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Commodity price indices rally as oil picks up where metals left off

By: Henry Lazenby     27th May 2016 Commodity price indices have rallied in recent weeks as strong performance by oil softened the lull in metals price movements. Scotiabank's commodity price index had improved by 4.5% month-over-month in April as energy gains more than offset metals weakness. 

New sanctions could cripple reclusive North Korea’s mining sector

By: Ilan Solomons     27th May 2016 New sanctions on North Korea imposed by the United Nations (UN) and the US in March for allegedly undertaking nuclear and ballistic missile tests earlier this year will affect the country’s mineral resources sector. North Korea – officially named the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)... 

Gordhan says cannot predict S&P, Fitch ratings outcomes – report

By: Reuters     26th May 2016 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said it was still unclear whether South Africa's debt could be downgraded by Standard & Poor's and Fitch after holding discussions with the rating agencies last week, the Financial Mail reported on Thursday. A team from S&P met officials in Africa's most... 

Venezuela to rejoin global group fighting conflict diamonds

By: Reuters     24th May 2016 Venezuela expects to rejoin the global watchdog established to stop trade in conflict diamonds as it seeks to resume diamond exports, its central bank director said on Tuesday. "We are certain we will rejoin this year," Jose Khan told Reuters on the sidelines of an international meeting of the... 

S&P's downgrade will tip South Africa into job-shedding recession, bank economist warns 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2016 A downgrade of South Africa’s credit rating to junk was currently only partially priced in, a leading bank economist warned on Monday, arguing that a negative assessment by Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) on June 3 would most probably trigger a recession and precipitate the shedding on around 200 000... 

FNB unveils its new regional office in Bloemfontein

     23rd May 2016 Today, First National Bank, the Kavod Trust and Councillor Moeng, Member of the Mayoral Committee, officially opened FNB’s new regional offices in the Central Business District of Bloemfontein.   Known as “First Place, Bloemfontein” the new 8284m² building consolidates seven offices in the region... 

Chile economy grows 1.3% in Q1, slightly above forecast

By: Reuters     18th May 2016 Chile's gross domestic product grew by 1.3% in the first quarter from the last quarter of 2015, the central bank said on Wednesday, boosted by rising exports. 

Demand for Land Bank drought-relief loans surging

By: Anine Kilian     18th May 2016 Demand for State-owned land and agricultural financial services provider Land Bank’s recently announced drought relief concessional loans is surging as South Africa’s record-breaking drought conditions continue to cause widespread devastation to agricultural crops and livestock. The bank stated... 

Waspa's Tips For Protecting Mobile Device Integrity

     17th May 2016 Online security is very topical with much advice dispensed regarding when not to click on fraudulent links, and how to identify imposter websites, for example. However, what of actual mobile device security? In line with its consumer protection mandate, the Wireless Application Service Providers'... 

FNB highlights innovations successes at media breakfast

By: David Oliveira     12th May 2016 First National Bank’s (FNB’s) new modular branch design, which was piloted at the newly opened Mall of Africa, cost about 30% less than traditional designs, FNB innovation head Yolande Steyn said at the company’s innovation media breakfast, in Sandton, on Thursday. The new branch design was not... 

Rio's $5.3bn go-ahead fuels hopes of end to Mongolia's hangover

By: Reuters     9th May 2016 Rio Tinto's long-awaited approval of a $5.3-billion extension for its giant Oyu Tolgoi copper mine is fuelling hopes of a revival at last for Mongolia, battered by a slowdown in neighbouring China that has left it deep in debt. Oyu Tolgoi, one of the world's largest undeveloped copper projects,... 

Brics bank gives $811m in first round green energy loans

By: Bloomberg     6th May 2016 The New Development Bank, a multilateral lender formerly known as the Brics Development Bank, will provide $811-million in a first round of loans for clean energy projects in four nations. 

Centerra remains open to negotiations with Kyrgyz govt on Kumtor mine

By: Henry Lazenby     4th May 2016 Canadian miner Centerra Gold on Wednesday said the Kyrgyz Republic had “very recently” voiced its dissatisfaction with the current arrangements governing Centerra and the Kumtor project, but had made no proposals to address the situation. TSX-listed Centerra noted earlier in the week that the... 

