RON DERBY: Agarwal gives SA a vote of confidence where little exists
Opportunity still exists in South Africa, as murky as the crystal ball may be
Anil Agarwal, the Indian billionaire with a penchant for South African wines, was never going to be a passive Anglo investor. For one, there's no economic benefit to his investment as his 20% stake was bought using convertible bonds, which only mature in three years. It is only at that point that he'll be able to take ownership of those shares either by settling in cash or choosing to use those shares to repay the bonds. This was always a strategic play, a chess move that seemed a vote against Mark Cutifani's strategy of shrinking the one-time giant to focusing on three minerals. Given that Agarwal's plan to merge his resources empire with Anglo was rejected last year, clearly his thoughts around the Oppenheimer-founded miner wasn't about slimming it down. What the market has been waiting for since his emergence as Anglo's biggest shareholder has been his thoughts on the company, whose shares have rallied 167% over the past two years. Speaking to the Financial Times on Friday, the m...