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Small Business Friday encourages a focus on customer service

     25th August 2016 As South Africa continues to grow and develop its entrepreneurial spirit and build businesses that last, Mike Anderson, Founder & CEO of the National Small Business Chamber, says that SMEs need to be cognisant of the important role customer service plays in the overall longevity of their... 

South African opposition calls for debate on Gordhan 'witch-hunt'

By: Reuters     25th August 2016 South Africa's main opposition party called on Thursday for a parliamentary debate into what it called a "witch-hunt" against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is under police investigation over a suspected spy unit at the tax service. Gordhan said on Wednesday he had no legal obligation to... 

eHomeAffairs portal now available to all South African citizens  

By: Anine Kilian     24th August 2016 The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has officially opened its eHomeAffairs portal to the public at large, enabling all South African citizens to apply for their Smart ID cards and passports online. DHA initially launched the portal in April, inviting citizens between the ages of 30 and 35 to be... 

Venezuela ordered to pay $2.17bn to Russian junior for 2011 project expropriation

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd August 2016 The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has been ordered to pay a Russian-owned junior mining company nearly $2.2-billion in compensation and interest for illegally expropriating the company’s assets without compensation in 2011. Following the news, Rusoro Mining’s TSX-V-listed... 

Kganyago: SARB ‘open’ to blockchain technology

By: News24Wire      23rd August 2016 South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Lesetja Kganyago has expressed openness to blockchain technologies which underlie cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Blockchain technology acts as a digital distributed ledger to confirm batches of transactions for the likes of bitcoin and other... 

Citigroup says this ‘hot commodity’ is destined to cool off soon

By: Bloomberg     23rd August 2016 Iron-ore, dubbed by Citigroup as one of the hot commodities of 2016, looks set to cool off. Prices may sag toward the end of the year and into 2017 as supply rises and steel demand fades, the bank said, adding to the list of banks that are calling time on an unexpected rally. The raw material... 

Congo slashes growth forecast after drop in copper production

By: Bloomberg     19th August 2016 The Democratic Republic of Congo cut its growth forecast for 2016 for the third time this year because of lower commodity prices and warned the economy could slow further if other industries don’t perform. The government “has duly noted the slowdown in economic growth in the DRC” in the first... 

VW to cut hours for 10 000 workers in Wolfsburg amid supplier row

By: Reuters     19th August 2016 Volkswagen will cut working hours for more than 10 000 staff at its Wolfsburg base and reduce output at two more German sites, a source close to the company said, as the carmaker faces supply problems caused by a parts maker not keeping to delivery commitments. Europe's largest automaker had said... 

A commodities rebound is accelerating right on China’s doorstep

By: Bloomberg     19th August 2016 China may be slowing, but a commodities rebound is under way and the world’s biggest miner knows where the next growth story is building – emerging economies in Southeast Asia. Combined gross domestic product in the ASEAN-5 nations – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam –... 

Chile economy shrinks in second quarter from first as mining falls

By: Reuters     19th August 2016 Chile's gross domestic product shrunk by 0.4% in the second quarter of 2016 from the first quarter, as mining in the world's biggest copper exporter contracted, the central bank said on Thursday. The fall was the first contraction from one quarter to the next since early 2010, when Chile was hit... 

After years of pain, coal becomes one of the hottest commodities of 2016

By: Reuters     18th August 2016 Less than a year after the coal industry was declared to be in terminal decline, the fossil fuel has staged its steepest price rally in over half a decade, making it one of the hottest major commodities. Cargo prices for Australian thermal coal from its Newcastle terminal, seen as the Asian... 

Iron-ore seen back at $40 by Morgan Stanley as seasons shift

By: Bloomberg     16th August 2016 Iron-ore’s 2016 rally may be about to face a challenge from the changing of the seasons. Morgan Stanley has forecast that prices may tumble back to $40 a metric ton this half as the approach of winter in China typically blunts steel demand and output. “Our short-term forecast still features a... 

European Bank to underwrite Centerra’s $150-million Öksüt project financing term loan

By: Henry Lazenby     13th August 2016 Gold miner Centerra Gold has gained a second underwriter in the form of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for its $150-million project financing term loan that it will use to develop the Öksüt project, in Turkey. Toronto-based Centerra advised Friday that the EBRD will... 

