Taking Stock - Dating app, Bumble tops $13bn in market debut.

In todays todays taking stock, we look at how the dating app, Bumble tops $13bn in market debut.

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The stock market firmed up once again on Friday, after its six-day winning streak was halted on Thursday, as banks and financials recovered on President Ramaphosa's promise on large scale infrastructure and energy spending in 2021. Ramaphosa said South Africa had secured nine million doses of the J&J vaccine, while another 20 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech were also on their way. The benchmark JSE All-Share index climbed 0.38%, just shy of its all-time record seen on Wednesday (to 66,132 index points). The blue-chip JSE Top-40 index ended up 0.42%.



European stocks closed higher on Friday, as investors monitored a fresh batch of economic data and the gathering pace of vaccinations against Covid-19. The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session up by about 0.6% provisionally, with media shares climbing 1.5% and tech up 1.3% as most sectors and major bourses finished in positive territory. For the week, the Stoxx 600 closed up 1%. The mixed session comes after muted trade in Asia Pacific due to the Lunar New Year holiday.



US stocks finished marginally higher on Friday to set another round of record closes. The major averages finished with modest gains for the week, as the strong rally to begin February has taken a slight breather. The blue-chip Dow posted two little changed days this week, while the S&P 500 fluctuated within 0.2% for three days in a row. Shares of Disney erased earlier gains and closed 1.7% lower even after the company reported strong growth in paid streaming subscribers and crushed expectations in its earnings report for its fiscal first quarter of 2021. Disney said it now has almost 95 million paid subscribers on its Disney+ streaming service.



Stocks in Asia rose this morning, with multiple markets in North Asia closed for Lunar New Year holidays. Government data released Monday showed Japan’s economy growing 12.7% on an annualized basis between October and December last year. The preliminary reading for fourth-quarter gross domestic product was higher than economists’ median estimate of a 9.5% gain, according to Reuters.



The rand trod water on Friday, following recent gains, while President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address (SONA) on Thursday failed to detail any new reforms. At the close, the rand was 0.74% stronger at R14.55 per dollar. The rand strengthened nearly 2% in the past four sessions, mostly taking its cues from offshore events such as the dollar's recent slide. The local currency was trading around R14.51.



Gold eased this morning after US Treasury yields jumped to their highest in nearly 11 months in the previous session, with platinum scaling a six-year peak on expectations of a supply shortfall. Oil prices rose to their highest in more than a year today, after a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said it intercepted an explosive-laden drone fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, raising fears of fresh Middle East tensions. Hopes for more US stimulus and an easing of coronavirus lockdowns helped support the rally, after prices gained around 5% l


HomeChoice International (HIL) 0.0%

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have an adverse impact on the macro-economic environment and consumer behaviour, which has resulted in challenging trading conditions for the Group in the second half of the year. Tighter restrictions imposed by the South African government in response to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic have further disrupted the Group’s business operations. As reported in the announcement of the summarised Group financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2020 released on the Stock Exchange News Service (‘SENS’) on 31 August 2020, earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six-month period ended 30 June 2020 were 54.6% lower than the comparable period in the prior year. The Group is expecting to report a similar performance in the second half of the year and is accordingly advising shareholders that EPS and HEPS for the twelve-month period ended 31 December 2020 are expected to range between 144 cents to 209 cents, or between 52% and 67% lower than the 436.0 cents reported for both EPS and HEPS in the previous corresponding period (the twelve-month period ended 31 December 2019). The Group’s liquidity and capital position continues to remain strong as a result of the focus on cash generation and management of working capital, with cash on hand of R415 million, up from R378 million at 30 June 2020. The Group is conservatively capitalised to take advantage of any improvements in the economy. The Group’s financial results for the year ended 31 December 2020 will be released via SENS on or about 15 March 2021.


Vivo Energy (VVO) +5.4%

Vivo Energy plc, the leading pan-African retailer and distributor of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants, provided the following trading update ahead of the release of 2020 Full Year results on Wednesday, 3 March 2021. Trading across the group continued to be positive in Q4, driven by the ongoing recovery in the Retail segment, as mobility restrictions across our host countries remained limited. This continued the momentum built in Q3 and led to full year fuel volumes of 9.6 billion litres, 7% below the previous year. Due to the positive performance, we intend, subject to a resolution of the Board, to recommend to shareholders the payment of a dividend of 3.8 cents per share ($48 million) in respect of 2020. This is in line with our stated progressive dividend policy and equal to the declared 2019 Full Year dividend of 3.8 cents, despite the impacts of COVID-19 on the business during the year.


Bumble (BMBL) +7.3%

Dating app Bumble, which made its name by putting women in charge of making contact with potential mates, has soared to a market value of more than $13bn after listing shares. Its Wall Street success made 31-year-old boss Whitney Wolfe Herd a rare self-made female billionaire. Bumble, which also owns Badoo, is one of less than two dozen US firms to list publicly while led by a female founder. Shares in the firm debuted at $43 apiece, valuing it at over $8bn. But in opening trade on Thursday, they shot up to more than $76 each, making the firm worth more than $13bn (£9.4bn). Ms Wolfe Herd launched Bumble in Texas in 2014, with backing from Russian billionaire Andreey Andreev, the founder of European online dating site Badoo. She has said she was inspired to create a platform where women "make the first move" by her frustration with archaic gender norms controlling dating. Unlike most dating apps, only female users can make the first contact with matched male users, while in same-sex matches either person can send a message first.

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