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SOUTH AFRICA DAYBOOK: Factory Production Quickens, Mine Output

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March 10 (Bloomberg) -- South African manufacturing growth accelerated in January, according to the median estimate of 11 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Factory production, which accounts for about 15 percent of the economy, increased 1.9 percent in January from 0.2 percent in December, according to the estimates, which ranged from 1.5 percent to 4 percent. Statistics South Africa releases the data at 1 p.m. from Pretoria.

The statistics agency also releases mining production data for January at 11:30 a.m. local time. Output climbed 12.3 percent in December from a year earlier with gold production increasing 2.9 percent.

     WHAT TO WATCH:
* Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan speaks to Soweto business
owners.
* South Africa’s Reserve Bank to release invitation for weekly
government Treasury Bill auction that will be held tomorrow.

     MARKETS:
* The rand strengthened 0.2 percent against the dollar to 6.8662
as of 7:03 p.m. Johannesburg time yesterday.
* The FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index fell 0.02 percent to close
at 31,820.37 yesterday.
* The yield on the benchmark government R157 bond decreased 9
basis points to 7.87 percent.

     EQUITY MOVERS:
* Bowler Metcalf Ltd. (BCF SJ): The plastic-packaging maker said
first-half earnings for the period through December increased 32
percent.
* Sanlam Ltd. (SLM SJ): South Africa’s second-biggest insurer
publishes earnings results for the year ended December.
* Tradehold Ltd. (TDH SJ): The retail investment company said it
will raise 650 million rand ($95 million) in a rights offer.

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

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