Sasol has insured itself against rand/dollar volatility in 2018 by buying contracts allowing it to swap rand for up to $4bn at an exchange rate of between R13.46/$ and R15.51/$, the chemicals group said on Tuesday. "These hedges approximate 70% of the company’s expected net rand/dollar exposure in the 2018 financial year," Sasol said in a statement. On the one hand Sasol benefits from a weak rand making its South African coal-to-fuel operations more profitable, but on the other it suffers because of rising costs for its Lake Charles chemicals project in Louisiana. In February, when the rand strengthened to under R13/$ and was heading under R12.50/$, before President Jacob Zuma’s disastrous Cabinet reshuffle, Sasol said in its interim results statement: "We have revised our capital expenditure estimate [for Lake Charles] from R75bn to R66bn for the full year, largely due to the impact of the stronger rand/dollar exchange rate coupled with our cash conservation initiatives and active ...

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