Brait Jumps to 13-Year High on Retail Growth: Johannesburg Mover

Brait SE (BAT) advanced to the highest level in 13 years after the investment company grew first-half net asset value 12 percent and outlined plans to expand its retail presence in Africa.

Shares in the South African firm jumped 5.3 percent to 35.91 rand by 4:28 p.m. in Johannesburg, taking gains this year to 82 percent. About 1.2 million shares changed hands, 2.4 times more than the daily average over the past three months.

The group’s net asset value was boosted by a 15 percent rise in the value of retail holding company Pepkor Ltd. which makes up 57 percent of Brait’s assets, Chief Executive Officer John Gnodde said by phone from Cape Town today. Pepkor plans to grow its 280-strong portfolio of African stores it has outside South Africa by 15 percent a year over the next three years, Gnodde said.

The market may be re-rating the stock in line with the broader retail sector due to the dominance of retailers in its investment portfolio, Simon Fillmore, an analyst at Independent Securities (Pty) Ltd., said by phone.

Brait’s other largest holdings include stakes in U.K. retailer Iceland Foods Ltd. and food group Premier Foods Ltd.

“It’s a share we hold and it’s run particularly strongly this year with all the other retailers,” Fillmore said.

Brait trades at 10.8 times March 2013 earnings, compared with 23 times earnings for Mr Price Group Ltd. (MPC), the country’s second-largest clothing and homewear retailer. The FTSE/JSE General Retailers Index (JGENR) trades on 16.7 times December 2012 earnings.

The stock’s 30-day historical volatility, a measure of stock swings, increased to 30.45 from 26.91 the previous trading day. The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index’s 30-day volatility measure was at 11.19 versus 11.22 yesterday. A higher reading means the price of an asset can move dramatically in a short period.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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