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Transformer refurbishment benefits port terminal

     29th July 2016 Medium to low voltage transformers are the final, crucial link in transmitting power from the National Grid to the functional equipment, so the impact on a business of a transformer failure can be very significant. Sulzer was recently contracted to complete a refurbishment after the client was... 

10 000 Sandwiches Donated for Mandela Day

     28th July 2016 Last week FNB Volunteers made their contributions for Mandela day  by packing ten thousand sandwiches for children who rely on school feeding schemes for their daily meals around Johannesburg. Bridget Harris, Head of FNB Employee Volunteer Programme says, “It is a proven fact that children can’t... 

Royalties in Congo mining heartland down 35% in H1

By: Reuters     28th July 2016 Royalties paid by mining companies in Democratic Republic of Congo's copper-rich southeast dropped by 35% in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2015, a report by the local division of mines said. The government of Africa's largest copper producer cut its 2016 budget by 22%... 

South Africa will avoid recession this year – SARB

By: Reuters     27th July 2016 South Africa will avoid a recession this year with a recovery in areas like mining and manufacturing likely to lift growth in the last three quarters, the central bank said on Wednesday. Growth in continent's most industrialised economy contracted 1.2 percent in the first quarter as the mining,... 

Strike could hit South African oil refineries – union

By: Reuters     27th July 2016 South African energy workers plan to strike from Thursday over wages, potentially affecting crude oil refineries and fuel depots, the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (CEPPWAWU) said on Wednesday. Around 23 000 workers in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical... 

Fingerprint authentication coming to South African bank cards 

By: News24Wire      26th July 2016 New standards to facilitate card payments using fingerprint authentication have been introduced to make transactions more secure and convenient for consumers. The Payments Association of South Africa (PASA), in partnership with Visa and Mastercard, announced on Tuesday a new standardised... 

Stanbic receives Côte d’Ivoire banking licence

By: Anine Kilian     25th July 2016 Standard Bank, trading as Stanbic Bank, has been awarded a banking licence in Côte d’Ivoire.  The group opened a representative office in the country in December 2013, signaling a drive towards establishing a presence in Francophone West Africa. 

Afreximbank and Export-Import Bank of China sign billion dollar industrialisation agreement

By: African News Agency      25th July 2016 The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Export-Import Bank of China have signed a cooperation agreement to create a one billion dollar China-Africa Investment and Industrialisation Programme to facilitate the construction and creation of industrial parks and special economic zones on... 

South African bourse published incorrect data on equities trading – SARB

By: Reuters     25th July 2016 South Africa's Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) published incorrect data on foreigners trading of equities from May 31 to July 20 due to a programming error, the central bank said on Monday. The bank said incorrect data had been quoted in the July 21 statement of the Monetary Policy Committee... 

‘New class of gold investor’ may emerge amid global uncertainties

By: Dylan Slater     22nd July 2016 The World Gold Council (WGC) believes that an “entirely new class of gold investor” could emerge because of the significant global increase in the interest in gold stocks, following the Brexit vote – the British exit from the European Union (EU). “As a high-quality, liquid asset, we believe gold... 

Developing existing skills to benefit businesses

By: Sascha Solomons     22nd July 2016 To upskill professionals with degrees in the engineering industry and natural sciences, the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) has added an expert level course in Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) to its range of offerings that already includes Energy... 

Brics looks back at first year of NDB

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st July 2016 A South African delegation, led by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, was party to discussions on the New Development Bank’s (NDB) five-year strategy at its first annual meeting in Shanghai, China last week. The Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-, or Brics-, led institution used the... 

End of Australia’s iron-ore supply rush seen aiding prices

By: Bloomberg     21st July 2016 The largest iron-ore producers in Australia, the world’s No. 1 exporter, are raising supply at the slowest pace in years, drawing a line under more than a decade of expansions and lending potential support to prices that are rebounding this year. BHP Billiton, the third-largest shipper, said... 

SAA banking tender deferred due to debt consolidation 

By: News24Wire      19th July 2016 South African Airways' (SAA) controversial appointment of little-known finance company BnP Capital was not only expensive; it also put on hold an approved banking tender to Nedbank. News24 can exclusively reveal that SAA's board approved the awarding of banking services to Nedbank on May 27, for... 

