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South African Stocks: Altech, Billiton, Foschini, Northam Move

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index declined, losing 413.37, or 1.3 percent, to 30,339.03 by the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg, extending its drop this quarter to 4.8 percent.

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

Allied Technologies Ltd. (ALT SJ), a maker of television set-top boxes releases, rose 98 cents, or 1.7 percent, to 59 rand. The company said first-half revenue rose to 4.83 billion rand ($614 million) from 4.79 billion rand a year earlier.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BIL SJ), the world’s largest mining company, dropped 8.49 rand, or 3.7 percent, to 221 rand, paring yesterday’s 6 percent advance. Copper declined in New York amid concerns a slowing global economy may reduce demand for the metal and as a report showed orders for U.S. durable goods fell in August.

Liberty Holdings Ltd. (LBH SJ), the insurer controlled by Africa’s largest bank, rose to the highest since April 1998, adding 1.10 rand, or 1.4 percent, to 81.10 rand. Barclays Capital initiated coverage of the company with an “overweight” recommendation and a price estimate of 102 rand.

Northam Platinum Ltd. (NHM SJ), the operator of the world’s deepest platinum mine, slid 49 cents, or 1.4 percent, to 34.32 rand, paring yesterday’s 3 percent increase. Wage talks with the National Union of Mineworkers will continue on Oct. 13 after Northam yesterday offered workers a 5.9 percent pay increase against the union’s demand of a 15 percent hike, the union said.

The Foschini Group Ltd. (TFG SJ), a clothing retailer, gained for a third day, rising 84 cents, or 1 percent, to 88.34 rand. South African retail sales increased 8.5 percent in July compared with a year earlier, the Nielsen Co. said in an e-mailed statement today.

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