SOUTH AFRICA DAYBOOK: Patel Growth Plan, Absa Profit

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- South African Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel presents details on his New Growth Path, which aims to create 5 million jobs over the next decade, to lawmakers at 9 a.m. in Cape Town.

     WHAT TO WATCH:
* A strike by South African truck drivers over a pay dispute
continues, according to the South African Press Association.
* Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele briefs reporters on the
government’s infrastructure development plans at 9 a.m. in Cape
Town.
* Education Minister Angie Motshekga holds a press briefing on
the government’s plans to improve the education system at 11
a.m. in Cape Town.
* The South African Reserve Bank releases results of a weekly
government bond auction at about 11 a.m. in Johannesburg.
* South African Grain Information Services releases weekly
imports and exports of corn and wheat on its website at 12 p.m.
Johannesburg time.

     MARKETS:
* The rand strengthened 0.4 percent against the dollar to 7.2763
by 7:30 a.m. Johannesburg time.
* The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index advanced 0.4 percent to
close at 33,094.06 yesterday.
* The yield on the benchmark government R157 bond increased 14
basis points to last trade at 7.98 percent.
* Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,365.25 an
ounce by 7:30 a.m. Johannesburg time. Spot platinum climbed 0.5
percent to $1,838.10 an ounce.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.04 percent.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.4 percent.

     EQUITY MOVERS:
* Absa Group Ltd. (ASA SJ): South Africa’s largest retail bank
may post full-year adjusted earnings a share of 11.13 rand,
according to the median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by
Bloomberg News, compared with 10.72 rand a year earlier.
* Comair Ltd., the carrier partly owned by British Airways Plc,
is scheduled to post its results for the six months to Dec. 31.
* Tiger Brands Ltd., South Africa’s largest food company, holds
its annual meeting of shareholders in Johannesburg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vernon Wessels in Johannesburg at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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