Steinhoff sell-off; Absa struggles; Amplats eco-battery plan; Argentina EM contagion fears
- Steinhoff bosses say the only way the company can survive is if it sells assets and transforms into a holding company. It has a mountain of debt that is a worry.
CEO Louis du Preez delivered a stark assessment of Steinhoff’s options at the company’s first public investor presentation since the scandal took hold, saying a radical transformation into a retail-focused investment holding company was its “only way to survive”.
Absa failed to impress investors when it released its results on Tuesday. A drop in earnings at Absa’s South African corporate and investment bank took the shine off progress at its core domestic retail business as the lender reported a 5% rise in first-half profit. Absa’s South African retail division, which contributes more than half of its overall earnings and has lagged behind peers, grew earnings by 4%.
The world’s top platinum and palladium supplier has an answer to the electric-car boom that may pose a long-term threat to its biggest market: invent a new battery, reports Bloomberg. Anglo American Platinum is investing $4m to develop a lithium battery that uses platinum-group metals instead of cobalt and nickel.
Argentina’s peso and dollar-denominated bonds dropped again on Tuesday as market turmoil spilled into a second day following opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez’s landslide victory in a primary election that dealt a severe blow to President Mauricio Macri’s re-election chances, says Reuters. IHS Markit’s calculations price the probability of a sovereign default within the next five years at more than 72%.
On the JSE, miners were the big losers, with Sibanye and Gold Fields shares diving more than 10% and Harmony and Anglo Gold down nearly 8%. South Africa’s largest platinum-mining union has rejected initial wage offers from two of the world’s biggest producers and accused Sibanye Gold of trying to provoke a strike, says Bloomberg. The top performers inched up in single digits, and included Kumba Iron Ore which gained about 3% and Truworths, which moved up just over 1%.
Author: BizNews The Daily Insider