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Northam Gains as Government Fund Buys Stake: Johannesburg Mover

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Northam Platinum Ltd., operator of the deepest platinum mine, rose to an almost three-month high in Johannesburg after a South African state fund raised its stake.

Northam rose 4.3 percent to 28.85 rand by the close in the city where the company is based, the highest level since June 8. It said the Public Investment Corp., on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund, raised its shareholding to 18.9 percent.

Recent declines in the shares forced black investor groups Afripalm (Pty) Ltd. and Mvelaphanda Holdings (Pty) Ltd. to sell stock to comply with covenants set by lenders, it said Aug. 3. The government then demanded it restore the level of holdings of black groups. Mine operators must ensure black investors own a minimum stake to compensate for the history of apartheid.

Northam said Afripalm unit Newshelf 848 sold 37.2 million shares. It didn’t give the value of the state fund’s purchase. The Government Employees Pension Fund held an 8.3 percent stake as of July 27, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carli Cooke in Johannesburg at clourens@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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