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South African Stocks: Anglo, AngloGold, Eqstra, Investec, MTN

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index (JALSH) declined for the first time in four days, falling 0.2 percent to 34,294.51 by 12:20 p.m. in Johannesburg, paring this week’s gain to 1.2 percent.

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

Anglo American Plc (AAL) , the diversified miner that accounts for 9 percent of the benchmark index, headed for its highest close in nine months, climbing 1.8 percent to 346.79 rand. Copper rose, trimming the biggest weekly decline in more than a month, before a report that may show U.S. employment increased in January. Analysts also speculated the company is becoming an even more likely takeover target with Xstrata Plc and Glencore International Plc’s potential merger.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG) , Africa’s biggest producer of the metal, advanced for the first time in four days, gaining 0.8 percent to 358.85 rand. Gold headed for a fifth weekly advance, the longest rally since August, as mixed U.S. economic data and the European debt crisis drove demand for a haven investment.

Eqstra Holdings Ltd. (EQS) , which imports industrial and construction equipment, rose the most in two weeks, adding 2.6 percent to 8 rand. Earnings per share after one-time items probably increased as much as 24 percent in the six months through December, the company said in a trading statement.

Investec Plc (INVP) , the banking group with operations in South Africa, Australia and the U.K., fell for the first time in four days, declining 0.8 percent to 48.39 rand. The third quarter of its fiscal year was “challenging” due to market volatility, the lender said in an interim management statement. Operating profit before goodwill, acquired intangibles, non- operating items and taxation and after non-controlling interests declined by 5.6 percent in the nine months through December compared with a year earlier.

MTN Group Ltd. (MTN) , Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company, fell the most in a month, sliding 3.1 percent to 134 rand. Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS may file a lawsuit against the company over the acquisition of an operating license in Iran, MTN said in a statement late yesterday.

New Europe Property Investments Plc (NEP) (NEP SJ), a property investment group, climbed to its highest since its 2009 listing, gaining 2.9 percent to 36.50 rand. The company bought Modatim Investment SA and Modatim Properties SA, which own three adjoining office buildings in Timisoara, Romania’s fourth- largest city.

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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