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Market Commentary | The week that was

Artificial intelligence is the new priority in business over the metaverse: Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting prioritized over the metaverse, with AI officers becoming essential high-paid roles and companies offering compensation packages exceeding $1 million to AI experts. The trend highlights the rapidly changing technology landscape, where AI seems to be a more vital and sustainable investment than the previously hyped metaverse.

MultiChoice rejects Canal Plus offer: MultiChoice Group has ended negotiation talks with Vivendi's Canal Plus, rejecting their offer of R105 per share for undervaluing the company. Even with Canal Plus's proposal being a 40% premium over MultiChoice's closing share price on January 31, MultiChoice believes the offer does not account for potential synergies. The board remains open to future offers that fairly value the company. Following the deal announcement, Canal Plus increased its stake in MultiChoice from 31.67% to 35.01%, prompting MultiChoice to seek a ruling on a mandatory offer to all shareholders under the Companies Act.

Transnet personnel changes lead to improved operations: South African state-owned logistics company Transnet has shown marked improvement after restructuring its personnel. Recent achievements include a 10% increase in coal export volumes and reduced port backlogs. The turnaround is due to replacing underperforming staff with industry specialists. The decision has significantly improved operations along important routes like the Northern Corridor to Richards Bay and ports like Durban and Cape Town. These changes, driven by government and business sector pressure, have begun to address past inefficiencies and could signal a positive shift in the logistics capabilities of South Africa.

Markets: The South African rand remained stable at R18.90 to the dollar in early trading, following a sharp decline last week due to a strong US jobs report. The stock market Top 40 and all-share indexes dropped slightly, while the benchmark 2030 government bond yield increased marginally to 9.795%.

Week ahead: South Africa is scheduled to report its Foreign Exchange Reserves today. Thursday, China will announce its Consumer Inflation Rate, and South Africa will release its Manufacturing Production figures and the State of the Nation Address. The Investing in African Mining Indaba happens in Cape Town this week.

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