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South Africa Stocks: Alexander Forbes, BHP, Sanlam, Woolworths

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index rose for a fourth day, adding 640.37, or 2.1 percent, to 31,005.50 by the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg.

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

1Time Holdings Ltd. (1TM SJ), a low-cost airline and technical maintenance company, fell to its lowest in a week, dropping 2 cents, or 5 percent, to 38 cents. The airline posted a loss per share of as much as 13.9 cents for the six months to June 30, it said in a trading statement.

African Rainbow Minerals Ltd. (ARI SJ), a producer of coal, platinum and nickel, rose to the highest since Aug. 1, gaining 9.6 rand, or 5.3 percent, to 189.95 rand. The company said profit increased 83 percent to 3.3 billion rand ($468 million) in the year through June.

Alexander Forbes Ltd. (AFP SJ), Africa’s largest independent retirement-fund administrator, slid 30 cents, or 3.8 percent, to 7.60, its lowest level since July 21. The South African unit of Marsh, the insurance business of New York-based Marsh & McLennan Cos., is in talks to buy a stake in a division owned by Alexander Forbes, two people familiar with the transaction said.

Anglo American Plc (AGL SJ), the mining company that makes up about 9 percent of the benchmark stock index, advanced to its highest since Aug. 4, rising 6.89 rand, or 2.4 percent, to 291.89 rand. Copper climbed for a sixth day in London on speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve will stimulate economic growth.

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS SJ), the world’s biggest producer of the metal, jumped to the highest in more than a month, adding 14.66 rand, or 2.6 percent, to 585.50 rand. South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers is “likely” to sign a wage agreement with the company, Oupa Komane, the union’s chief negotiator at the company, said by mobile phone yesterday.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BIL SJ), the world’s largest mining group, reached its highest close in four weeks, rising 5.59 rand, or 2.4 percent, to 240.22 rand. The company approved a $367 million investment for its share of the development of the third stage of a coal handling facility in Newcastle in Australia’s New South Wales state, according to an e-mailed statement.

Murray & Roberts Ltd. (MUR SJ), the second-biggest construction company, rose 16 cents, or 0.6 percent, to 27.81 rand. The company said revenue for the year through June increased to 30.5 billion rand compared with 27.9 billion rand.

Sanlam Ltd. (SLM SJ), a South African insurer, rose to its highest in a month, gaining 1.03 rand, or 3.9 percent, to 27.35 rand. The U.K.’s Merchant Securities Group Plc said it received a preliminary approach from Sanlam UK Ltd., a unit of Sanlam, that may or may not lead to an offer being made for the entire issued share capital of Merchant.

Santam Ltd. (SNT SJ), South Africa’s largest property and casualty insurer, climbed to its highest since Jan 12, adding 5 rand, or 3.8 percent, to 135.65 rand. The company said headline earnings for the six months to June 30 increased by 16 percent from a year earlier.

Woolworths Holdings Ltd. (WHL SJ), a clothing and food retailer, rose for a sixth day, adding 1.22 rand, or 3.5 percent, to 36.45 rand. Citigroup Inc. equity strategist Geoffrey Dennis raised consumer discretionary shares to “overweight.” Citi’s top buys in South Africa based on earnings growth forecasts include Woolworths, Foschini Group Ltd. (TFG SJ), Truworths International Ltd. (TRU SJ) and Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd. (SHF SJ).

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