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South African Stocks: Anglo, AngloGold, Discovery, Mercantile

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index dropped for a second day, falling less than 0.1 percent to 34,089.87 by the close in Johannesburg, after earlier advancing as much as 0.6 percent.

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

Anglo American Plc (AGL SJ), a diversified miner that makes up about 9 percent of the index, declined for a second day, falling 1.9 percent to 329.21 rand. The stock was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at Citigroup Inc.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG SJ), Africa’s biggest producer of the metal, retreated the most in more than four months, dropping 2.9 percent to 339.90 rand. Adjusted earnings excluding one-time items declined to 6.15 rand a share in the fourth quarter through December from 8.57 rand in the previous three months. The mean estimate by seven analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for adjusted earnings of 8.69 rand.

Central Rand Gold Ltd. (CRD SJ), a gold miner, jumped 13 percent to 17 cents. The company produced 14,856 ounces of gold last year, 60 percent higher than the previous 12 months, it said in a stock exchange statement today.

Discovery Holdings Ltd. (DSY SJ), South Africa’s biggest health insurance administrator, advanced to a record, adding 1.2 percent to 47.48 rand. The company said normalised headline earnings, which exclude one-off items, rose as much as 25 percent in the six months ended Dec. 31.

Mercantile Bank Holdings Ltd. (MTL SJ), the South African lender controlled by Portugal’s Caixa Geral de Depositos SA, had its biggest one-day gain on record after saying it will buy back shares. The stock rose 30 percent to 48 cents, the highest since the shares went public in April 2005.

Pioneer Foods Ltd. (PFG SJ), a food producer, fell for the first time in three days, sliding 0.5 percent to 62 rand. Operating costs experienced inflationary pressure and high corn prices affected its broiler and egg operations, the company said in a regulatory filing today.

Putprop Ltd. (PPR SJ), which invests in industrial and commercial properties, climbed the most this year, adding 5.7 percent to 6.55 rand. The company said earnings per share rose as much as 39 percent in the six months ended Dec. 31.

Rainbow Chicken Ltd. (RBW SJ), the country’s second-largest producer of poultry by market value, had its biggest gain in more than a week, rising 1.7 percent to 15.15 rand. Earnings per share in the six months through December increased between 21 percent and 26 percent from the six months through September, the company said in a regulatory filing after yesterday’s market close.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at

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