The tobacco content in Reinet, the investment company controlled by the Rupert family, is now below 50%. On Wednesday Reinet issued a management statement for the third quarter to end December, which showed its anchor investment in British American Tobacco (BAT) is now 48.6% of net assets, compared with 56.6% at the end of September 2018. If anything, the collapse in value of Reinet’s BAT holding should focus more attention on other elements of the investment portfolio.

When Reinet listed in 2008 its original stake in BAT was more than 85% of the portfolio. In March 2018 — despite much diversification in the Reinet portfolio and the sale of two parcels of BAT shares — the tobacco group still represented 71% of net asset value (NAV). In the last year, however, the price of BAT shares — holding a primary listing in London and a secondary listing on the JSE — have been unceremoniously snuffed out. Reinet CEO Johann Rupert said the falling BAT share price was the main reason for t...

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