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BHP, Massmart, Northam, Richemont: South African Equity Preview

The following stocks may rise or fall in South Africa. Symbols are in parentheses and prices are from the last close.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index declined 106.44, or 0.3 percent, to 32,203.94 as of the 5 p.m. close of trading in Johannesburg, snapping two days of gains.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BIL SJ): The world’s largest mining company agreed to buy Houston-based Petrohawk Energy Corp. for about $12.1 billion in cash in its biggest acquisition. BHP dropped 4.83 rand, or 1.8 percent, to 263.48 rand.

Cie Financiere Richemont SA (CFR SJ): The maker of luxury watches was downgraded to ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy’ at Deutsche Bank by equity analyst Francesca Di Pasquantonio. Shares in Richemont fell 35 cents, or 0.8 percent, to 45.60 rand.

Massmart Holdings Ltd. (MSM SJ): The South African retailer that last month sold a 51 percent stake to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. appointed Mncane Mthunzi to head up its 100 million-rand supplier development program which includes assisting 1,500 emerging farmers so that they can supply Massmart with fresh produce. Massmart gained 1.68 rand, or 1.2 percent, to 146.65 rand.

Micromega Holdings Ltd. (MMG SJ): The investment company with interests ranging from lubrication equipment to financial services said that earnings per share excluding one-time items for the six months to June 30 are expected to be as much as 80 percent higher than a year earlier. The stock was unchanged at 1.25 rand.

Northam Platinum Ltd. (NHM SJ): The operator of the world’s deepest platinum mine estimated losses from a temporary closure of part of its Zondereinde mine at about 7,000 ounces. The mine resumed operations yesterday, Northam said. Shares in the company gained 1 rand, or 2.5 percent, to 40.50 rand.

Pioneer Foods Ltd. (PFG SJ): Workers at the food company’s Sasko Grain unit began striking on July 13 over pay, the Food & Agriculture Workers Union said. Shares in the company fell 1 cent, or less than 0.1 percent, to 59.50 rand.

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