South Africa rating downgrades could lead to capital outflows – SARB

By: Reuters     4th May 2016 Any further ratings downgrade of South Africa could lead to increased capital outflows, the South African Reserve Bank said on Tuesday. Ratings agencies have warned of possible ratings cuts should Pretoria show a lack of commitment to reining in its budget deficit. 

Banking for the data-driven generation

     3rd May 2016 With data becoming the currency of the digital world, banks are increasingly looking at new ways to harness the information they have, to provide customers across the consumer and business segments with solutions that are best suited to their needs. The banking environment is changing, with the... 

Chile data paints mixed picture for economy

By: Reuters     29th April 2016 Economic data published on Friday painted a mixed picture for Chile's economy, the world's No 1 copper producer, as factory output and copper production jumped while retail sales remained soft and the national jobless rate rose. "This is data that reflects the complexities faced by the economy... 

The massive benefits of the electronic age

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     29th April 2016   I have an acquaintance in Cape Town who runs a business. The other day at a meeting he said something particularly rude and noticing the silence around him he said: “I am in business to make money, not friends.” We very often are told by way of advertising that certain organisations want to... 

Consol swings to Q1 loss owing to lower prices, revenues

By: Henry Lazenby     26th April 2016 US fossil fuels producer Consol Energy has swung to a first-quarter loss as lower realised prices for its natural gas and coal products drove down revenues. For the first quarter ended March 31, NYSE-listed Consol reported a net lost $97.6-million, or $0.43 a share, compared with a profit of... 

World Bank does not see platinum rally being sustained

By: Terence Creamer     26th April 2016 The World Bank does not expect the recent rise in platinum prices to be sustained for the full year, with its latest ‘Commodity Markets Outlook’ report forecasting a 10% year-on-year price decline in 2016. The report, released on April 26, notes that precious metals prices increased by 6% in the... 

With permits in hand, Mexus starts mine construction

By: Henry Lazenby     25th April 2016 US exploration firm Mexus Gold US has received all environmental and mining permits required to start work on the area that will become Mexus’ openpit heap leach mine on the Julio/Santa Elena property, located 54 km northwest of Caborca, Mexico. The company advised on Monday that it would clear... 

AfDB pledges increased financial support for Mozambique

By: Mia Breytenbach     22nd April 2016 The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has affirmed its commitment to continue supporting the growing Mozambique economy, particularly regarding the country’s energy, agriculture and infrastructure sectors. Leading a team of senior staff to Maputo earlier this month, AfDB president Akinwumi... 

Growth, diversification and Africa’s cities

By: Terence Creamer     22nd April 2016 Two recent reports leave little room for doubt about the importance of urbanisation across Africa, as well as the urgent need to improve the way cities are being planned and managed. The World Bank’s latest Africa’s Pulse publication notes that 472-million Africans already live in urban areas and... 

Municipal project bankability critical to attracting finance

By: Dylan Slater     22nd April 2016 Financial lending to the public sector, namely municipalities, for investment in infrastructure projects requires lenders to investigate and determine the future bankability of such projects and calculate risk in terms of municipalities being able to repay the loans.  

Guptas' staff appeal to banks to save their Oakbay jobs 

By: News24Wire      20th April 2016 About 7 500 employees at Oakbay Investments will lose their jobs at the end of May if the Gupta-owned company’s bank accounts remain closed, staff at the company wrote in an open letter to banks on Wednesday. In a letter addressed to Barclays Africa CEO Maria Ramos, FNB CEO Jacques Celliers,... 

Standard Bank and Vumatel accelerate delivery of high-speed fibre to South African suburbs

     19th April 2016 Standard Bank and Vumatel have signed a significant finance deal on 19 April 2016, which will provide Vumatel with the financial resources required to speed-up the delivery of broadband internet services and expand into new markets within South Africa.  The deal, likely to be one of the largest... 

