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South African Stocks: Anglo, Esorfranki, FirstRand Move

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index advanced the most in four weeks, rising 1 percent to 34,214.53 by the close in Johannesburg.

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 makes up about 9 percent of the index, climbed 1.2 percent to 322.50 rand. Copper rose to a two-week high as German legislators approved a second bailout for Greece, and U.S. and European gauges of economic confidence rose more than expected, pointing to improving growth and metals demand.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BIL SJ), the world’s biggest miner, added 1.6 percent to 248.79 rand.

Curro Holdings Ltd. (COH SJ), which owns and operates private schools in South Africa, fell to a four-month low after saying it intends to raise 348 million rand ($46 million) in a rights offer. The shares slumped 5.5 percent to 10.04 rand, the lowest close since Nov. 24.

Esorfranki Ltd. (ESR SJ), a provider of engineering services to builders, gained for the first time in three days, rising 1.5 percent to 1.34 rand. The company is still in talks to buy a development business which has the rights to a mixed-used, affordable housing development, it said in a statement today.

FirstRand Ltd. (FSR SJ), South Africa’s second-largest banking group, advanced for the third day in four, gaining 1.2 percent to 24.25 rand. Earnings per share in 2010, adjusted to exclude the effect of the disposal of the group’s insurance assets, rose 26 percent to 1.02 rand, beating the 1-rand median estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Iliad Africa Ltd. (ILA SJ), a distributor of tiles and building materials, dropped 1.2 percent to 4.79 rand after saying it will post a loss per share of as much as 180 cents for the year through December.

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP SJ), the second-largest producer, added 0.6 percent to 163.90 rand, its third day of advances in four. About 9,000 dismissed employees returned to work at its Rustenburg mine in South Africa by yesterday, the company said in an e-mailed reply to questions today.

Santam Ltd. (SNT SJ), South Africa’s largest property and casualty insurer, rose to its highest price on record after the company announced a special dividend of 8.50 rand a share even though full-year earnings per share before one-time items declined to 12.16 rand compared with 13.67 rand a year earlier. The shares climbed 5.9 percent to 163 rand.

To contact the reporters 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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