Congo's small miners fill hole left by downsizing multinationals

By: Reuters     18th July 2016 His toes bursting out of sneakers several sizes too small, a miner hacks with a pick at the copper and cobalt-laced stone in southeastern Congo, slowly filling a sack that could earn him anywhere from a handful to a few hundred dollars. The 42-year-old father of five, who only gave his first... 

Bet on gold mining companies fuels jackpot for Soros and Calpers

By: Bloomberg     15th July 2016 Owning shares of major gold producers wasn’t very rewarding over the past five years as the plunging price of the metal hurt  profit. But in 2016, the industry has delivered huge returns with relatively little prospect for losses. While mine operators including Barrick Gold Corp. and Yamana Gold... 

Stormy seas hit Chile copper exports, could buoy prices

By: Reuters     15th July 2016 Choppy seas off the coast of Chile caused widespread delays to copper shipments from the world's top producer in the second half of June, potentially supporting prices in a market grappling with oversupply. Cargoes were stranded at ports as stormy weather prevented ships from loading, said miners... 

Despite the economic challenges, opportunities for commercial property growth are being unlocked with innovative financing solutions

     14th July 2016 Gaining traction as a small business is not easy in today’s volatile economic climate. So when a long-standing Standard Bank client in the small mining town of Burgersfort approached the bank for urgent assistance in building a new Toyota dealership, it was a matter of quickly assessing the... 

Zim platinum output up 43% in first quarter

By: News24Wire      13th July 2016 Zimbabwean platinum miners have ignored policy uncertainties in the country and continued to ramp up production, according to the central bank. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ's) report for the first quarter of 2016 showed platinum output rose by 43% to 4 321 kg from 3 020 kg in the prior... 

Iron-ore’s rapid surge prompts Macquarie to sound the alarm

By: Bloomberg     13th July 2016 iron-ore’s rally to a two-month high just prompted Macquarie Group Ltd. to sound the alarm as the bank says gains may be well beyond fundamentals, with abundant supply from miners, inventories stacking up at China’s ports and steel production set to contract. While speculation about stimulus in... 

Brics bank to issue $448m of yuan green bonds

By: Reuters     12th July 2016 The New Development Bank (NDB), established by the Brics group of emerging nations, plans to sell 3 billion yuan ($448.37 million) of yuan-denominated, green bonds in China's interbank market. The green bonds will be issued on July 18 with a 5-year tenor and will be the first such issuance by a... 

Aguia finalises optimised PEA for flagship Três Estradas deposit

By: Samantha Herbst     12th July 2016 ASX-listed fertiliser developer Aguia Resources has completed the optimised preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its flagship Três Estradas phosphate deposit, in Brazil, indicating a resource estimate of 74.7-million tonnes with an average grade of 4.13% phosphate and a new net present value... 

Unloved coal seen surging as China cuts collide with La Nina

By: Bloomberg     12th July 2016 Thermal coal prices in Asia may jump as much as 50% if rainfall caused by La Nina is heavier than expected, further tightening the market as China cuts production, according to Citigroup. Prices at the Australian port of Newcastle, an Asian benchmark, may increase to $90 a metric ton if La Nina... 

Nickel leads metals higher as Goldman sees $12 000 in six months

By: Bloomberg     12th July 2016 Nickel led metals higher, climbing for a third day, as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicted an almost 20% jump in prices in the next six months because of supply cuts in the Philippines, the biggest ore producer. The metal added as much as 1.4% to $10 190 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange... 

Russia nets $813m from Alrosa diamond producer stake sale

By: Reuters     11th July 2016 The Russian government has raised 52.2 billion roubles ($813-million) from the sale of a 10.9% stake in diamond producer Alrosa, a deal intended to kick start a wider privatisation drive, senior government officials said on Monday. Foreign investors snapped up around 60% of the shares in Alrosa,... 

Citigroup is ‘bullish on commodities’ for 2017 as Brexit to fade

By: Bloomberg     11th July 2016 Forget Brexit, go for raw materials. Citigroup Inc. says that it’s bullish on the outlook for commodities in 2017 as the impact of the UK’s vote to quit the European Union will fade, global growth chugs along and investors will plow more cash into funds. “Citi is especially bullish commodities... 

