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South African Stocks: Anglo, AngloGold, Eqstra, Investec, MTN

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index advanced for a fourth day, adding less than 0.1 percent to 34,386.97 by the close in Johannesburg, reversing an earlier fall. The index gained 1.5 percent this week.

The following were among the most active equities in the South African market today. Stock symbols follow company names.

Anglo American Plc (AGL SJ), the diversified miner that accounts for 9 percent of the benchmark index, closed at its highest in more than nine months, climbing 1.5 percent to 345.84 rand. Analysts speculated the company is becoming an even more likely takeover target with Xstrata Plc and Glencore International Plc’s potential merger.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG SJ), Africa’s biggest producer of the metal, fell for a fourth day, dropping 1.8 percent to 349.50 rand. Gold dropped from a two-month high as the U.S. economy added more jobs in January than forecast, signaling economic growth that may reduce the need for the Federal Reserve to expand stimulus measures.

Eqstra Holdings Ltd. (EQS SJ), which imports industrial and construction equipment, rose the most in three weeks, adding 2.6 percent to 8 rand. Earnings per share after one-time items probably increased as much as 24 percent in the six months through December, the company said in a trading statement.

Investec Plc (INP SJ), the banking group with operations in South Africa, Australia and the U.K., fell for the first time in four days, declining 1.6 percent to 47.98 rand. The third quarter of its fiscal year was “challenging” due to market volatility, the lender said in an interim management statement.

MTN Group Ltd. (MTN SJ), Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company, fell for the first time in four days, sliding 1.7 percent to 135.99 rand. Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS may file a lawsuit against the company over the acquisition of an operating license in Iran, MTN said in a statement late yesterday.

New Europe Property Investments Plc (NEP SJ), a property investment group, climbed to its highest since its 2009 listing, gaining 3.4 percent to 36.70 rand. The company bought Modatim Investment SA and Modatim Properties SA, which own three adjoining office buildings in Timisoara, Romania’s fourth-largest city.

Old Mutual Plc (OML SJ), South Africa’s largest insurer, jumped to its highest in almost four years, climbing 2.3 percent to 18.77 rand. The company plans to return 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) to shareholders on the sale of its Nordic unit.

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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