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The Weekend Edition
The Weekend Edition
Published Date: 2020-08-08 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion
MTN was amongst a number of companies this week that chose not to pay an interim dividend due to the market uncertainty that Covid-19 has introduced to their operations and the need to reduce debt to strengthen their defences. Commodities giant Glencore and UK shopping centre owner Hammerson are also targeting lower debt and withholding distributions to shareholders, while the latter has gone a step further and plans to ask shareholders for more cash, while disposing of assets.
MTN is also selling some of its operations as part of its strategy to realise capital of at least a further R25 billion over three to five years. Its already met its initial hurdle of R15 billion and next on the auction block are its businesses in the Middle East, where it has been accused of bribery and corruption.
News that MTN was withholding an interim dividend despite a strong first-half performance was the most read story on InceConnect this week, as were updates from Shoprite and Pick n Pay. Meanwhile, Cashbuild is strengthening its position in the coastal provinces with the acquisition of Pepkor's hardware stores and building supply chains, and Renergen is ready to start drilling at its Virginia Gas Project in the Free State.
I hope you enjoy the remainder of your weekend.
Managing Editor, InceConnect
Recent notes of topical interest from Ingham Analytics
The oil price has been rising of late with Brent crude over $45/bbl. Is this positive for Sasol? Are there more pressing issues to deal with? In "Going, going for a song", Ingham Analytics address the issue of the sale of air separation units located in Secunda to Air Liquide, which still leaves Sasol way short of the $6bn it needs to raise in funding, and moreover the increasingly likelihood of a rights issue. What are the dilutionary implications for you as a shareholder?
Gold hit $2,072/oz this week. Is it going higher? Is there justification? Why are US ten-year Treasury yields at lows of 0.51%? "Bedazzled" gives you the perspective.