GOLD Fields would consider a dual listing of its shares as the prospect of leaving the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) would be “very difficult” for South Africa, said the gold firm’s CEO, Chris Griffith.
“There are some severe tax implications for moving out of South Africa,” said Griffith when asked during a August 19 interview if Gold Fields could be listed offshore. “Having said that a dual listing or some other option” was a consideration, he said.
“It remains on our radar but it’s not a prime focus. I think a dual listing while still maintaining a listing on the JSE is the way to go,” he said.
AngloGold Ashanti said in 2019 it was considering taking its primary listing to either Europe or North America, but the plan was postponed following the surprise resignation of the firm’s then CEO, Kelvin Dushnisky.
AngloGold’s proposal was opposed by the South African government which said it would not grant the change of control permit required in order for AngloGold to sell its Mponeng and Mine Waste Solution assets to Harmony Gold as a result.
There is no law that would enable the government to hold back such a permit in order to stop a company listing its shares offshore, but the threat moved AngloGold to say that an offshore listing was not immediately being worked on.
“There is a plan to keep it,” he said. “The trajectory we’ve seen and with its potential we believe this is a franchise asset for Gold Fields.” Griffith added however that Gold Fields wouldn’t seek to expand South Deep unless it was proven to produce cash.
He endorsed Gold Fields’ former CEO Nick Holland’s earlier guidance that South Deep would produce 20% to 30% more gold over this year’s adjusted guidance of 8.7 tons (approximately 280,000 oz).
Gold Fields produced strong first half numbers reporting a normalised profit of $430.5m, a 33% year on year improvement largely informed by a 10% increase in the gold price received. The bottom line for shareholders was an interim dividend announcement of 210 South African cents per share compared to 160 cents/share in the previous interim period. The payout was in terms of the firm’s policy of distributing 25% to 35% of normalised dividends.
Gold Fields’ production for the first half of this year came in at 1.1 million oz, about 4% higher year on year. Guidance of 2.3 million to 2.35 million oz has been maintained which will be produced at an all-in sustaining cost is expected to be between $1,020/oz and $1,060/oz.