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Poland makes biggest gold purchase since 1998 as prices slump

By: Bloomberg     2nd October 2018 Poland is making a rare charge into gold. The country added about nine metric tons to its bullion reserves in July and August as prices dropped, International Monetary Fund data show. That’s Poland’s biggest purchase since 1998 and among the largest additions by a European Union nation since then. 

China's at 'peak steel' right now, top iron-ore shipper says

By: Bloomberg     2nd October 2018 The world’s largest steel market is about to go into reverse. Production in China will peak in 2018 and then shrink next year as local demand drops, according to forecasts from the Australian government, which says the shift will add to headwinds for core ingredient iron ore. Mainland steel... 

MTN mulls scrapping Nigeria IPO, seeks options as spat hurts

By: Bloomberg     2nd October 2018 MTN Group, the wireless carrier facing a combined $10-billion in claims from authorities in Nigeria, said it may no longer seek to raise capital through an initial public offering on the country’s stock exchange. Africa’s largest mobile carrier is reconsidering the IPO amid a dispute with... 

Outgoing CEO says IDC must be approachable for entrepreneurs, but impenetrable to political interference

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2018 One of Geoffrey Qhena’s first assignments as a newly recruited Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) business analyst was decidedly uncomfortable. It was 1994, the year of South Africa’s first democratic election, and the young accountant from Meadowlands, Soweto, had been handed a business... 

AfDB extends R2.87bn loan to Eskom to expand its transmission network

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th September 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a R2.87-billion loan for South Africa’s State-owned power utility Eskom for the upgrade and expansion of its transmission facilities. The funding supports the Eskom Transmission Improvement Project (ETIP), which will see the construction of 555 km... 

Stanbic Botswana secures $125m loan guaranty to support diamond sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th September 2018 Stanbic Bank Botswana, which is a member of Standard Bank Group, has, along with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, and Botswana Finance, a subsidiary of Lazare Kaplan International, signed a $125-million loan guaranty, which... 

Marubeni says Thabametsi unaffected by group’s policy to halve coal capacity by 2030

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2018 Japan’s Marubeni Corporation reports that the development of the Thabametsi coal-fired power station, in South Africa, has not been affected by the group’s September 18 policy decision to “no longer enter into any new coal-fired power generation business”. As part of the policy change, Marubeni... 

Interest rates would hurt South African economy, central banker says

By: Reuters     26th September 2018 South Africa's central bank should stick to targeting inflation rather than trying to stimulate the economy, because an abrupt change in policy would damage its credibility and push up prices, a policymaker at the bank said late on Tuesday. The speech by Deputy Governor Francois Groepe came after... 

Mastercard introduces cashless payment for SA's prepaid utility services

By: African News Agency      26th September 2018 Mastercard said on Wednesday South Africans could now buy prepaid utility services or pay their accounts from about 600 bill issuers with the new EasyPay mobile app using Masterpass, the global digital payment service from the financial services firm. The initiative marks a milestone in... 

South African portfolio inflows plummet in second quarter

By: Reuters     25th September 2018 Portfolio investments into the South African economy fell sharply in the second quarter, as investor risk aversion towards emerging markets was rising, central bank data showed on Tuesday. Inward investment into South African bonds and equities shrank to R16.6-billion ($1.16-billion) from... 

KYC models need to upgrade

25th September 2018 Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering approaches will need a complete overhaul to cope with the wave of digital change, the mainstreaming of blockchain technology and efforts to bank two billion unbanked people, says Ideco. Know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) is... 

US sanctions driving Russian billionaires into Putin’s arms

By: Bloomberg     21st September 2018 The Trump administration is helping Vladimir Putin achieve a goal that’s eluded him for almost two decades—getting Russia’s billionaires to start repatriating some of their assets. Relatively muted sanctions imposed during the Obama era over the conflict in Ukraine have only widened in scope and... 

750 t SANY excavator expected to be a big hitter in the mining industry

21st September 2018 What is believed to be the largest excavator in Africa has been launched by Goscor Earth Moving (GEM), part of the Goscor Group, and official distributor of SANY. The SY750 is a primary loading tool for the mining industry, from opencast to alluvial diamond mining. The 750 t excavator is ideal to... 

