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Uncertainty over land expropriation to deter investment – IHS Markit

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th August 2018 The threat of land expropriation without compensation (EWC) is likely to deter investment up until the 2019 elections and a while afterwards, says global information provider IHS Markit. “Uncertainty over property rights is likely to deter fixed investment, limit government revenue and lower... 

Ghana opposition seeks IMF view on $2bn Chinese Bauxite deal

By: Reuters     24th August 2018 Ghana's opposition in parliament wants the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to decide whether a $2-billion Chinese deal agreed by the government in exchange for bauxite will add to the country's debt burden, it said on Thursday. Under the deal, approved by Ghanaian lawmakers last month, China's... 

2018 motoring costs highest to date, says WesBank

By: Irma Venter     24th August 2018 The average monthly cost of motoring has increased by about R940, or 14% in the last year, and a whopping 31% since 2013, this according to the latest data from vehicle and asset finance specialist WesBank. Despite prevailing interest rates remaining at low levels and favourable vehicle price... 

Cost-effective braking systems brand launched

By: Paige Müller     24th August 2018 Commercial vehicle technologies supplier WABCO South Africa (SA) last month launched ProVia – a high-quality, price-competitive aftermarket brand for commercial vehicle braking systems – across ten Southern Africa countries. ProVia is a safety-focused and reliable budget parts product range for... 

Upper Trishuli 1 hydroelectric project, Nepal

By: Sheila Barradas     24th August 2018 Nepal Water & Energy Development Company is proposing the construction of a 216 MW run-of-river hydropower project. 

One in three chance of South Africa recession this year

By: Reuters     23rd August 2018 South Africa's economy probably struggled to gain traction in the second quarter after shrinking at the start of 2018, according to a Reuters poll of economists who said there was a one in three chance of recession this year. Around 30 economists polled expect Africa's second-largest economy to... 

Russian central bank buys more gold in face of tougher sanctions

By: Bloomberg     22nd August 2018 Russia added more gold reserves in July than any other month this year as it continues to buy up the metal in the face of US sanctions. The Russian central bank added 26.1 t last month, bringing its holdings to 2 170 t, according to International Monetary Fund data compiled by Bloomberg.  

Zambia copper output up 10.6% in first half of 2018 – central bank

By: Reuters     22nd August 2018 Zambian copper output rose 10.6% to 402 222 t in the first half of the year, the central bank governor Denny Kalyalya said on Wednesday. Zambian copper mining industry has been increasing production of the metal thanks to stable power supply and relatively higher metal prices in recent months. 

South Africa's new coal-fired plants must have emissions technology

By: Reuters     21st August 2018 South Africa's first privately built coal-fired power plants must have the latest technology to reduce harmful emissions, the energy minister said on Tuesday, as a wave of court challenges threaten to derail the projects. Environmental activists have taken legal action against the new Thabametsi... 

Land Bank says land expropriation could trigger default

By: Reuters     21st August 2018 South Africa's State-owned Land Bank said on Monday a plan to allow the State to seize land without compensation could trigger defaults that could cost the government R41-billion rand if the bank's rights as a creditor are not protected. Land Bank is a specialist bank providing financial services... 

Leftists rattle rand with plan to nationalise South Africa's SARB

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 Opposition firebrand Julius Malema introduced a bill to nationalise South Africa's central bank, raising pressure on the ruling ANC to go through with a plan it shelved this year and rattling markets wary of threats to the institution's independence. The rand fell more than 1 percent overnight... 

Russian miners explore payment schemes eschewing dollar

By: Reuters     15th August 2018 Two of Russia's biggest mining companies said on Wednesday they were investigating rouble-based payments schemes, amid calls from Moscow to reduce the role of the US dollar in Russian trade and so limit the impact of US sanctions. The Kremlin said on Monday that Russia favoured bilateral trade... 

