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Weak growth, rising debt could trigger deeper downgrades – SARB

By: Reuters     Updated 6 hours ago South Africa's failure to stabilise the country's fiscal situation could see its credit rating downgraded deep into junk territory, the central bank said on Friday, just hours before two rating agencies were due to announce their decisions. Africa's most industrialised economy is on the brink of... 

South Africa keeps rate at 6.75%, says risks to inflation rising

By: Reuters     23rd November 2017 South Africa's central bank kept its benchmark repo rate at 6.75% on Thursday, in-line with expectations, citing increased risks to inflation posed by currency weakness, possible credit downgrades and political jostling. "The lead-up to the African National Congress national elective conference... 

Robben Island inaugurates solar PV microgrid 

     23rd November 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site in Table Bay, Cape Town has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid. Mia Breytenbach has the details. 

Coal India steps up logistics to ease short-term shortages

By: Ajoy K Das     23rd November 2017 Faced with dips in production growth and dwindling stocks to bank on, Coal India Limited (CIL) is hoping that a beefed up logistics and distribution solution will ease the clamour for dry fuel among various end-user industries. The miner reckons that increasing volumes transported by road and... 

In shadow of Opec's noisy oil cuts, Asia's miners quietly tightened coal supplies

By: Reuters     22nd November 2017 Australian and Indonesian miners have quietly done in the last two years what Opec has been shouting about: tighten coal markets and prop up prices. The informal coal output reductions, unlike the official cuts in place since January led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries... 

Russia's VTB Capital aims to double gold sales to China in 2018

By: Reuters     21st November 2017 Russia's VTB Capital, one of Russia's biggest gold traders, aims to more than double sales of the precious metal to China next year, its global commodities chief said, after import curbs forced it to cut its target for this year. The investment banking unit of Russia's No.2 lender VTB, VTB... 

Norilsk Nickel to increase 2017 palladium purchases

By: Reuters     20th November 2017 Russia's Norilsk Nickel, the world's top palladium producer, said it plans to boost purchases of palladium for its fund from Russian central bank reserves to help ease shortages in the market. Head of Global Sales and Marketing Markus Meurer told Reuters ahead of a presentation to investors that... 

Gold Road locks in portion of Gruyere’s production

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th November 2017 Gold development and exploration company Gold Road, which is building the Gruyere gold mine in a joint venture with South Africa’s Gold Fields, has entered into forward sales with two major banks for up to 200 000 oz of Australian dollar denominated forward sales. To date, the company has locked... 

Eskom raised during Gigaba’s recent meeting with World Bank

By: Bloomberg     17th November 2017 South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba met with representatives of the World Bank earlier this month to discuss issues relating to Eskom Holdings. Gigaba met with the bank to discuss the financing of the State-owned power utility’s Medupi project, his spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said by... 

Chubb to sell all its shares in South African business to empowerment consortium

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th November 2017 US-owned security company Chubb will sell 100% of its South African business to a black economic empowerment consortium led by Kilimanjaro Capital. The entity will then be rebranded. The move follows the passing of the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill, which proposes that... 

Standard Bank, ICBC launch programme to spur growth through tourism

By: Anine Kilian     15th November 2017 To further cement trade ties, boost investment flows and encourage tourism between South Africa and China, Standard Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have launched the I Go South Africa loyalty programme in partnership with South African Tourism. This initiative, which... 

South Africa graft watchdog must meet court deadline – SARB

By: Reuters     14th November 2017 South Africa's anti-graft watchdog must meet a high court deadline in a case about the central bank's mandate to avoid creating market instability, the bank said on Monday. Market stability is politically sensitive in South Africa because ratings agencies downgraded the country's debt in April... 

Corruption Watch says banking heads must roll over Gupta scandal

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th November 2017 Transparency International (TI) and Corruption Watch – TI’s chapter in South Africa – have called for a firm approach to be taken to any banks involved in the country’s Gupta scandal. This follows a recent statement in the UK Parliament that has generated widespread speculation that a major... 

