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South African Equities: Harmony, Impala, Naspers, Optimum Move

Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index rose 75.60, or 0.3 percent, to 29,425.05 by the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg, bringing the week’s gain to 0.2 percent.

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

Harmony Gold Mining Co. (HAR SJ), Africa’s third-largest gold company, added 80 cents, or 0.9 percent, to 91 rand. Gold rose in New York for a second straight day after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke offered no plan for further monetary easing, sending equities lower and boosting the appeal of the precious metal as a haven.

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP SJ), the world’s second-biggest platinum miner, increased 3 rand, or 1.8 percent, to 168.50 rand. The group may invest as much as $10 billion in Zimbabwe to expand production if the government backs down on a demand that its business there be controlled by black citizens of the country, Chief Executive Officer David Brown told Bloomberg.

Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. (KIO SJ), an iron ore-producing unit of Anglo American, rallied for a third day, adding 6.88 rand, or 1.6 percent, to 447.91 rand. The group may decide on the next stage of its Sishen-Saldanha expansion in 2014, it said in a presentation on its website today.

MMI Holdings Ltd. (MMI SJ), the South African insurance company created last year from the merger of Metropolitan Group Ltd. and Momentum Group Ltd., closed at its lowest in a week, falling 24 cents, or 1.5 percent, to 15.80 rand. The insurer was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG by equity analyst Larissa Van-Deventer.

Naspers Ltd. (NPN SJ), Africa’s largest media company, advanced 7.95 rand, or 2.4 percent, to 337.45 rand. The group will invest in new acquisition opportunities rather than returning cash to investors through share buybacks, Finance Director Steve Pacak said at the company’s annual general meeting in Cape Town today.

Optimum Coal Holdings Ltd. (OPT SJ), a coal producer, rose to its highest in four months, gaining 1.50 rand, or 5 percent, to 31.50 rand. The miner confirmed it had received bids for a controlling interest in the company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at sgunnion@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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