Goldman backs commodities as trade war fury now met with shrugs

By: Bloomberg     21st September 2018 Commodity bull Goldman Sachs Group says raw materials are poised to gain into the end of the year as investors have now become used to trade-war tensions, growth in top economies remains strong, and consumers who’d put off purchases in recent months start buying again. Copper jumped. “This week... 

Central banks add 193 t of gold to reserves in H1

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th September 2018 Central banks have added 193.3 t of gold to their reserves in the first six months of this year, which is an 8% increase compared with the 178.6 t bought in the same period last year, making it the strongest first half for central bank gold buying since 2015. The World Gold Council (WGC) states... 

SARB keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.5% 

By: News24Wire      20th September 2018 The South African Reserve Bank announced on Thursday afternoon that it will keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5%.  The announcement was made by the central bank's governor Lesetja Kganyago at a media briefing in Pretoria.  

MTN shares rise after Nigeria says reviewing information to resolve $8.1bn dispute

By: Reuters     20th September 2018 Shares in South Africa's MTN rose 5% on Thursday, after Nigeria's central bank said on Wednesday that it was reviewing information provided by the telecoms firm and four banks over a dispute on the repatriation of dividends. "The statement suggests there are some talks going on and the market... 

Interest rates likely to stay unchanged as economy struggles

By: African News Agency      20th September 2018 South Africa's central bank is likely to keep interest rates unchanged on Thursday despite inflationary pressures stemming largely from a weaker rand, hamstrung mostly by concerns over the ailing economy. The economy slipped into a recession after gross domestic product contracted by 0.7 percent... 

750 t SANY excavator expected to be a big hitter in the mining industry

19th September 2018 What is believed to be the largest excavator in Africa has been launched by Goscor Earth Moving (GEM), part of the Goscor Group, and official distributor of SANY. The SY750 is a primary loading tool for the mining industry, from opencast to alluvial diamond mining. The 750 t excavator is ideal to... 

Metallon may pay suppliers in gold amid Zimbabwe cash shortage

By: Bloomberg     18th September 2018 Metallon Corp. is considering paying mining-equipment suppliers in gold because a cash shortage in Zimbabwe is hampering its plan to expand output, Chief Executive Officer Mzi Khumalo said. Zimbabwe, which abandoned its own currency in 2009 because of hyperinflation, has faced cash shortages for... 

Vector Resources secures $20m loan to aid Adidi-Kanga development

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th September 2018 ASX-listed Vector Resources has secured a $20-million committed debt facility with resources focus fund Medea Future Materials Fund, to help reduce its indebtedness with a local Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) bank. The company needs $5-million for upfront acquisition costs, about $10-million... 

Zwane issued ultimatum to bank on closing Gupta accounts, inquiry hears  

By: African News Agency      17th September 2018 In trying to force Standard Bank to reverse its decision to close Gupta-linked business accounts, former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane reminded the bank executives that the South African government was in charge of issuing banking licenses and could change banking laws anytime.... 

ANC, ministers threatened Standard Bank to force it to keep Gupta accounts open, State capture commission hears

By: News24Wire      17th September 2018 Former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane threatened Standard Bank's operating licence and threatened to change the banking laws, all in an effort to allow the politically connected Gupta family to keep their bank accounts open. This is according to Standard Bank's former head of... 

Russian giant copper project aims to raise $1.25bn in 2018

By: Reuters     17th September 2018 Baikal Mining Company, operator of Russia's biggest untapped copper deposit Udokan, plans to raise $1.25-billion in project financing from a Russian bank by the start of 2019, its chairperson Valery Kazikayev told Reuters. Spurred by high global appetite for cooper, which many expect to be in... 

Large Bridges Showcase Concor Infrastructure Expertise On N2 Road Contract

17th September 2018 Concor Infrastructure has made solid progress constructing and extending more than eleven structures, including two large bridges and four overpass bridges, on the exciting N2 highway upgrade between Mtunzini and Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal. This substantial South African National Roads Agency SOC... 

