JSE stocks lower, Adcock edges up

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

Johannesburg - South African stocks edged lower on Monday, as investors sold off some recent big gainers, such as Mondi Plc, that they deemed too expensive after this year's record run.

Shares of Adcock Ingram crept up 0.5 percent to 70.41 rand after industrial conglomerate Bidvest offered 70 rand a share in a bid to increase its stake in the drugmaker to a little over a third.

Bidvest's CEO Brian Joffe is looking to block a $1.2 billion bid for Adcock by a Chilean firm by increasing Bidvest's stake in the drugmaker and launching a court action against the rival bid.

“It's clever deal-making by Brian Joffe but at 70 rand a share for a 34.5 percent stake, thanks but no thanks,” said Jean Pierre Vester, a fund manager at Johannesburg-based 360ne Asset Management, which has an 1.8 percent stake in Adcock.

Shares of Bidvest were little changed.

The benchmark Top-40 index declined 0.74 percent to 39,871.53.

The index has hit a string of record highs this year and is still trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of nearly 19, making it one of the most expensive emerging equity markets in the world.

The broader All-Share index dropped 0.7 percent to 44,659.37.

Shares of paper maker Mondi Plc fell 2.9 percent to 163.79 rand.

Shares of the company are up more than 80 percent this year, making it the best performing stock on the Top-40 index.

Index heavyweight SAB Miller declined 1.7 percent to 518.48 rand.

Its shares are up more than 35 percent this year, and are trading at 24 times earnings, making it the eighth most expensive stock on the Top-40.

Trade was thin, with just 118 million shares changing hands, according to preliminary bourse data.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 190 to 109, while 67 shares were unchanged. - Reuters

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