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Harmony to hold GFI shares

Publication: miningmx
Journalist: David McKay

THE end of March raises the prospect that the large overhang in Gold Fields shares could be released.

That’s when Barrick Gold, JCI and Harmony Gold, are permitted to sell the Gold Fields shares they were paid for selling their respective interests in the South Deep mine.

One view is that Harmony Gold will be the company to sell its Gold Fields shares first, a view partly based on speculation that it’s close to completing a corporate deal and needs to improve the look of its balance sheet, principally a loan of about R1bn provided to the company by Rand Merchant Bank (RMB).

RMB had agreed to roll the loan over, but it’s being thought prudent to remove it and release balance sheet pressure. So the theory goes.

Harmony Gold CEO Bernard Swanepoel said, however, there’re no immediate plans to sell the firm’s Gold Fields shares.

“I’d be very surprised if we sold our Gold Fields shares soon,” he said in an interview with miningmx “The current share price doesn’t reflect anything like what we’re after. So I’d have to say we’re pretty comfortable with that stake.”

Harmony Gold owns about 2.6% of Gold Fields, which is equal to about R1.35bn at Gold Fields’ current share price of R123/share.

Rumours continue, however, that Harmony Gold is involved in fresh corporate action of significance, including quite breathtaking speculation that it’s considering a deal with Russian gold producer Polyus Gold. Uncharacteristically, Swanepoel has offered – through his investor-relations officer – a terse “no comment”.

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Investor brief

Harmony Investor brief, Sep 2017
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Harmony Investor brief

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