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Market Commentary | The week that was

Kusile Power Station unit reactivation illuminates South Africas' energy-environment balance: To combat South Africa's ongoing load-shedding crisis, Kusile Power Station reactivated Unit 3 two months ahead of schedule, per Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. Kusile, while critical for power generation, sidesteps sulfur emissions standards with a government exemption, highlighting the delicate and controversial balance Eskom must navigate between immediate energy demands and environmental health. Future solutions hinge on addressing these intertwined challenges.

South African State Bank progresses as President Ramaphosa approves legislation: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has endorsed a new law facilitating the transformation of the government-owned Postbank into a full-fledged state-run commercial bank. This move aligns with the African National Congress's electoral commitment to leverage a state bank to enhance credit and banking accessibility, aiming to decrease economic disparities. Historically, Postbank's operations were limited to deposit acceptance, while another state-owned entity, the Land & Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa, has primarily provided loans to the agricultural sector.

Attacq's financial growth and development deal: Attacq Limited, the majority owner of Mall of Africa, reported a notable financial performance with a 16% dividend growth and a 14.5% increase in Distributable Income Per Share for FY 2023. The REIT's positive financial results are because of a strategic R2.7 billion deal with the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and operational improvements in its South African portfolio. Attacq's share price saw a modest increase following the announcement.

Markets: The South African rand strengthened to R18.89 against the US dollar in early trading on 2 October, ahead of the upcoming local PMI survey and new vehicle sales data releases. The yield on South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond increased slightly to 10.82%

Week Ahead: On Tuesday, 3 October, the Reserve Bank of Australia will announce its policy rates decision. South Africa will release the S&P Global South Africa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) on the 4th. Moving to Thursday, South Africa will announce its electricity output data. Closing the week on Friday, South Africa will disclose its gross gold and foreign exchange reserves numbers, while the United States will release its non-farm payroll employment figures.

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