South Africa Stocks: British American Tobacco, Naspers, Protech

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index declined, falling 192.98, or 0.6 percent, to 31,636.36 by the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg.

The following were among the most active stocks in the South African market today. Stock symbols follow company names.

British American Tobacco Plc (BATS) , Europe’s largest cigarette maker, rose 1.9 percent, its biggest daily increase in two weeks, to 374.10 rand. The company is among JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s top 10 stock picks in South Africa for 2012, the investment bank said in a client note yesterday.

Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI) , the country’s second-biggest producer, advanced for the first time in three days, gaining 0.9 percent to 130.17 rand. Gold rose for a second day in London as concern about Europe’s debt crisis spurred demand for the metal as a protection of wealth.

Group Five Ltd. (GRF SJ), a South African construction company, advanced 1.1 percent to 22.60 rand. The company plans to reduce orders from South Africa to 60 percent of its total construction book by the end of this year from 66 percent, Chief Executive Officer Mike Upton said in a briefing to journalists in Johannesburg today.

Northam Platinum Ltd. (NHM) , the operator of the world’s deepest platinum mine, advanced for a fourth day, gaining 0.6 percent to 32.60 rand. Platinum rose as much as 0.7 percent to $1,549.88 an ounce.

Naspers Ltd. (NPN) , Africa’s largest media group, slid 0.7 percent to 353.45 rand. The company said first-half profit declined 46 percent as development spending almost doubled.

Protech Khuthele Holdings Ltd. (PKH) , a civil engineering services provider, closed at its highest level this month, rising 3.6 percent to 58 cents. Eqstra Corp. increased its stake in the company to 28.64 percent, the company said in a regulatory filing.

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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