Today’s Biz Headlines: Barloworld sell 5% of its business, Remgro earnings down & SA citrus eyes Philippines

Saudi group Zahid snaps up another 5% of Barloworld

The Saudi Arabian group Zahid Tractor & Heavy Machinery Co now owns 15% of its shares in all, Barloworld told shareholders on Monday afternoon.

In mid July Barloworld announced the company had bought 10% of its shares – at a time when its share price was around half the price it had started 2020 on.

Zahid Tractor has distributed Caterpillar equipment for half a century; that is also a major line of business for Barloworld. 

Though the tractor business is virtually unknown outside of the Middle East, its parent group has, in recent years, reached tendrils into Kenya and, by way of a German solar company, other parts of the continent.

Remgro reports earnings down nearly 70%, taps reserves for dividends

Its headline earnings from continuing operations was down 68.7% for the year to the end of June, investment holding company Remgro announced on Monday afternoon.

That was mainly due “to the negative impact that the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown measures” had on a long list of its holdings, Remgro said: Rand Merchant, FirstRand, Total South Africa, Kagiso Tiso, Distell, and RCL Foods. 

The decrease equated to a fall in earnings from 981.4 cents per share to 307.5 cents per share.

Its dividend too would fall, by 53%, Remgro said, to 265 cents, after being adjusted downward to account for the impact of Covid-19. It will be paid from income reserves.

SA citrus eyes Philippines, Vietnam, and beyond, to avoid ‘oversupply’

The citrus industry in the region is hoping for entry – and in one case reentry – into more markets to avoid oversupply and associated price drops as it grows production by another 500,000 tonnes in the next three to five years, said Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa, writing in Business Day on Monday.

After more than a decade of work, the organisation believes the Philippines is finally open to the region, while it also hopes to expand in Japan, re-enter Vietnam (lost “due to an administrative mistake”), and export more to China and India.

Failure to do so would cause “oversupply”, Chadwick warned.

Mall traffic back at 80% of 2019 levels, says L2D

Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) – which owns properties like Melrose Arch and the Sandton Convention Centre – reports that the latest weekend footcount across the portfolio is at 80% of 2019 levels. The top performers are Sandton City (85%), Midlands Mall (88%) and Eastgate (97%). 

Collections of full rental for shops have increased to 74% at end-August 2020 – from 38% in April.

The office vacancies increased from 10.1% in June to 12.2% in August 2020.  The work from home trend continues to negatively impact the office sector, the company said.

It added that “market related” rentals have been agreed with both Retailability and The Foschini Group (TFG), which bought Edgars stores and Jet stores, respectively.

Business Insider

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