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South African Stocks: Absa, Anglo, BHP, EOH, M&R, Standard Bank

South Africa’s FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index dropped the most since Jan. 28, falling 512.13, or 1.6 percent, to 31,932.07 at the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg, a second day of declines.

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

Absa Group Ltd. (ASA SJ), South Africa’s largest retail bank, retreated to the lowest level since Sept. 17, slipping 3 rand, or 2.3 percent, to 128 rand. The government intends to revamp the way banks and other financial institutions are regulated in order to ensure they remain sustainable and their customers are adequately protected, the National Treasury said in a discussion paper today. Standard Bank Group Ltd. (SBK SJ), Africa’s largest lender, dropped to the lowest level since December 2009, losing 1.90 rand, or 1.9 percent, to 99.50 rand.

Anglo American Plc (AGL SJ), the London-based mining and natural resources company that makes up 11 percent of the index, retreated 7.93 rand, or 2.1 percent, to 363.07 rand, the weakest since Feb. 1. Copper declined to an almost one-month low on concern that unrest in North Africa and the Middle East will derail recovering economies. BHP Billiton Plc (BIL SJ), the world’s biggest mining company, dropped to the weakest level since Jan. 28, losing 7.10 rand, or 2.6 percent, to 271.50 rand.

EOH Holdings Ltd. (EOH SJ), a South African information technology company, gained the most since Nov. 15, jumping 86 cents, or 5.1 percent, to 17.71 rand. The company said fiscal first-half earnings per share rose as much as 40 percent in period ended January.

Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd. (MUR SJ), South Africa’s second-largest construction company, fell for a second day, declining 60 cents, or 2.1 percent, to 27.41 rand. The company had a loss of 636 million rand ($89 million) in the six months through December after it took charges because it may not be fully paid on three large public-sector projects.

Transpaco Ltd. (TPC SJ), a South African paper and packaging distributor, rallied the most since Feb. 17, climbing 40 cents, or 3 percent, to 13.60 rand. Transpaco said earnings per share rose 14 percent to 1.42 rand in the first half through December.

Vivendi Income Fund Ltd. (VIF SJ), a commercial, retail and industrial property investor, snapped two days of losses, rising 9 cents, or 1.9 percent, to 4.75 rand. Vivendi said it has agreed to buy the Rynfield Shopping Centre, based in the Gauteng province, for 31.5 million rand.

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