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May 08, 2008

Daily podcast - May 8, 2008

May 8 2008
© Reuse this This podcast is brought to you by Mitsubishi Fuso - you can rely on us.

Thursday, May eight, 2008

From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.

Making headlines today:

China Mobile Limited, the world's biggest cellular carrier, said on Thursday that it was interested in the South Africa market but had not entered a bid for operator MTN, which was the subject of takeover interest by India's Bharti Airtel.

"China Mobile has not joined the MTN bidding, but it is interested in the South African market and is looking at various opportunities for entering that market," Chief Executive Wang Jianzhou told reporters following the firm's annual general meeting, declining to elaborate on the firm's intentions.

China Mobile, UK-based giant Vodafone and India's Reliance Communications were cited by the Financial Times this week as likely to be interested in MTN, which has a market value of 40-billion dollars.

The pace of decline in business confidence appeared to have slowed, but the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or Sacci, on Wednesday reported that the Business Confidence Index, or BCI, was at its lowest level for 2008.

The BCI tallied a slightly lower 93,4 index points in April, after measuring 93,9 in March.

"The Sacci BCI appears to have become somewhat sticky around the level of 94. With no clear direction from the global economy, uncertainty surrounding Zimbabwe, and lost domestic economic momentum, the BCI reflects strains in the economy and uncertainty on direction," the organisation said.

Africa's number-three gold miner Harmony Gold on Thursday reported a 650% increase in net profit to 345-million rand for the quarter ended March 31, compared with the previous three-month period.

During the quarter, cash operating costs shrank by 8,9%, despite a 16% production drop after the South African power crisis shut mines for five days in January.

In a note to the JSE's news service, Harmony said that the power crisis had cost it an estimated 800 kg of gold.

Also making headlines:

GrainSA wants open discussion on biofuels policy
Double-digit cement price hike on the cards
PIC's Brian Molefe succeeds Patrice Motsepe as Busa president
Gold Fields will review mine safety says CEO Nick Holland
Workers to strike at Namibia's Skorpion Zinc mine
And, Eastplats adopts shareholder rights plan

In political news:

Donors pledge 4,8-billion dollars in aid for Sudan
World Trade Organisation cannot immediately ease the food crisis says Pascal Lamy
John McCain pledges to champion religious freedoms
And, Burundi rebels drop amnesty bid and agree to go home

That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories, visit, and


Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
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