Mondi rises to record

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MondiMerebank Reuters A general view of the Mondi paper factory is seen in Merebank in Durban.

Johannesburg - Mondi Ltd., South Africa’s biggest packaging company, rose to a record high after saying full-year profit probably beat estimates as the rand weakened against the dollar.

The stock gained as much as 3.4 percent to 189.42 rand by 10:17 a.m. in Johannesburg.

About 105,000 shares traded, or 33 percent of the three-month daily moving average.

The 165-member FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index rose 0.5 percent today.

The Johannesburg-based maker of consumer packaging is opening factories in China and Iraq as it focuses on emerging markets to boost earnings.

The company said today basic underlying earnings will probably be between 92 euro cents and 97 cents per share from 69 cents the previous year.

That beats the 92.2 cents mean estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Mondi is net exporter from South Africa, so declining exchange rates boost its operating margins,” Justin Jordan, an equity analyst at Jefferies International Ltd., wrote in an e-mailed note to clients today.

The rand slumped 19 percent against the dollar in 2013, making it the worst performer among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

It weakened 0.6 percent to 10.9433 per dollar today. - Bloomberg News

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