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Telkom Rises on Quintet of New Directors: Johannesburg Mover

Telkom South Africa Ltd., the continent’s largest fixed-line phone operator, advanced the most in almost two months after it appointed five new non-executive directors to improve corporate governance.

Telkom rose 3.5 percent to 16.1 rand by 5 p.m. in Johannesburg, the biggest gain since Oct. 15. The number of shares traded was 75 percent more than the stock’s three-month average daily volume.

“They appear to have a majority of non-executive directors now which they didn’t have in the past,” David Lerche, an analyst at Avior Research (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg. “Telkom is in a better position regarding governance now than they’ve been in for a while.”

The company, 39 percent controlled by the government, appointed two non-executive directors last month in order to meet the regulatory minimum of at least eight board members following the resignation of its chairman and chief executive officer in quick succession.

Management had previously clashed with the government over how Telkom could expand into broadband and mobile markets to offset its lower-margin fixed line business.

Susan Botha, a former executive of mobile phone operator MTN Group Ltd., Louis Leon von Zeuner, outgoing deputy chief executive of Absa Bank Ltd., and Khanyisile Kweyama, executive director of Anglo American in South Africa, were among the quintet appointed, Telkom said in a statement.

-- With assistance by Andres R. Martinez in Johannesburg. Editors: Ash Kumar, Mark Sweetman

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