South African stocks end higher, Lonmin in demand


JOHANNESBURG – South African stocks ended slightly higher on Thursday with Lonmin in demand following the announcement of a $382 million takeover by a local precious metals miner.

Sibanye-Stillwater has agreed to buy Lonmin, for about 285 million pounds ($382 million) in an all-share deal.

In reaction, Lonmin shares jumped 7.2 percent in Johannesburg.

“Doubtless welcome news to long suffering Lonmin shareholders averting the need to dig into their pockets once again to refinance the company in its regular three to four year refinancing cycle,” said Marc Elliott, analyst at Investec bank.

However, Sibanye dropped seven percent as investors fretted about the dilutive impact of the deal and the quality of assets Sibanye is adding to its portfolio.

Overall, investors took their cue from an upbeat tone in other emerging markets after the U.S. Fed delivered a widely expected rate increase.

The benchmark JSE Top-40 index added 0.68 percent and the broader All-share index gained 0.87 percent.

In foreign exchange, the rand hardly moved ahead of the ruling African National Congress party conference to elect a new leader.

By 1511 GMT, the rand traded at 13.4650, not far from its overnight close of 13.4525.

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was down 3 basis points to 9.215 percent.