JSE. Picture: MICHAEL BRATT
JSE. Picture: MICHAEL BRATT

The JSE’s top-40 index is poised for a shake-up as shares in Naspers’s pay-TV business, MultiChoice Group, will start trading on the local bourse on Wednesday.

Analysts expect MultiChoice to make it relatively easily into the JSE’s top-40 index, with most valuations ranging from about R50bn to R90bn.

But the share is expected to trade in a wide range on Wednesday, given that it is being unbundled without a reference price and traders will take some time to determine its fair value.

At the close of trade on Wednesday, the top-40 index is expected to be rejigged to include MultiChoice.

Meanwhile, the JSE is likely to open slightly higher on Wednesday, taking its cue from Asian markets, which were boosted by dovish comments from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.

Powell said the US central bank would be “patient” in its approach towards monetary policy.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.6% shortly after the lunch break, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 0.5% up.

However, Naspers’s main asset, Tencent, was 0.3% lower in Hong Kong.

BHP Group, a JSE top-40 heavyweight, was 0.4% higher in Australia.

The busy week for JSE-listed company results continues on Wednesday, with London-focused property investor Capital & Counties Properties due to report its annual numbers. The stock has gained 11% on the JSE so far in 2019.

Nepi Rockcastle, a target of short-seller Viceroy in 2018, is also due to report annual results.

Grindrod Shipping, which has a primary listing on the Nasdaq exchange, will publish its full-year numbers after the market’s close.

The rand was 0.05% weaker against the dollar on Wednesday morning, at R13.85/$. It was flat versus the pound at R18.34/£ and 0.06% stronger against the euro at R15.76/€.

The dollar’s slide to a three-week low came as Powell indicated that the Fed “will remain patient in its interest rate approach”, said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

“The rand is trading in a tight range at the moment,” Botes said.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za