BP agrees to buy $3.4bn gas exploration stakes in Senegal and Mauritania

BP gained 0.22% in London on Monday. This comes after the group announced it had agreed to acquire stakes in gas-heavy exploration areas off the coast of Senegal and Mauritania from Kosmos. As it stands, BP has purchased a 62% stake and operational control of Kosmos’ Mauritania exploration blocks, which is estimated to hold more than 15 trillion cubic feet of gas. BP also agreed to buy a 32.5% stake in Kosmos’ Senegal blocks, with the combined deals set to be worth around $3.4bn.

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This week Apple plans to challenge $14bn EU tax penalty

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Apple is set to launch a legal challenge against its $14bn tax penalty from EU regulators. In its opinion, EU regulators ignored tax experts and corporate law instead opting to maximise the penalty. This comes after the European Commission announced on the 30th of August that the group’s Irish tax deal was illegal and ordered the technology giant to repay €13bn, or $13.8bn, to the Irish government. As it stands, Apple is set to lodge an appeal against the ruling in Europe’s second highest court.

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Yahoo discover yet another major cyber-attack

On Wednesday, Yahoo released a statement which said that it had discovered another major cyber-attack with data from more than 1bn user accounts being compromised in August 2013, making it the largest breach in history. The number of affected accounts was twice as much implicated in a 2014 breach that the internet company disclosed in September and blamed on hackers working on behalf of a government. Yahoo said the stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

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Steinhoff rises 16.75% for the month

Steinhoff added another 2.75% yesterday with the share closing R2.03 higher. The positive close was the fifth gain in the last seven sessions, following its recent update. The company has posted a R14.40, or 23.16%, gain from its near-term lows of R62.16 on the 5th of December. (If you’re interested in reading a full analysis of the update just email trade@randswiss.com and the desk send through a full breakdown.) As it stands, the share price is up 1.47% for the week, after posting an 18.33% gain during last week. This upwards momentum looks unlikely to continue at its current pace, but technical analysts are predicting a push towards the R84.00 mark.

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Viacom falls 7.9% after talks collapse

Viacom fell 7.9% yesterday after merger talks between the company and CBS Corp collapsed. The merger plan, which never really got beyond initial talks, raised questions about the future of both companies as scale becomes critical in a media industry. This is especially significant as AT&T’s deal to buy Time Warner Inc is set to reshape the the media playing field. Viacom, which owns Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV, has been struggling to turn around declining ad revenue and ratings while CBS is home to top-rated shows such “The Big Bang Theory” and “Thursday Night Football”.

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Technical break higher on MTN

MTN posted a 3.11% gain yesterday as it traded R3.56 firmer. The positive close was the third for the week and takes the cumulative weekly price gain to 5.26%. Yesterday’s price action is significant because it broke above its 20-Day SMA and resulted in the bullish crossovers for technical traders. This bullish technical indicator could signal the start of a move higher over the short- to medium-term. Should the share price close in the black this month, it would be the first monthly gain in the last six.

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Impala Platinum appointed a new CEO

During the previous session, Impala Platinum gained 1.79% to close at R42.75 per share, despite trading higher earlier on in the session. This comes after the group released a SENS announcement which confirmed that it had appointed a new CEO. As it stands, Mr. Nico Johannes Muller will assume the position of CEO and executive director from the 3rd of April 2017. Mr. Muller has a BSc Mining Engineering degree which has served him well over his 27-year mining career. IMP has performed extremely well this year, up 66.54%, but has erased some of its gains after dropping 32.68% in the last 90 days.

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Microsoft bidding for LinkedIn

On Tuesday, Microsoft ended marginally lower, down 0.45% at $59.95 per share, despite reports the group had received approval from EU regulators for its $26bn bid to acquire LinkedIn. As a result, the deal is now expected to close soon. The companies have already received the green light in the US, Canada, Brazil and South Africa. The approval comes after Microsoft agreed to a series of modest concessions, which include the ability for LinkedIn’s rivals to access its Office add-in program, allow computer makers the option of installing/removing LinkedIn on its Windows operating system and giving competing networks access to Microsoft Graph for software developers.

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Invicta Holdings CEO resigns

On Monday, Invicta added 2.73% moving to R71.91 and reaching a new 52-week high. This rally comes in spite of a SENS announcement released by the group which indicated its Chief Executive Officer, Charles Walters, has tendered his resignation. As it stands, Mr. Walters will step down on the 31st of January 2017, but will remain available to the group in a consulting capacity until the 30th of November 2017. The group’s current Executive Deputy Chairman, Arnold Goldstone, will resume the role of CEO from the 1st of February 2017, extending his previous stint as CEO which ran from April 2000 to April 2015.

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Apple’s autonomous automotive aspirations

Over the weekend, news reports surfaced confirming, for the first time, Apple has plans to develop a self-driving car. This comes after a letter to an official at the US National Highway Traffic Safety Authority (NHTSA) was released, indicating that Apple was excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including that of transportation. In its letter, Apple wanted the NHTSA to force companies to share crash data and near-misses in order to speed up development. Despite announcing in October that it had abandoned its car plans, the remaining members of the Apple Car team have allegedly been focusing on autonomous systems rather than a full car.

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