Thursday 21 September 2017
(Bloomberg 09/06/17)
South Africa’s economy exited its second recession in almost a decade in the three months ended June 30 after agricultural output surged. Gross domestic product increased an annualized 2.5 percent in the second quarter compared with a revised decline of 0.6 percent in the previous three months, the statistics office said in a report released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median of 21 estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for growth of 2.3 percent. The economy expanded 1.1 percent from a year earlier. Slack demand for the country’s exports and domestic political turmoil have weighed on Africa’s most-industrialized economy. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd. cut the nation’s international debt to junk in April after President Jacob Zuma...
(CNN 09/06/17)
Two of the largest economies in Africa are growing again after recessions. Nigeria's GDP expanded by 0.55% in the second quarter of 2017 year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, ending five consecutive quarters of contraction. Quarter-on-quarter growth for the same period was 3.23%. The South African economy grew by 2.5% quarter-on quarter for the three months to June 30 after two quarters of decline, according to official statistics. Historic decline Growth in Nigeria marks the end of its worst recession in 25 years. Africa's leading oil producer has been hard hit by falling prices for the commodity, which accounts for the majority of its export revenue. But the oil sector has recovered slightly in the last quarter, with...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/06/17)
South Africa’s business confidence index fell to its lowest in more than three decades in August as merchandise import and export volumes fell, a survey showed on Wednesday. The business group said South Africa’s economic performance was sub-optimal despite an positive global outlook, and improved business confidence was needed to revitalise domestic growth. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI) monthly business confidence index (BCI) fell to 89.6 in August, the lowest level since mid-1980s, from 95.3 in July. “Lower merchandise import and export volumes mainly caused the sharp monthly decline of the BCI in August 2017. Lower consumer inflation and new vehicle sales made only moderate positive monthly contributions,” SACCI said in a statement. Africa’s most industrialised...
(The Guardian 09/06/17)
Greater sanctions urged against British PR agency for running campaign to deliberately stir up racial tensions. Opposition politicians and campaigners in South Africa are pushing for harsher punishment of the British public relations agency Bell Pottinger for running a campaign to deliberately stoke racial tensions in the country. Bell Pottinger was expelled on Monday from the UK’s Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), which decided the campaign it ran for the Guptas – a family of Indian-born tycoons who are close to president Jacob Zuma – “was by any reasonable standard of judgment likely to inflame racial discord in South Africa”. Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, is president of the African National Congress, which led the struggle...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
South African opposition parties resumed their offensive against President Jacob Zuma after failing to remove him through a motion of no confidence in parliament, urging the nation’s top court to force the legislature to discipline him for failing to uphold the constitution. The Constitutional Court on Tuesday began hearing a lawsuit brought by the main opposition parties to order the parliamentary speaker to convene a committee to investigate whether Zuma’s refusal to comply with a directive by the nation’s graft ombudsman to repay taxpayer funds spent on his private home warranted possible impeachment. The court ruled last year that Zuma’s action breached his oath of office.
(AFP (eng) 09/05/17)
South Africa has exited its first recession in eight years after the economy recorded 2.5 percent growth in the second quarter, official statistics released Tuesday showed. Statistics South Africa said gross domestic product (GDP) "increased by 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2017, following a decrease of 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017." Africa's most advanced economy, which entered a technical recession in March after two consecutive quarters of contraction, was lifted by 33.6 percent growth in agricultural output. "The industry's increase was...
(AFP (eng) 09/05/17)
British public relations firm Bell Pottinger was expelled from a trade body Tuesday over a controversial campaign in South Africa that was found "likely to inflame racial discord". The decision by the Britain-based Public Relations and Communications Associations (PRCA) comes after Bell Pottinger ran a campaign which included the phrase "white monopoly capital". It was carried out on behalf of Oakbay Capital, a company run by the wealthy Gupta family, who are accused of wielding undue influence over the South African government. A PRCA committee set up to investigate the matter said the British firm's campaign was "likely...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
Traders are gaining confidence in nations that pay the steepest local interest rates. Investor anxiety, as measured by one-month implied currency volatility, dropped to multi-month lows last month in Russia, South Africa and Brazil -- countries with some of the most generous yields on their local government debt. Those nations are benefiting from demand for their bonds as interest rates in the developed world stay suppressed amid a pickup in prices for the commodities they export, including gas, gold and copper. “Emerging markets are truly in a sweet spot," said Anders Faergemann, a senior fund manager in London at PineBridge Investments, which oversees about $80 billion globally. Currency volatility is a major factor for investors putting their money into local...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
Facing allegations of extramarital affairs that he says are a smear campaign to prevent him taking over the leadership of South Africa’s ruling party, Cyril Ramaphosa sat calmly next to his wife as an auctioneer sold more than $1 million of his rare Ugandan cattle, buffaloes and antelope. While he fended off the accusations, which broke on social media on Friday and in the Sunday Independent newspaper two days later, that he had affairs with at least eight women, his adversaries are likely to keep up attacks on the South African deputy president in the run-up to the African National Congress’s internal elections in December. His wealth may open him up to more criticism. Ramaphosa, 64, is one of the...
(APA 09/05/17)
China and South Africa have committed to deepen cooperation, while supporting peace and development in Africa, APA learned on Monday. This follows a meeting between President Jacob Zuma and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping in Xiamen, where the two leaders are attending a three-day meeting of the 9th BRICS Summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries in the southeastern Chinese coastal city. Xi said the China-South Africa relationship is "at its best in history,” noting that there is a strong development momentum in the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides in recent years. China was ready to strengthen coordination with South Africa and expand the partnership with more achievements in cooperation to pursue common development,...