Guptas target South African bank regulator over account closures

By: Bloomberg     10th November 2017 A group of companies linked to South Africa’s politically connected Gupta family said the country’s banking regulator encouraged lenders to shut their accounts, broadening a battle to retain the last of their banking services. The 20 businesses, which are suing Bank of Baroda’s local unit to keep... 

Nigeria's Senate approves report exonerating MTN Nigeria over fund transfers

By: Reuters     8th November 2017 Nigeria's Senate approved on Wednesday a report largely exonerating South African telecoms company MTN Group Ltd's Nigerian unit, after the business was accused of illegally repatriating $14 billion to its parent. But the Senate report also asked Nigeria's central bank to sanction Stanbic IBTC... 

Standard Bank creates R1.8bn debt funding model for South African agricultural sector

By: African News Agency      6th November 2017 Standard Bank on Monday announced the creation of a new R1.8-billion debt funding model for the South African agricultural sector. Standard Bank will go into partnership with agribusiness, Transvaal Wattle Growers Co-operative Limited (TWK), and the Land Bank. 

Congo copper production up 9% in first nine months of year

By: Reuters     6th November 2017 Copper production in Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa's top producer of the metal, was up by 9.3% this year through September, at 831 000 tonnes, the central bank said on Monday. The bank also said in a monthly report that cobalt production increased by 18% to 59 000 tonnes and gold... 

Turkey's gold-buying spree has market wondering how much and why

By: Bloomberg     6th November 2017 Turkey’s central bank is hoarding gold again. The question is, how much and why? Official data show Turkey added 3.8-million ounces of gold worth almost $5-billion to reserves this year. While actual purchases could be much less – the figure is skewed by metal deposited by commercial banks –... 

Even the smallest economy in oil-rich gulf is too big to fail

By: Bloomberg     2nd November 2017 Its economy is 5% the size of Saudi Arabia’s, but analysts are betting the kingdom won’t let its neighbor’s financial woes morph into a Gulf crisis. Bahrain, one of the most vulnerable economies in the Gulf Cooperation Council to political instability and oil-price swings, sought financial... 

Gold climbs ahead of Fed statement on pick for Yellen replacement

By: Reuters     1st November 2017 Gold climbed briefly back above $1 280 an ounce on Wednesday as caution ahead of this week's confirmation of the new Federal Reserve chair and a policy statement from the bank prompted some to close out bets on falling prices. Fed Governor Jerome Powell is widely tipped to take over from... 

CuDeco reports Sept quarter results

By: Ilan Solomons     31st October 2017 Queensland copper miner CuDeco earned a positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $3.3-million, gross revenue of $39.8-million and a net revenue of $30.8-million during the three months to September 30, the company reported on Tuesday. CuDeco noted that its... 

Moody's says South Africa budget credit negative; SARB flags growth fears

By: Reuters     30th October 2017 Ratings agency Moody's said on Monday the budget statement presented by South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba last week was credit negative, while a central bank official raised concerns over economic growth. Gigaba shocked markets on October 25 by flagging sharply weaker growth... 

Energy shares boost TSX to record peak despite weak earnings

By: Reuters     28th October 2017 Canada's benchmark stock index closed at a record high on Friday as energy shares surged alongside oil prices and as investors bet the central bank will be less aggressive in raising interest rates than previously anticipated. The Toronto stock market, which also set an intraday record high, has... 

Venezuelan bullion sales to dampen gold prices – CPM

By: Schalk Burger     27th October 2017 The prospect of the Venezuelan central bank disposing of more of its bullion holdings in the years to come will likely have a dampening effect on gold prices, commodities research and consulting firm CPM Group managing partner Jeffrey Christian says. The Venezuelan central bank allowed a... 

How we work at my consulting practice

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     27th October 2017 I thought I would write about how we, at my consulting practice, work. We have a fairly unique working system – perhaps the only one of its kind in South Africa. Read on. But, first, what we do. We are consulting engineers – specifically, consulting acoustics and electrical engineers. But this is... 

