Johannesburg, South Africa |- After a year-long search, South African multinational gas and liquid fuels group Sasol on Monday appointed Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), and former Eskom chief financial officer Bongani Nqwababa as its chief financial officer from next March , or earlier.
Sasol’s former chief financial officer, Christine Ramon, left in August last year and the post has been filled on an interim basis by Paul Victor.
The group’s chief financial officer will play a critical role in the next year or two as Sasol puts together the financing for its Westlake, Louisiana, ethane cracker and derivatives complex. Once the financing is in place, the board will take a final investment decision on the project, which is expected later this year.
Sasol’s shares touched an intraday high of R617 on Monday but had fallen back to R611.50 by late afternoon, tracking a 0.6% drop in the Brent crude oil price to $96.41 a barrel as the market reacted to rising oil supplies.
The rand was stable against the dollar.
According to Sasol’s latest financial report, a 10c weakening in the annual average rand- dollar rate will increase operating profit and equity accounted earnings by R857m this year while a $1 drop in the annual average crude oil price will shave off R746m, assuming a rate of R10.60/$.
Momentum Wealth senior portfolio manager Wayne McCurrie said that the share price movement was unrelated to the announcement. Sasol’s shares had been benefiting recently from a relatively weak rand.
The departure, or appointment, of a chief financial officer was not “earth-shattering” as the financial officer did not have the same influence on strategy as the CEO.
Mr Nqwababa has extensive experience in SA’s minerals and energy sector. He joined Amplats as chief financial officer in January 2009 from Eskom Holdings, after serving as treasurer and chief financial officer of Shell Southern Africa.
He is chairman of the South African Revenue Service’s audit committee. He has an honours degree in accounting from the University of Zimbabwe and a chartered accountant designation. He trained as an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Zimbabwe. He has a master’s degree in business administration from the universities of Manchester and Wales, Bangor.
Sasol president and CEO David Constable said the company had searched extensively to find a chief financial officer with the necessary breadth and depth of experience in the global resources and energy sectors.