A major, but unidentified Chinese bank is in talks to buy a stake in South Africa's second-largest lender First National Bank, a media report said on Friday. If carried out, the transaction will follow in the footsteps of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which recently agreed to buy a 20% stake in Standard Bank.
The names of three banks and the word "stocks" beat "sex" to become four of the most Googled words in China last year, according to a Google China list seen on Thursday. China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank ranked second, third and sixth, according to a list supplied by Google China on its website.
Resource heavyweights Anglo American and BHP Billiton continued to weigh on the JSE in midday trade on Tuesday, with the all-share pulling back almost half a percent from its earlier levels. By midday, the JSE all-share index dropped 0,69% as resources gave up 0,96%. The gold-mining index shed 0,12% but the platinum-mining index improved 0,42%. Industrials lost 0,53%.
Standard Bank's position as one of the world's leading emerging markets banks was endorsed on Wednesday night with the company winning eight awards, including the prestigious Emerging Markets Bank of the Year, at <i>The Banker</i> awards of 2007.
World markets injected some life into the JSE at midday on Friday as the all-share index lifted 0,90%, led by a 1,78% gain in resources. By noon the gold mining index collected 0,35%, but the platinum mining index was up a slight 0,06%. Financials advanced 0,51% and banks inched up 0,28%. Industrials were 0,09% in the black.
Solid gains in bank stocks pushed the JSE further into the black at midday on Friday, while platinum stocks added some extra light. At noon on the JSE, the all-share index was 0,62% higher as banks collected 2,01% and financials added 1,08%. The platinum mining index added 1,24% and resources edged up 0,29%.