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Pick n Pay sees recap progress, De Beers suffers another diamond sales dip

In a fairly slow day for corporate news, Pick n Pay shareholders overwhelmingly gave nods at its AGM as it presses ahead with two-stage recapitalisation. De Beers reported another dip in a diamond auction, while Steinhoff's former CFO has been arrested and made a court appearance. In international news, Norway is pushing ahead with its inaugural seabed mining licensing round.

Pick n Pay shareholders on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed all resolutions at its annual general meeting, including the creation of additional shares as it pushes ahead with a two-stage recapitalisation. This entails an up to R4 billion rights issue, expected to take place in mid-2024, followed by a proposed share offering and subsequent listing of its Boxer business, which is expected to take place towards the end of 2024. Pick n Pay was up marginally on Wednesday afternoon and has fallen by over a third in the past year. -NEWS24

De Beers sales slip

Anglo American subsidiary De Beers reported that sales dipped almost 18% to $315 million (about R5.7 billion) in its fifth sales cycle of 2024 relative to the fourth, also falling almost 31% year on year. "The northern summer is generally a quieter period for rough diamond sales, and this was reflected in our cycle 5 sales," CEO Al Cook said in a statement. "The recent annual JCK jewellery show in Las Vegas confirmed a resurgence in retailers' interest in natural diamonds in the United States, but ongoing economic growth challenges in China mean we continue to expect a protracted U-shaped recovery in demand." -NEWS24

Former Steinhoff exec arrested

Steinhoff's former chief financial officer, Ben la Grange, has been arrested and appeared in court, where he was granted R150 000 bail. The 49-year-old appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court following his arrest on Wednesday morning. La Grange, who worked closely with Steinhoff's late CEO Markus Jooste, has been charged with two counts of racketeering, five counts of fraud, one count of corruption and three counts of the contravention of the Financial Markets Act in relation to the state's ongoing Steinhoff investigation. La Grange appeared in court alongside his co-accused, Steinhoff's former legal head, Stéhan Grobler, who handed himself over to the Hawks in late March. -NEWS24

Depressed market affects Nedbank

Nedbank, SA's fifth largest bank by market value, said late on Tuesday that it suffered a bit from a muted consumer environment in the few months of its 2024 year, though it is optimistic the country's recent election result will result in an improved picture for clients in time. In a pre-close update for its six months to end-June on Tuesday, Nedbank reported headline earnings growth for the first five months of around mid-single digits, referring to about 5%, driven by softer net interest income and non-interest revenue growth when compared to its full-year guidance. It also saw lower levels of associate income, but also a decline in the impairments charge and good expense management. Nevertheless, the bank said the peaceful national elections on 29 May, in which the ANC lost its outright majority for the first, has boosted investor confidence even though Cabinet details of the planned government of national unity (GNU) are yet to be finalised. This was reflected in gains for SA assets, such as the rand, equities, and bonds after the poll. Nedbank was down about 2% on Wednesday afternoon but has still gained about 13% in the past year. -NEWS24

Exxaro's CEO new minerals council president

Nombasa Tsengwa, CEO of Exxaro Resources, has been elected as president of the Minerals Council South Africa. Tsengwa replaced Nolitha Fakude, chair of Anglo American South Africa and the first woman president of the Minerals Council, who has stepped down after three years in the role. The Minerals Council Office Bearers perform a critical role in leading and representing the South African mining industry on behalf of the board and its members and in strategically guiding the senior management team of the council. Mpumi Zikalala, CEO of Kumba Iron Ore and Richard Stewart, chief regional officer of Sibanye-Stillwater, have been newly elected as vice presidents - NEWS24

Robert Bosch eyeing Whirlpool

German engineering group Robert Bosch is weighing a bid for US appliances manufacturer Whirlpool, according to three people familiar with the matter, a move that would boost its position in the household appliances market. Bosch has been talking to potential advisers about the possibility of making an offer for Whirlpool, which has a market capitalisation of about $4.8 billion, one of the sources said. The sources said it was not certain that an offer would be made, and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Spokespeople for Bosch and Whirlpool said the companies do not comment on "market rumours". The US company's shares rose 12.7% in early trading after the Reuters report. Buying one of the world's biggest white-goods manufacturers would significantly beef up Bosch's home appliance business at a time when competition with Asian rivals is growing. Whirlpool has been undergoing a major restructuring in recent years, which has seen it fold its European business into a new company controlled by Turkish rival Arcelik and divest its Middle Eastern and African businesses. - Reuters

Atos withdraws rescue offer

A consortium led by the top shareholder of troubled French tech giant Atos, an IT partner for the Paris Olympics and French military, has withdrawn a rescue offer for the group, the companies said on Wednesday. Atos, which runs supercomputers for France's nuclear deterrent and is also an IT provider for the Euro 2024 football tournament, is buried under almost €5 billion (about R97.5 billion) of debt. The company's board earlier this month had chosen a financial restructuring proposal made by the consortium led by digital consultancy Onepoint over one offered by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky. Onepoint, headed by French businessman David Layani, said in a statement that "the conditions were not met to conclude an agreement paving the way for a lasting solution for financial restructuring and implementation" of its plan. But in its statement on Wednesday, Atos said Kretinsky's EPEI was interested in re-starting negotiations. - AFP

