SOUTH AFRICA DAYBOOK: Gordhan’s Budget Breakfast, PPI Slows

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan holds his post-Budget breakfast briefing in Cape Town. Gordhan, 61, yesterday unexpectedly postponed plans to narrow the budget deficit to ramp up spending to create jobs.

The cost of goods leaving South African factories rose at a slower pace in January than the previous month, according to the median estimate of 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Producer prices increased an annual 5.4 percent last month compared with 5.8 percent in December, according to the estimates.

* National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele briefs reporters on
the Public Protector’s report on a 500 million rand ($70
million) lease for the police headquarters. A joint
investigation by the Public Protector and the police’s Special
Investigations Unit found that Cele’s conduct was “improper,
unlawful and amounted to maladministration,” when he authorized
the lease.
* South Africa’s Reserve Bank to release invitation for weekly
government Treasury Bill auction that will be held tomorrow.

* The rand was unchanged against the dollar at 7.1115 as of 8:12
a.m. in Johannesburg.
* The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index slid 1.6 percent to close
at 31,932.07 yesterday.
* The yield on the benchmark government R157 bond increased 4
basis points to 7.81 percent late yesterday.
* Gold for immediate delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to
$1,411.21 an ounce by 7:39 a.m. Johannesburg time. Spot platinum
advanced 0.6 percent to $1,793.95 an ounce.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.9 percent.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1.1 percent.

* Exxaro Resources Ltd. (EXX SJ): The South African coal miner
said net income for the 12 months to Dec. 31 climbed to 5.21
billion rand from 1.02 billion rand a year earlier, when the
company took a 1.44 billion rand impairment charge on its Sands
business in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
* Fortress Income Fund Ltd. (FFA SJ): The property portfolio
investor said first-half income through December dropped to 23.6
million rand, from 149 million rand a year earlier.
* IPSA Plc (IPS SJ): The London-based builder of power stations
in Southern Africa signed a new gas supply contract with Spring
Lights Gas Ltd. for its Newcastle Cogeneration subsidiary.
* Massmart Holdings Ltd. (MSM SJ): The retailer which is selling
control to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said fiscal first-half earnings
excluding one-time items and goodwill amortization rose 5.6
percent to 3.66 rand.
* Liberty Holdings Ltd. (LBH SJ): The insurer owned by Standard
Bank Group Ltd. said normalized full-year earnings per share
excluding one-time items rose to 907.6 cents from 47.2 cents a
year earlier.
* Pinnacle Point Group Ltd. (PNG SJ): The property and golf-
resorts developer said hearings on a liquidation application
brought to the Cape High Court against the company’s
subsidiaries by Investec Bank Ltd. have been postponed to June
by mutual agreement.
* Sasol Ltd. (SOL SJ): The world’s largest maker of motor fuel
from coal appears before a Competition Tribunal for a hearing
related to the settlement of a 112 million rand fine for fixing
polypropylene prices in South Africa.
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