Barclays sued by fund for $850m for copper market abuse

By: Bloomberg     20th October 2017 Red Kite Management, the world’s largest metals hedge fund, is suing Barclays Plc for alleged market abuse in the copper market that it claims cost the firm at least $850-million between 2010 and 2013. The case pits a $2-billion hedge fund against a bank that has been hit by a number of scandals... 

New security solution effective for African banks

By: Robyn Wilkinson     20th October 2017 Technology solutions providers Mint Management Technologies and Microsoft are finalising the first version of an anti-money-laundering (AML) solution to help protect African financial institutions from illegal activities without enforcing cumbersome administration processes on clients. 

As banks flee diamond trading, a startup plans to fill the gap

By: Bloomberg     18th October 2017 As major banks abandon the diamond trading world, one new lender is preparing to jump in. Dfin, a London-based corporate finance firm that specializes in the diamond sector, plans to lend $250-million to diamond polishers, cutters and traders -- known in the industry as the midstream -- over the... 

Coolgardie could deliver 65 000 oz for Primary Gold

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th October 2017 The Coolgardie gold project, in Western Australia, could yield about 65 000 oz of gold over an initial 28-month mine life, ASX-listed Primary Gold reported on Tuesday. A prefeasibility study (PFS) found that the project would require a capital investment of A$850 000 to develop a 480 000 t/y... 

Palladium tops $1 000 for first time since 2001 on auto catalysts

By: Bloomberg     16th October 2017 Palladium climbed above $1 000 an ounce for the first time since 2001 as demand grows for the metal in pollution-control devices for gasoline-powered vehicles. The metal rose as much as 1% to $1 000.84 on Monday. Prices have advanced 47% this year, outperforming other precious metals, with gold... 

Mkhwebane seeks delay in Bankorp review – report

By: News24Wire      13th October 2017 Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has requested that a review of the Bankorp-CIEX report be postponed. According to a report by EWN, the Public Protector has asked the deputy judge president of the North Gauteng High Court to delay the review of the report until January 2018, following reports... 

Bitcoins – a quick way to lose it all

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     13th October 2017 We all know that there IS a thing called a bitcoin. All over the show, there are stories about bitcoin investors who are now millionaires. What is the truth? A little story: Tim and I were working at a mining camp in the Congo. The mining camp was dry; no alcohol permitted. We followed the rules... 

Pan-European bank celebrates 45 years in SA

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Pan-European banking and financial services provider UniCredit will celebrate 45 years of successful service in South Africa this year, having provided support for European companies entering African markets from its Johannesburg-based representative office since 1972. 

South Africa vulnerable to any sharp rise in global rates, World Bank warns

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2017 A quicker and sharper-than-expected normalisation in interest rates in the US could trigger a reversal in capital flows to South Africa, the World Bank’s latest ‘Africa’s Pulse’ warns, adding that any sharp increase in global interest rates could also complicate debt dynamics for sub-Saharan... 

Bank of Baroda ordered to keep Gupta accounts open for now

By: News24Wire      9th October 2017 The high court ordered the Bank of Baroda on Monday to keep the accounts of Gupta-linked companies open, pending a final application which must be launched in 15 days. Pretoria high court judge Tati Makgoka granted the requested interdict against the bank, prohibiting the bank from deactivating... 

Sarb denies instructing banks on KPGM

By: African News Agency      6th October 2017 The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has denied that it told the country’s big four banks that they cannot fire KPMG, stating categorically on Friday that it had not instructed banks on what steps they should or should not take with regards to their contracts with the embattled auditing firm.... 

Gold heading for worst weekly run in '17 as higher rates loom

By: Bloomberg     6th October 2017 Gold has taken a relentless battering. Prices are poised to drop for a fourth week, the worst streak of losses this year, on prospects for higher U.S. interest rates, a rising dollar, a strong American economy and record equity markets. Fears over a potential nuclear conflict with North Korea... 

Unique financing needed for the township economy

By: Sydney Majoko     6th October 2017 One of the township economy's most crippling challenges is the lack of access to easily obtainable finance that is available at short notice. It is generally accepted that financial institutions will do proper due diligence investigations before giving their clients funds for their business... 

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