Stocks of financial services, retail and telecom companies slide on mayhem
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FINANCIAL services, retail and telecommunications stocks yesterday bore the brunt of the mayhem and unrest that has swept through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng for the fourth day.
Nedbank declined by 5.45 percent to R164.21, First Rand was down 5.36 percent to R53.19 a share, Standard Bank fell by 4.79 percent to R124.55 a share, while Absa fell by 0.64 percent to R581 a share. Africa’s retail giant Shoprite was down 4.07 percent to R153.15 a share, Spar was 3.77 percent lower to R175.87 and Pick n Pay weakened by 1.94 percent to R51.58 a share.
Beauty and fashion retailers were not spared. Truworths fell by 5.49 percent to R57.49 a share, The Foschini Group (TFG) fell by 3.07 percent to R154.51 a share, and Woolworths fell by 3.63 percent to R52.27 a share.
MTN fell by 3.51 percent to R102.70 a share, partially state-owned Telkom fell by 2.71 percent to R44.53 a share, and Vodacom fell by 0.32 percent to R129.60 a share.
Hundreds of business and banking outlets were shut temporarily yesterday as violent protests continued unabated across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Retail outlets have been looted and infrastructure has been damaged since the supporters of former president Jacob Zuma took to the streets to call for his release after he began his 15-month jail term for contempt of court on Friday.
Factories, trucks and warehouses went up in flames in Durban, and several malls have been looted across Gauteng since Friday.
Nedbank said yesterday it had taken the decision temporarily to close 231 branches and 61 Boxer outlets because of the violence.
“This includes all KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng branches. The safety of our staff and clients is a priority, and we are monitoring the situation closely,” said the bank.
Standard Bank said it had decided to limit its banking services in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal as a result of the protests. These included its Simmonds Street in Gauteng and Kingsmead in KwaZulu-Natal campuses.
“The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority, and out of an abundance of caution, we have taken this action, as the protests have disrupted some roads, transport and transport hubs,” the bank said.
TFG said that, over the past weekend and throughout Monday, several of its stores had experienced the impact of the social unrest.
“The effect on our communities and places of work is devastating. Many of our stores have been looted and damaged and, as a result, many stores have had to close,” said the group. It said that early on Monday morning it closed operations where it knew access to work was restricted or dangerous.
Dis-Chem said its vaccination sites, pharmacies and drive-through testing stations in KwaZulu-Natal remained closed because of the high levels of unrest. It said that certain sites in Gauteng had also been affected.
“Dis-Chem is continuously monitoring the situation, which, unfortunately, is constantly changing,” said the company.
Telkom said it had officially shut down all its stores in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.
“In light of recent unrest and protests across the country that are especially concentrated in that province it had closed stores in some parts of the country in the interest of the safety of its customers and staff alike,” said Telkom.
Shell SA said several sites had been disrupted. “We can also confirm that at least two of our sites have been set on fire. Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities have been reported on any of our sites. Activities at Alberton and Island View terminals have been reduced significantly, and we are increasing security across all our at-risk terminals,” said Shell SA.