ltd. (PFG) , a food producer, fell to its lowest in more than two weeks, slipping 75 cents, or 1.3 percent, to 59.25 rand. Earnings per share for the 12 months through September will decrease by as much as 30 percent if a penalty of 654 million rand is excluded from the comparative figures a year earlier.

Pretoria Portland Cement Co. (PPC SJ), South Africa’s biggest cement producer, advanced for the first time in three days, adding 12 cents, or 0.5 percent, to 23.76 rand. Cement demand in South Africa improved marginally during the second half of its financial year, the group said in a trading statement. Separately, PPC was rated “overweight” in new coverage by at JPMorgan Chase & Co., with a 12-month price estimate of 30.34 rand.

Sasol Ltd. (SOL) , the world’s largest producer of motor fuel from coal, closed at its highest in almost two months, adding 5.26 rand, or 1.5 percent, to 350 rand. Crude oil rose for the first time in three days as advancing European equity markets eased concern that the region’s debt crisis is damping demand for fuel, while investors bet that some supplies may be at risk.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at sgunnion@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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