Today’s Top 8 Business Stories

1) S. African Stocks Set to Erase 2020 Losses on Naspers, Gold
South Africa’s benchmark equities index is set to erase its 2020 drop, staging a spectacular snap-back from its March trough following a surge in shares of market heavyweight Naspers Ltd. and a stellar performance by gold miners. The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index gained as much as 2% on Tuesday and has climbed more than 50% from its March 19 low to be 0.6% higher for the year on an intraday basis.

2) Mboweni Says South African Airways Must Be Privately Funded
South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni rejected accusations from the biggest opposition party that he plans to use state funds to rescue the bankrupt national airline, saying a range of funding options that would source money from the private sector are being considered.

3) Another Lost Deal Shows Naspers Growth Machine Is Stumbling
The big deals that Prosus NV should be winning are slipping through its fingers. Late last year, NV trumped Prosus’s bid for Just Eat Plc. Now EBay Inc.’s classifieds business is being scooped up by Prosus’s smaller Norwegian rival, Adevinta ASA, for $9.2 billion.

4) S. Africa Services Sentiment Drop Shows More Second-Quarter Pain
Sentiment in South Africa’s services sector fell to a record low in the second quarter, providing further evidence that the economy probably suffered a historic decline in that period. A quarterly index measuring confidence in the sector fell to 7 from 17 in the three months through March, the Bureau for Economic Research said in an emailed statement Tuesday. That’s the lowest reading in the 15-year history of the survey.

5) Wall Street Is Throwing Billions at Once-Shunned Gold Miners
A year ago, you couldn’t get Wall Street to touch most gold miners’ stocks. Today, it’s throwing billions at the industry. Precious-metals miners once seen as too leveraged and high- risk for the typical investor raised $2.4 billion in secondary equity offerings during the second quarter, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the most since 2013 and seven times more than the funds they raised a year earlier.

6) Lockdown Wipes Out South African Hotel, Restaurant Income
South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown led to an unprecedented decline in income for the country’s hospitality industry after it was introduced on March 27. Income from accommodation fell 99% during the first full month of restrictions, and has yet to recover, though the crash in food- and-beverage sales eased slightly in May as restaurants opened for delivery.

7) Top Miner BHP Forecasts Copper Output Squeeze on Virus Impact
BHP Group flagged virus curbs in Chile, the top copper producing nation, will cut the company’s annual output of the metal and warned the wider outlook for raw materials is being clouded by risks of second waves of infections and an uncertain impact of stimulus measures.

8) Negative Rates Lose Out to Zero Cost of Money in Opening Wallets
Zero interest rates can be a more effective tool for central banks to get individuals borrowing and making riskier investments than when the cost of money turns negative, according to a new study from a trio of researchers with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University.

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