Metals poisoned by Turkey contagion as copper nears bear market

By: Bloomberg     15th August 2018 From Turkey’s financial crisis to China’s trade war, the emerging-market contagion is infecting metal markets. Base metals markets tumbled on Wednesday, with most contracts falling more than 2% in London. Copper sank below $6 000 a metric ton and is now approaching a bear market. Not even gold,... 

Mining production increases 2.8% y/y in June

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th August 2018 Mining production increased by 2.8% year-on-year in June, from a 1.8% decline in May, with the largest positive contributor being platinum group metals (PGMs), which rose by 28.2% and contributed 5.9 percentage points, says Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). Other positive contributors were... 

Rand rebounds two percent as Turkey-led rout eases

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 South Africa's rand gained more than 2% on Tuesday, bouncing off a two-year low struck a day before, when investors dumped emerging market assets because of fears over the Turkish economy. At 0705 GMT, the rand traded at 14.0800 versus the dollar, around 2.3% stronger on the day and more than 11%... 

Nornickel earnings jump on higher metal prices, operational efficiencies

By: Simone Liedtke     13th August 2018 Nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) reported a 77% year-on-year increase to $3.1-billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) in the first half of 2018, driven by higher metal revenue and operational efficiency gains. The Ebitda margin... 

SARB 'nowhere near' intervention on rand – deputy governor

By: Reuters     13th August 2018 The South African Reserve Bank was surprised by the magnitude of the rand weakness early on Monday but forex market conditions where "nowhere near" requiring the bank to intervene, deputy governor Daniel Mminele told Reuters. The rand slid more than 10% to a two-year low against the dollar in... 

Government changes shake up the sub-Saharan African construction sector

By: Anine Kilian     10th August 2018 International consultancy and construction company Mace has released its latest tender cost update for sub-Saharan Africa, showing mixed performances for the region’s two most prominent economies.    

Jennifer Retief

10th August 2018 This week we profile Jennifer Retief, CEO of Riversands Incubation Hub, which helps to grow and develop black-owned small businesses   

Kathu concentrated solar power project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     10th August 2018 The salt melting process at the Kathu Solar Park plant has started. 

ARC to acquire 100% of TymeDigital

By: Anine Kilian     8th August 2018 African Rainbow Capital (ARC), led by chairperson Patrice Motsepe, has reached an agreement to acquire, through its 50.1% held subsidiary, ARC Financial Holding Company (FinHoldCo), 90% of TymeDigital by Commonwealth Bank, for an undisclosed consideration. When concluded, FinHoldCo will own 100%... 

Chile lithium exports more than double in July from previous year

By: Reuters     7th August 2018 Chile's exports of lithium carbonate reached $85-million in July, more than double that of the same month the previous year, as demand and prices for the key component in electric vehicle batteries continues to rise, the central bank said on Tuesday. The value of exports of the metal from Chile,... 

Russia's shield against sanctions draws praise from Moody's

By: Bloomberg     7th August 2018 Russia is ready to absorb the blow from any new sanctions the US throws its way, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Measures to cut down holdings of Treasuries and reduce exposure to the dollar have made the economy less vulnerable to the threat of deeper penalties, Moody’s analyst Kristin... 

Study says gender a challenge for female entrepreneurs in construction 

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2018 Women in the construction and related industries not only face discrimination while working for existing firms, but also when starting their own businesses, says Mercantile Bank. A recent study conducted on behalf of the institution found that 67% of female business owners surveyed in the... 

Nigeria oil refinery

3rd August 2018 Nigerian business magnate Aliko Dangote has arranged more than $4.5-billion in debt financing for his Nigerian oil refinery project. 

AfDB appoints Kapoor director general for regional office

By: African News Agency      2nd August 2018 The African Development Bank Group has appointed Dr Kapil Kapoor director general for its Southern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office, it said late on Wednesday. It said Kapoor, who has been director for strategy and operational policies since 2012 when he joined the bank,... 

