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News in Brief

Index hits high note on hope for stimulus

The all share index closed at the highest in its 17-year history yesterday, rising 0.8 percent as hopes of further global monetary stimulus buoyed shares of BHP Billiton and Assore. Investors were betting the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank would take further steps to stimulate their fragile economies, sparking a return to riskier assets such as equities. “People seem to be taking the view that central bankers are going to resolve these problems,” said Reuben Beelders, a portfolio manager at Gryphon Asset Management. “Resources have underperformed dramatically since the start of the year. I think what people are saying is that if we do get (further stimulus) there’s a chance of the global economy picking up.” The all share finished at 34 958.59, its highest level since the index began in 1995 and topping its previous record set in June. The benchmark Top40 index added 0.88 percent to 30 775.22, its highest finish since May 2008. page 18

Paarl Media closes Shopper’s Friend

The decision taken by Media24 subsidiary Paarl Media to close down Shoppers’ Friend, which distributes free-to-home loose-leaf advertising, is set to create regulatory challenges for the Competition Commission. Caxton, which was allowed to intervene in the Competition Commission’s consideration of the original transaction by Paarl Media, has said that the closure of Shoppers’ Friend had achieved a significant and anti-competitive objective for the media group as it removed the only competitor to Media24’s On the Dot business. page 17

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