Naspers’s main asset, Tencent, separately listed its music division on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, raising $1.1bn. Picture: BLOOMBERG/QILAI SHEN
Naspers’s main asset, Tencent, separately listed its music division on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, raising $1.1bn. Picture: BLOOMBERG/QILAI SHEN

Brexit jitters saw the rand back under R18/£ on Wednesday morning, but it remained well over R14/$ and R16/€.

The pound’s woes following the UK’s decision to leave the EU is illustrated by the rand strengthening from over R24/£ before the referendum in 2016 to about R15.50/£ in its aftermath. 

The rand-pound exchange rate before and after the Brexit vote in June 2016.
The rand-pound exchange rate before and after the Brexit vote in June 2016.
Image: Iress

The “Ramaphoria rally”, which started in late November 2017 saw the rand flirt with R16/£ in the first quarter of 2018 before weakening to nearly R20/£ in September.

The rand was trading at R14.28/$, R16.18/€ and R17.87/£ at 7am on Wednesday.

Asian markets pointed to a second day of gains for the JSE following Tuesday’s 1.5% rise.

Tencent was up 1.41% to HK$315.60 in Hong Kong, indicating its 31%-owner Naspers will add to Tuesday’s 3.68% rebound to R2,851.11.

Tencent’s subsidiary, Tencent Music, starts trading as a separately listed company on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Tencent said it raised nearly $1.1bn by selling shares ahead of the initial public offering (IPO) at $13 each, which was lower than the $15 price it had hoped for when it first announced it was unbundling its music division.

The IPO price indicates Tencent Music will start trading with a market capitalisation of about $21.3bn.

Wednesday is another busy day on the economics front, with Stats SA scheduled to release November’s consumer price index (CPI) at 10am, October’s motor trade sales at 11.30am and October’s retail sales at 1pm.

Inflation, as measured by the annual change in CPI, is expected to have remained at about October's 5.1%, partly thanks to the government-set retail price of petrol remaining unchanged in November while the wholesale price of diesel fell 48c/l.

Investec Bank economist Kamilla Kaplan forecast retail sales for October to show annual growth of about 1.8%, up from September’s 0.7%

“Consumer confidence has improved, which may indicate an increased willingness to spend. However, any growth in real terms in the retail sector is expected to remain modest in view of persistent labour market weakness, modest household credit extension and weak nominal income growth,” Kaplan said in her weekly note e-mailed on Friday.

laingr@businesslive.co.za