10 steps for protecting from ransomware

     18th April 2016 If you’ve been listening to the news at all the past couple of weeks, you have undoubtedly heard of a number of companies being affected by ransomware.  The recent surge in this form of cyber attack has many organizations and users understandably concerned. And you should be. Ransomware is nasty... 

SA Post Office to reach profitability in 2018 – CEO 

By: African News Agency      15th April 2016 The South African Post Office (SAPO) could only hope to be profitable in two years’ time, Mark Barnes, CEO of the cash-strapped entity told MPs on Friday. Briefing Parliament’s portfolio committee on telecommunications and postal services on the SAPO it annual performance and strategic plan,... 

Land Bank offers drought-affected farmers soft loans

By: Mia Breytenbach     15th April 2016 State-owned specialist land and agricultural financial services provider Land Bank has called on farmers in drought-declared provinces to apply for concessional loans, raised by the bank from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), to help ease the effects of the drought and return to... 

Banks obliged to ensure that clients abide by the law, says Basa

By: Samantha Herbst     14th April 2016 In an attempt to clarify ongoing speculation following Standard Bank and Nedbank’s move last week to sever ties with the Gupta-linked Oakbay Resources, the Banking Association of South Africa (Basa) on Thursday released a statement to account for the regulatory considerations that all banks... 

Richmont on the up as output rises and costs decline

By: Henry Lazenby     13th April 2016 Small-scale gold producer Richmont Mines has increased consolidated output in the first three months ended March 31 by 25% year-on-year to 32 369 oz of gold, while simultaneously driving costs per ounce down 18% to C$806, the company announced Tuesday. The TSX- and NYSE MKT-listed miner reported... 

Deputy finance minister cautions against PIC investment in shaky parastatals

By: African News Agency      12th April 2016 Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas on Tuesday said the National Treasury had cautioned the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) against investing in state-owned enterprises that were struggling to get their finances into order. “We have not blacklisted any but we are saying that when they are... 

CIPC, Nedbank partner to ease registration process for small businesses  

By: Anine Kilian     12th April 2016 Nedbank, together with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and the Department of Trade and Industry, on Tuesday launched the fully automated CIPC Online Web portal, allowing business owners to register a business and open a business bank account in one process. The service... 

Electricity price increase a double whammy for SMEs

     11th April 2016 Small business owners should brace themselves for a two-fold setback due to the current electricity tariff increase which  impacts on profits and ultimately the spending power of consumers. Sanjeev Orie, Head of Business Value Adds at FNB Business says because of the tariff increase, the use and... 

Henry Ford’s sound advice for business

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     8th April 2016 When I was young, white families in South Africa often declared themselves supporters of various brands of cars. My father thought that Ford cars were the best. Only the rich could afford Mercedes-Benz and other German cars and so middle-class families were either Ford supporters, GM supporters,... 

FNB cancels Guptas’ Oakbay Investment business accounts

By: African News Agency      6th April 2016 Oakbay Resources and Energy on Wednesday confirmed that First National Bank (FNB) had become the second bank to cancel its business accounts after Absa had cut ties with the firm earlier this week. This was the latest in a series of backlashes by corporate South Africa against Oakbay Resources... 

Urgent probe for Zimplats after Panama Papers leak

By: News24Wire      6th April 2016 Impala Platinum and government officials in Zimbabwe will probe the alleged involvement of the company's Zimplats unit after leaked papers showed it used an offshore company to pay salaries of management in Zimbabwe. Fin24 reported on Monday that Zimplats had been implicated in the Panama Papers.... 

Rand weakens on political risk, credit downgrade fears

By: Reuters     5th April 2016 South Africa's rand weakened on Tuesday as President Jacob Zuma faced a vote in parliament to remove him from office for failing to uphold the constitution, and a warning by the central bank that the risk of a credit ratings downgrade had increased. Zuma has the backing of the African National... 

Teck forges ahead with Fort Hills, expects big reward when cyclical market rebounds

By: Henry Lazenby     31st March 2016 Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources is aiming to end 2016 with more than $500-million cash in the bank despite funding its portion of the Fort Hills oil sands project construction, in Alberta, and dealing with low commodity prices across its core portfolio. The Vancouver-based company, the... 

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