News Column

MTN leads the pack and shares stabilise

August 8, 2014

South African stocks ended largely flat yesterday, recovering earlier losses after better-than-expected US economic data, with mobile phone operator MTN Group leading the risers.

US non-farm productivity rebounded more strongly than expected in the second quarter, putting a lid on wage pressures and giving the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low for the time being.

The market ended mixed after falling two sessions on the trot, with the benchmark Top-40 index adding 0.06 percent to 45 561 while the All-share index shaved off 0.01 percent as African Bank continued its fall.

MTN Group led advancers, extending gains from the previous day when it reported a 9 percent rise in first-half profit, as strong demand for its high-margin data services offset slow voice growth at home.

MTN added 3.9 percent to RÈ.35.

African Bank Investments maintained a slide triggered on Wednesday when warned it needed to raise nearly $800 million after flagging an annual loss and the departure of its chief executive.

Abil fell 38 percent to 31 cents. - Reuters

Weekend Argus

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Source: Weekend Argus (South Africa)

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