Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Thursday is a bumper results day, with the JSE’s largest banking group FirstRand, largest life insurer Sanlam, along with many small companies including miner Assore and restaurant franchiser Spur, diarised to release their financial statements.

More details of the economic woes SA finds itself in will be revealed at 11am when the Reserve Bank releases the second-quarter current account figures.

A poll of economists done by Trading Economics forecasts the current account to have turned to a surplus of R166.5bn from a deficit of R229bn in the first quarter.

Asian markets pointed to a third day of losses for the JSE. Tencent was down 2.52% to HK$316.60, contributing to a 0.64% drop in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index.

BHP was down 2.55% to A$31.38, contributing to a 1.1% drop in Australia’s ASX 200 index.

The rand was trading at R15.40 to the dollar, R17.92 to the euro and R19.90 to the pound at 6.30am.

Sanlam has not released a trading update, as would be required if its earnings differed by more than 20%, but did issue a detailed operational update on June 6.

Sanlam said its new business volumes for the four months to end-April fell 3% to R69bn from the matching four months in 2017.

Normalised headline earnings per share increased by 5%.

Diluted headline earnings per share, which include fund transfers recognised in respect of Sanlam shares held in policyholder portfolios, increased by 7%.

Restaurant franchiser Spur said in a sales update on July 30 that it expected to report on Thursday sales grew 1.3% to R7.1bn in the year to end-June.

Franchised restaurant sales in SA grew by 1.5%, with sales from international restaurants declining by 0.7% in rand terms. International restaurant sales increased by 2.7% on a constant exchange rate basis.