JSE stocks rise but Woolworths hit

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The JSE board in Sandton in Johannesburg. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Johannesburg - South African stocks rose for a second straight session on Wednesday led by e-commerce and media group Naspers as its shares continued their rebound after a sell-off on concerns about high valuations of tech shares.

Shares of retailer Woolworths Holdings tumbled 7.6 percent to 67.90 rand after it said it would buy struggling Australian department store operator David Jones for $2 billion.

Woolworths said it will fund the acquisition with a mix of equity and debt with plans to make a share offering in South Africa and raise new debt in both the Australian and South African markets.

“Woolworths has paid so much for this. People have been selling off their Woolies shares aggressively and there was aggressive buying into Shoprite, there was an obvious switch,” said Lavan Gopaul, chief investment officer at Trademar Futures.

The benchmark Top-40 index rose 0.48 percent to 43,436.29 while the broader All-share index added 0.46 percent to 48,291.88.

Retailer Shoprite added 2.4 percent to end at 170.00 rand.

Naspers rose 3.01 percent to 1,096.36 rand, in line with a rise in Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, of which it owns more than a third. Naspers shares tumbled on Monday hit by a sell-off in Tencent on valuation concerns.

Shares of Telkom, South Africa's largest fixed-line operator, rose 2.9 percent to 37.84 rand after its chief executive said he aims to cut 1 billion rand in annual costs for the next five years.

Trade was relatively active with 242 million shares changing hands.

Advancing shares outnumbered decliners, 182 to 124, while 50 shares were unchanged. - Reuters


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