BRAIT: 2,320 +16 (+0.69%)
South African rand treads water; Brait sends stocks lower
JOHANNESBURG, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The South African rand was
little changed on Monday as investors awaited closely watched
data releases including mining output later in the week, while a
plunge in investment firm Brait sent stocks lower.
At 1550 GMT the rand was at 13.8100 against the
dollar, more than 0.1 percent stronger than its previous close.
The South African currency has started 2019 on the
front-foot, rallying more than 3.5 percent against the dollar.
But it remains vulnerable to swings in global risk appetite as
well as uncertainty surrounding this year's parliamentary
Later this week investors will scrutinise domestic data
releases including mining output and retail sales, as well as a
repo rate decision by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
Economists polled by Reuters expect the SARB to leave the
rate on hold, while retail sales and mining are seen expanding
Africa's most industrialised economy emerged from recession
in the third quarter last year, but the recovery has been
On the Johannesburg bourse, Brait plunged 21.48 percent to
25 rand after its British fashion chain New Look announced a
deal with creditors to cut 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) off
its debts, its latest turnaround attempt.
It was the biggest decliner on the All-Share Index,
which fell 0.31 percent to 53,485 points.
Ron Kiplin, portfolio manager at Cratos Capital, which does
not hold Brait shares but researches the stock, said the
restructuring served to show the weakness of Brait's position in
terms of both capital and liquidity.
($1 = 0.7786 pounds)
(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Nqobile Dludla; Editing by
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