Barrick Gold makes China investor push as markets slump

By: Reuters     1st August 2018 Barrick Gold Corp will make a bigger push to attract institutional investors in China under a new deeper-ties pact with Shandong Gold, aimed at bolstering its shareholder base, executives told Reuters. Bruised by a strong US dollar, the price of gold is nearing a one-year low, with speculators... 

ERG secures electricity supply for DRC copper/cobalt operations

By: Anine Kilian     1st August 2018 Metalkol, a cobalt and copper tailings reprocessing project and a low-cost hydrometallurgical facility owned by Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), has signed an agreement to secure electricity supply for its operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for up to ten years.   

Infrastructure challenges Africa Business Forum to provide solutions for Africa’s socio-economic

30th July 2018 The impact of Africa’s current economic status and future growth potential on infrastructure development will be deliberated during the 7th annual Infrastructure Africa Business Forum (IABF) at the Sandton Convention Centre on the 9th and 10th of October. This event will be attended by prominent... 

Funding a vital link across 912kms

27th July 2018 Railway infrastructure is key to the growth of any economy – all the more, if you are exporting coal across international trade waters. Thanks to the revamped and extended Nacala Logistics Corridor, the Moatize coal mine in the northwest Tete region of Mozambique can now export greater volumes of... 

SARB does not see Q2 economic contraction

By: Reuters     27th July 2018 South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Lesetja Kganyago said on Friday he does not expect economic growth to contract in the second quarter, after a 2.2% contraction in the first quarter of this year. Africa's most industrialised economy grew by 3.1% in the final quarter of 2017, but... 

Platinum's worst may soon be over despite record bearish bet 

By: Bloomberg     26th July 2018 Platinum’s near the lowest in a decade and hedge funds have never been so bearish – and that could be good news for prices. The commodity’s had a torrid year so far amid ample supplies and as investors lost faith in precious metals. While speculators are betting on more declines, the large... 

Xi Jinping, Ramaphosa say Brics should uphold multilateralism, reject trade war

By: Terence Creamer     25th July 2018 The Presidents of China and South Africa, Xi Jinping and Cyril Ramaphosa, offered an unequivocal rebuke of US President Donald Trump’s trade war on Wednesday and called on the Brics countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to act to uphold multilateralism and defend the... 

Standard Bank, UnionPay partnership eases Chinese card payments

By: Schalk Burger     24th July 2018 Chinese card payment services provider UnionPay International and financial services firm Standard Bank have agreed to accelerate access to UnionPay’s cards across key markets in Africa, the companies said in a statement on Monday. The move will bring increased convenience to Chinese people... 

Brics bank approves $600m loans for South African, Chinese projects

By: Reuters     24th July 2018 The New Development Bank, set up by the Brics group of emerging economies, has approved loans of $300-million for energy projects in South Africa and $300-million for a transportation project in China. South Africa, which will host a Brics summit later this week in Johannesburg, is trying to... 

Trade war could knock 3% off global GDP – Bank of France study

By: Reuters     20th July 2018 An international trade war with wide-ranging tariff hikes could cut global gross domestic product by as much as three percent, according to a study by the French central bank on Thursday. The direct impact of a generalised 10 percentage point increase in import tariffs could alone knock 1% off... 

The elephant in the substation

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     20th July 2018 Everybody knows that renewable energy is great for us all: it is free, it does not pollute, it keeps big bad Eskom on its toes and it  represents huge investments in South Africa. What is there not to love? The bids for various wind power farms (this is the amount for which Eskom has to buy power... 

SARB keeps repo rate unchanged, downgrades growth projection

By: News24Wire      19th July 2018 The South African Reserve Bank's (SARB's) monetary policy committee has left the repo rate unchanged at 6.5% in a unanimous decision.  The announcement, made by the central bank's governor Lesetja Kganyago at a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday afternoon, was in line with expectations of... 

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