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Currie Cup: NovaVit Griffons 15 vs 64 DHL Western Province | Hollywoodbets Sharks XV 21 vs 31 Airlink Pumas | Vodacom Bulls 25 vs 13 Toyota Cheetahs XV | Fidelity ADT Lions 25 vs 13 Suzuki Griquas Rugby World Cup U20: England U20 21 vs 13 France U20 | Australia U20 6 vs 14 Argentina U20 | Ireland U20 24 vs 38 New Zealand U20 | Italy U20 13 vs 24 Georgia U20 | Wales U20 31 vs 47 South Africa U20 | Spain U20 24 vs 19 Fiji U20 Katima Mulilo: 13° | 33° Rundu: 13° | 34° Eenhana: 13° | 34° Oshakati: 14° | 32° Ruacana: 14° | 33° Tsumeb: 17° | 30° Otjiwarongo: 11° | 29° Omaruru: 12° | 30° Windhoek: 8° | 25° Gobabis: 8° | 30° Henties Bay: 11° | 17° Wind speed: 16km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 10:00, High tide: 04:01, Low Tide: 22:27, High tide: 16:30 Swakopmund: 12° | 15° Wind speed: 15km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 09:58, High tide: 03:59, Low Tide: 22:25, High tide: 16:28 Walvis Bay: 10° | 20° Wind speed: 17km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 09:58, High tide: 03:58, Low Tide: 22:25, High tide: 16:27 Rehoboth: 9° | 27° Mariental: 10° | 27° Keetmanshoop: 9° | 24° Aranos: 9° | 28° Lüderitz: 11° | 19° Ariamsvlei: 10° | 25° Oranjemund: 9° | 18° Luanda: 20° | 22° Gaborone: 11° | 27° Lubumbashi: 13° | 31° Mbabane: 12° | 23° Maseru: 3° | 19° Antananarivo: 12° | 25° Lilongwe: 16° | 30° Maputo: 17° | 24° Windhoek: 8° | 25° Cape Town: 9° | 15° Durban: 13° | 21° Johannesburg: 12° | 22° Dar es Salaam: 21° | 31° Lusaka: 16° | 30° Harare: 14° | 27° Currency: GBP to NAD 23.53 | EUR to NAD 19.86 | CNY to NAD 2.51 | USD to NAD 18.27 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.37 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.28 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.12 | USD to AOA 872.64 | USD to BWP 13.58 | USD to EGP 48.36 | USD to KES 130.98 | USD to NGN 1584.2 | USD to ZAR 18.27 | USD to ZMW 25.9 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index Same 0 | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1757.83 Down -0.25% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13623.01 Up +0.20% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 28783.24 Up +0.45% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9380.4 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 387.73/OZ DOWN -0.0099 | Copper US$ 4.18/lb DOWN -0.0162 | Zinc US$ 2 738.00/T DOWN -1.74% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 82.45/BBP DOWN -0.0108 | Platinum US$ 944.75/OZ DOWN -0.0261 Sport results: Currie Cup: NovaVit Griffons 15 vs 64 DHL Western Province | Hollywoodbets Sharks XV 21 vs 31 Airlink Pumas | Vodacom Bulls 25 vs 13 Toyota Cheetahs XV | Fidelity ADT Lions 25 vs 13 Suzuki Griquas Rugby World Cup U20: England U20 21 vs 13 France U20 | Australia U20 6 vs 14 Argentina U20 | Ireland U20 24 vs 38 New Zealand U20 | Italy U20 13 vs 24 Georgia U20 | Wales U20 31 vs 47 South Africa U20 | Spain U20 24 vs 19 Fiji U20 Weather: Katima Mulilo: 13° | 33° Rundu: 13° | 34° Eenhana: 13° | 34° Oshakati: 14° | 32° Ruacana: 14° | 33° Tsumeb: 17° | 30° Otjiwarongo: 11° | 29° Omaruru: 12° | 30° Windhoek: 8° | 25° Gobabis: 8° | 30° Henties Bay: 11° | 17° Wind speed: 16km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 10:00, High tide: 04:01, Low Tide: 22:27, High tide: 16:30 Swakopmund: 12° | 15° Wind speed: 15km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 09:58, High tide: 03:59, Low Tide: 22:25, High tide: 16:28 Walvis Bay: 10° | 20° Wind speed: 17km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 09:58, High tide: 03:58, Low Tide: 22:25, High tide: 16:27 Rehoboth: 9° | 27° Mariental: 10° | 27° Keetmanshoop: 9° | 24° Aranos: 9° | 28° Lüderitz: 11° | 19° Ariamsvlei: 10° | 25° Oranjemund: 9° | 18° Luanda: 20° | 22° Gaborone: 11° | 27° Lubumbashi: 13° | 31° Mbabane: 12° | 23° Maseru: 3° | 19° Antananarivo: 12° | 25° Lilongwe: 16° | 30° Maputo: 17° | 24° Windhoek: 8° | 25° Cape Town: 9° | 15° Durban: 13° | 21° Johannesburg: 12° | 22° Dar es Salaam: 21° | 31° Lusaka: 16° | 30° Harare: 14° | 27° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.53 | EUR to NAD 19.86 | CNY to NAD 2.51 | USD to NAD 18.27 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.37 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.28 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.12 | USD to AOA 872.64 | USD to BWP 13.58 | USD to EGP 48.36 | USD to KES 130.98 | USD to NGN 1584.2 | USD to ZAR 18.27 | USD to ZMW 25.9 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index Same 0 | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1757.83 Down -0.25% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13623.01 Up +0.20% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 28783.24 Up +0.45% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9380.4 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 387.73/OZ DOWN -0.0099 | Copper US$ 4.18/lb DOWN -0.0162 | Zinc US$ 2 738.00/T DOWN -1.74% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 82.45/BBP DOWN -0.0108 | Platinum US$ 944.75/OZ DOWN -0.0261