Johannesburg - Details of a transaction involving Reinet buying assets of failed investment banking firm Lehman Brothers remain sketchy but the market has given a thumbs-up to see the company using its cash.
Lavan Gopaul, an analyst at Cortex Securities, said: "The market has a great deal of trust in the company and the Rupert family leadership."
A number of investment professionals and retail investors favour Reinet, dubbed in local investment circles as the "Johann Rupert hedge-fund", believing that it allows them direct access to the financial acumen of one of South Africa's best investment minds.
On Friday, stockbroker Imara SP Reid upgraded its recommendation of company, rating its shares as a "buy". This decision was based partly on the strong increase in the share price of British American Tobacco as well as the weaker rand versus the euro.
The Rupert family is renowned for playing its cards close to its chest and the South African investment community remains in the dark about the quality of the assets they are purchasing.
For now investors seem to be pleased to see that Reinet is putting its money down.
Gopaul said: "The market trusts them to make shrewd investment decisions."
Discount to NAV
Investment professionals point to the widening discount that Reinet is trading to its net asset value (NAV) as a key to its future share performance.
The company is trading at about a 30% discount to its NAV.
Gopaul pointed out that many big companies that served as "holding" companies for other business had regularly traded at deep discounts to their NAV. Recent examples include Remgro, Bidvest and Genbel.
However, Vega Capital asset manager Francois du Plessis said: "Over the years, a company like Remgro has traded at a discount of between 16% and 25%, while something like Genbel traded almost permanently at 20%."
Du Plessis said: "I would say that 20% would be fair if I were backing Rupert, but the market needs to find a level."
Reinet closed 2.55% higher at 1 005c.
The relationship between Reinet and Lehman Brothers was highlighted by Fin24.com columnist Marc Hasenfuss in an article in September 2008.
The author holds shares in Reinet.