The reception area of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. File picture: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - South Africa's main indices marched to lifetime highs on Thursday, with the broad All-Share index hitting 50,000 for the first time in its history, as local shares of SABMiller rising after its full-year earnings results.

Shares of IT firm Business Connexion surged 7.4 percent to 6.40 rand after fixed-line operator Telkom offered 2.7 billion rand ($261 million) in a takeover bid to build up its IT capacity.

Stock market investors showed little reaction to the central bank's decision to keep interest rates at 5.5 percent.

SABMiller, which is also listed in London, rose 2.6 percent to 586.92 rand.

The brewer of Peroni beer and Castle Lager reported a 1 percent increase in full-year earnings, but also announced a new cost-savings target.

“There is a broad spectrum of good sentiment regarding SA companies earnings on the dual-listed stocks,” said Wilmar Buys, a portfolio manager at FFO Securities.

“It is difficult though to see the market holding at these levels and there is definitely going to be some sort of profit-taking soon, especially around the platinum sector,” he said.

The benchmark Top-40 index finished up 0.47 percent at 44,840.03, its highest finish on record, after earlier hitting a lifetime high of 45,026.36

The broader All-Share finished up 0.49 percent at 49,891.36 after earlier topping 50,000 for the first time.

Platinum stocks had a mixed day as court-mediated talks to end the crippling 17 week work-stoppage between South Africa's top three platinum producers and union AMCU entered a second day and strike-related violence claimed a fifth life after a fatal stabbing.

Lonmin fell 1.6 percent to 43.56 while Impala Platinum gained 0.7 percent to 114.99 rand.

The chief executive of Implats told Reuters in an interview that the crippling four-month strike could last much longer.

A total of 214 million shares traded hands, according to preliminary data from the Johannesburg bourse, with 188 shares advancing and 131 declining. - Reuters