(News24 09/05/17)
South Africa's gross domestic product has rebounded with 2.5% growth for the second quarter of the year. This is an improvement from the contraction reported for two consecutive quarters. GDP declined 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 0.7% in the first quarter of 2017. Second-quarter data shows year-on-year GDP growth was 1.1%, and for the six months growth has been 1.1%. The nominal GDP is estimated at R1.145bn. Statistician general Pali Lehohla explained that the primary industry contributed "significantly" to the growth numbers, with growth of 10.3%. Lehohla described growth in the agricultural sector as "shooting through the roof" by 33.6%. It contributed 0.7 of a percentage point to overall GDP growth. Mining grew 3.9%, contributing 0.3 of...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
Shoprite Holdings Ltd. shareholders voted in favor of the purchase of about 1.75 billion rand ($135 million) of shares from former Chief Executive Officer Whitey Basson, enabling Africa’s largest food retailer to buy at a discount to the current share price. The decision enables the Cape Town-based company to buy 8.68 million shares from Basson at 201.01 rand a share after he exercised a put option granted to him 14 years ago. That compares with a market price of 221.98 rand as of 10:54 a.m. in Johannesburg. Billionaire Christo Wiese, Shoprite’s largest shareholder and South Africa’s fourth-richest person with a net worth of $5.6 billion, said Aug. 22 that the 2003 put option served to ensure Basson didn’t “flood the...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
South African Breweries Ltd. Monday unveiled plans to create as many as 10,000 jobs in the country through various programs it offers. The new jobs are in addition to the commitments agreed with the government last year following the merger between AB InBev and SABMiller, SAB said in an emailed statement. SAB offers two so-called kickstart programs focusing on youth-owned businesses; the SAB Foundation; an enterprise and supplier development fund, and agriculture initiatives to establish barley, hops, corn and malt industries, with a view to enabling the country to become a net exporter of hops and malt by 2021. Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-04/south-african-breweri... By Hilton Shone
(Agence Ecofin 09/05/17)
Nigeria and South Africa could soon get out of recession due to a slight increase in prices of base products started in the beginning of 2016. The rainbow nation’s economy indeed grew by 2.3% during the second quarter of 2017 (against the first), according to a survey of Reuters, while the gross domestic product (GDP) of Nigeria, Africa’s leading oil producer, grew by 1.3% compared to 2016, after decreasing for five consecutive quarters. Indeed, Nigeria owes the improvement to a boost in its oil and agricultural productions as well as a burst in its foreign exchange reserves, which should sustain its economic growth. In South Africa, retail commerce, manufacturing industry and agricultural production which restarted after droughts, should spur the...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
Steinhoff Africa Retail Ltd. is seeking to raise as much as 18.4 billion rand ($1.4 billion) in a sale of stock this month, the largest by a South African company in almost two years. The owner of retailers including pan-African clothing chain Pep will offer about 800 million shares at between 18 rand and 23 rand each, it said in a statement on Monday. That amounts to about 23 percent of the total stock to be listed in Johannesburg, with Amsterdam-based parent Steinhoff International Holdings NV retaining a majority stake. Naspers Ltd. was the last South African company to raise more, excluding rights issues, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The TV and internet business sold $2.5 billion worth of...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Xinhuanet 09/04/17)
South Africa will host the 10th summit of the BRICS bloc, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, in 2018, South African President Jacob Zuma said here on Sunday. Zuma, addressing the BRICS Business Forum preceding the current BRICS summit, said that South Africa, with broad perspectives and opportunities for investment, welcomes attendees at the forum to visit the African country. The African continent is a new frontline, a frontline of growth and prosperity, Zuma said, adding that South Africa expects to realize comprehensive and inclusive economic development and further increase its trade with other BRICS countries. Trade between South Africa and the other BRICS countries reached 31.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, according to Zuma. About 1,200...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
President Jacob Zuma and his ruling African National Congress have broken the business community’s trust after he recalled a finance minister from an investment roadshow in the U.K. and then fired him in a cabinet shuffle, the head of Business Leadership South Africa said. The exit of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister prompted two of the three main credit ratings agencies to cut the assessment on South Africa’s foreign-currency debt to junk, thwarting more than a year of cooperation between business and government to avoid such an outcome, Bonang Mohale, the chief executive officer of the lobby group that represents about 80 of the country’s biggest companies, said in an interview in Johannesburg Thursday. “Often when we talked about the...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/04/17)
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has denied a report by a Sunday newspaper alleging that he had affairs with several women, describing it as an attempt to discredit him ahead of the ruling party’s leadership contest. The African National Congress (ANC) picks President Jacob Zuma’s successor in December and unionist-turned-business tycoon Ramaphosa is expected to face Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former African Union chairwoman and Zuma’s ex-wife. Ramaphosa has pledged to fight the corruption that has plagued Zuma’s time in office. The Sunday Independent newspaper said it obtained emails linking Ramaphosa to at least eight women, saying he pays their tuition fees, accommodation and other expenses. The newspaper said it had seen documents showing Ramaphosa holds three alternative email accounts under...
(Eye Witness News 09/04/17)
Zimbabwe'a Mugabe says that Nelson Mandela preferred his personal freedom over the economic freedom of black South Africans. President Robert Mugabe has once again criticised former South African president Nelson Mandela. Mugabe says that Mandela preferred his personal freedom over the economic freedom of black South Africans. He has changed his tune on the late South African icon. When Mandela died four years ago, Mugabe described him as a champion of the oppressed. But at a Zanu-PF rally at the weekend, the Zimbabwean president claimed that Madiba had cherished his personal freedom more than anything else. It was the second time in less than a week that Mugabe had criticised Mandela’s legacy. In quotes carried by NewZimbabwe.com, Mugabe said that...

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