Rand continues to gain from Turkish rate hike

By: News24Wire      14th September 2018 The rand traded firmer against the dollar in early trade on Friday, as emerging market currencies continued to benefit from the rise on Turkish interest rates.  The Turkish central bank on Thursday raised the benchmark interest rate from 17.75% to 24%, which caused the lira to strengthen by 4%.   

Gold slips amid US-China trade war concerns

By: Reuters     12th September 2018 Gold fell on Wednesday, but remained stuck in a narrow trading range as investors worry about a simmering trade war between the United States and China. Spot gold was down 0.3% to $1 193.61 an ounce at 1200 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Aug. 24 at $1 187.21 on Tuesday. US gold futures eased... 

MTN says Nigeria's attorney general exceeded powers in $2bn tax bill

By: Reuters     11th September 2018 Nigeria's attorney general exceeded his powers in demanding $2-billion in taxes and charges from MTN Group, the telecoms firm said in papers filed with Nigeria's High Court and reviewed by Reuters. The papers, filed on Monday in a move by the Nigerian arm of the South African firm aimed at... 

Failure not an option at DCT berth deepening project, says TNPA

By: Shirley le Guern     11th September 2018 Transnet’s R7-billion megaproject to create deeper berths at the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2’s North Quay will create some disruption and require close collaboration. However, given that this is the first project to be funded by the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa's New... 

MTN CEO confident about Nigeria dispute as firm applies for injunction

By: Reuters     10th September 2018 Telecoms firm MTN Group said on Monday it was confident a multi-billion dollar dispute with the Nigerian government would be resolved even as it applied for a court injunction to protect its Nigerian assets. Nigeria's central bank last month ordered MTN's Lagos-based unit to hand over... 

Rushydro says sanctions cloud prospects for joining Rusal's smelter

By: Reuters     10th September 2018 Plans by Russia's power company Rushydro to join a new aluminium smelter project that Rusal wants to build in Siberia, have been complicated by international sanctions, Rushydro's head Nikolai Shulginov said on Monday. Rusal, ranked the world's No.2 aluminium producer after China's Hongqiao,... 

Expropriation without compensation could 'trigger classical banking crisis' – Nedbank

By: African News Agency      7th September 2018 Expropriating property without compensation could "trigger a classical banking crisis", Nedbank chief executive Mike Brown told MPs on Friday. Brown was participating in the last round of public hearings by a parliamentary committee probing whether section 25 of the Constitution needs to be... 

Mining waste set to grow, but ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ solutions abound

By: Tracy Hancock     7th September 2018 The evolution of waste management techniques to accommodate the shift to low-grade ores by mining operations is one of the key emerging trends in the global mining waste management market, states UK market research company Technavio. The London-headquartered company explains that in the last... 

Moody's places MTN on review for downgrade

By: Reuters     6th September 2018 MTN Group has been put on review by Moody's for downgrade after the South African mobile phone operator said it was on the hook for a total of $10.1-billion from its biggest market Nigeria, the ratings agency said on Thursday. "MTN's ratings have been placed on review for downgrade to reflect... 

Ramaphosa says South Africa to recover from recession soon

By: Reuters     6th September 2018 South Africa will soon recover from recession, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday in his first reaction to news that undermines his effort to revive the economy and attract investment after a decade of stagnation. Ramaphosa staked his reputation on economic revival when he took over in... 

Standard Bank PMI falls to 29-month low in August

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th September 2018 Operating conditions in South Africa’s private sector economy deteriorated for the second straight month in August, as business activity and input purchasing decreased in line with an accelerated drop in new orders, says Standard Bank in its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for August.... 

Ethiopia opens logistics sector to foreign investment

By: News24Wire      5th September 2018 Ethiopia will open its logistics sector to foreign investors but cap their participation, the State investment body said on Tuesday in the latest reform to loosen the government's control of the economy. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has presided over a shake-up of one of the most heavily-regulated... 

African rail industry urged to adopt concepts of Fourth Industrial Revolution

By: Nadine James     4th September 2018 The African rail industry must adopt the concepts and develop the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to facilitate, and realise, the industrialisation aspirations of the continent, delegates attending a South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA) technical workshop, on Tuesday,... 

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