South Africa's monetary policy still accommodative – SARB

By: Reuters     12th August 2016 South Africa's monetary policy stance remains accommodative and its tightening cycle would have been more aggressive had economic growth been buoyant, South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Deputy Governor Francois Groepe said on Friday. "The moderate nature of the tightening cycle is due to our... 

June manufacturing output improves by 4.5%

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th August 2016 Statistics South Africa’s latest data show manufacturing output edging up 4.5% in June, an improvement on the 3.9% increase in May and the 3.2% increase in April. However, while the increase is positive, likely to contribute to a modest boost in gross domestic product (GDP) growth and higher than... 

Building female owned businesses is critical to economic and social development in South Africa

     11th August 2016 Women are underestimated powerhouses of an economy. This is not a fact that is relevant only to South Africa, but it is a global phenomenon. Mike Anderson, CEO and founder of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) says that South Africa needs to not only build entrepreneurship, but to... 

Top power firms say will turn Nigeria off if not paid

By: Reuters     11th August 2016 Nigeria's largest electricity companies will shut down power supplies unless the government pays longstanding bills it owes them and improves gas supplies, a joint statement said on Wednesday. In 2013, Nigeria – famous for blackouts – started selling parts of its moribund state electricity firm,... 

West African raises $21m to accelerate Tanlouka project

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th August 2016 ASX-listed West African Resources on Wednesday said it has received commitments for a $21-million raising for the continuing development of its Tanlouka gold project, in Burkina Faso. The funds, raised through the placement of 70-million shares at a price of A$0.30 apiece, allowed further... 

Gold wildcatters wooed as Peru leader swaps dynamite for dialogue

By: Bloomberg     10th August 2016 Peru’s former President Ollanta Humala used explosives to combat wildcat gold miners in the Amazon jungle in a bid to stem deforestation and mercury pollution. His successor is taking a more diplomatic approach. Less than two weeks after taking office, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski held talks... 

Ailing Zambia economy could hurt President Lungu in election

By: Reuters     9th August 2016 Informal currency trader Jabulani Lungu thinks Zambia's ruling Patriotic Front has had its chance, and he hopes this week's general elections will bring in a new party to steer the economy out of a slump. Like many other Zambians, Lungu, who is not related to President Edgar Lungu, is worried... 

China bought less bullion as prices climbed after Brexit vote

By: Bloomberg     8th August 2016 China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of gold, cut bullion purchases in July as prices soared to the highest level since 2014 after the UK voted to leave the European Union. The People’s Bank of China increased holdings by 170 000 oz to 58.79-million ounces, or about 1 829 metric... 

Commodities fatigue kicks in after biggest investment in 7 years

By: Bloomberg     5th August 2016 Investors are growing tired of commodities after plowing in the most money in seven years. Inflows into raw materials slowed to $2.4-billion in July, the least since money was withdrawn in December, Barclays Plc said in a report Thursday. The smaller amount – not unusual for this time of year –... 

Banks back 1 000 MW coal fired power project in Kenya 

By: John Muchira     5th August 2016 Standard Bank of South Africa has concluded a deal to finance a massive coal-fired power plant in Kenya. The bank will be financing the $2-billion with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) to finance the construction of the $2-billion coal power plant in Kenya that will have a... 

Global slump in commodity demand weakens asset quality of Botswana banking sector

By: African News Agency      3rd August 2016 The asset quality of Botswana’s banking sector weakened marginally in 2015 against the backdrop of sluggish global and domestic activity, the Bank of Botswana (B0B) has said. In a press statement released together with the “Banking Supervision Annual Report” for 2015 this week, BoB Governor... 

Palladium tops precious metals gains as China car sales advance 

By: Bloomberg     2nd August 2016 Palladium is leaving other precious metals in the dust. The commodity used in pollution-control devises for gasoline-fueled vehicles climbed to the highest since October on Monday. It has jumped 20% this quarter, almost seven times the pace of gains for gold. Palladium is benefiting from... 

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... 

‘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... 

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