A Sasol plant. Picture: REUTERS
A Sasol plant. Picture: REUTERS

Chemical group Sasol’s share price lost another 45% on Thursday, on track for a seventh consecutive session of losses as coronavirus fears prompt a global sell-off of equities.

Sasol, the world’s biggest maker of fuel from coal and gas, has seen its share price battered by concerns about cost overruns at its huge Lake Charles chemical project in the US, as well as a recent slump in the oil price due to a price war between Russian and Saudi Arabia.

The group had long-term debt of R121.28bn as of its half-year to end-December, which compares unfavorably to its market capitalisation of R19bn on Thursday morning.

There is speculation that Sasol may need to proceed with an equity raise. The group was downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service to junk status earlier in March.

On Thursday, the oil price had fallen 6.25% to $33.58 a barrel, hit by news that the US had suspended travel from mainland Europe.

In morning trade, Sasol’s share price was down 40.29% to R31.48, having earlier fallen to a low of R28.67. Sasol’s share price has lost 89.63% of its value so far in 2020.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za