Anglo’s Top Shareholder Wants More South African Control – by Janice Kew and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – October 6, 2016)

Anglo American Plc’s biggest shareholder wants South African investors to follow its lead and increase their holdings in the century-old miner as it pushes for the creation of a domestic commodities “champion.”

“Our role is to make Anglo more South African-owned and controlled,” Public Investment Corp. Chief Executive Officer Dan Matjila said in an interview on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. “We have been vocal and when the price was low we almost doubled our stake. So we have booked a seat at the table.”

Anglo unveiled a turnaround plan in February to cut debt that involved selling more than half its mines and exiting commodities including coal and iron ore to focus on more profitable platinum, diamonds and copper.

So far that plan, combined with a wider rebound in commodities, has worked, with the stock hitting 1,029 pence on Tuesday compared with a record-low 215.55 pence in January. Anglo is looking to exit coal in Colombia and Australia along with nickel and iron ore in Brazil, and is considering sizable disposals in South Africa.

The PIC is the continent’s biggest money manager, handling South African public workers’ pensions and holding 13.4 percent of Anglo. It met with the company’s management last month to discuss the asset-sale plans, and expects the producer to advise it on the next step soon, Matjila said.

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