BofAML rejigs commodity price deck as global economic shocks favour gold over base metals

By: Henry Lazenby     8th July 2016 Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has adjusted the price forecast for most mined commodities, citing increased market uncertainty favouring precious metals over the base metals pricing outlook. So far this year, mined commodities have rallied sharply, reinforcing analysts’ view that... 

Gold ETFs sprouting wings

By: Martin Creamer     8th July 2016 Global gold holdings in exchange traded funds (ETFs) have topped 2 000 t for the first time since June 2013, London gold trader Sharps Pixley reported on Friday. The latest increase follows the biggest one-day gain since 2009 in the largest gold ETF, SPDR Gold Shares. 

Govt subsidies for development programmes unsustainable – Gordhan 

By: Shirley le Guern     8th July 2016 The level of government subsidies for development programmes was not sustainable and alternative sources of funding needed to be found, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told a KwaZulu-Natal Institute for Architecture conference in Durban on Friday. Addressing the conference theme – ‘Calling for a... 

Standard Bank keen to participate in South Africa’s gas-to-power programme

By: Terence Creamer     8th July 2016 Leading South African financial institution Standard Bank has confirmed that it is keen to participate in the funding of South Africa’s gas-to-power (GTP) programme and that it is eagerly awaiting the release of the project information memorandum, outlining government’s preferred procurement... 

Congo’s government drops VAT on imports for mining companies

By: Bloomberg     8th July 2016 Democratic Republic Congo will suspend value-added tax on imports for mining companies to ease operating conditions for struggling miners, Finance Minister Henri Yav Mulang said. In April, the government ordered the central bank to temporarily stop reimbursing VAT in order to reduce pressure on... 

Orinoco raises $4.5m, Cascavel to pour first gold at month-end

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th July 2016 Sydney-listed Orinoco Gold has received firm commitments to raise $4.5-million through an institutional share placement to strengthen its balance sheet and provide it with financial flexibility ahead of the production ramp-up at the Cascavel gold mine, in Brazil. The proceeds of the placement... 

More needs to be done to meet Africa’s energy needs

     8th July 2016 African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina believes that a lot more needs to be done in Africa, given the continent’s energy potential and the huge needs to be met. Energy is thus at the top of the AfDB’s five major priorities, with the energy and climate change theme highlighted... 

Quality standards for grid-tied systems worth the wait

By: Robyn Wilkinson     8th July 2016 The publication of Small-Scale Embedded Generators (SSEG) national standards for grid-tied systems are more than 12 months overdue, which is a noteworthy delay because of how crucial they are to advancing safe and cost-effective solar energy practices in South Africa, says advanced power product... 

Lower 2017 copper price expected – report

By: Henry Lazenby     7th July 2016 Notwithstanding an expected copper price rally during the second half of the year, a recent report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BofAML’s) global commodity research team hinted at the price of the red metal falling below this year’s estimates in 2017, citing cyclical headwinds hindering a... 

Standard Bank recognised at 2016 Euromoney Awards for Excellence

     7th July 2016 Standard Bank has been recognised as Africa’s Best Bank for Markets and Africa’s Best Bank for Wealth Management at the 2016 Euromoney Awards for Excellence, in London. In addition, Euromoney also named Standard Bank as the Best Bank in Uganda, (Stanbic Uganda) and in Zambia, (Stanbic Zambia).... 

South Africa's net reserves rise to $40.83bn in June

By: Reuters     7th July 2016 South Africa's net gold and foreign exchange reserves rose to $40.826 billion in June from $40.48-billion in May, Reserve Bank data showed on Thursday. Gross reserves rose to $46.37-billion from $46.081 billion previously, the central bank said. 

Higher wage demands could deepen South Africa's monetary policy dilemma

By: Reuters     7th July 2016 Demand for above-inflation pay rises in South Africa look set to aggravate the central bank's big dilemma: how to keep a lid on inflation - usually by raising interest rates - without snuffing out already slow economic growth. This year's wage-bargaining season has kicked off in the power,... 

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